After being loaned out for five years to the Virginia Museum of Transportation, the #2156 steam locomotive was returned to The National Museum of Transportation (TNMOT) on June 15, 2020. Oh the joy and excitement about having the Y6a back on track at TNMOT in St. Louis MO!
Built in 1942, the #2156 is a massive freight hauler used until 1960 to haul heavy coal trains through the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia and West Virginia. This compound “articulated” locomotive was among the hardest working steam locomotives ever built. The articulated design allowed the locomotive to operate on tracks with tighter curves by allowing the two sets of drive wheels to split and turn independently.
The Norfolk & Western weighs 961,500 pounds; the engine and tender are 113’1/4″ long and have have 58″ drivers. The #2156 is the only compound locomotive in Museum’s collection. A compound locomotive is a steam locomotive which is powered by a compound engine, a type of steam engine where steam is expanded in two or more stages. The main benefits sought from compounding are reduced fuel and water consumption plus higher power/weight ratio due to more expansion in the cylinder before the exhaust valve opens, which gives a higher efficiency.