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Author Topic: Prototype K-27 questions  (Read 8828 times)
Matthew (OV)


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« on: September 01, 2007, 08:37:12 AM »

Hopefully just posting this will summon Charlie.....

1.) On the post wreck #455, it says something under the "455" on the cab, and appears to say the same thing on the tender.  Anyone know what it says?

2.)  Is the "post wreck" plow on the 455 a replacement for the pilot, or was it just left on all the time to cover up a damaged pilot?  In other words, if one was to remove the plow in the "off season" would there be a regular road pilot underneath, prototypically speaking?

3.) There are several types of "back up" headlights on the K-27 models ... one high and large, one low and small, and one missing altogether, depending on the locomotive.  Were some of these ever run "tender first" in train service (thereby requiring the larger headlight) as a regular thing?

4.) Most of the K class locomotives were originally, or were made to be, relatively unique to the D&RGW and associated lines (a la RGS.) But, as with the K-28, other lines saw what worked, and ordered similar units, like OR&L's 2-8-2's that were, in essence, K-28's.  While all of the K-27's were D&RGW, is there an example of a similar locomotive (weight, tractive effort, outside frame 2-8-2, etc) bought by another 3' gauge outfit after seeing what the D&RGW had come up with?

Matthew (OV)
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bobgrosh

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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2007, 02:58:52 PM »

Can someone tell me who made the K27,  in what years and how many?
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Curmudgeon
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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2007, 03:28:05 PM »

In 1903, Baldwin delivered 15 Vauclain Compound Class K-27 outside-framed 2-8-2's to the Denver and Rio Grande, numbered 450 to 464.
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bobgrosh

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« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2007, 04:03:08 PM »

That was it, 15? None to anyone else?

Were any of those 15 later  sold to other lines?
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scottychaos


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« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2007, 04:21:27 PM »

In 1903, Baldwin delivered 15 Vauclain Compound Class K-27 outside-framed 2-8-2's to the Denver and Rio Grande, numbered 450 to 464.

All true, except they werent K27's when they were delivered.
from 1903-1924 they were "Class 125".
They did not become K27 class until 1924.

Only two survive.
463 - with the Cumbres & Toltec.
464 - with Huckleberry railroad in Flint, Michigan,

Scot
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Matthew (OV)


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« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2007, 04:29:59 PM »

Here's what I found on the DRGW ones:

450-451 Scrapped 1939
452-453 Scrapped 1954
454        Scrapped 1953
455        Went to RGS ... scrapped 1953
456        Scrapped 1952
457        Scrapped1939
458        Went to Mexico ....scrapped 1963
459        Went to Mexico ... scrapped 1957
460        Dismantled 1939
461        Went to RGS ... scrapped 1953
462        Scrapped 1950
463        Still Alive.... Cumbres and Toltec
464        Still Alive..... Huckleberry RR

(source:  www.drgw.org/data/steam/roster/drgw03.htm )

This is why I was interested in whether Baldwin built any (or any close cousins) for anyone else; most of these seem to be accounted for.

Matthew (OV)
« Last Edit: September 01, 2007, 04:35:58 PM by Matthew (OV) » Logged
Steve Stockham


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« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2007, 07:48:12 PM »

  You would probably not recognize the Class 125's as the engines that would eventually become the K-27's. They had slope-backed tenders, Stephenson valve gearing and (of course) the Vaulclain Compound cylinders which really change the looks!
  Engines which changed their appearance from the builder's photo are nothing new but usually it is because of changing from wood burner to coal or something like that. The modifications made to the 125's were rather substantial so when we speak of a "K-27" we are talking about an almost completely different animal! Because of that if nothing else there probably isn't any other railroad using an engine that is nearly the same design as a K-27.
 
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Curmudgeon
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« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2007, 08:57:52 PM »

In 1903, Baldwin delivered 15 Vauclain Compound Class K-27 outside-framed 2-8-2's to the Denver and Rio Grande, numbered 450 to 464.

All true, except they werent K27's when they were delivered.
from 1903-1924 they were "Class 125".
They did not become K27 class until 1924.

