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Smoke Deflectors on Union Pacific Steam Locomotives

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This page was last updated on January 2, 2020.

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Overview

Many steam locomotives assigned to Union Pacific's OWRR&N subsidiary in Oregon and Washington were equipped with retractable smoke hoods, also known as smoke deflectors, to deflect exhaust while traveling through the Peninsula tunnel in Portland, Oregon, as well as other tunnels along the mainlines. The Peninsula tunnel was long and the clearances tight, forcing maximum speeds for all trains to be reduced to 25 mph. The Peninsula tunnel is located at mile post 4.5 on the main line from Albina Yard, north to Seattle. The tunnel is between two stations, Peninsula Junction on the north end, and St. John Junction on the south end, and is on the Oregon side of the Columbia River before crossing the river to Vancouver, Washington. Of the 18 tunnels on the Oregon Division, the Peninsula tunnel was the longest, at 5,436 feet. The special rules governing train operations stipulated that all engine crews were provided with respirators, but the installation of smoke deflectors (hoods) helped move the exhaust away from the locomotive cabs, and away from the crews.

In the early years, smoke deflectors were not installed specifically to answer crew complaints, as seen with certain other classes in later years. Smoke deflectors were intended to save the roofs of tunnels from what John Bush has called "exhaust blast." John continues, "That was their primary purpose. If you think about it, in a normal operating situation (meaning not in a tunnel and out on the line) if these types of deflectors were raised while working steam on open sections of railroad the result would actually make things worse for the crew. Instead of being free to rise skyward from the stack in the usual manner, a deflector raised at speed would have forced smoke and cinders directly back toward cabs. Secondarily, (and this is in the crew complaints area) they were used because in slow tunnel operations the deflectors caused the rushing exhaust blast to be forced directly back and over cab roofs. Naturally, this still wasn't an ideal situation, the profiles of sand domes and steam domes and appliances serving to break up the flow, but it helped to reduce the gases experienced by crews. Without the deflector the blasting exhaust would immediately deflect down and backward from the tunnel roof, a large amount of which would be forced into the cabs and down to roadbeds before swirling back along trains."

Smoke deflectors were first used by Union Pacific beginning in the early 1920s, when mechanical and air-operated smoke hoods were installed on locomotives on the western districts, particularly the Oregon, Washington and Idaho lines. The earliest designs were one-piece cast iron castings that flopped over the stack from either the front or the rear. Later deflectors were folding telescope varieties. These telescoping designs reached their peak with the large side-folding type used mainly on larger power in the 1941-1944 time period.

Research has found that although smoke deflectors were an approved design on Union Pacific as early as 1921 and 1922, other than the 88 engines in the 9000-class delivered in 1926 to 1930, and the modern locomotives built new in the early 1940s, little more than 100 locomotives already in service actually received them. The low numbers of modified locomotives can best be explained by the cost of the modification for additional locomotives not being justified by the reduced damage to tunnel roofs from reduced exhaust velocity. The reduction in tunnel roof damage came after improvements in exhaust velocity as Union Pacific continued to improve the design of the exhaust nozzles and smoke stacks.

(Read more about smoke stacks and nozzles on Union Pacific)

Types

(These type designations are assigned for the sake of research. Union Pacific did not use any designation for its smoke deflectors.)

Type 1 is the cast iron designs of UP, LA&SL and OWRR&N, dating from 1921 and 1922.

Type 2 is the telescoping design that lifted from the front of the smoke stack, directing the exhaust to the rear, dating from 1923, 1926, 1932, and 1941.

Type 3 is the larger telescoping design that lifted from the sides of the smoke stack(s), directing the exhaust to the rear, dating from 1941 to 1944.

As originally designed for the smaller engines, the Type 3 had a large shroud around the smoke deflector. Photo research finds that just four 2-8-2 engines (UP 2167, 2205, 2504, 2704) had the full shroud, which was apparently removed within one or two years.

