A.J. Cromwell No. 545
Name: A.J. Cromwell
Railroad of Record: Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Locomotive Number: B&O No. 545 Type of Locomotive: 2-8-0 Consolidation
Class: E-6, later converted to Class E-8 Date Built: March 1888
Locomotive Weight: 62.5 tons
Driver Diameter: 50 inches
Cylinders: 21 x 26 inches
Tractive Effort: 29,200 lbs.
In 1866, the Lehigh Valley Railroad's Master Mechanic, Alexander Mitchell, designed the first 2-8-0 type locomotive. It was known as a "Consolidation" because it was completed at the same time the Lehigh Valley Railroad was consolidating with the Lehigh & Mahanoy Railroad. The name was later applied to all 2-8-0s.
The 2-8-0 locomotives incorporated a self-centering radial engine truck that was equalized with the driving wheels to form a three-point suspension system. Many of the other railroads stayed away from this design because they felt it was unsuitable for general use. The B&O recognized it value and began using the 2-8-0s for its coal trains. The B&O fleet grew continuously over the next decade.
The No. 545 was designed by Andrew J. Cromwell, the B&O's Supervisor of Motive Power, in the Mt. Clare shops. The locomotive was designed for durability, rather than speed. The No. 545 and others in its class worked into the 1920s despite new and improved locomotive designs.
In 1927, for the Fair of the Iron Horse, the No. 545 was renamed "A.J. Cromwell." This locomotive is the only surviving B&O freight locomotive of its type.This locomotive is the oldest piece in the museum's collection to be equipped with air brakes. In 1956, the "A.J. Cromwell" was featured in the motion picture, "The Swan."
During the 2003 Roundhouse roof collapse at the B&O Railroad Museum, the No. 545 "A.J. Cromwell" was severely damaged and is currently awaiting restoration.