Tuesday 15 December 2020


CPR Locomotive 592 of class D-9c was built in 1903 at Scenectedy Locomotive Works along with sisters 560 - 597.  No. 592 was most likely a mainline engine for her early years.  We do know that she was assigned to the Kettle Valley Division at least by 1947 where she served for a few years until moving on to spend her last days in the Western Region before being scrapped in January 1955.  Many D - 9's worked the Kettle Valley in earlier years especially on passenger trains Nos. 11 & 12.  A beautiful shot of 572 in the 1920's appears in Sanford's Steel Rails and Iron Men on page 82 and another of 579 on page 94 both of which are seen to be working passenger trains.  Engine 578 was the pusher on the infamous Jessica wreck of 1926.  The Smuin collection has a photo of an unidentified  D-9 as tail-end pusher on an eastbound freight cresting the Coquihalla summit.

A photo in our archives is inscribed "1950 Penticton R. M. Sutton Photography".   Another photo identifies her in Lethbridge in 1949 and another in Calgary in September 1952.  The Engineman's Time Book of R. E. Osborne, twice records her running as an extra on the Merritt Sub in May 1948.  Bob ran several of her sisters on the "Jitney" to Spences Bridge and back: 572, 573 & 586, all in 1948.  At one time or other, they all worked the Osoyoos branch as well as No. 569.   Engine 572 also worked the Penticton Yard again with him at the throttle in 1947.  By early 1950, they seem to have been displaced by the D-10's: 914 and 925.  See an earlier post on them here: http://kettlevalleymodelrailway.blogspot.com/2019/

Here is the Sutton photo in what certainly is the South Okanagan.  (You can click on any of the photos for a fuller screen picture.)


We have several other photos of her and many more of her sisters from on-line sites, notably Old Time Trains: http://www.trainweb.org/oldtimetrains/photos/cpr_steam/D9.htm

Here is another of 592 from the BC Provincial Archives dated 1922 with original tender.

The late, Lance Camp was particularly fond of the D - 9 locomotive and had a model built by craftsman, Herb Mason of Victoria BC some years ago.  Their starting point was a model of a Northern Pacific Railway Ten-wheeler, the prototypes being built by Schenectedy about the same time as the CPR class.  His admiration was contagious which made the author consider acquiring one for the Kettle Valley Model Railway.  Happily, a friend was moved to offer gratis the very model that was needed to effect the rebuild.  Thank you Arizona Jack for your generosity!

Here are photos of the NP Ten-Wheeler model.  The sloping cylinders were a vitally important feature of the "starting point".  Apparently, versions of the NP model have been produced by several manufacturers over the years.  Ours is from the PFM run of the 1970's.


The first step we undertook was to strip the boiler of all appliances and rails and piping.  The photo shows the stripped boiler and at this point new handrails and running boards are already in progress.

The cab came off in pieces simply by bending the components with a pliers to break the original solder joints.  A length of square brass stock was soldered to the inside of the front of the cab after which the roof/sides were then soldered back to the front and rear panels.  With superb Italian and Swiss files in hand, we worked the front corners to shape according to photos of the prototype.  These files and other fine tools were obtained from our Local Vancouver supplier Lacy West Supplies Limited: https://www.lacytools.ca/Articles.asp?ID=1

The cab work was not the most challenging step in the process.  Re-setting it back on the boiler was straight forward enough thanks to our electronic resistance soldering unit.  There are several makes and models offered; ours is this one by HOTIP which we acquired secondhand at a very reasonable price.  Normally they run upwards of $400.  This unit is not to be confused with a simple soldering station.  A very good tool for brass work. https://www.p-b-l.com/pbl2002/hotip.html

Here are before-and-after shots of the cab.  Note that the window opening has been moved forward by patching and filing.  The window sashes had been removed and later were re-installed.

The front doors and windows have been framed with a beading of .020" wire.  Unfortunately, the doors are a little lacking in height but we did not deem the shortcoming serious enough to warrant a complete re-working.

The window opening needed a sill.

The handrail stanchions were saved and moved to their new positions with .020" bronze wire as handrails for the engine crew. 



A gutter and roof hatches were added later.

One very challenging step was forming and soldering of the new fin for the back of the roof.  This step required cutting, heating and bending the brass strip in a compound curve.  Not the best execution by our shops but "good enough".


 For those of you, our fellow modelers, who are interested in the detailing of CPR steam locomotives, here are two diagrams showing the detail parts used to replicate this prototype.  The most challenging single item of the project was the fabrication of the front steps at the end of the running boards.  Even with the use of a jig, the steps would fall apart while soldering in another area.