Of the 88 engines in the 4-12-2 classes, numbered in the 9000 series and delivered between 1926 and 1930, all were equipped with Type 2 telescoping smoke deflectors. The first 15 engines were equipped almost immediately after delivery in 1926, due to crew complaints about smoke. The remaining 73 engines were delivered new with with Type 2 smoke deflectors. As the engines received new exhaust nozzles and larger stacks, the smoke deflectors were removed beginning in August 1946.

Concerning the use of smoke deflectors on the 9000-series, Gordon McCulloch wrote, "Smoke hoods were removed in 1947 and stacks were enlarged as mechanical engineers sought to improve draft on the fire. The final stack design was 18-inches tall and had a 30-inch ID. Over-fire jets were added to the 9004 in the early 1950s. A double stack experiment on the 9013 was to be started in 1941. Thus far no proof is found it was done."

All of the early 4-6-6-4 CSA engines in the 3900 series (also known as the Fetters engines), delivered in 1936-1937, were delivered with Type 2 telescoping smoke deflectors. The 3900 series engines that were converted from coal to oil, and renumbered to the 3800 series, had their smoke deflectors removed. UP 3810-3814 were converted to twin stacks in 1944, and all but 3812 were equipped with a Type 3 smoke deflector and shroud when they received twin stacks. The deflector and shroud were removed in 1950 when the engines were changed back to single stacks.

All of the late 4-6-6-4 Challengers (also known as the Jabelmann engines), delivered in 1942, 1943, and 1944, and the 4-8-8-4 Big Boys, delivered in 1941 and 1944, were delivered with Type 3 telescoping smoke deflectors that lifted from the side of the smoke stacks. This design was approved in 1941.

The Type 1 smoke deflectors were operated by an air cylinder and a geared rod that rotated the deflector into place on top of the smoke stack.

The Type 2 smoke deflectors were operated by an air cylinder and lever mechanism that pulled the first segment up into place. The second and third segment each had tabs that were pulled up by a matching tab on the first segment.

The Type 3 smoke deflectors were operated by two air cylinders (one on each side) and rigging that raised the first segment. The segments were connected to each other by chains, so that as the first segment was raised by the air cylider and rigging, it pulled the following segment up, until all three segments were raised, meeting at the top. Many photographs of the later modern engines show either one side of the Type 3 smoke deflectors, or the other side raised. This was because the air cylinders and complex rigging mechanisms used to raise and lower the smoke deflector was easily damaged, causing segments of the smoke deflector to malfunction.

Tunnels

According to a UP document about all the tunnels on the railroad, during the steam era the Peninsula tunnel in Portland, completed in 1910, is the second longest on the UP system, at 5,436 feet. The longest, the Aspen tunnel in Wyoming, completed in 1901, is 5,941 feet. The third longest is at Namorf, Oregon (on the Oregon Eastern Branch between Ontario and Burns), and is 2,538 feet long. There are nine others across the system that are in the 1,000 to 2,000 feet range. In the diesel era, Altamont tunnel in Wyoming, completed in 1949, became the longest on the railroad, at 6,706 feet long.

Tunnel No. 1 on the OSL, west of Kemmerer, Wyoming, was at the top of a 1 percent grade, and at 1,800 feet length, was a trouble spot for crews due to smoke.

The List

For the in-service locomotives, photo research suggests that little more than 100 0-6-0s, 2-8-2s, 4-6-2s, 2-10-2s, 4-8-2s and 2-8-8-0s received either the sideways telescoping clamshell design, or the earlier but similar telescoping clamshell design that directed the exhaust to the rear. Apparently, these locomotives with smoke deflectors were all assigned to the Portland area at one time in their careers.

Although this listing shows 115 locomotives equipped with smoke deflectors, a complete list is likely impossible to compile due to the lack of full photo coverage.

(Removal or change dates from subsequent dated photographs.)

