4-6-0 "Ten-Wheeler" Steam Locomotive
The Ten-wheeler was a steam locomotive design that helped to displace the ubiquitous American Type 4-4-0 (a steam locomotive that was used for every type of service imaginable due to its flexibility and reliability). The Ten-wheeler is perhaps the only steam locomotive type to derive its name simply from the number of wheels it carries, ten, with a 4-6-0 arrangement. The 4-6-0 wheel arrangement was developed as early as the late 1840s first appearing on the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad in 1847.
The creation of the 4-6-0 came about because of a need to increase adhesion, thus, of course, allowing a single locomotive to haul heavier loads. Essentially an American design (of the 4-4-0 wheel arrangement), the Ten-wheeler's extra axle allowed for this increase in tractive effort and for one of the first times in the railroad industry's short history, it now had a specialized locomotive that could be used for specific purposes, in this case hauling freight and passengers over steep grades.
Throughout its life the Ten-wheeler design also found use in all types of service from moving fast passenger trains to heavy freights in mountainous territory. With the development of the heavier Consolidation Type, a 2-8-0 design, most railroads bumped their 4-6-0s to passenger-only status and/or light freight duty. Still, production on the 4-6-0 wheel arrangement lasted throughout the latter half of the 19th century and when production ended on Ten-wheelers, well over 17,000 units had been built!
There were a number of 4-6-0's in service with the CWR although none was ever solely engaged in passenger service. Their ability to climb relatively steep grades (3%) with a load was a major factor in their popularity. The pictures we have located of CWR's 4-6-0's are shown at right.
Club members have eight ten-wheelers some of which closely resemble the prototypes in the gallery above. Of the eight two are live steam. Experience has showed us that these locos prefer at least eight foot diameter curves.