Featured Locomotive for December 2012

The Mikado locomotive 2-8-2, Revisited

This month we look at the Mikado 2-8-2, loco - yes we know that we discussed it in February this year, but we like Mikados. The first orders were placed by the Japanese Govt. in 3foot 6inch gauge (1885). The order was about the time of the launch of the Gilbert and Sullivan opera in New York. The first order was so successful that everybody got in on the act.

Our model this month is No. 453 'Rio Grande' a first mark Mikado, known as a 'Mudhen'. On the South West USA 3foot track the engine waddled like a chook. The loco came in four versions. 1902 Nos 460-469 had wide fireboxes, unlike the slightly smaller 2-8-0 'Consolidation'. Then in an attempt to encourage passenger traffic the American Locomotive Company (ALCO) brought out a low-slung version referred to as 'sports models' , these locos were Nos 470-479.

Then in 1925 Baldwin built 10 really big Mikados with 36000lb tractive effort Nos 480-489. In 1927 Baldwin again attempted a conversion of 2-8-0, producing a rather makeshift article. In all 14000 Mikados were built of which 9500 were for US customers, the rest exported.

The locos were extremely powerful handling 4% grades with ease and up to altitudes of 10,000ft limits. A snowplough was attached to these mountaineers.

Mikado Locomotive K27

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Our model made by Bachmann is K27 #453, beautifully detailed and heavy - it's a two-person lift.

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