These photos were taken after washing and then sandblasting the model which was painted soon after that to avoid the onset of tarnish which can affect the paint finish.  The sandblasting gives the paint more "tooth" to adhere to the brass.  This is important for the KVMR as the locos receive a lot of handling since it is a "working" model railway.

Paint used was Scalecoat Warm Black and decals by Black Cat.  Weathering chalks provided by Bragdon Enterprises.

The class lights had been drilled out for LED's prior to mounting.  A hole was drilled into the boiler at the level of the junction box mounted on the handrail and after painting, the LED's inserted through the hole from the inside of the boiler.  The wires were fed into the bottom of the class lamps and then affixed in place with canopy glue  This also helps in preventing short circuits with the wires to the boiler and fixtures.  The hole then filled with putty and painted to match the smokebox.

We fitted the rear axle with a cam by Grizzly Mountain Engineering and mounted a wiper on the bottom plate to accept the cam wire from the TCS WOW Sound Decoder.  The decoder and Keep Alive were mounted in the tender and TCS connectors fitted.  We have abandoned Soundtraxx Tsunami decoders mainly due to the lack of a cam wire option.

As received, the model was equipped with a Mashima motor, a torque arm, and a Boo Rim gearbox.  These performed well enough but a new motor was changed-in with a double shaft in order to add a flywheel to the mechanism.  The torque arm was an obvious after-market addition and was fitted nicely.  The arm was attached to the gearbox with two 2.0 mm machine screws.  The drive-line universal coupling was a short section of model airplane fuel line connecting the motor shaft to the gearbox shaft.  This is also standard treatment for most KVMR locomotives.  The motor was simply attached to the arm with very sticky double-sided tape.  This motor and torque arm unit was likewise attached with double sided tape to the chassis.  We replicated this practice with the new motor and torque arm and found it largely eliminated any transmission noise.  The locomotive runs well at low and high speeds. 

A final shot of the Kettle Valley Division's D - 9c Ten-Wheeler shows her somewhat neglected condition as she ekes out her last days of service.  Actually, the weathering seems more extreme in the photograph than under the lights of the layout room.  But the many details of the locomotive show very well here.  No doubt she will work the Coquihalla pusher job once operations resume on the Kettle Valley Model Railway but other assignments could be made.

In closing, we can offer a word about why we chose 592 in particular to model of the several that worked the Kettle in the last years: she is one of the few of her class to retain the high mounted headlight and remained fired with coal.  And note that the tender is not her original one.  We hope to build an interesting as-built tender one day for aesthetic reasons but for now she has a standard 5,000 gallon tender from class N-2a consolidation - just like the real one in her last days.  Several details and modifications have been added to this tender following prototype photos.

This project has occupied most of our modeling time under the months-long Virus restrictions and we are very pleased with the results but it will be more than a few months before another brass project is undertaken. 

Coquihalla Man


  1. Congratulations on finishing a challenging build, KVM!


  2. Well Done Coquihalla Man,
    looks like a wonderful recreation of a unique model loco!! I am sure it will be most useful on several possible assignments.
    Looking forward a few months to when we can again safely gather and meet!! Best wishes !!

  3. Thank you Rene' & John. 592 will likely receive varied assignments including pusher service in future operating sessions. Hopefully, sooner rather than later. Our last session was on February 15, 2020.

  4. Great post! It will wonderful to see her at work "soon"...

    Very very impressed with the corner radii on the cab roof. With your filing skills you could have worked at the real Schenectady!!


  5. Beautiful job on the rebuild. I would nothing less from you. You didn't mention anything about the drive. Did you replace the motor and gearbox?

  6. Thank you Ken for the compliment. In response to your question on the drive, we have added some information to the post toward the end.

  7. Hi, I am researching a totally different project and have just today received a picture of an Albertan locomotive with "592" on the front. The 5 is a bit faint but my wife agrees it is a 5. Probably taken in Edmonton about 1915. I know nothing about steam locomotives, but wish to include the image of it in a biography I'm writing. The picture came from a family album so might an image never seen before. I'd like to share this image with someone who can confirm the locomotive in my picture is the same as the one on this thread and maybe answer a few historical questions. In appearance, it differs a bit, but I'd have to think a locomotive would be modified and upgraded over time. If someone can help I can be reached at: dtanke@hotmail.com Thankyou.