Photo of the Norfolk and Western steam turbine locomotive 2300 Jawn Henry in 1955 from a Du Pont paint ad in Modern Railroads magazine. Click to enlarge.

(Du Pont, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)



The Norfolk and Western 2300, also known as the Jawn Henry, was a single experimental steam turbine locomotive of the Norfolk and Western Railway. The N&W placed it in the TE class. It was nicknamed "the Jawn Henry" after the legend of John Henry, a rock driller who famously raced against a steam drill and won, only to die immediately after. It was designed to demonstrate the advantages of steam turbines espoused by Baldwin Chief Engineer Ralph P. Johnson. It was the longest steam locomotive that was ever built. The unit looked similar to the C&O turbines but differed mechanically; it was a C+C-C+C with a Babcock & Wilcox water-tube boiler with automatic controls. The boiler controls were sometimes problematic, and (as with the C&O turbines) coal dust and water got into the electric traction motors. Number 2300 was retired, stricken from the N&W roster on January 4, 1958 and scrapped later in 1961.


Norfolk and Western Railway's the "Powhatan Arrow" headed by streamlined engine No. 605, a Class J Northern type 4-8-4 locomotive, passing engine No. 2300, the "Jawn Henry." The Jawn Henry was a one-of-a-kind experimental coal turbine electric that had a water tube boiler. It was rated at 4500 horsepower at 8000 rpm. It was built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in May 1954 and left the N&W roster on January 4, 1958. Click to enlarge. (See photo credit bottom of page)



Baldwin 6-6-6-6-4500/1-TE
Type and origin
Power type: Steam turbine
Builder: Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton Corporation
Serial number: Baldwin 75911
Model: Baldwin 6-6-6-6-4500/1-TE
Build date: May 1954
Total produced: 1
​• Whyte 0-6-6-6-6-0
• UIC Co′Co′-Co′Co′
Gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)
Driver diameter: 42 in (1,067 mm)
Length Locomotive: 111 ft 7+1⁄2 in (34.02 m)
Locomotive and tender: 161 ft 1+1⁄2 in (49.11 m)
Adhesive weight: 818,000 lb (371,000 kg) (409 t)
Tender weight: 364,100 lb (165,200 kg) (when loaded)
Total weight: 1,182,100 lb (536,200 kg)
Fuel type: Coal
Fuel capacity: 20 short tons (18.1 t; 17.9 long tons)
Water capacity: 22,000 US gal (83,000 l; 18,000 imp gal)
Boiler pressure: 600 lbf/in2 (4.1 MPa)
Performance figures
Power output: 4,500 hp
Tractive effort: 144,000 lbf (640.54 kN) (at 9 mph)
Operator: Norfolk and Western Railway
Class: TE
Road Number: 2300
Nickname: Jawn Henry
Disposition: Withdrawn and scrapped in 1958


See Also:

Steam Turbine Locomotives

Locomotive Builders


[The "Powatan Arrow" passing the "Jawn Henry"]photograph1955~; ( April 21, 2023), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Museum of the American Railroad.