A Brief History – DRGW Class 125 / K-27
The locomotives that eventually would become the K-27 class Mikados were originally built for the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad in 1903 as D&RG class 125. They were built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works as Vulclain Compound locomotives which was a method of using the steam produced in a more complex way. This complexity was soon replaced with a simple cylinder arrangement and valve gear. They were delivered with slope backed tenders which were soon replaced with ones that were of a more rectangular shape because they had a larger capacity.
These locomotives had a number of different details throughout their service lifetimes that included a number of different style wood and steel cabs so for a particular era, photos of that era should be reviewed.
With the 1924 revision of classifications that the newly formed D&RGW was using the class 125 locomotives became the K-27. The K was because they were a miKado (2-8-2) wheel arrangement and the 27 was because they had an effective tractive effort of 27000 pounds.
By 1939 the first of the K-27 locomotives were ready to be retired or traded off and by the end of July 1954 only these two of the fifteen remained on US rails.
In 1955 DRGW 463 was sold to the actor Gene Autrey and then ended up in the possession of the town of Antonito, the current owners by 1972. DRGW 464 was retired but not dismantled in 1962 and after a stop at Knott’s Berry Farm where they decided she was too large for their needs, she ended up at her current home on the Huckleberry Railroad in 1981.