2-8-0s

Road Number Wheels Type Location Photo Date Reference
(see below)
Notes
738 2-8-0 1 Albina Apr 19, 1938 UPHS Vol. 26, p.41 Removed by August 1947
759 2-8-0 2 The Dalles Sep 5, 1943 UPHS Vol. 26, p.67  

2-8-2s

Road Number Wheels Type Location Photo Date Reference
(see below)
Notes
2020 2-8-2 2 Cache Jct., Utah 1946 UPHS Vol.28, p.66  
2123 2-8-2 1 Rieth, Ore. Dec 24, 1939 UPHS Vol. 29, p.25  
2138 2-8-2 2 Albina Jul 31, 1948 UPHS Vol. 29, p.45  
2147 2-8-2 1 Albina Oct 18, 1939 UPHS Vol. 29, p.52 Removed by December 1953
2149 2-8-2 2 Albina Jul 1947 UPHS Vol. 29, p.55  
2154 2-8-2 2 Huntington Jul 1947 UPHS Vol. 29, p.57  
2159 2-8-2 2 Albina 1941 UPHS Vol. 29, p.61 Removed by April 1950
2163 2-8-2 1 Albina Oct 12, 1941 UPHS Vol. 29, p.68  
2167 2-8-2 3 Albina 1943 UPHS Vol. 29, p.73 First installation of Type 3; full shroud per drawing;
shroud removed by April 1946; large stack by August 1955
2168 2-8-2 3     [5] p. 96 Removed by October 1956
2169 2-8-2 3 Albina Jan 12, 1946 UPHS Vol. 29, p.77  
2170 2-8-2 3 Albina Dec 28, 1947 UPHS Vol. 29, p.78  
2171 2-8-2 2 North Platte Jul 29, 1954 UPHS Vol. 29, p.79  
2203 2-8-2 2 Albina Jul 31, 1948 UPHS Vol. 30, p.5  
2204 2-8-2 2 Albina 1940 UPHS Vol. 30, p.6 Removed by June 1953; large stack
2205 2-8-2 2 Albina May 16, 1941 UPHS Vol. 30, p.8 Changed to Type 3, with full shroud by May 1944
2206 2-8-2 2 Albina Oct 7, 1944 UPHS Vol. 30, p.11 Installed after September 1938;
removed by October 1956; small stack
2207 2-8-2 2 Albina 1941 UPHS Vol. 30, p.13  
2209 2-8-2 2 The Dalles Oct 25, 1942 UPHS Vol. 30, p.15  
2252 2-8-2 2 Albina Sep 21, 1943 UPHS Vol. 30, p.50  
             
2504 2-8-2 3 The Dalles Sep 5, 1943 UPHS Vol. 32, p.3

Full shroud; shroud removed by May 1947;
large stack by April 1951

2510 2-8-2 2 Albina May 16, 1949 UPHS Vol. 32, p.9 Removed by October 1950; large stack
2517 2-8-2 2 Albina 1939 UPHS Vol. 32, p.18  
2525 2-8-2 2 Albina Dec 20, 1941 UPHS Vol. 32, p.35  
2528 2-8-2 2 Centralia, Wash. May 28, 1952 UPHS Vol. 32, p.40 Removed by October 1954; large stack
2529 2-8-2 2 Portland Oct 1939 UPHS Vol. 32, p.42 Changed to Type 3 by June 1947
             
2703 2-8-2 3 Topeka Sep 14,1954 UPHS Vol. 33, p.22  
2704 2-8-2 3 Albina Sep 13, 1943 UPHS Vol. 33, p.24 Full shroud; shroud removed by September 1946;
large stack by August 1948

4-6-2s

Road Number Wheels Type Location Photo Date Reference
(see below)
Notes
3219 4-6-2 2 Albina Apr 28, 1947 UPHS Vol. 18, p.68  
3220 4-6-2 2 Ogden Dec 6, 1946 UPHS Vol. 18, p. 69  

2-8-8-0s (Simple, after 1936)

