Rio Grande's Narrow Gauge K-36 Locomotives
This book offers the complete history of the Denver & Rio Grande Western K-36 locomotives. By the 1920s, the legendary narrow-gauge system of the Denver & Rio Grande Western had shrunk to a third of the railroad's total trackage, and most of its locomotives were worn out. Yet, traffic was heavy on some parts of the line and growing, and standard-gauging the lines made little economic sense.
So the long-time Baldwin customer turned to the Philadelphia firm for 10 new narrow-gauge, outside frame Mikados. Designated K-36 (MiKado, 36,200lbs of tractive effort), these beefy Baldwins were soon hauling freight over the four percent grades of Cumbres and Marshall passes and indeed, system-wide.
Fast forward almost a century later, and nine of the locomotives still exist and eight are in service on the Durango & Silverton and Cumbres & Toltec Scenic railroads. Truly a remarkable record of service and why the K-36 is beloved by railfans and the crewmen who ran them.
Author Jerry Day spent over 40 years compiling information and over 300 photos, maps, track folios, drawings and diagrams, including a three-page foldout drawing by Mike McKenzie for this hard-cover book. In addition, this 224-page hardcover book includes the D&RGW purchase of the K-36s and changes made to the lines to accommodate them, the operational history on the lines they ran, and accounts of K-36 snow fighting operations, special passenger runs, wrecks, movie trains, locomotive modifications and changes, and a section on the K-36s as they operate today on the C&TS and D&S railroads. Includes an appendix with the complete D&RGW/Baldwin specs for the locomotives.