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Steam locomotive 50 3655 (G 56.15)

A tried and tested steam loco for passenger and goods traffic

 
 

Our Class 50 began life on 15 July 1942 in the Borsig-Lokomotivwerken in Berlin and went into service on the Reichsbahn. It was numbered 50 2220 ÜK, the ÜK signifying Übergangskriegslok, a simplified design due to the conditions imposed by the war.  She remained in the ‘Soviet Zone’ after 1945. As the boiler was not made of St47K steel (a more durable type, able to better withstand the stresses of a locomotive boiler), and as the DDR could not do without its steam locomotives, the loco was chosen for the extensive rebuilding programme in 1961. She emerged in March / April of that year as ‘new’ Rekolok 50 3655; to improve efficiency the boiler now incorporated a combustion chamber and a feed-water heater (Mischvorwärmeranlage) extracted waste heat from exhaust steam which altered her appearance. In this form she served until 1986 at the railway works in Karl Marx Stadt and until the early 1990s she earned her keep as a ‘rolling boiler’. Eisenbahn-Tradition e.V. was looking for a Class 50 in 1992, and discovered her in the locomotive graveyard at Chemnitz-Hilbersdorf among numerous other Class 50.35 and Class 52.80 locos. With no connecting- or coupling-rods, with much missing pipework, pumps and valves, and covered in rust, she was in a sorry state. Nevertheless her boiler appeared good and the running gear was complete. Although the ‘wreck’ was bought for DM 10,000 (~5,000 €), it cost a further DM 150,000 (~75,000 €) and over 3000 hours’ work to put her back into service. Along with many railway fans, we have to thank the Sparkasse Ibbenbüren for donating much of the money. Our own members – all volunteers - undertook the restoration work. To keep her in service swallows up in the region of 50,000€ per year.  This is to cover not only running costs but also to make provision for major inspections and renewals. In the winter of 2001 the running gear was inspected and overhauled – at a cost of DM 250,000 (~125,000 €).  Early in 2004 we began the extensive work to prepare the loco for its boiler inspection, and she came back into service in 2005.

Type: ..................................... G56.15
Manufacturer: ...................... Borsig, Berlin
Production No: .................... 15214
Year: ..................................... 1942
Reconstruction: .................. 1961
Lenght over buffers: .......... 22.940 mm
Total weight: ........................ 140,0 t
Boiler pressure: .................. 16 kp/cm²
Driving-wheel-diameter: ... 1.400 mm
Power (at cylinder): ............ 1.760 PSi
Maximum speed: ............... 80 km/h
Coal supply: ........................ 8,0 t
Water supply: ...................... 26 m³

 

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