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Whyte Classification of Steam Locomotives

Wheel and Axle Configuration of Known Steam Locomotives

The Whyte notation for classifying steam locomotives by wheel arrangement was devised by Frederick Methvan Whyte[2] and came into use in the early Twentieth Century encouraged by an editorial in American Engineer and Railroad Journal (December 1900). Whyte's system counts the number of leading wheels, then the number of driving wheels, and finally the number of trailing wheels, groups of numbers being separated by dashes.[3] Other classification schemes, like UIC classification and the French, Turkish and Swiss systems for steam locomotives, count axles rather than wheels.

Thus, a locomotive with two leading axles (and thus four wheels) in front, then three driving axles (six wheels) and followed by one trailing axle (two wheels) is classified as a 4-6-2.

Numeric Layout Wheel Arrangement Name Class Image (click to view)
0-2-2 Northumbrian Non Articulated Locomotive
0-4-0 Four-Wheel Switcher Switching Locomotive
0-6-0 Six-Wheel Switcher Switching Locomotive
0-8-0 Eight-Wheel Switcher Switching Locomotive
0-8-2 Switching Locomotive
0-10-0 Ten- Wheel Switcher Switching Locomotive
0-10-2 Union Switching Locomotive
0-4-0T Porter Tank Locomotive
0-4-2T Little Monster Tank Locomotive
0-4-4T Forney Tank Locomotive
0-6-4T Forney Tank Locomotive
2-2-0 Planet Non Articulated Locomotive
2-2-2 Single, Jenny Lind Non Articulated Locomotive
2-6-6T Mason Bogie Tank Locomotive
4-4-2T Tank Locomotive
4-6-4T Baltic Tank Locomotive
4-8-6T Tank Locomotive
0-4-0 Camel Back Light Passenger Locomotive
2-4-0 Porter 2 Wheel Leading Truck
2-4-2 Columbia 2 Wheel Leading Truck
2-4-4 Forney 2 Wheel Leading Truck
2-6-0 Mogul 2 Wheel Leading Truck
2-6-2 Prairie 2 Wheel Leading Truck
2-6-4 Adriatic 2 Wheel Leading Truck
2-8-0 Consolidation 2 Wheel Leading Truck
2-8-2 K-36 2 Wheel Leading Truck
2-8-2 Mikado 2 Wheel Leading Truck
2-8-4 Berkshire 2 Wheel Leading Truck
2-10-0 Decapod or Russian 2 Wheel Leading Truck
2-10-2 Santa Fe 2 Wheel Leading Truck
2-10-4 Texas 2 Wheel Leading Truck
4-2-2 Bicycle 4 Wheel Leading Truck
4-2-0 Jervis 4 Wheel Leading Truck
4-2-4 CP Huntington 4 Wheel Leading Truck
4-4-0 American 4 Wheel Leading Truck
4-4-2 Atlantic 4 Wheel Leading Truck
4-4-4 Reading, Jubilee 4 Wheel Leading Truck
4-6-0 Ten Wheeler 4 Wheel Leading Truck
4-6-2 Pacific 4 Wheel Leading Truck
4-6-4 Hudson 4 Wheel Leading Truck
4-8-0 Twelve Wheeler 4 Wheel Leading Truck
4-8-2 Mountain or Mohawk 4 Wheel Leading Truck
4-8-4 Northern or Niagra 4 Wheel Leading Truck
8-8-8 Breitspurbahn 8 Wheel Leading Truck
4-10-0 Mastedon 4 Wheel Leading Truck
4-10-2 Southern Pacific or Super Mountain 4 Wheel Leading Truck
4-12-2 Union Pacific 4 Wheel Leading Truck
4-4-6-4 PRR Q2 4 Wheel Leading Truck
0-6-6-0 Erie Articulated Locomotives
0-8-8-0 Angus Articulated Locomotives
2-4-4-2 Little River Articulated Locomotives
2-6-6-0 Denver & Salt Lake Articulated Locomotives
2-6-6-2 H-4-A Articulated Locomotives
2-6-6-4 Norfolk & Western Articulated Locomotives
2-6-6-6 Alegheny Articulated Locomotives
2-8-8-0 Bull Moose Articulated Locomotives
2-8-8-2 Chesapeake Articulated Locomotives
2-8-8-4 Yellowstone Articulated Locomotives
2-10-10-2 Virginian Articulated Locomotives
4-6-6-4 Challenger Articulated Locomotives
4-8-8-2 Cab Forward Articulated Locomotives
4-8-8-4 Big Boy Articulated Locomotives
2-8-8-2 Beye - Garratt Special Articulated Locomotives
4-8-8-2 Cab Forward Articulated Special Articulated Locomotives
2-8-8-8-2 Triplex (Erie RR) Special Articulated Locomotives
2-8-8-8-4 Triplex (Virginia RR) Special Articulated Locomotives
6-2-0 Crampton Non Articulated Locomotive
Shay-Class A 2 Cyl. 2 Truck Geared Locomotive
Shay-Class B 3 Cyl. 2 Truck Geared Locomotive
Shay-Class C 3 Cyl. 3 Truck Geared Locomotive
Shay-Class D 3 Cyl. 4 Truck Geared Locomotive
Heisler 75 Ton 3 Truck Geared Locomotive
Heisler 90 Ton 3 Truck Geared Locomotive
Heisler 2 Truck Geared Locomotive
Climax- Class A 2 Truck Geared Locomotive
Climax -Class B 2 Truck Geared Locomotive
Climax-Class C 3 Truck Geared Locomotive
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