The New York Central's class H-10 has been called a "landmark locomotive." After the Lima Locomotive Works delivered a demonstrator, Michigan Central No. 8000 (later NYC No. 2090) in 1922, the system responded with orders for 301 additional engines, all delivered during the next two years. The reason for the railroad's enthusiasm was the Lima demonstrator's marked superiority to its earlier 2-8-2 classes, due in part to its having twice the superheating area of the H-7s on which their design was based as well as a grate area of 66.6 square feet. These Mikados were distributed across the system, apportioned not only to the NYC proper but also to components Boston & Albany, Pittsburgh & Lake Erie, CCC&StL (Big Four), and Michigan Central.
H-10a No. 2156, originally numbered 56, appears here in a photo by G. Grabill, Jr. that William D. Volkmer acquired from the Rail Photo Service. The location is unspecified, but the date is prior to the adoption of the Gothic lettering in 1940. No. 2156 belonged to the large H-10a class of 200 members, her group being delivered by Lima Locomotive Works in 1922-23. The steaming capacity of the H-10 is symbolized by the array of piping visible in this left-side view, together with the air pumps and other appliances that break the line of the catwalk (compare with the simpler lines of No. 2222, viewed from the right). For the dimensions of the H-10 class, consult the pages for Nos. 2167 and 2256. This engine was retired in 1952.