Only two survive.
463 - with the Cumbres & Toltec.
464 - with Huckleberry railroad in Flint, Michigan,

Scot

Don't look at me.
That's right out of the book, page 61, second column, fourth paragaph.
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Kevin Strong


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« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2007, 10:34:29 AM »

That was it, 15? None to anyone else?

Were any of those 15 later  sold to other lines?

When you think about it, 15 of any one style of narrow gauge locomotive is a very high number. They just weren't built in large quantities, especially after the 1890s. Some of Baldwin's early "catalog" locos may have achieved such numbers spread over various early narrow gauge railroads, but I doubt anything else built after 1900 did (certainly not for the domestic market, at least).

There is the unanswered (unanswerable?) question of why the outside frame locos weren't used on many other US railroads, even those like the EBT and ET&WNC who were looking for larger motive power in the early 1900s and 1910s, and could definitely have benefited from the K's design. Each came up with their own "signature" locomotives instead. Perhaps it was size, or perhaps it was just an evolution of what was already working for each individual railroad. The Tuscarora Valley commissioned a new 4-4-0 in 1910--talk about sticking with what works.

Later,

K
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yrfavdob

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« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2007, 10:27:43 PM »

That was it, 15? None to anyone else?

Were any of those 15 later  sold to other lines?

Those engines were Baldwin catalog engines - nothing special about them in the slightest. Stock components were assembled to produce a locomotive specific to meet the customers performance requirements.Only stock variant in the order was the D&RG specifying they be painted black with gold lettering/numerals. Stock colors in 1903 were olive green w/aluminum lettering/numerals. Baldwin sold alot of export engines and there may have been similar supplied to other customers.
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Steve Stockham


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« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2007, 08:49:45 AM »

  Just for fun, I thought everyone might like a look at the actual prototype! (Isn't she a beauty!!) Cheesy

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Steve Stockham


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« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2007, 08:51:34 AM »

What??? You don't agree? (Hmmm.......always someone being a critic...)  Roll Eyes
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Steve Stockham


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« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2007, 08:56:02 AM »

  Well, okay. I'll admit that she needs a little TLC in that first photo (which was taken in 1993.) However, she cleans up well! (This photo was taken only one year later!)

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Steve Stockham


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« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2007, 09:18:04 AM »

  One more more little gem. When the D&RG ordered these engines they were by far the largest engines and were considered "monsters"! In fact, due to their size and weight (being too much for the 65 and 90 lb. rail then in use) these engines tended to knock the track out of gauge and derail regularly. This together with their "waddling" gait earned them the nickname "Mudhen" by the crews which has stuck to this day.
  It's interesting to put things into historical perspective. Today, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic R.R. and the Durango & Silverton both use K-36's as their main motive power. The K-37 was the largest narrow gauge engine to be used by the D&RGW and was only slightly larger than the K-36's. One, #497, actually ran on both the D&S and the C&TSRR. The reason I bring this up is that compared to these engines the K-27 seems small! I guess it's all a matter of perspective.



All photos of the K's came from Dave's Rio Grande website's K-27 page which unfortunately hasn't been updated since 1998. The website was moved to a new server but I haven't been able to find it as the link is inoperative. If anybody knows how to contact him I would love to get in touch as he has many shots of #463 on the C&TSRR!
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Charlie Mutschler

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« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2007, 08:07:02 PM »

Matthew (OV), I'm coming in late.  Been at a meeting out of town, and, no, not nearly as much fun as the NNGC in Portland.  Let me try to answer some of your questions. 

1.  Lettering on cab of 455 after 1947 rebuild.  In 1940 the RGS was in danger of folding, and the outbreak of WW II created a demand for narrow gauge equipment elsewhere.  But, the federal government agreed to bail out the RGS in 1941 or 1942 because it needed the line to transport war-important material from the mines, pinto beans, etc.  So, a loan was arranged, with the US Defense Supplies Corporation (a government quasi-public corporation)  buying the rolling stock and leasing it back to the railroad for $1,000 a month until the loan was paid off.  A stencil was applied to many of the locomotives and the geese saying: 

DEFENSE SUPPLIES CORPORATION
WASHINGTON D. C.
OWNER & LESSOR

Stencil used with white paint on steam locos, black paint with the geese.  The practice seems to have ended by 1949, I don't think No. 74 ever had this stencil applied.  Late photos of 455 and 461 do not seem to have the stencil regarding DSC ownership. 