Road Number Wheels Type Location Photo Date Reference
(see below)
Notes
3503 2-8-8-0 3 Granite Canon Sep 21, 1946 UPHS Vol. 7, p.9  
3510 2-8-8-0 3 Pocatello Sep 30, 1948 UPHS Vol. 7, p.22  
3511 2-8-8-0 3 Cheyenne Sep 21, 1946 UPHS Vol. 7, p.23  
3516 2-8-8-0 3 Laramie Jul 27, 1944 UPHS Vol. 7, p.31 Removed by July 1947; large stack
3517 2-8-8-0 2 Laramie May 7, 1939 UPHS Vol. 7, p.33  
3524 2-8-8-0 2 Albina Sep 5, 1937 UPHS Vol. 7, p.50  
3525 2-8-8-0 2 Huntington Jul 7, 1939 UPHS Vol. 7, p.54  
3527 2-8-8-0 2 Huntington Jul 2, 1939 UPHS Vol. 7, p.58  
3528 2-8-8-0 2 Albina 1939 UPHS Vol. 7, p.60 Removed by May 1944; large stack
3533 2-8-8-0 2 Pocatello May 12, 1940 UPHS Vol. 7, p.75  
3537 2-8-8-0 2 Lime, Ore. Jun 18, 1939 UPHS Vol. 8, p.9  
3545 2-8-8-0 2 Cheyenne Oct 28, 1938 UPHS Vol. 8, p.24 Removed by August 1946; large stack
3547 2-8-8-0 2 Cheyenne Oct 21,1938 UPHS Vol. 8, p.28 Removed by December 1945; large stack
3553 2-8-8-0 2 Durkee, Ore. Jul 7, 1939 UPHS Vol. 8, p.43 Removed by June 1946; large stack
3555 2-8-8-0 2 Cheyenne Apr 22, 1939 UPHS Vol. 8, p.47 Removed by January 1946; large stack
3557 2-8-8-0 2 Cheyenne Jun 26, 1937 UPHS Vol. 8, p.52  
3559 2-8-8-0 3 Cheyenne 1945 UPHS Vol. 8, p.57  
3560 2-8-8-0 2 Laramie Apr 22, 1939 UPHS Vol. 8, p.60 Removed by February 1947; large stack

2-8-8-0s (Compound, before 1940)

