C&O K-2 Mikado
The American Locomotive Company’s Richmond Works produced (50) 2-8-2 Mikados (numbered 1160-1209) for the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad in 1924. These received the classification of K-2. They were substantial upgrades over the older K-1’s from 1911. Larger drive wheels at 63″ diameter, baker valve gear, 200 psi boiler pressure, automatic stokers, boosters on the trailing truck, and a higher tractive effort rating at 63,467 lbs. In typical C&O fashion, the dual compound air compressors were mounted on the front of the smokebox, flying pumps as the C&O nicknamed it, giving the K-2’s a rather robust and intimating appearance. These and the proceeding K-3’s were of the last non-super power and non-articulated steam locomotives purchased by the C&O.
The K-2’s could be found in all realms of freight service, from heavy drag freights, helper service, and fast freight on level trackage. Many were equipped with large (6) axle, 22 ton/16,000 gallon Vanderbilt tenders. A side profile view shows the tender was nearly as long as the locomotive was.
With freight traffic spiking during the years of WWII, the K-2’s were said to have out performed their expectations handling massive war time freight trains. In the early 1950’s as diesels quickly began to replace steam, the 2-8-2’s were quickly withdrawn from service and placed in storage. A number were reactivated when a power shortage occurred in the mid-50’s, but all were retired by 1956.
#1189 survived being scrapped and was set aside for preservation. Unfortunately, by the early 1970’s, she had fallen victim to the elements of being left outside unprotected, resulting in her being scrapped, leaving not a single C&O 2-8-2 in existence.
C&O K-2 Mikado set includes: (1) Engine (1) Tender & (2) Cabooses
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