Vulcan Foundry Fairlie Locomotives

This is the start of a page on the Vulcan Fairlie Locomotives it's unorganised at the moment but contains some interesting material.


Vulcan Fairlie Mountaineer on the Denver & Rio Grande Railway minus Bell at Veta Pass

0-4+4-0 Fairlie Locomotive "Mountaineer" Number 101 Denver & Rio Grande Railway built 1873 Photographed at the summit of Veta Pass, Altitude 4700ft.

When General Palmer carried the 3ft gauge track of the Denver & Rio-Grande Railroad through La Veta Pass, Colorado on its way from Denver to Mexico City via Santa Fe with grades of up to 211ft per mile, the physical characteristics of the line were considered to be eminently favourable to the use of the Fairlie Locomotive. At the time of its construction in the late 1870's, this crossing of the mountains was 1000 feet higher than any other railroad and was deemed an engineering marvel by the rest of the world.

The engine illustrated above was built by the Vulcan it is said (Vulcan myth), to the order of the Duke of Sutherland and was presented by him to the Denver and Rio Grande Railway who in reality paid 2900 for it. Put into service on the southern division of the railway in June 1873, number 101, "Mountaineer" was a wood burner with four outside cylinders, 10" diameter and 18" stroke with Stephensons link motion and wheels 3'3" diameter. The side tanks carried 800 imp gallons of water and the total working weight of the loco was 29 tons and 10cwt putting a load of 7.5 tons on each axle, all of which was available for adhesion. It was fitted with the Le Chatellier counter pressure brake.

The engine was shipped to the United States in the charge of John Moulton, who was sent over to supervise its erection and instruct the staff in its working. He subsequently took service with the Denver & Rio Grande Railway and remained in charge of the Fairlie until it was withdrawn from service after many years on the La Veta Pass section presumably when the line was converted to standard gauge.

Are there any of John Moultons decendants out there, if so then let us know.