A Lima Locomotive Works (or Materials) Index is a bound set of pages, listing all the systems, parts and shop drawings that were created for each Lima locomotive. Each Index is referred to by its Order Number (ON). One order number (or “model”) of locomotive may have been built many times for different railroads. Each individual construction of a locomotive was given a unique Construction Number (CN). Therefore, one ON may have several CNs.
Builders at Lima used indexes in various departments during construction, so there may be more than one kind of index with the same ON. In addition to the Materials (Locomotive) Index, you may locate a Purchasing Department Index and/or a Tender Index. Each of these indexes lists slightly different items. So be sure to verify what you are looking for. Read the cover of an index carefully to note which one you have.
Additionally, the first 100 locomotives built by Lima have an extra “Locomotive Card Index”, also called a Sheet Index. This is a synopsis of the larger index for a particular build; it lists all of the drawings for this locomotive, but not the details. Card indexes are an unbound set of 1-3 pages; they are stored in separate boxes from the other indexes. A sheet index is labeled with same number as the Construction Number (CN).
Part of the importance of a Lima Index is the complete listing of all systems and parts used to build a particular pattern of locomotive (and/or its tender). Each technical drawing (or “card”) of a component is listed in the index. Modelers, live-steam builders and restoration teams are all interested patrons of these materials.
The Lima Locomotive Works Index collection is not complete. We may have all or no indexes for a particular ON. Even if we have an index, we may not have any or all of the drawings listed. Bound indexes and sheet indexes can be brittle, worn and/or torn. Not all can be scanned on a flatbed and must be photographed instead.
SEARCHING the LIMA listings: The Lima Locomotive Works listings are particularly useful for confirming the purchaser, order number, construction number, index number and filing location, side elevation drawing number and filing location of drawings in our collection. The listings also indicate whether a locomotive was a “Rod” engine (with a separate tender) or a “Shay” locomotive (with a built-in tender). Useful hints for searching:
Search for the construction number or the order number, if you have it
If you do not have the ON or CN, try searching for the name of the railroad company in either the Purchaser or the Railroad fields.