This week for Harry Cupper’s steam locomotive of the week RestoreTheMagic gives some love to the rugged narrow gauge. Denver and Rio Grand Western No. 484 is an K-36 Mikado built by Baldwin in 1925. The Rio Grande as it was nicknamed had 10 of these mikes which are rather handsome in the same way a battled scarred old lion might look.
No. 484 was used on the mountainous Monarch Branch and Marshall Pass. Later she was sent to Alamosa. No. 484 is one of five of these engines owned by the Combres and Toltec Scenic Railroad.
K-36 Mikados were typical of American narrow gauge locomotives. They are outside-frame designs with the driving wheels placed between the two chassis frames which support the boiler. The cylinders, driving rods, counterweights, and valve gear are on the outside. In service No. 484 was a freight locomotive and would often doublehead with another engine on long haul freight trains between Alamosa, CO and Farmington, NM.
Eldon Morgan was one of the men lucky enough to work on No 484 in regular steam service which endured long after most standard gauge steam operations had ended. Read about No. 484 and some of Eldon Morgan’s adventures in May 2015 issue of Train Magazine in the article Cumbres Memories.
Visit and support the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad: http://cumbrestoltec.com/