The K3/6 4-6-2 design was developed for the 1925 Munich Transport Exhibition by the German locomotive manufacturer Krauss of Munich. It was one of a series of 15 locomotives built to a design by Roland Martens. The locomotives were destined for temporary exhibitions or railways in public parks, known as Liliputbahn. Our locomotive, No. 8457, was constructed in 1929.
The narrow gauge world appears to have been a ‘small world’ then as now, and it is clear that Martens was in touch with Henry Greenly, designer of River Esk. The same ratios of 1/3 full scale on a 15” gauge were used for the Krauss engines. The Liliputbahn locos are an intriguing mixture of state of the art construction like adjustable wedge hornguides with minor details like the smokebox door, chimney and firedoor almost lifted directly from Esk.
Three further locomotives were built to a slightly modified design by Krupp of Essen in the 1930s. Those familiar with other UK fifteen-inch gauge railways might know Black Prince (RH&DR) or Rosenkavalier and Männertreu (Waveney Valley Railway at Bressingham), the three Krupps.
Visitors to park railways in Germany and Austria might have come across several of the Krauss engines still at work today (there are two in Dresden, one in Leipzig, two in Vienna (plus the chassis from a third working under a diesel engine) and three more in Stuttgart. Of all the Martens locos built, only Rosenkavalier (1976 centenary celebrations) and Black Prince (1982 and 1990 seasons) have run at Ravenglass.
Another two locomotives were build by Krupp in the 1950s for the Stuttgart line.