The Chesapeake & Ohio Railway began operating Mikados in December 1911, when it took delivery of the class K-1 from Alco-Richmond. Ten years later, the C&O purchased another 150 technologically superior 2-8-2’s – the K-2’s, the K-3’s, and the K-3a’s. All the K-2s and K-3s were built by Alco-Richmond. The primary thing differentiating the K-2s and K-3s was the booster. The K-2s had a booster, and although considered a “light Mikado”, they could extert 10% more tractive effort than the booster-less K-3s. The C&O used its Mikados for almost any job, and they were considered the mainstay of C&O power for twenty years. They could be found on manifest freights, local freights, coal trains, work trains, and occasionally passenger trains. They were the dominant power on C&O’s James River Line and also the Chicago Line in Indiana.

Our model is of the K-2 locomotive as it appeared in the 1940’s. They are quickly recognized by their large Elesco feedwater heaters and “flying air pumps” hanging from the smokebox door. All K-2’s were delivered with 12,000 gallon / 15-ton capacity Vanderbilt tenders. The railway quickly realized they would need larger tenders, and most of the K-2s eventually ran with the 16,000 gallon / 20-ton capacity “16-VC” tender. We are offering models with both tenders, and have selected appropriate road numbers based on tender assignments.



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