The K-36

Peter Gabriel - Steam

Music options

The K-36 Locomotive


The most exciting news I think for a number of enthusiasts who have always wanted to build a K-36, most likely found that castings were not readily available, the sheer size of the locomotive on a 7.25 gauge is enormous.  Then there was the transporting of a model this big certainly knocked a lot of guys out of the ball park.

The reality is that on a scale of 1.25 inches per foot the K-36 utilising mainline components is relative. The Loco in relation to the mainline gauge is right but when it is gauged to a 3ft track everything changes because this is a mainline locomotive using components to fit a 3 ft gauge.

Although I said I specialise in 7.25 gauge Locomotives I have to admit I have lied because the K-36 on a 5 inch gauge will look simply stunning, create the realism of a mainline locomotive on a narrow gauge. It would have to be one of the largest 5 inch gauge locomotive available as a casting kit or an advanced version with machining options.

Even at this early stage, full size drawings, steam chest castings with machine options, driving wheel castings, axle, axle box and bearing design, front buffer beam casting, smoke box, smoke box front, condors,  suspension, boiler and boiler fittings, steam pumps, crank pins, rear truck and pony truck wheels and accessories are all available now.

Talk to me, come and see me if you want to build a K-36.

Ron Slender

A bit of history

The Denver and Rio Grande Western K-36 class are ten 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge, Mikado type, 2-8-2 steam locomotives built for the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad (DRGW) by Baldwin Locomotive Works. They were shipped to the Rio Grande in 1925, and were first used along the Monarch Branch and Marshall Pass, but were later sent to the Third Division out of Alamosa. Of the original ten, four are owned by the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (D&SNG) and five by the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad (C&TS). Number 485 fell into the turntable pit at Salida and was scrapped in Pueblo in 1955, with many parts being saved.

The locomotives' name of K-36 comes from two different sources. The K in the name comes from the locomotives' wheel arrangement (Mikado), and the 36 stands for 36,200 pounds of tractive effort.

The K-36s were used primarily as freight locomotives out of Alamosa to Durango, and to Farmington, New Mexico, as well as out of Salida to Gunnison (over Marshall Pass) until 1955 and to Monarch on the Monarch Branch until 1956. They were built with special valves to allow brake control between locomotives while double-heading, and were commonly found between Alamosa and Chama, New Mexico. They were heavily used during the pipe boom in Farmington, and hauled long freight trains between Alamosa and Farmington.

480 D&SNG 482&480 2006.jpg 58558 D&SNG Retired 1970
to D&SNG 3/1981
481   58559 D&SNG To D&SNG 3/1981 First K-36 run to Silverton
482 D&SNG 482 2006.jpg 58541 D&SNG Retired 1962
to C&TS 1970
to D&SNG 1991
483 483 heading to Farmington - Flickr - drewj1946.jpg 58584 C&TS To C&TS 1970
484 Cumbres & Toltec train.jpg 58585 C&TS To C&TS 1970
485 D&RGW Durango yard 1940.jpg 58586   Dismantled 1/24/1955
486 D&SNG 486 2008.jpg 58587 D&SNG Retired 1962
to Royal Gorge for display, 12/1967
to D&SNG, 1999
487 LCA CumbresToltec.jpg 58588 C&TS To C&TS 1970
488 Scurve.jpg 58589 C&TS To C&TS 1970
489   58590 C&TS Retired 1962
to C&TS 1970 K-36 489