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The Climax geared engines were designed and constructed in 1894, inspired by an idea of the Shay first built in 1889, to meet requirements of heavy haulage on rough track with sharp curves and steep grades.  The Climax had a boiler mounted in the center of the main frame and its inclined engines arranged symmetrically on both sides of the boiler were connected to a crank shaft on which there was a master gear transmitting the power with the longitudinal shaft having flexible joints to each axle gear through the truck pinion.


Aster has faithfully modeled the Climax used on the "Colorado and Northwestern Narrow Gauge Line, which was one of the first freight locomotives ordered by them in 1987.  It is said that No. 2 was the heaviest Climax built  (C-50) (total weight - 100,000 lbs) and at that time the only narrow gauge 3 truck version ever built.


Since Climax locomotives were widely used not only in North America, but also in Australia and New Zealand, Aster chose not to letter their Climax.  This allows the modeler to put  their railroad name choice on this locomotive.  Climax construction shop number # 167, the prototype for the Aster Climax was built in December 1897 to a 36 inch gauge as the  Colorado & Northwestern Railway's No. 2. 


Following several years working out of Boulder, Colorado the locomotive was moved to Skagway, Alaska in 1899 as Pacific Contract Company No. 8.  In 1901, it was initially No. 8 for the White Pass and Yukon (later #58), where she was used to build that railroad.  Sold for $3,000, the narrow gauge climax came to Seattle, Washington's W. D. Hofius & Company, June 1902.  The following year, 1903, it was re-gauged to standard gauge in 1903 for the White Star Lumber Company, Whites, Washington.  Later, it was operated by the Maytown Lumber Company, Maytown, Washington.





Scale/Gauge:  1/24, 45 mm gauge


Dimensions:  Length 584 mm, Width 109 mm, and Height 163 mm


Net Weight: 5.9 kg


Bogie Wheels:  Diameter 34 mm made of stainless steel


Valve Gear: Stephenson Type


Cylinders:  2 cylinders (Bore 10 mm x stroke 14 mm)


Boiler Type:  Center Flue with a super heater

Capacity:  180 cc of water

Fittings: 2 x Safety Valves, Regulator Valve, Check Valve, Blow down Valve, By-Pass Valve, Pressure Gauge and Water Gauge.

Pressure:  3 kg/cm (Normal working level)


Gear Ratio: 1:2.8


Butane Gas Container  on the 3rd truck (Capacity 80 cc)


Water Tank  on the 3rd truck (Capacity 350 cc)


Feed Water Pump

1) Hand Operating Pump in Water Tank

2) Axle Driven Automatic Pump


R/C Equipment  To be installed on the 2nd truck

(an electric version was also produced)


Photo by John Tribe

Photo by John Tribe  




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