Kitson-Meyer, a locomotive for the Transandine (Trasandino) railway
line between Chile and Argentina.
This line with its track
separation of 1 meter (3 ft and 3.37 inches), was an absolute
masterpiece of a high-mountain railway line.
Railway overcame the 2,409 meter (7,903 foot) height with inclines
of up to 7.69% by using, for part of the way, an Abt rack system.
Both, people and freight were transported.
The design of
the Type 5 Kitson-Meyer locomotive was already regarded at the time
of its construc-tion in 1908 as extremely
complicated but it
overall to be an excellent locomotive.
the basis of its construction with two tanks on either side limite
the width of the combustion chamber, so that only a limited volume
of steam could be produced. That is why as time passed, the steam
consumption by the total of 6 cylinders proved to be a problem
with the result that the two extra front cylinders that were
connected to an additional cog drive train were removed in 1911. As
a result, the front drive mechanism was an adhesion drive, the back
undercarriage was a cog drive that engaged with a gear rack for the
especially steep inclines along the route. Even in its reduced
version, the locomotive mastered the extreme mountain sections
across the Andes without any problem.
Kitson-Meyer articulated Locomotives
Not all of of
the twelf machines are scrappt. There are some surviversa in
Argentina and Chile.
The locomotive on display does not
represent the original version that was delivered in 1909.
Andes, Chile and in Tafi Viejo, Argentina, additional locomotives of
this type still stand but under more varied conditions.
Santiago the Chile
Santiago the Chile
The 1:22.5 live
steam model, designed as a construction kit for
I have been working on the development of a
locomotive model for several years. It usually begins with ferreting
out photographs and the original drawings. In the case of this
this turned into a real waiting game because all
of the original drawings
were destroyed during a bombing attack on the Kitson factory in Leeds (Great Britain) during the
Second World War. What´s more, the likely museums in England did´nt
have any documentation at all.
Jens Schindler, a German fan of
this locomotive had measured this locomotive on site in Santiago de Chile in the year 2000 and created 2D drawings.They were an
enormously helpful basis that first made starting on the project
After long research on the internet, countless mail contacts, and
a huge amount of luck, things reached a
turning point in 2010.
Andrew Batory, a Canadian Transandine fan and Sergio Carmona,
Dean of Engineering at Valparaiso University, had discovered the
drawings in a repair shop in an old drawings cabinet.
At the same time, a Chilean mechanical engineering student, who had
contacted me with regard to the original drawings of a Garratt
locomotive, sent me about
100 photographs of the locomotive in
Thus, the detail work could begin. Except for a few
areas, like the boiler and the boiler fixtures in the cab,
I drew the locomotive according to the
original plans as a 3D model on a scale of 1:22.5.
Only after the entire locomotive is
drawn, will the CAD model be quasi
disassembled and every component evaluated as to how it can best be
manufactured. For the screws, rivets, etc. this is relatively
simple—they are purchased.
Turned parts are manufactured on a lathe,
as were the originals. Steamrelevant parts like the fittings, etc.
are purchased from the Regner Company.
The manufacture of the sheet metal parts
takes place rather traditionally.
The contour lines are translated into a
black-and-white drawing and assembled with connecting strips and
folded areas into several board layouts about
60×40 cm (24 x 16 in) in size. Depending
on the part, the front and back may differ as happens, for example,
with folds. These parts are then etched out of brass sheet for which
mostly two thickness are used: 0.5 and 1.0 mm (corresponding to ½
and 1 inch in the original).
I have the plates etched at
Lasertech srl near Milan.
The creation of the “volumetric parts” has
changed significantly over the course of time. For my first models,
I milled (you might also say carved) these parts out of brass,
plexiglass and also wood, molded them in silicone, reproduced them
in wax and then poured the wax parts out of
metal using the lost wax process.
Currently, most parts are being
3D-printed from the CAD drawing. The wax filament burns just as well
as the "normal wax" so that the silicone form and the wax parts fall
Most recently, I have tried some promising tests under direct metal
pressure. A combination of steel and bronze powder is printed
and, as required, melted.
The accuracy thus made possible is very
substantial. Details in the 0.1 mm (0.004 inch) range are possible.
While the locomotive is being drawn in CAD, a few hundred
renderings are created at
the same time that illustrate the
assembly of the locomotive.
The construction of the locomotive takes
place afterwards, step-by-step according to the corresponding
The sheet metal
parts are, for the most part, initially spot-welded. The "Lampert"
Company has developed a perfect device (M200) for that. The danger
connections in complex components reopening is therefore a thing of
the past. Parts that come into contact with pressure and steam
temperature are (silver) brazed and the remainder
are bound together with normal tin
solder. The Kitson-Meyer Type T5 from
1909 is, because of its complex frame construction, a genuine
challenge, not only in its original size but also as a model.
Currently, the first two models are
almost finished. Numbers 3 and 4 will be
built next and then, all of the “teething problems” should be
Come and watch my video series on
You-tube, mking the e-powered version of the Kitson Meyer loco.
The series starts with a
basics info about my technics
and the series step by strep.