#2700 was the first of fourteen Berkshire type (2-8-4) locomotives built for the Chesapeake & Ohio by Alco in 1943 (#2700-#2713).
The name "Berkshire" was given to the 2-8-4 wheel arrangement by the Boston & Albany, the railroad that tested the prototype locomotive with this wheel arrangement, appropriately numbered #1, in 1925 over a division that crossed the Massachusetts Berkshire Hills. However, there were problems for other railroads with the B&A's designation "Berkshire", and the locomotives were known as "Kanawhas" on the C&O, named after the river that cut through its operational heartland in West Virginia. The K-4s were also known as "Big Mikes" by Chessie engineers because they were a larger version of the USRA "Mikado" 2-8-2 design.
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#2700 has an 18' 2" driver wheelbase and 42' engine wheelbase.
With a 90.3 sq ft grate area, 462 sq ft firebox and a total heating surface of 6,705 sq ft (including 1,932 sq ft superheating), it operated at 245 psi delivering 69,368 lbs tractive effort.
#2700 weighs 460,000 lbs, 292,000 lbs on its 69" drivers.
The cast steel water bottom tender weighs 312,800 lbs light with a capacity of 30 tons of coal and 21,000 gallons of water. It is equiped with two, three-axle Buckeye Steel tender trucks.
For many years, #2700 was on open air
display in Coonskin Park in Charleston,
WV, where it was neglected and badly vandalised.
In the early 1970s, the Saint Albans Fire Department restored the engine and moved it to St. Albans, WV.
Above, looking up to the backhead. Over the years, #2700 has been stripped of all its gauges and valves, its name plates, windows, bell and whistle.
In 1986, #2700 was taken by the Silver Throttle Engine Association Museum to Canton, OH, with plans to restore it, but it
stood for years on a siding where parts
were progressively stripped from it. The Dennison Railroad Depot Museum moved #2700 to Dennison in May 2009 and went to court to win ownership. They won the case and following appeal in
2010 and now plan to restore it.