Equipment Roster


No. 82 is a 15″ gauge coal-fired 4-4-0 American Standard steam locomotive inspired by the famous Civil War era standard gauge “General” steam locomotive. The Sandley Light Railway Equipment Works built 82 for the Milwaukee County Zoo, beginning in 1957 and finishing in time for the opening of the zoo’s railway on October 5, 1958. The Milwaukee Journal newspaper purchased 82 for the zoo (as well as the entire railway and much of the rolling stock currently in service at the zoo). When 82 was taken out of service in the 1980s because she wasn’t powerful enough to meet the zoo’s ridership needs, in 1989 the R&GN Preservation Society worked out a deal to return 82 to service at the R&GN.


No. 98 is a 15″ gauge 4-4-0 American Standard steam locomotive. The Sandley Light Railway Equipment Works built 98 for the Hoot-Toot & Whistle Railway near Elgin, Illinois where she began service in the summer of 1957. The cost was $22,000. 98 would be the last locomotive started at the Sandley shops in Janesville and completed at the shops in Wisconsin Dells. After the H-T&T closed in the late 1970s, around 1981 Norman Sandley negotiated the sale of 98 to the Knoxville Zoo, where she operated for only one season and then was put in storage. In 1988 Delton Schrock purchased 98 for his Old Wakarusa Railroad in Wakarusa, Indiana. In 2002 98 came back to the R&GN for good and is still in service today.


Built at the Sandley Light Railway Equipment Works Janesville shop in 1948 at a cost of $16,000 (Model Trains magazine, “A Model Railroad You Can Ride” June 1955), 128 is a 15″ gauge 4-4-2 coal-fired steam locomotive inspired by the class D “Atlantic” passenger locomotives of the Chicago & North Western Railway. 128 was with the R&GN from the beginning to the end of operations under Sandley Light Railway Equipment Works management. There have been modifications over the years. Photos show a variety of minor changes in paint schemes. In January 1950 the Sandley-designed rotary valve gear was revised and then in a 1961 rebuild replaced with P.R.R. style Walschaerts valve gear. In 1951 the nameplate “North Star” was added to her running boards. In 1964 she received the “High Skyline” profile, which means a taller cab, steam dome casing, sandbox, and smokestack. Because of financial difficulties (since 1978 the Sandley Works had been on the market for sale) in 1981 the Sandleys made arrangements with Steam Railways, Inc. to build a 15-inch gauge railway at the Knoxville Zoo in Knoxville, Tennessee, which included 128 and several coaches. During service there, at two separate times, 128 rolled over because of going too fast into a curve. Because of the damage from the second rollover, she was taken out of service in 1988. In 1990 R&GN member Ron Krawczyk purchased 128 from the Knoxville Zoo for eventual use at the R&GN. When Ron passed away in 2007 Ron’s wife Fran donated 128 to the R&GN in 2008 in memory of Ron. In 2019 work began on the restoration of 128.


No. 1916, a 15″ gauge 4-4-2 Class D Atlantic type steam locomotive was built in 1961 for the Milwaukee County Zoo. The Milwaukee Journal Company paid $29,646 for the 1916. The name Harry J. Grant (1881-1963) on the sides of 1916’s cab refers to the Milwaukee Journal’s chairman of the board, who started with the Journal as an advertising manager in 1916, which is also the number assigned to the locomotive. In January 2024 the Zoo sold 1916 to the R&GN.