The Sedalia Katy Depot

Sedalia Missouri's  Visitor Center and Year-Round Historic Railroad Destination

The Locomotive

Learn the different parts of the locomotive and how they’re classified.


More Locomotives

Did you know that steam train engines are classified by their wheel arrangements? Start with the number of wheels in the leading truck. The leading truck refers to the wheels in front. They help guide the locomotive around curves. Follow with the number of drivers, the big wheels in the middle, then the number of wheels in the trailing truck. The locomotive below was built in 1923 by the American Locomotive Company. Its classification number is 2-8-2. Two wheels in front, eight in the middle, and two in the rear. Can you classify the other locomotives below? For the correct classification just click on each locomotive.


This locomotive was built in 1926 for the Union Pacific Railroad. It is 102 feet long and weighs 782,000 pounds.


The first of these locomotives entered service in 1927 with the Canadian National Railway. This class of locomotives holds the world steam record for a journey of 999 miles from St. Paul, Minnesota to Livingstone, Montana without an engine change.


The challenger class of locomotives were the most powerful locomotives ever designed for passenger work. They weighed one million pounds. It was built in 1942 for the Union Pacific Railroad, and there is still one that can be seen that is in working condition in Cheyenne, Wyoming.


Great Britain built this locomotive in 1927. A total of seventy were built and ran for forty years of service with London Midland and Scottish.