The Leviathan


The "Leviathan" was an 0-6-6T type Mason-Bogie locomotive. Built by the Mason Machine Works in Taunton, Massachusetts in 1875. She was originally owned by The Utica, Ithaca & Elmira Railroad of New York State.

The Utica, Ithaca & Elmira Railroad was completed from Cortland to Ithaca in 1872, and to Elmira in 1875.
In 1884 the line became the Elmira, Cortland & Northern Railroad. In 1896 it was absorbed by the Lehigh Valley
and became its Elmira and Cortland Branch.

The "Leviathan" was returned to the manufacturer after only one year on the U.I. & E., in 1876,  so it never passed to the Lehigh Valley - although the other U.I.& E. Mason Bogie,  the "Shoo Fly" did in fact make it to the LV roster. This was of the  0-4-4T wheel arrangement.

The "Leviathan"  was built with an unusual center gear that was intended to help it climb up and down the very steep grade from downtown Ithaca up to Cornell University. The line would have been a cog railway with a 9% grade, built up Cascadilla Gorge, but the proposed line was never built. 

The main supporter of the cog railroad proposal was Ezra Cornell, who had a large financial investment in local railroads. His idea was to link downtown Ithaca with the university campus without having to make the long tedious walk up the hill. The idea was not enthusiastically supported by the trustees of Cornell University or the community, and after  Ezra Cornell's death on Dec. 9, 1874, the project was abandoned - but not before the "Leviathan" was delivered. At one point it was used on the Auburn branch of the New York & Oswego Midland which the U.I.& E. had leased for a short time. But it was eventually returned to the builder, after only a year or so of operation in Central New York.

After being returned to Mason in 1876, the Leviathan was then sold to the Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio Railroad of Texas, and became their #24,  and retained the name "Leviathan."
For several years, it was thought the "Leviathan" became the GH&SA "Commodore Garrison", as indicated on some Mason builder's records. However this is incorrect. Photos and further research clearly show the "Commodore Garrison" was a different Mason Bogie.

When the Leviathan went to Texas in 1876, two of her Mason Bogie sisters went with her,
The "Dixie Crosby" and the real "Commodore Garrison",
These three were G.H.& S.A. Nos. 22, 24 and 26.

GH&SA #22 - Dixie Crosby
GH&SA #24 - Leviathan
GH&SA #26 - Commodore Garrison

(see here for more info on the Dixie Crosby and the Commodore Garrison.)

I am still looking for *any* info regarding her career in Texas..so far I have nothing.
No photos of the "Leviathan" while in Texas have yet been found, I would love to find some!
Her disposition is not recorded, but it is well known that there is only one surviving Mason Bogie in the world,
(the Torch Lake), so there is no doubt that the Leviathan and her two Texas sisters are long scrapped.

When I started this project, I put out pleas for information on various relevant websites on the internet, several people replied with information about the Leviathan. If anyone reading this has any other data, information or Photographs of this Locomotive, please e-mail me at sscotsman@yahoo.com! Right now this page contains all the known information in existence. If there is more out there, I would love to add it to this page!

Here is some more Data, sent to me by Frank Evans of Sayre, PA.

Aric Peery, of the Leatherstocking Railway Historical Society, had this to say:

"The information I have on the "Leviathan" comes from a book I own, "A History of Railroads in Tompkins County" published in 1977 by DeWitt Historical Society of Ithaca. "Leviathan" was not owned by the Lehigh Valley, at least not directly. As the article on the Norwich excursion states, she was returned to Mason. This was in 1876, just one year after being built. UI&E became the Elmira, Cortland & Northern in 1884; EC&N became LV property in 1905. So "Leviathan" was not transferred to LV through purchase of EC&N. The book doesn't mention what became of "Leviathan" after it was returned to Mason; maybe LV acquired it later in the locomotive's life, although I would think the book would state if this were so. This could explain the clipping that you have that says LV had "Leviathan". Or maybe the clipping was just assuming (incorrectly) that any locomotive owned by a LV predecessor was therefore owned by Lehigh Valley as well. "History of Railroads in Tompkins County" has a picture of "Leviathan", but it appears to be the same one that you have."

And the "Norwich excursion" article mentioned above is this:
 from The Ontario & Western Railway Historical Society.
This is a collection of actual newspaper articles from 1875! about a railroad excursion from Norwich to
Ithaca, NY. The Leviathan was the power for the train!
The Map and article are Copyright Richard Palmer. Used by permission.
(If you can't see the article imbedded in the page, click here to see it)

Update! July 23, 2002
Richard Palmer, the author of the "Norwich Excursion" article above, has more newspaper accounts
of The Leviathan! He graciously provided me with yet more newspaper articles:
(If you can't see the article imbedded in the page, click here to see it)

From the book "the Fairlie Locomotive" by Rowland Abbot.

Works No.547
Cylinders: 17X24
Drivers: 3'6" (42 inches)
Weight: 73,920 lbs.

Check out this Beauty!
This is a Sister Engine of the Leviathan.
The Wm. Mason
Also Standard Gauge, built one year before The Leviathan, in 1874.
This Locomotive has the distinction of being the first Mason Locomotive
built with Walschaerts valve gear.
And the first Locomotive in America with Walschaerts valve gear!
here she is..as you can see She and The Leviathan are nearly identical twins!


I know of three builders photographs of The Leviathan, here is the second:

This builder's photo was obviously taken on the same day as the photograph
at the top of this page. probably minutes apart in fact. notice the angle is slightly different.

The third Mason builders photo shows the other side of the engine, and appears in the book
Mason Steam Locomotives - By Arthur W. Wallace.

again, any other information on this Locomotive is very welcome!
wanted in fact!

Update!! August 2002.
An "in service" photo of Leviathan has been found!
From the collection of Herbert Trice.

This photo is Fantastic! shows the wooden beams on the pilot.
this is very likely the only photograph of the Leviathan in service on the UI&E,
because she only operated on the railroad for a year or less..
but then again, she was quite a novelty, compared to the more "typical" locomotives
of the time and place, so perhaps more photos yet exist!

This make four known photos of the Leviathan, three different Mason builder's photos, and the one
"in service" photo.

The exact color scheme worn by the Leviathan is still unknown, but based on much color research by the Mason Bogie crew over on mylargescale.com, a likely scheme has been worked out:

Green was a very popular locomotive color of the day, and it is known Mason used green. The brass and striping can be easily seen in the B&W photos..what is not 100% confirmed is the exact overall color used..it was likely green, as seen above, but it could have also been blue, a dark red called "Lake", brown, or a few other color choices. Unless actual color data can be found, I will probably paint my model of the Leviathan in green.

I'm still hoping a newspaper article of the day will come to light that says something like: "The new "Hill Climber" locomotive was dropped off in Ithaca today, resplendent in (the real color), that will soon go to work on.." etc.
But if such accounts exist, they have not yet been discovered. I plan to go to Cornell sometime and dig through their archives, see if I can discover anything interesting.

Special thanks to all the fine Gentlemen who helped with this page.
Frank Evans for the "on the road" Article
Aric Peery for data on the Leviathan.
Dean Whipple for some really cool HTML help.
Chris Walas for the driver size data!
Dave Fletcher for the Masterclass 2002 Mason Bogie Project.
Richard Palmer and the O&W RHS for the "old time excursion" article.
and Herb Trice for the "in service" and builders photographs!

I have gathered all this information together because I am going to build a model
of The Leviathan in G gauge! 1/24 scale.
With the 2002 masterclass at MyLargeScale.com

And because I am very interested in local railroad history, especially the history of the
Lehigh Valley, and other New York State railroads of the Finger Lakes region.
I was born in Sayre, Pa and grew up in Waverly, NY,
which is very close to the Leviathan's stomping grounds in Ithaca and central NY.
Sayre was the "heart" of the LVRR, and both my Grandfather's worked for the LV!
I have hiked many sections of the old UI&E / EC&N / LVRR roadbed, where the real Leviathan
once ran! So on many different levels, I feel a strong connecton to this particular locomotive.
I have made it a personal goal to find out everything about Her that is humanly possible!

and speaking of "The Model of The Leviathan"... To the Model Page

Thoughts? Comments? please e-mail me at: sscotsman@yahoo.com

Scot Lawrence
Rochester, NY
January 2002



For more information on Mason Bogie Locomotives, check out these great resources:

MasterClass 2002 - Build a Mason Bogie - Where it all began.

Mason Bogie Resource Archive - The photo collection to go with MasterClass 2002.
                                                                  The largest collection of Mason Bogie data on the internet.

Masterclass 2002 Mason Bogie Color Archive - The Color data to go with the above Archive.

Mason Steam Locomotives - By Arthur W. Wallace. - An excellent book covering all of Mason's locomotives,
                                                                                                         including the Mason Bogies and Mason's more "conventional" locomotives.

To the Leviathan Model Page

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