Latest Update: August 16, 2016
The #492 was imported back in 1991 by Samhongsa LTD of Seoul... We built a few
each of the #490, #492, #495, #497 and #499 that year, the majority as 1940's versions but some as 1930's versions as well...
The prototypes were the largest locomotives to ply the rails of "The Narrow Gauge", with a tractive effort of some 37,000 pounds... (Hence the designation: "K-37"; the "K" being a forshortened acronym for MiKado, which was moniker pinned on some of the first locomotives of the 2-8-2 wheel arrangement 'way back in the early part of the twentieth century...) The '37's were used extensively wherever the track could support their enormous weight, and though their speed wasn't much, ( They could occasionally be seen running along in the mid-30 mph range.), they were used in both Freight and Passenger Service on the Narrow Gauge...
They were the last "Mikes" constructed, being rebuilt from old retired "Broad Gauge" 2-8-0 "Consolidation" types in 1928... Which is one of the reasons why only one remains in service... Their boilers were built back before the era of "Flexible Stay Bolts"... Since metal expands and contracts with heat, firebox fires and the freezing cold of the Colorado / New Mexico High Country winters would take its toll resulting in what is known as "metal fatigue" and those old stay bolts would snap with somewhat alarming regularity... And since it is the lowly stay bolt that holds the outer "mud ring" of the firebox to the inside wall of same, too many broken staybolts could result in a boiler explosion... Not a happy prospect...
Fortunately, though our models are super-realistic, they don't require fire or water to get them rolling... As with all our other models, a variable 12 volt DC power source is all that's need to see and enjoy them in action !
The models seen here have long been on the "Endangered Species" list, available on the secondary or "used" market only because they sold out almost immediately after their arrival... And one can see why too... Without a doubt, their massive, straight boiler'd bulk setting atop that "Outside-the-Drivers Frame", peculiar to the Mikes and three of the 2-8-0's of "The Narrow Gauge" only pretty much says it all... You can see why we loved the prototype enough to want to recreate it in miniature, can't you?
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