Featured Locomotive for February 2012

The Mikado locomotive 2-8-2,

This month we look at the Mikado locomotive 2-8-2,. MikadoB Yes, the first big order for the 2-8-2, was issued by the Japanese Govt. in 1885. At the time the Gilbert & Sullivan Operetta of that name was premiering in America - so the name stuck in the minds of the public - until Pearl Harbour in 1941, when the class was called 'Macarthur'. The original locos were for 3ft 6 inch gauge - later orders being 4ft, 8 1/2 inches and 62 inches, because the Mikado was a hugely successful freight loco. After the war some were used for heavy passenger work in Europe, where most of the rail systems had to be rebuilt.

France, Germany, Austria and Spain had this successful loco, France owned 1323 engines, Australian states of Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, Western Australia and New South Wales all had Mikados - known to us under different class names, like the New South Wales Class '59' - all the same design but different gauges. Some experiments were made with compounding - some coal fired, others oil fired - as originally supplied.

Even the eastern Australia State of New Zealand did not miss out. With such a vast number of locos built, many were made by other companies, often under licence, Baldwin could not have coped with the load , that company ceased production in 1956, having built thousands of theses locos, most being exported, why? They left the change over to diesel too late - and Alco and GMC swept the pool.

Mikado Locomotive

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Our picture is of our live steam Mikado, built by Aristocraft (USA) in 1:29 scale. It has been timed on our special circuit at 118 scale kph - about 70 scale mph.

Technical Data

Class N X 700 710 740 59 AC16 V
Number 50 29 10 10 10 20 20 24
Preserved 3 1 1 nil nil 4 1 4

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