Rio Grande's K-28 Locomotives


The Rio Grande had four classes of 2-8-2 locomotives on its 3 foot gauge lines, built to handle the increasing train weights. The first was the K-27 class which appeared in 1903 and are the subject of Kozo Hiraoka's construction manual. 1923 saw the introduction of the larger K-28 class, the subject of this book, and this was followed by the even bigger K-36 class, and finally the similar sized K-37 class, built by the railroad using parts of standard gauge 2-8-0s. At least one working example exists of each class.

Alco built the ten K-28 class locomotives for the Denver & Rio Grande Western in 1923, and three of these remarkable machines still call Durango home, powering the iconic “Silverton” trains since the 1950s. Here is the story of the first modern narrow gauge locomotive on the three-foot gauge Rio Grande and how it is posed to enter its second century of service.

Author Jerry Day spent 45 years compiling information and more than 300 photos, maps, track folios, drawings, and diagrams, including a three-page foldout drawing created by Mike McKenzie for this 288 page volume. In addition, you will find the history of D&RGW’s purchase of the K-28s, the operational history on the lines they ran, and the history of K-28 snow fighting operations, special passenger runs, wrecks & mishaps, movie appearances, locomotive modifications and changes, and how the K-28s operate today on the Durango & Silverton railroad. Includes an appendix with the complete D&RGW/Alco specs for the locomotives, and details of their 'sisters' built for the Oahu Railroad in Hawaii and those K-27s sent to the White Pass and Yukon RR during World War 11


Whilst the K-28 locomotives are larger than the K-27 class, builders of Kozo's design will find  incidental information here, which should be useful for super-detailing.