Pennsylvania Railroad L2s Class Mikado

(USRA Light Mikado) Modeled in 1/32 Scale

Frame Section


I machined the frame from 0.187" brass plate using my MaxNC benchtop CNC milling machine. A few castings from Scale 32 were used like the frame spreaders, pilot deck and rear frame extension, but all had to be modified to adapt them for use on a mikado - they were intended for a USRA pacific. As you can see, I have not yet added the rest of the frame extension, but its building is well underway. You eagle eyes noticed that I have cleverly added only one leaf spring. This was just a test fit to see if everything was well. I did not like the equalizing bars - they were slightly short and a little thick, too. This thickness didn't help with the shrinkage when casting, either, so they had to go. I have made a new master pattern and I am in the process of investment casting them, now.  You can see lots of hex head nuts and bolts. I used some "real" bolts as well as some "simulated" bolts add nuts from Scale Nuts and Bolts .


The main source of plans was a 1989 issue of Mainline Modeler magazine. Also, drawings from the 1925 Locomotive Cyclopedia were helpful. In both cases, I scanned to pages and adjusted their size with Photoshop for full size 1/32 scale. What a help! Not willing to leave well enough alone, the PRR modified many of the standard USRA fittings. The entire pilot was changed, for example  - they even replaced the smokebox front with a standard PRR stamping! Change the headlight, marker lights, generator, etc and the thing started to look Pennsy! Still, the L2s was treated like an "ugly duckling" on the Pennsy. There were only five and they had to compete with the mass produced (and Pennsy designed) L1s. That means that there were very few photos taken of them by railfans and very few drawings that were saved during the big PRR "cleanup" after the demise of steam. But, the Pennsy did have a fleet of well liked class N2sa USRA Santa Fe 2-10-2. "Well liked" that is after the Pennsy did about all the could do to hide its USRA origins. They even went so far as replacing the radial stay firebox with Pennsy's signature Belpaire firebox! Thus many drawings of the N2sa survived. Details of the L2 and the N2sa are quite similar in some areas like the pilot and tender modifications. Careful inspection of the few surviving photos show details are common to both locos.  I have a number of N2sa drawings that have been a big help. I also included a photo of a L2s that I converted (not very accurately) from a Sunset USRA Light Mikado in O scale many, many years ago to give you a idea of the hoped-for finished product.


Click here to go to the June 2004 update.