Built 1918-1924

Road Number Wheels Type Location Photo Date Reference
(see below)
Notes
3600 2-8-8-0 2 Laramie Aug 2, 1931 UPHS Vol. 6, p.3  
3601 2-8-8-0 2 Kamela Jul 7, 1939 UPHS Vol. 6, p.5  
3602 2-8-8-0 2 Laramie May 7, 1939 UPHS Vol. 6, p.7 Install after July 1938
3603 2-8-8-0 2 Cheyenne Nov 11, 1939 UPHS Vol. 6, p.8  
3604 2-8-8-0 2 Laramie 1931 UPHS Vol. 6, p.10  
3605 2-8-8-0 2 Cheyenne Mar 21, 1939 UPHS Vol. 6, p.13  
3607 2-8-8-0 2 Laramie Jul 27, 1930 UPHS Vol. 6, p.15  
3609 2-8-8-0 2 Cheyenne Nov 1, 1939 UPHS Vol. 6, p.17  
3610 2-8-8-0 2 Cheyenne Nov 11, 1939 UPHS Vol. 6, p.18  
3611 2-8-8-0 2 Laramie Jun 20, 1931 UPHS Vol. 6, p.19  
3612 2-8-8-0 2 Laramie Apr 12, 1931 UPHS Vol. 6, p.21  
3613 2-8-8-0 2 Laramie Apr 12, 1931 UPHS Vol. 6, p.24 Removed by December 1941
3614 2-8-8-0 2 Laramie Feb 23, 1930 UPHS Vol. 6, p.26  
3615 2-8-8-0 2 Rock Springs Oct 22, 1937 UPHS Vol. 6, p.27  
3619 2-8-8-0 2 Laramie May 7, 1939 UPHS Vol. 6, p.29  
3620 2-8-8-0 2 LaGrande Aug 21, 1936 UPHS Vol. 6, p.30  
3622 2-8-8-0 2 LaGrande Aug 21, 1936 UPHS Vol. 6, p.32  
3634 2-8-8-0 2 Ogden 1939 UPHS Vol. 6, p.46  
3635 2-8-8-0 2 Ogden 1931 UPHS Vol. 6, p.48  
3640 2-8-8-0 2 Laramie Jun 9, 1935 UPHS Vol. 6, p.51  
3641 2-8-8-0 2 Laramie Apr 12, 1931 UPHS Vol. 6, p.52  
3643 2-8-8-0 2 Cheyenne Nov 11, 1939 UPHS Vol. 6, p.53  
3644 2-8-8-0 2 Laramie Oct 21, 1938 UPHS Vol. 6, p.54  
3645 2-8-8-0 2 Denver Sep 9, 1936 UPHS Vol. 6, p.56  
3646 2-8-8-0 2 Cheyenne Oct 21, 1938 UPHS Vol. 6, p.57  
3647 2-8-8-0 2 Ogden Oct 16, 1931 UPHS Vol. 6, p.59  
3656 2-8-8-0 2 Cheyenne Aug 11, 1940 UPHS Vol. 6, p.64  
3659 2-8-8-0 2 Cheyenne Jul 23, 1938 UPHS Vol. 6, p.65  
3663 2-8-8-0 2 Cheyenne Nov 11, 1939 UPHS Vol. 6, p.68  
3704 2-8-8-0 2 Cheyenne Sep 13, 1936 UPHS Vol. 6, p.73  

Note 1: Apparently none of the three OWRR&N 2-8-8-0s in service during this period were equipped with smoke deflectors.

0-6-0s

Road Number Wheels Type Location Photo Date Reference
(see below)
Notes
4414 0-6-0 2 Albina Oct 12, 1941 UPHS Vol. 1, p.55  
4417 0-6-0 2 Albina Sep 20, 1941 UPHS Vol. 1, p.59  
4443 0-6-0 2 Albina Sep 12, 1943 UPHS Vol. 2, p.23  
4459 0-6-0 2 Albina 1937 UPHS Vol. 2, p.50  
4464 0-6-0 1 Albina Jul 28, 1946 UPHS Vol. 2, p.59  
4468 0-6-0 1 Denver Apr 1, 1948 UPHS Vol. 2, p.64  
4904 0-6-0 1     [9] Captioned as 4909
4907 0-6-0 2 Albina Nov 15, 1941 UPHS Vol. 3, p.47  
4912 0-6-0 1 Albina Oct 24, 1937 UPHS Vol. 3, p.49  
4917 0-6-0 2 Albina May 2, 1947 UPHS Vol. 3, p.54  
4919 0-6-0 2 Albina 1940 UPHS Vol. 3, p.58  
4920 0-6-0 2 Albina 1939 UPHS Vol. 3, p.61  
4922 0-6-0 2 Albina Nov 8, 1941 UPHS Vol. 3, p.66  
4923 0-6-0 2 Albina May 7, 1948 UPHS Vol. 3, p.68  
4925 0-6-0 2 Albina May 2, 1947 UPHS Vol. 3, p.73  

2-10-2s

Road Number Wheels Type Location Photo Date Reference
(see below)
Notes
5066 2-10-2 2 Ogden Aug 20, 1939 UPHS Vol. 14, p.35 Removed by May 1951; large stack
5075 2-10-2 2 Junction City, Kansas Aug 10, 1932 UPHS Vol. 14, p.51  
5083 2-10-2 2 Ogden Aug 20, 1939 UPHS Vol. 14, p.65 Removed by May 1945; large stack
5087 2-10-2 2 Cheyenne Aug 11, 1940 UPHS Vol. 14, p.73 Removed by August 1946; large stack
             
