wpy 2-8-2 "Mikado" Locomotives in the USA

White Pass & Yukon

The White Pass & Yukon Railroad was built during the Klondike gold rush days to provide rail service to the Yukon. By 1900, 110 miles of narrow-gauge track were built from the port at Skagway, Alaska, over the spectacular White Pass, through British Columbia and on into Whitehorse in the Yukon.

Unlike many of its contemporaries, the WP&Y survived the 1930s depression, boomed during WW II building the Alaska Highway, added diesel power in the 1960s and pioneered multi-modal containerized shipping. In 1982, the major mines in the Yukon were closed and as a result the WP&Y ceased operations. In 1988 the WP&Y was reopened from Skagway, AK to Bennett in British Columbia as a tourist railroad.

The WP&Y offers scenic train excursions to cruise ship passengers and independent travelers out of Skagway, Alaska, a restored gold rush town and headquarters of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. Between June and August, the WP&Y offers special steam excursions, using Steam Engine No. 73, between Skagway and Lake Bennett, British Columbia. For more information see the WP&Y Home Page. http://www.whitepassrailroad.com/

The first "Mikado" type locomotives on the White Pass & Yukon Railroad were the two it received in 1938 and 1938 from the Baldwin Locomotive Works. This pair was given road numbers 70 and 71. In 1947 two more of the same design were delivered to the WP&Y and were assigned road numbers 72 and 73. These four locomotives had 44" diameter drivers, 17" x 22" cylinders, a 205 psi boiler pressure, they exerted 25,179 pounds of tractive effort and each weighed 145,000 pounds. The evaporative heating surface was 1,676 square feet and with the superheater the combined heating surface was 2,133 square feet.

During World War II; there was concern that the Japanese might invade Alaska, as it was the closest part of the United States to Japan. The U.S. Army took control and began the construction of the Alcan Highway. The Army brought some newly built and many used steam locomotives which it bought from closed U.S. narrow gauge railroads.

Among the used locomotives were two it obtained from the Sumpter Valley Railroad which were given road numbers 80 and 81 on the WP&Y and seven from the D&RGW which were assigned roads numbers 250 through 256.

The Army ordered eleven new "MacArthur" as the "Mikado" types were renamed as a result of the war with Japan from the Baldwin Locomotive Works. The locomotives were delivered in 1943 and were given road numbers 190 through 200. These locomotives had 48" diameter drivers, 16" x 24" cylinders, a 185 psi boiler pressure, they exerted 20,128 pounds of tractive effort and each weighed 119,000 pounds. The firebox was 115 square feet, the evaporative heating surface was 1,371 square feet and with the superheater the combined heating surface was 1,745 square feet.

The White Pass saw record volumes of traffic as it served as a vital supply route for construction materials for the new Alaska Highway and other projects. As many as 17 trains were operated daily. In one record period of 24 hours, 37 trains rolled into Whitehorse.

There are nine surviving WP&Y 2-8-2 "Mikado" type locomotives. They are numbers 70-73, 80, 81 190, 192 and 195.


Dollywood, the entertainment park, named for singer-songwriter Dolly Parton first opened in 1961 and only had one ride. That was a five-mile loop railroad that was called the Rebel Railroad. It had a steam train, a general store, a blacksmith shop and a saloon. The Rebel Railroad operated until 1970, when it was purchased by the Cleveland Browns football team and renamed "Goldrush Junction". "Goldrush", as it was to be called later, added a wood shop, a saw mill, an outdoor theater, several children's rides, a church and a campground.

In 1976, "Goldrush" was purchased by Herschend Enterprises in Branson, Missouri and in1977 the park became Silver Dollar City-Tennessee and grew significantly over the next decade of operation adding rides, a variety of working crafts, entertainment shows and attractions like the Silver Dollar Grist Mill, which was completed in 1983.

In1986, Dolly Parton became an owner of the park along with current management Herschend Enterprises and lent her name to the park Dollywood has since more than doubled in size to over 100 developed acres.

Dollywood has two operating steam locomotives. Number 70 named "Cinderella" and number 192 named "Klondike Kate". These two locomotives serve as the motive power for the "Dollywood Express", the name given to the train that continuously circles the five-mile loop.

Number 192, was bought from the White Pass & Yukon Route in Alaska by the Rebel Railroad in 1960. Number 70 came to the park in 1977 from the WP&Y along with number 71. WP&Y number 72 was severely damaged in a Skagway, AK roundhouse fire while it was in storage there. The running gear survived and was bought by the park and arrived with 70 and 71.

Roster by Richard Duley

WP&Y 2-8-2 Roster
Qty.Road NumbersFrom Other RRYear AcquiredYear BuiltBuilderNotes
270 1938Baldwin1
272 & 731947Baldwin2
280 & 81SV19421920ALCO3
  1. Number 70 and 71 now at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN.
  2. Number 72 was severely damaged in a fire at the Skagway Enginehouse and only the running gear survived which is now at Dollywood. Number 73 is operational on the WP&Y.
  3. Ex Sumpter Valley Railroad number 19 & 20 came to the WP&Y in 1942. Sold back to the Sumpter Valley Railroad in 1971.
  4. Number 197 scrapped in 1945. Numbers 191, 193 and 194 scrapped in 1951. Number 196 was used for riprap at Skagway, AK. Numbers 198, 199 and 200 sold to the Hacienda Grande Railroad in Chicama, Peru in 1948. Number 190 sold to the "Tweetsie" Railroad. Number 192 is now operational at Dollywood. Number 195 is on display in Skagway, AK.
  5. Ex D&RGW numbers: 470, 471, 472, 474, 475, 477 & 479 came to the WP&Y in October 1942. Number 250 scrapped in 1944. The others scrapped in 1945.
Specifications by Richard Duley
Road Numbers:70-7380-81190-200250-256
Wheel Arrangement:2-8-22-8-22-8-22-8-2
Length:61'-8"61'-4"61'-4"63'-10 ½"
Drivers:44" dia.44" dia.48" dia.44" dia.
Weight on Drivers:108,000 lbs.95,000 lbs.80,000 lbs.113,500 lbs.
Total Locomotive Weight:145,000 lbs.131,000 lbs.119,000 lbs.156,000 lbs.
Locomotive & Tender Weight:230,500 lbs.216,000 lbs.218,000 lbs.254,500 lbs.
Grate Area:35.0 sq. ft.30.2 sq. ft.27.7 sq. ft.30.17 sq. ft.
Cylinders (dia. x stroke):(2) 17" x 22"(2) 19" x 20"(2) 16" x 24"(2) 18" x 22"
Boiler Pressure:205 psi170 psi185 psi200 psi
Tractive Effort:25,179 lbs.23,700 lbs.20,128 lbs.27,540 lbs.
Tender Capacity:
Water:4,000 gals.4,000 gals.5,000 gals.5,000 gals.
Coal:8 tons8 tons9 tons8 tons