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ALCO 4-6-2 - Florida East Coast No. 113

FEC 113

Above, No. 113 at the museum in December 2010. Photo courtesy

Interesting facts

Since it was delivered new to the Florida East Coast Railway in 1913, “Pacific” type locomotive No. 113 has never left the state of Florida.

A “Pacific” locomotive has a 4-6-2 wheel arrangement, which means that it has 4 small wheels on a two-axle front pilot truck, 6 large coupled driving wheels on three axles, and 2 small wheels on a rear single-axle trailing truck.

The two earliest known 4-6-2 locomotives were developed in the U.S. They were experimental designs rebuilt from existing 4-6-0 locomotives by the Lehigh Valley Railroad in 1887, and the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway in 1889, but neither went into production.

The first true “Pacifics,” designed and built as such, were 13 Q class locomotives ordered from Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia, PA by the New Zealand Railways Department in 1901. The name probably derives from the fact that a New Zealand designer, NZR Chief Mechanical Engineer, A. L. Beattie, first proposed it, and the country of New Zealand is located in the Pacific region.


FEC 113

No. 113 at Rockledge, FL on an unknown date.
State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,

No. 113 was one of 60 “Pacifics” built for the Florida East Coast Railway at the American Locomotive Company’s Schenectady, NY works between 1910 and 1917 (Nos. 77-136). We don't know much about No. 113's operating history, other than that it was used in regular revenue passenger and freight service over the entire Florida East Coast system. Originally a "saturated steam" locomotive, some time in the early 1920s it was superheated, which brought it up to the same specification as the 1922 ALCO-built FEC 151 class, an example of which, No. 153, is also in our collection.

Put as simply as possible, saturated steam is only as hot as the temperature at which it has reached boiling point. As a result, when its temperature drops, this so called "wet" steam quickly condenses and produces water droplets. In a steam locomotive, condensation can occur in the steam pipes and cylinders outside the boiler. This reduces the steam volume and therefore requires more water to be evaporated to produce a set volume of steam. The build up of water in a locomotive's cylinders is also dangerous, as water is less easily compressed than steam and could blow off the cylinder heads when under pressure. To reduce this potential problem, the cylinders are fitted with small exhaust ports called cylinder cocks, which allow the water to be expelled under steam pressure.

Superheating involves taking saturated steam from the boiler into a superheater header inside the smokebox. The steam then passes through a number of long pipes fitted inside specially widened boiler tubes known as “flues” that further heat the steam. This increases its thermal energy and decreases the likelihood that it will condense inside the locomotive's steam pipes and cylinders. The main disadvantages are the cost of the superheater apparatus, the additional maintenance, and the adverse effect "dry" steam can have on the lubrication of moving parts such as steam valves. Nevertheless, over the normal life of a steam locomotive, these disadvantages are far outweighed by the advantages of reduced fuel and water consumption.

In 1938, No. 113 was sold to the United States Sugar Corporation.

FEC 113

No. 113 hauling a load of sugarcane while working for the United States
Sugar Corporation (date and location unknown). State Archives of Florida,
Florida Memory,

Again, we know little about 113's working life at the United States Sugar Corporation, but it was probably used mainly to haul train loads of sugarcane from the company's fields to its mill in Clewiston, FL on the south side of Lake Okeechobee. It would also have switched at the yard in Clewiston, where it was based and worked into the early 1960s.

United States Sugar donated No. 113 to the Gold Coast Railroad in 1969. At that time, the museum was located in Fort Lauderdale, where No. 113 regularly steamed at weekends. After it moved to Miami with the rest of our collection in 1984, it continued to haul short excursions at the museum. In 1986 it also headed a one-time special eighteen miles from the Miami Zoo to Homestead and back. It was retired in 1992 and, for the next few years, remained on display.

One of our members then started a small cosmetic restoration project on No. 113, but later found more help through grants and the museum. The locomotive was cosmetically restored in 2009 but, unfortunately, the front number plate was misplaced during the restoration. Fortunately, in 2014, while the staff was going through artifacts, we found the original number plate, which now resides on the front of #113.  As No. 113’s pistons are not lubricated, we have also removed the main and eccentric rods to allow it to be moved by one of our diesel-electrics and prevent damage.

FEC 113

A view of No. 113 in the museum yard taken in December 2010.
Photo courtesy


Status: On display, cosmetically restored, not Operational.
Acquisition Date: 1969.
Built: 1913, American Locomotive Company, Schenectady, New York.
Construction No: 53902.
Fuel: Oil burner (steam atomizing, FEC design).
Grate area: 47.1 sq feet.
Firebox area: 160 sq feet.
Number of boiler tubes, 2 inches diameter: 146.
Number of superheater flues, 5⅜ inches diameter: 21.
Boiler diameter at front course: 61 inches.
Total heating surface: 2,551 sq feet.
Evaporative heating surface: 2,111 sq feet.
Superheater heating surface: 440 sq feet.
Cylinders (diameter x stroke): Two 20 inches x 26 inches.
Piston valves diameter: 11 inches.
Working steam pressure: 180 psi.
Tractive effort: 28,314 lbs.
Factor of adhesion (weight on drivers/tractive effort): 4.47.
Top speed (approximately): 80 mph.
Injectors: Two Nathan Simplex Type "R".
Valve gear: Walschaert.
Power reverse gear: ALCO.
Lubricator: Nathan "Bullseye" 5 feeds.
Cab size: 10 feet 1 inch high x 8 feet 6 inches wide.
Height to top of stack: 14 feet 3⅝ inches.
Overall wheelbase (engine and tender): 63 feet 6½ inches.
Engine wheelbase: 32 feet 7 inches.
Driver wheelbase: 12 feet 4 inches.
Total weight, engine and tender in working order: 371,500 lbs.
Engine weight (empty): 204,000 lbs.
Driving wheels: 68 inches diameter.
Weight on driving wheels: 129,000 lbs.
Pilot truck wheels: 33 inches diameter.
Trailing truck wheels: 42 inches diameter.
Weight on trailing truck: 37,500 lbs.
Tender weight (empty): 162,000 lbs.
Tender capacity, oil: 3,500 US gallons.
Tender capacity, water: 7,338 US gallons.

Below: Another view of No. 113 in the museum yard taken in December 2010. Photo courtesy

FEC 113


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