5315 2-10-2 3 Albina Apr 26, 1949 UPHS Vol. 15, p.38 Installed after June 1937; removed by September 1953; large stack
             
5400 2-10-2 3 Albina Aug 24, 1949 UPHS Vol. 15, p.53 Installed after June 1939
5401 2-10-2 3 Pocatello May 21, 1947 UPHS Vol. 15, p.55 Installed after August 1935
5402 2-10-2 3 Ogden Aug 27, 1946 UPHS Vol. 15, p.58 Installed after 1939
5403 2-10-2 3 Albina May 16, 1949 UPHS Vol. 15, p.60 Installed after January 1946
5404 2-10-2 3 The Dalles Apr 12, 1947 UPHS Vol. 15, p.61  
5405 2-10-2 3 Albina May 22, 1947 UPHS Vol. 15, p.64  
5406 2-10-2 3 Albina Mar 18, 1946 UPHS Vol. 15, p.66 Installed after August 1939
5407 2-10-2 3 Albina Apr 25, 1947 UPHS Vol. 15, p.68  
5408 2-10-2 2, 3 Albina Nov 1939 UPHS Vol. 15, p.70 Removed by October 1943, no deflector;
Type 3 installed before October 1948
5410 2-10-2 2, 3 Albina Jul 1, 1939 UPHS Vol. 15, p.73 Type 3 installed before May 1947
5414 2-10-2 2, 3 Albina Nov 15, 1941 UPHS Vol. 15, p.76 Type 3 installed before May 1947; still equipped at retirement
             
5501 2-10-2 3 Albina Nov 6, 1950 UPHS Vol. 16, p.7 Installed after September 1940
5502 2-10-2 3 Summit, Calif. Sep 26, 1947 UPHS Vol. 16, p.10 Installed after October 1940
5503 2-10-2 3 Pocatello May 13, 1949 UPHS Vol. 16, p.12 Installed after June 1940;
removed before September 1954; large stack

4-8-2

Road Number Wheels Type Location Photo Date Reference
(see below)
Notes
7014 4-8-2 3 Albina Aug 25, 1948 UPHS Vol. 9, p.58  

Smoke Lifters ("Wind Wings")

(Read more about smoke lifters on UP steam locomotives; also known as "Wind Wings")

Sources

"Union Pacific Prototype Locomotive Photos," Volume 1 through 38. Published 2003 through 2009 by Union Pacific Historical Society

[1] Asay, Jeff. Union Pacific Northwest (Pacific Fast Mail, 1991)

[2] Ehernberger, James L. and Francis G. Gschwind. Union Pacific Steam, Eastern District (E&G Publications, 1975)

[3] Ehernberger, James L. and Francis G. Gschwind. Union Pacific Steam, Northwestern District (E&G Publications, 1977)

[4] Kratville, Wm. Golden Rails (Kratville Publications, 1965)

[5] Kratville, William. Motive Power of the Union Pacific (Barnhart Press, 1977)

[6] Kratville, William. The Challenger Locomotives (Kratville Publications, 1980)

[7] Kratville, William W., and John Bush. The Union Pacific Type, Volume I, William W. Kratville, 1990.

[8] Kratville, William W., and John Bush. The Union Pacific Type, Volume II, William W. Kratville, 1995.

[9] Kratville, William W., and Harold E. Ranks. Union Pacific Locomotives, Volume I, Barnhart Press, 1960.

[10] Kratville, William W., and Harold E. Ranks. Union Pacific Locomotives, Volume II, Barnhart Press, 1960.

[11] McCulloh, Gordon. A History of Union Pacific Steam, Gordon McCulloh, 2014.

[12] Watson, James. Union Pacific Small Steam Power (Motive Power Services, 1985)

Drawings and Photos

Smoke Deflectors -- Digital images of several representative drawings, from the UtahRails Collection.

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