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. They eventually became known by the nickname “Mudhens”. It is one of two remaining locomotives of D&RGW class K-27.
Like most of the D&RGW locomotives, we know something about 463’s service from photographs taken of it. 463 was in Chama, New Mexico in 1923, in Alamosa and Montrose, Colorado in the thirties, and spent most of the forties and early fifties on the Rio Grande Southern and the line to Silverton, with one photo of it on theFarmington, New Mexico branch in 1947.
Number 463, was sold to cowboy actor and singer Gene Autry in May 1955. Autry never used the Mudhen and donated it to the City 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 is underway.
The Mountain Model Imports ON30 version of 463: