• Range of the L-2a Class Mohawks

  • Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.
Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by rlsteam
Recently I came across an undated online photo of class L-2a Mohawk 2710, said to have been taken at Hudson, Michigan, where the Cincinnati Northern (part of the CCC&StL Ohio Division, I think) crossed the former LS&MS "Old Road." Having lived along the Old Road for a few years as a child (late 1940s), I never recall seeing any Mohawks on it, only Mikados, as road freight power. So I assumed the photo taken at Hudson was on the Cincinnati Northern. Furthermore, my impression was that the L-2a class (with its Elesco feedwater heater) was generally confined to the NYC's eastern lines, with the later classes being used in the west. That led me to conclude that No. 2710 had migrated to the west late in its career, as so many NYC steam locomotives did with the advance of dieselization, and operated on the Cincinnati Northern.

However, on George Elwood's site I found a photo of 2710 said to have been taken at Elkhart in 1939, which blew my theory, because Elkhart was where the Old Road rejoined the main line. But then I checked a map of the "Southern District" which showed that the "Michigan Branch" of the CCC&StL did terminate at Elkhart (after running over the Western District from Goshen). So the 2710 could have been photographed at Elkhart coming either over the Old Road or the Michigan Branch, and if the latter than it was assigned to the Big Four and could also have operated on the Cincinnati Northern. (And, of course, it could have been operating on the "Air Line" of the former LS&MS as well.)

Does anyone have information about the normal range of the L-2a class, especially whether some members of the class did regularly operate on the western lines, particularly parts of the the Big Four?
  by NYC_Dave
I grew up in Elkhart and took a few RR pictures with a Baby Brownie camera in the early 1950s. Most are rather poor quality. Three are of L3a or L4a Mohawks, one is an L2a. The photos of 2722 and 3131 were taken at the Elkhart roundhouse area. The other two photos of Mohawks on freights were taken on the east side of Elkhart. I have no idea whether they might have come from the Michigan Branch at Goshen. I only became aware of the Goshen connection a few years ago. And I was puzzled by some old railroad maps which showed separate lines for the Big Four and NYC between Elkhart and Goshen. Apparently the Big Four just had trackage rights between Elkhart and Goshen
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  by rlsteam
Thanks for the photos. The third photo shows that the 2710 wasn't the only L-2a working in the Elkhart area. But it remains a mystery whether L-2a Mohawks were assigned to the Big Four, but not NYC (ex-LS&MS) in the west. I am still trying to determine if the photo I have of the 2710 at Hudson, Michigan was on the Cincinnati Northern (Big Four) or the Old Road (LS&MS). Evidence seems to point to the former.
http://www.railarchive.net/nyccollectio ... indlay.htm
  by mel
I worked on the Mich. branch for 30 +years. Started in 1950 and we had 2700 . All were gone by Aug.1953. They were good engines on the branch and the 2706 was the best of the lot . The engineers run them 70 mph on the B&O from N. Vernon - Jeff . LEW
  by rlsteam
Thanks very much for this information. It seems to validate my assumption that the image I have was taken on the Cincinnati Northern, rather than the Old Road.