Saturday 23 March 2019


The recent announcement by Rapido Trains lists models of the CPR 's D-10 steam engine.  The drawings and numbers to be offered list a variety of headlight, numberboard, tender and running board configurations.  Readers and fans of the KVR may want to know which model might best represent those that were assigned to their favorite railway.  Rapido's page shows the variations:

According to our official and unofficial documents, there were two that saw service there in the late steam era: Nos. 914 and 925.  Both were of the D-10G class with V&H super-heaters, power reverses, and oil tenders.  They arrived from the Vancouver Island where they had been in service for the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway, a CPR subsidiary.  While there, the shop crews kept them in fine array.   Turner's book Vancouver Island Railroads has a small photo of 925 all decked out in white tires and silver smoke box for passenger service (p. 67) but this trim did not last on the Kettle where she was assigned to freight and mixed trains. 

We also have a photo of 914 with a work train trailing while approaching Princeton station in 1950.  The photo was taken by Gib Kennedy and cannot be reproduced here for copyright reasons.  A good shot of 914 is/was available from GTC Collectibles showing the right side with the power reverse and the oil tender.  Photos of both sides of 914 were available from Railway Memories Collection but they may not be in business any more.

Here is the best we can do for 914. 

Another photo in our files shows 925 outside the roundhouse in Penticton in 1950 and this shot is/was available from GTC Collectibles as: CPR-925-1.  However, the website suggests that prints may not be available.  The photo shows the right side with the power reverse mounted above the running board as in the Rapido drawing above and the photo above.  So, the right side for both engines is the same as the photo and the Rapido drawing.

As to the left side the engines both carried a Cross Compound Westinghouse Air Pump.  Rapido does not show the left side of their D-10 model but since the prototype D-10G's were fairly standard, it will probably be correct for our subjects.  The only serious difference is in the step over the air pump on No. 925.  If a modeler were interested in executing this detail here is a photo showing the left side of 925 which we hasten to add seems to have been unique to this engine.
The 914 did not have the step.  One other detail common to both locos is the flat number board which was correct for the time that these ran on the Kettle from early 1949 to late 1950.  According to the rosters we have, 914 disappears from the 1951 assignment sheet but 925 continued in service there until 1952 at least.

There are also many other photos of the D-10 steam locomotives at the Old Time Trains site:

We have a model of a D-10 that Samhongsa and United built back in the 60's.  Much work was done over a period of years on this model to effect a miniature version of No. 925 by an unknown craftsman before our acquisition and  by our own shops afterward.
Major improvements to the model 925 were:
  • Rigid Drivers were sprung by previous owner!
  • Painted and Decaled by previous owner
  • New Drivers quartered and installed
  • Side Rods cut and lapped (a second set acquired for this)
  • Tender bolsters rebuilt
  • Can motor & Gearbox installed
  • Decoder & Speaker installed
  • Front coupler installed
  • LED headlight installed

Despite all this work, it is still a poor runner due to her the pilot wheels or tender trucks being disposed to derail at least once in an operating session.   But she looks good and is accurate in the detail. We unreservedly suggest that Rapido's version will undoubtedly be much, much better performing model than any brass version of the D-10.  And it can be had with class lights, headlights and decoder already installed.  One would have to change the number though and decals for that are available at Black Cat Decals.  Or one could order the unlettered version and do the tender decals as well.
Finally, here is the basic locomotive diagram for the D-10 in its E,F,G,H,J iterations.

In summary, it looks like the example shown at the top of the page is your best bet for a very close model of the Kettle Valley Division's D-10g locomotives No. 914 and No. 925. 

UPDATES November 27, 2020:  One other D-10 locomotive assigned to the Kettle was the infamous 907.   Unfortunately, the watchman on duty died and the locomotive and enginehouse were destroyed in a boiler explosion in March of 1949.  The locomotive was scrapped soon afterward.  Modelers of this locomotive are directed to a photo of her in the Riegger book on page 216 and to another of her on page 40 of Donald Lewis' book Steam in Canada.  Substantial cosmetic modifications to the Rapido model would be necessary to render this one.

Regarding the Vancouver Island D-10's, the Rapido version with the triangular number board would be the best starting point.  An oil fired tender would also be an important detail to consider.  That would lead to the choice of 922 or its unlettered variation.


  1. I model the E&N in the transition era and have been eagerly awaiting these models. A small frustration is that while they are producing #922 and #926, two engines that ran on Vancouver Island (and describe them as being on the Island in their master class), they appear to have had graphite smokeboxes, angled number boards, and oil tenders when they were on the E&N, unlike how they are currently depicted in the Rapido artwork. I wrote them regarding this, for what it's worth... However, as these engines were only on the Island for a relatively brief period between the Second World War and 1949, Rapido may have intended to depict them in service elsewhere.
    I agree with your analysis that Rapido's #1022 is the most suitable seeming starting point for the oil burning D10's that worked in BC (at least in the late steam era). I also hope that they make the unnumbered versions available with graphite smokeboxes. However, I'm confident that these will be fantastic models and it's note entirely reasonable to expect a high quality RTR model of a small steam engine in exactly the number and paint scheme that I need for my specific prototype, so I will get several regardless!
    I really enjoy your beautiful modelling and informative posts. Thank you!

  2. Your comments are anything but churlish, thank you. A bright graphite smoke-box would certainly be maintained on a passenger engine but in freight service probably not. Photos suggest this.
    Rapido's offering of 922 has the triangular number board so it looks all right for a Vancouver Island locomotive. The number boards for most CPR engines were changed throughout the 1940's, but some locos retained their triangular boards to the end of their life; e g, 3601 retaining them until at least 1950 and 3726 till scrapping in 1957. Turner's book on Island railroads shows No. 925 and switcher No. 6174 with triangular number boards in 1948 shortly before they were displaced by the diesels. Presumably 925 got the new number board in Vancouver before she went to the Kettle. Turner also shows 914 and 922 with triangular boards but no date specified. Not unreasonable to assume they were "upgraded" to the flat number board shortly after leaving the Island for Vancouver.
    It may be that Rapido will supply both oil and coal tender bunkers with each model locomotive. But it would be important to get the right number board on a model as it will be lighted which is a very nice feature along with the class lights.

  3. Hi Coquihalla Man, that's a really interesting point about the smokebox. I had not appreciated that the bright graphite colour was both a product of the initial painting/finishing as well as its subsequent maintenance. So in the steam era in BC there were likely bright graphite smokeboxes on well-maintained engines and a variety of darker shades on less-well maintained engines? That's both informative and really helpful.

    I'll check vs photos in my Turner books for what I should be aiming for. And your points about the number boards are well taken. They seem to be pretty clearly triangular for these engines in their Vancouver Island days.

    Thanks again!

    1. Glad to help clarify historical details. It seems to me that if we are going to build/acquire a model and we have the information and ability to do it accurately, then our delight in modeling a prototype is enhanced.
      For smokebox painting, I like Scalecoat "Graphite & Oil" for locos that have been recently shopped or serviced. It can also be darkened to suggest the effects of longer service. Some photos show the graphite to be actually drabbier, dirtier and/or darker than the boiler. See photos in Canadian Pacific Steam in Color by Morning Sun Books.