Some years ago, whilst on holiday in Munich, we were walking through the Englischer Garten park in Munich – a huge open space in the city – and many years later I discovered that the area was the original home of the firm of J.A. Maffei, and built many 100s of steam locomotives. From these works emerged a couple of well-known examples, such as the S 2/6 and S 3/6 designs for the Royal Bavarian State Railway. The S 2/6 was the holder of the German speed record for steam traction – 154.5 km/h back in 1907, whilst a year later, the Class 3/6 arrived, two of which are preserved in the Deutsches Museum in Munich, and the Transport Museum in Nuremberg.
It was in 1908 that the firm of Maffei in Munich delivered its classic 4-cylinder compound pacific to the Royal Bavarian State Railways, with the class (S.3/6) numbering 145 in all by 1931. These majestic locomotives were used on almost all of the principal services within and extending beyond Bavaria, they were indeed classic locomotives, undergoing a variety of minor design changes and mechanical improvements during their life. In turn though they were the precursors of an equally successful simple expansion pacific, but with only two cylinders, one of which – No. 01 1104 was resident at “Steamtown”, Carnforth in England for a time, before returning to Germany. This was originally DB Class “012″ 4-6-2 No. 012 104 which had been rebuilt with an all welded boiler and converted to oil burning.
The design of their precursors, the S.3/6 compounds was developed by Anton Hammel, Maffei’s Chief designer and, in turn, their appearance owed a lot to the adoption/inclusion of aspects of North American design practices. Amongst these newer features was the adoption of bar frames, with a long, wide firebox. All four cylinders drove the second coupled axle, with the two inside, high-pressure cylinders, set at a slight inclination, with the two outside, low-pressure cylinders set horizontal. The majority of these locomotives were equipped with 6ft 0ins coupled wheels, although 18 of their number, built in 1912-1913 were given 6ft 6ins coupled wheels. Known as “die Hochbeingen” (the Longlegs), one of this class was rescued for preservation in the Deutsches Museum in Munich. Maffei constructed 127 Class S.3/6, whilst Henschel of Kassel built 18 under licence. They were both successful and long lived, with the last of the class being taken out of service in 1965 – 57 years after their arrival in July 1908. This classic Central European style was built on by the following Class 01 pacifics, with another version, Class 03 built with a lighter axle loading constructed throughout the 1920s and 1930s.
In 1920, some 11 years before construction of the S.3/6 4-cylinder compounds had ceased, Deutsche Reichsbahngesellschaft (DRG) was in need of a new express locomotive type, to meet the changing traffic demands. It was in the position of needing to either continue building a proven design such as the Bavarian. S3/6 or the pr. S10 – or alternatively to decide on a new construction.
So, DRG decided to pursue a new approach, by adopting standardisation with the intention of reducing maintenance costs on passenger workings. In essence this resulted in stocks of spares being held at various depots across the network, so that repairs could be undertaken swiftly, by swapping out the failed component, and the loco could then be put back into traffic.
This was essentially how the famous BR 01 and 02 Class of pacifics appeared – Germany’s first ‘standard’ design. Initially 10 of the Class 01 were built, and 10 of the 02 series – the difference between the two was that the 01s were 2-cylinder simple expansion, whilst the 02s were 4-cylinder compounds. The idea was then to compare the performances of each and decide which best suited DRG’s express passenger services going forward – controversially perhaps it was the simple expansion Class 01 design that proved the most effective overall. The stated intention of standardisation was to reduce maintenance costs, and despite the fact that the 2-cylinder design was less powerful and less economical than the four-cylinder compounds, the 01 Class won the DRG’s support.
No fewer than 231 of these locomotives were built between 1926 and 1938, mainly by AEG and Borsig, but also from Henschel, Hohenzollern, Krupp and BMAG. Although strictly speaking, after the initial order for 10, another 221 were ordered, and with the 10 Class 02 compounds converted to 2-cylinder simples between 1937 and 1942, a grand total of 241 of these express locomotives took to the rails. The first 01 to enter service was actually 01 008, and which is preserved today in the Bochum-Dahlhausen Railway Museum.
Their axle load of 20 tonnes (19.9 long tons) was slightly less than the later British Railways ‘Standard’ Class 7 “Britannia” Class pacifics built a quarter of a century later. In Britain though the idea of standardisation was thought of in a different way and was driven by differences between the engineering designs and workshops of the former private railway companies. In Britain the idea being to standardise on the optimum component design produced by the ‘Big Four’ companies, so that valve gear design was adapted from the former LNER, with the larger boiler designs from the LMS.
The Class 01’s axle load of 20 tonnes restricted its use on a number of routes, and this began in the 1930s, along tracks that had been upgraded to take this increased axle load, and in the area around Berlin this required bridge arch strengthening work. Compared to the Bavarian Class 3/6, which had a 16.8 tonnes axle load, they were significantly heavier, and the first 90 engines were sent to home depots from Berlin in the Northeast, across to Essen in the West, Hamburg in the North, and to Nuremberg in the South. Unsurprisingly perhaps, this initial deployment covered the industrial north, whilst later distributions took the class to Cologne, Frankfurt, and Dresden.
The 01s were also modified during the various batches of locomotives built, which included changes such as providing electric lighting for headlamps, instead of gas, increasing the bogie wheel diameter to 1,000mm to enable higher speed, and increasing the braking effort with additional brake shoes. In addition, changes to boiler tubes, smoke deflector designs, and smokebox locking were included in the pre-war modifications.
The major changes, and rebuilding took place in the 1950s, which included such features as water pre-heating apparatus, yet another design of smoke deflector, and the inclusion of combustion chambers. These were done as experiments on locos 01 042, 01 046, 01 112, 01 154 and 01 192. Between 1957 and 1961, the then Deutsche Bundesbahn rebuilt 50 of the class with a new all-welded boiler, roller bearings, changes to the front end frames, cylinder blocks, amongst other modifications. In the East, the Deutsche Reichsbahn in the workshops at Meiningen rebuilt another 35 of the class, also providing a new boiler, pitched higher, and fitted with a combustion chamber and preheater arrangement, along with a new cab and new smoke deflectors.
The class was retained in service in West Germany until 1973, and in East Germany until 1982, with numerous members of the class still operational as preserved examples, in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
The 01s were a very successful design, and in 1988, the DB Transport Museum in Nuremburg obtained 01 150 for preservation in the national collection. This locomotive was built by Henschel in 1935 and was still in service in the early 1970s, before being taken out of operation on November 13, 1973.
It is beyond the scope of this brief look at a couple of classic German pacific types to provide more extensive detail – but we may return to the subject in a future post.