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Norfolk Western

Did 0-8-0 steam locomotives ever pull a freight train.?

Just wondering because im going to buy an ho scale 0-8-0 for my layout, and i want it to be realistic so i was wondering if it was common to see them pulling a freight train.

Yes, 0-8-0's had lots of chores to do. Here is great information for you. Here's your chance to really learn about some neat stuff. I'll try to stick with only the 0-8-0 that you are asking about:

Norfolk & Western 0-8-0 switcher No. 244 holds the distinction of being the last U.S. reciprocating steam locomotive built for an American Class 1 railroad:

http://trains.com/ctr/default.aspx?c=a&id=105

On this link is a USRA 0-8-0 picture:

http://orion.math.iastate.edu/jdhsmith/term/slususra080.jpg

As you can see, it is a handsome looking beast with lots of power.
The small drivers made for low end torque for pushing and pulling on strings of freight around the freightyards and to make delivery of heavy loads like coal, grain, flour, steel, ore to local city depots. Back in the Steam Era many homes were heated with coal.

The B&O Railroad had some 0-8-0's that could be used on mainline higher speed traffic. The larger diameter drivers allowed for higher speed. Also they sported larger pistons [bore & stroke].

Some examples of 0-8-0 power on the B&O Railroad:
E-2L & E-3L had 50" drivers
E-24L 0-8-0's had 56" drivers
L-1A- 57"
L-2- 62"

And then came this brute: ā€˜Uā€™ 0-10-0 with 58" drivers with 30x32in bore & stroke.
Go to this link and look at all this magnificent Steam Power & data:

http://orion.math.iastate.edu/jdhsmith/term/slusbo.htm

This link has info on Steam Engines all around the world!:

http://orion.math.iastate.edu/jdhsmith/term/slindex.htm

This is an example of what you can expect from your train set:

http://www.theweebsite.com/trains/pctrain_09.html

Note the name "Yard Bull". This locomotive was a real workhorse!
Quoted from link: "Although the high-speed steam locomotives could deliver their cargo in record time, they were inefficient in short-distance deliveries to final destinations or precision redirecting. With blooming industrialization and the advent of large freight yards, a growing need developed for efficient "switching" of "shifting" of large blocks of freight cars. This is were the 0-8-0, affectionately named 'Yard Bull' came in. This behind-the-scenes behemoth, with its incredible traction and slower speed, could deliver the perfect combination of precision and brute force that was needed to accomplish this daunting task."

You will become very fond of this locomotive, and how important it was.
Here's a few more, just for fun and enjoyment:

http://www.trainweb.org/j.dimech/roster/080ros.html

http://www.lner.info/locos/Q/q.shtml

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/0-8-0

http://www2.gpmd.com/imagel/l/llnlu0103.jpg

http://www.tee-usa.com/store/product332.html

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