Sold May 2004 Back to Archive

7 1/4 inch gauge D&RG K36 - stock code 2056

Oh the things we sacrifice at the altar of a house move!

My much-loved D&RG K36 Mikado, currently enjoying an extended summer holiday out at the Oldown Miniature Railway where it is pushed out on sunny days to be admired and steamed a couple of times each month to impress the visitors, is now for sale.

Built in 1998 by D&S Engineering of Raunds, it was commissioned for a private railway in Kent. The engine was used infrequently after delivery due to the ill-health of its owner, passing from his estate to a private museum - lack of 7 1/4 inch gauge facilities meant that it had even less use there, except for the odd trip out to a local track.

The engine is a 2 1/2 inch scale model of the three foot gauge Denver & Rio Grande K36, a class of ten engines designed to work the steeply graded route in Colorado. One inch bar frames, steel wheels running in roller bearings throughout. Slide valve cylinders with Walschaerts valve gear, cab-operated drain cocks with snifting valves on top of the valve chests. Steel boiler with expanded in tubes, fed by steam pump mounted on the nearside and the world's best injector underneath the cab on the offside - it's 3/4 inch feed and seems to deliver something around 4 gallons/minute or a little more. Mechanical lubricator mounted under offside running board, the air-fittings and wheel valve mounted above it are for steam-raising, allowing the engine's blower to be run from an external compressor.

The tender is on bogies, again ball-races to all wheels. Water capacity is around 40 gallons with coal bunker above. The seat at the front gives an excellent driving position and there is (just) room to squeeze a small boy in beside you for driving lessons!

The engine takes around an hour to steam from all cold. It is built to a commercial specification and will haul heavy trains all day - indeed until there are four commerical-size carriages and thirty people on the back it doesn't start to "chuff" audibly. It is eminently suitable for a revenue-earning line, alternatively it would last the average enthusiastic amateur a lifetime. It is an absolute delight to drive and has given flawless service on revenue-earning running throughout the summer.

Despite it's size, I load and unload it single-handed from a four-wheel trailer with some purpose-built rail ramps and the trailer's winch. I have run it on everything from the 6lb/yard Oldown line down to a portable aluminium track in my garden (couldn't wait to use it when it first arrived!). It will negotiate a 50 foot radius and runs easily around the Reading SME club track.

For the eagle-eyed among you, the front buckeye coupling and cow-catcher were removed for running at Oldown and will be replaced before sale.

As mentioned above, the engine is currently stabled near Bristol. Viewing can be arranged at any reasonable time, a buyer will be given, if required, a day's running on this most picturesque of woodland railways for familiarisation with the engine. The boiler is in excellent condition, with five years to run on its hydraulic certificate. It will be sold with a new 12 month boiler certificate.

Length 15 feet overall
Height 36 inches
Width 24 inches
Weight in working order approx 1 1/2 tons

gauge 7 1/4 inch