2.  Pilot plow.  These were used on some of the K-27s relatively late in their service lives, and frequently on the K-28, K-36, and K-37 class, with the C&TS and D&SNG still utilizing these plows.  The boiler tube pilot was un-bolted from the pilot beam, and the wedge plow bolted on in its place.  On the larger K's it was necessary to cut holes for the ends of the pilot beam in the plow, but not so for the mudhens.  The RGS left the big pilot plow on 455 at the end of operations.  There was a large patch welded in it, suggesting there had been an altercation with a rock or other large, more or less unyielding object. 

3.  Lights.  The D&RGW and the RGS both turned locomotives rather than running tender first in road service.  Work trains might require extended backing, but normally, only switchers had back up lights.  Later, virtually all locomotives received lights on the rear of the tender for use backing.  Another point about modeling this feature:  Until the 1960's there was no requirement to have the headlight on during the day.  So, the fireman would not want to shovel more coal than he had to, and the light was left off during daytime.  Check the old movies on video.  Stuff taken in the 1930's, 1940's and 1950's - the light tends to be dark during the daytime.  Why waste fuel?  So for one modeling the RGS, it probably isn't appropriate to run with the headlight on in the broad daylight. 

4.  K's and other outside frame 36 inch gauge locos. 

The K-27's.  D&RG bought 15 Class 125's - later D&RGW Class K-27.  Excepting those leased to the RGS, the D&RGW owned them all - but sold 458 and 459 to the Nacionales de Mexico in 1941.  No 455 went to the RGS in 1939, and 461 to the RGS shortly before it suspended operations.  Uintah 30 was somewhat similar, but had slide valves and Walschaert valve gear its entire life. 

The K-28's.  ALCO, 1923.   Seven went to the  US Army in 1942 as USA 250 - 256 for use on the White Pass & Yukon.  All were cut up at the end of the war.  The surviving three are now property of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge.  The Oahu Railway & Land Co. had four very similar locomotives, but while the engines were mechanically near twins, the locomotives differed from the D&RGW's:  OR&L burned oil, and had a shorter turntable at Honolulo than the D&RGW had, so the tenders were a little shorter.  Visually, the big difference was the use of air pumps on the fireman's side of the boiler, and conventional round smoke box doors.  One survived until 1966, when it was cut up. 

The K-36's.  Baldwin, 1925.  Both the C&TS and D&SNG treat their K-36's as the backbone of their motive power fleet.  Baldwin build very similar looking mikes for the International Railways of Central America, but IRCA burned oil.  IRCA also bought outside frame mikes from Porter and also from Krupp.  The German knock-offs were very similar, but had
European style bells, unlike the Baldwin and Porter locos. 

The K-37's.  The D&RGW looked at narrow gauge articulateds, but money was tight, and the railroad was in receivership.  Rebuilding ten standard gauge 2-8-0s as narrow gauge locomotives with running gear mechanically identical to the K-36's seemed like an inexpensive way to add more motive power.  The D&SNG restored No. 497, found it was hard on the track, and traded her to the C&TS.  Which could use the extra tractive effort, but found that - she was hard on the track.   

I think ALCO may have built some meter gauge 2-8-2s similar to the K-28s for export to South America.  South America had some rather large 36 inch and meter gauge inside frame locomotives built by Baldwin and others.  That includes 36 inch gauge 4-8-2s for use in Colombia, meter gauge 2-10-2's in Brazil, meter gauge 2-10-4's in Brazil, and 2-6-6-2's in Brazil.  ALCO built 36 inch gauge inside frame  simple 2-6-6-2's for N de M, none survived. 

The mudhens will be very welcome.  Anticipating cheerfully,

Charlie Mutschler
-30-
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