Engine Tender

which US railroad company made the highest quality steam engines back in the 1930-50's?

Two different things.

Locomotive manufacturers included Lima, Baldwin, Alco and others, all of highest quality and cutting edge technology for the day, such as incorporation of roller bearings.

Some railroads did make their own locos, too. Not too familiar with other carriers, but the SP had major shops in Sacramento, LA, Houston and San Antonio in Texas and Pine Bluff Arkansas. The Sacto shops were turning out locos of SP design very early on. "El Gobernador" with a 4-10-0 wheel arrangement was the largest loco in the world when it was out-shopped in 1882, and the very prolific Stevens valve gear was designed by A J Stevens, SP Master Mechanic at Sacto.

Addendum:

And I agree with the gentleman below. Baldwin was the king of the heap.

Wanna have some fun? Ask someone which was the most powerful loco produced by an American manufacturer?

You'll hear, Big Boy, Alco Big Boy, UP big Boy, Big Boy, Big Boy Big Boy...

Get them to bet on it. The higher the better. Because they are wrong, wrong, wrong.

Then tell them about the Baldwin built M3 Yellowstones of the Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range

The Big Boy Cylinders (4) 23.75" x 32"
The M3 Cylinders (4) 26" x 32"

Big Boy Driving Wheelbase 36'6"
The M3 Driving Wheelbase 45'7"

Big Boy Engine & Tender Wheelbase 117' 7"
M3 Engine & Tender Wheelbase 113' 6"

Big Boy Boiler Diameter 95"
M3 Boiler Diameter 104"

The Big Boy Weight on Drivers 540,000 lb.
The DM&IR M3 Weight on Drivers 560,257 lb.

and for that reason

The Big Boy developed tractive effort of 133,375 lb.
The Baldwin Built M3 Yellowstones of the DM&IR got ya 140,000 lb.

The UP Big Boys were a couple feet longer, and a little heavier in overall weight (64,000 lbs), but that is where their claim to fame ends.

The Big Boy did have one thing in advantage over the M3s. They were released with great fanfare and a well organized PR campaign.

Now.

Wanna bet?

Find Engine Tender On eBay Below:

