Rio Grande 463
Sister D&RGW 453, well known for being a switcher at Durango, Colorado
D&RGW 463 is a 3-foot narrow gauge, "Mikado" type, 2-8-2 steam railway locomotive built for the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1903. It is one of two remaining locomotives of D&RGW class K-27, the other one being No. 464 at the Huckleberry Railroad in Genesee Township, Michigan. The class eventually became known by the nickname "Mudhens".
Fifteen locomotives were built, originally class 125, then reclassified K-27 in 1924 when the D&RG became the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad. The K-27s were built as Vauclain compounds, with two cylinders on each side, expanding the steam once in the smaller cylinder and then a second time in the larger one. The extra maintenance costs of the two cylinders were greater than the fuel saving, so they were converted to simple expansion in 1907–1909. They were Rio Grande's last purchase of compound locomotives. They pulled freight, passenger and mixed trains on the D&RGW in and over the Colorado Rocky Mountains, traversing the entire length of the railroad. They were built with their main structural frames outside the driving wheels, with the counterweights and rods attached outside the frames.
No. 463 was sold to cowboy actor and singer Gene Autry in May 1955. Autry never used the engine and donated it to the town of Antonito, Colorado. It was restored by and entered into service on the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad in 1994. It was taken out of service with a broken side rod in 2002. In 2009, it was moved to the railroad's shop at Chama, New Mexico where a major rebuild was taken until completion in Spring 2013. On May 20, 2013, the restored locomotive made its inaugural run on the C&TSRR.
463 was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 as Engine No. 463.
The D&RGW Engine 463 appeared in season 1, episode 38 of Gunsmoke on August 18, 1956 as Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway #463. The episode was entitled "Unmarked Grave". It also appeared at the beginning of an episode of Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater which originally aired on December 7, 1956. Season 1, Episode 10 was titled "Return to Nowhere". In 2014, Engine 463 made a small appearance as D&RGW #463 in the movie A Million Ways to Die in the West. It also appeared in the 2018 movie Hostiles. It also appeared in The March 14, 1959 episode of "Wanted Dead or Alive" called "Railroaded". The engine was not credited.
- Official Roster No. 11 of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad System. Denver: The Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad System. April 1, 1923. p. 94.
- Brewster, Allen J. (March and June, 1973). "D&RG's K-27, parts 1 and 2". Model Railroader. Milwaukee: Kalmbach. Check date values in:
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
- "Denver & Rio Grande Locomotive History: 463". Rio Grande Modeling and Historical Society. Retrieved 28 January 2010.
- "A chronicle of the rebuilding of D&RGW locomotive #463". DRGW463.COM. Archived from the original on 17 September 2009. Retrieved 6 February 2010.
- Miller, Janneli (2013-07-01). "Going loco over locomotives". Four Corners Free Press. Retrieved 2016-03-15.
- O'Berry, Dennis. (1995). The Mudhens, A Photographic History.
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