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The Berkshire locomotive is a 2-8-4 steam locomotive first built in 1925 by the Lima Locomotive Works. The design was created to improve on the Mikado design (2-8-2), which was labelled as lacking sufficient speed and horsepower. The inclusion of a larger firebox -- requiring an extra trailing axle -- gave the Berkshire its distinctive 2-8-4 wheel arrangement.
The Berkshire locomotive was named for its testing location on the Berkshire Hills of the Boston & Albany Railroad, which also became the first to order the new locomotive. Over 600 Berkshires were built by Lima Locomotive Works, American Locomotive Company, and Baldwin Locomotive Works. In total of nineteen different railroads purchased Berkshires.