LIONEL 6 81043 JERSEY CENTRAL YARD BOSS STEAM SWITCHER 6 81023 o gauge train NJC
LIONEL 6 81043 JERSEY CENTRAL YARD BOSS STEAM SWITCHER 6 81023 o gauge train NJC
$149.99
LIONEL 6 83286 E JOHN DEERE STEAM ENGINE  TENDER LIONCHIEF REMOTE CONTROL SALE
LIONEL 6 83286 E JOHN DEERE STEAM ENGINE TENDER LIONCHIEF REMOTE CONTROL SALE
$154.94
LIONEL PEANUTS HALLOWEEN STEAM ENGINE TENDER REMOTE CONTROL WITH RAILSOUNDS
LIONEL PEANUTS HALLOWEEN STEAM ENGINE TENDER REMOTE CONTROL WITH RAILSOUNDS
$92.64
K Line New York Central K 3010 Steam Engine  Tender O27 Gauge New
K Line New York Central K 3010 Steam Engine Tender O27 Gauge New
$150.00
Vintage 1947 Postwar Lionel O Gauge No675 Steam Engine  2466WX Whistle Tender
Vintage 1947 Postwar Lionel O Gauge No675 Steam Engine 2466WX Whistle Tender
$212.50
Lionel Prewar O Gauge 2263W Whistle Tender for 763E 263E Engines DAKOTApaul
Lionel Prewar O Gauge 2263W Whistle Tender for 763E 263E Engines DAKOTApaul
$49.00
AMERICAN FLYER PRE WAR LOCOMOTIVE ENGINE AND TENDER IN ORIGINAL CONDITION
AMERICAN FLYER PRE WAR LOCOMOTIVE ENGINE AND TENDER IN ORIGINAL CONDITION
$125.00
Vintage Ives cast iron Engine No1117 and 17 tender A
Vintage Ives cast iron Engine No1117 and 17 tender A
$175.00
American Flyer 1935 Prewar O Gauge Freight Set 3324 steam engine tender AF1
American Flyer 1935 Prewar O Gauge Freight Set 3324 steam engine tender AF1
$110.00
O Scale Lionel CO 2 6 6 6 Steam Engine Locomotive  Tender NIB 6 28011
O Scale Lionel CO 2 6 6 6 Steam Engine Locomotive Tender NIB 6 28011
$975.00
LIONEL JERSEY CENTRAL YARD BOSS STEAM SWITCHER 6 81023 o gauge train njc 6 81043
LIONEL JERSEY CENTRAL YARD BOSS STEAM SWITCHER 6 81023 o gauge train njc 6 81043
$141.40
LIONEL CHESSIE T1 LEGACY STEAM ENGINE TENDER  2101 O GAUGE train 6 83203 NEW
LIONEL CHESSIE T1 LEGACY STEAM ENGINE TENDER 2101 O GAUGE train 6 83203 NEW
$1,543.60
VINTAGE LIONEL 4501 ENGINE AND TENDER O GAUGE
VINTAGE LIONEL 4501 ENGINE AND TENDER O GAUGE
$199.95
MTH RAIL KING SP STEAM ENGINE  TENDER PROTO 3 O GAUGE train 30 4245 1 E NEW
MTH RAIL KING SP STEAM ENGINE TENDER PROTO 3 O GAUGE train 30 4245 1 E NEW
$245.90
Marx O Scale Train Engine Locomotive 480 Coal Tender Freight Caboose Parts Only
Marx O Scale Train Engine Locomotive 480 Coal Tender Freight Caboose Parts Only
$14.99
LIONEL O SCALE 38000 NEW YORK CENTRAL EMPIRE STATE HUDSON 4 6 4 ENGINE
LIONEL O SCALE 38000 NEW YORK CENTRAL EMPIRE STATE HUDSON 4 6 4 ENGINE
$800.00
MTH RAIL KING PENNSYLVANIA 6200 TURBINE ENGINE  TENDER
MTH RAIL KING PENNSYLVANIA 6200 TURBINE ENGINE TENDER
$249.99
LIONEL 736 20 ENGINE BOX LINER  TENDER LINER NICE
LIONEL 736 20 ENGINE BOX LINER TENDER LINER NICE
$29.95
 Lionel O Gauge 0 8 0 Union Pacific UP Overland Flyer Steam Engine
Lionel O Gauge 0 8 0 Union Pacific UP Overland Flyer Steam Engine
$89.99
Vintage MARX 666 locomotive engine with Union Pacific tender untested
Vintage MARX 666 locomotive engine with Union Pacific tender untested
$19.95
Lionel Engine 8602 with Coal Tender PENNSYLVANIA
Lionel Engine 8602 with Coal Tender PENNSYLVANIA
$99.00
Marx Layout Train Engine 400 Tender And 4 6 Inch Freight Cars
Marx Layout Train Engine 400 Tender And 4 6 Inch Freight Cars
$13.00
LIONEL ENGINE FOUND IN STORAGE LOCKER 671RR AND 2046 WHISTLE TENDER
LIONEL ENGINE FOUND IN STORAGE LOCKER 671RR AND 2046 WHISTLE TENDER
$239.95
VINTAGE LIONEL TRAIN ENGINE 8042 NICKEL PLATE COAL TENDER CAR HERSHEYS BOX CAR
VINTAGE LIONEL TRAIN ENGINE 8042 NICKEL PLATE COAL TENDER CAR HERSHEYS BOX CAR
$45.99
New Lionel 561 Pennsylvania 0 8 0 die cast metal steam engine and tender
New Lionel 561 Pennsylvania 0 8 0 die cast metal steam engine and tender
$95.99
Lionel Postwar 2046 Engine And Whistle Tender NICE
Lionel Postwar 2046 Engine And Whistle Tender NICE
$140.00
LIONEL 1664 1664E LOCOMOTIVE ENGINE AND TENDER GUNMETAL TRAIN SET TESTED RUNS
LIONEL 1664 1664E LOCOMOTIVE ENGINE AND TENDER GUNMETAL TRAIN SET TESTED RUNS
$69.00
Lionel Train Steam Engine 8632 plus Whistle Tender New York Central O Gauge
Lionel Train Steam Engine 8632 plus Whistle Tender New York Central O Gauge
$39.99
Lionel 8 85106 Chessie System 4 4 2 Steam Engine w Tender ran once to test
Lionel 8 85106 Chessie System 4 4 2 Steam Engine w Tender ran once to test
$170.00
PRE WAR 1939 1942 LIONEL TENDER 2666W AND LIONEL ENGINE 027 1666
PRE WAR 1939 1942 LIONEL TENDER 2666W AND LIONEL ENGINE 027 1666
$79.99
Lionel 1666 Steam Engine w 2666W Whistle Tender Locomotive W OB Set
Lionel 1666 Steam Engine w 2666W Whistle Tender Locomotive W OB Set
$39.00
MTH MT 3018LP PRR Pennsylvania K 4s Die Cast Steam Engine  Tender 3 Rail
MTH MT 3018LP PRR Pennsylvania K 4s Die Cast Steam Engine Tender 3 Rail
$279.99


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