The reference for locomotives and railcars
Two-Axle Steam Railcars[Inhalt]
Pilatus Railway Bhm 1/2
Switzerland | 1886 | 11 produced
Builder's photo around 1890
Builder's photo around 1890
Built1886-1889, 1900, 1909
Axle config2-0-2RT 
Gauge2 ft 7 1/2 in
Dimensions and Weights
Length33 ft 9 1/2 in
Wheelbase20 ft 0 15/16 in
Fixed wheelbase20 ft 0 15/16 in
Empty weight20,944 lbs
Service weight29,101 lbs
Adhesive weight0 lbs
Water capacity232 us gal
Fuel capacity1,102 lbs (coal)
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power67 hp (50 kW)
Optimal speed5 mph
Top speed2 mph
Starting effort8,138 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter16.1 in
Boiler pressure174 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 8 11/16 x 11 13/16 in
Grate area4.3 sq ft
Firebox area25.8 sq ft
Tube heating area200.2 sq ft
Evaporative heating area226 sq ft
Total heating area226 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam railcar
cog railway
secondary line
narrow gauge
last changed: 08 2023
Hungarian State Railways series BCmot VIIa to VIId
De Dion-Bouton type steam railcars
Hungary | 1903 | 10 produced
BCmot VIIc
BCmot VIIc

The many branch lines with few gradients and low passenger numbers in the MÁV network offered themselves early on for the use of railcars. Ganz of Budapest secured the license for the De Dion-Bouton steam railcars and produced 30 or 89 examples for the MÁV, depending on the source. Ten railcars of the types with 35 and 50 hp were found under the generic designations BCMot VIIa to VIId, others were built with 80 hp

What was special about the De Dion-Bouton design was the steam engine, which was attached to the axle like a nose-suspended motor and was also sprung. The four cylinders with compound action were arranged horizontally and could run at a high speed of 600 to 800 revolutions per minute thanks to a gearbox. The steam came from a small, vertically arranged water-tube boiler, which operated at a relatively high pressure of 18 bars.

De Dion-Bouton type steam engine
De Dion-Bouton type steam engine
collection György Villányi

In addition to the different power output, the individual variants of type VII were characterized above all by a different layout of the interior. The greatest advantage of the special boilers was that they could be warmed up in an hour and could therefore simply be switched off overnight. It turned out, however, that the railcars had a high consumption and maintenance was relatively expensive. They were all phased out by the start of the First World War and replaced by railcars with combustion engines after the end of the war.

Axle config0-2-2T 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length35 ft 11 1/8 in35 ft 5 3/16 in38 ft 2 7/8 in
Wheelbase18 ft 0 9/16 in19 ft 8 1/4 in
Fixed wheelbase18 ft 0 9/16 in19 ft 8 1/4 in
Service weight31,967 lbs32,849 lbs30,424 lbs45,415 lbs
Adhesive weight24,251 lbs25,133 lbs24,030 lbs
Axle load24,251 lbs25,133 lbs24,030 lbs
Water capacity264 us gal
Fuel capacity220 lbs (coal)
Power sourcesteam
Indicated power35 hp (26 kW)50 hp (37 kW)
Optimal speed25 mph36 mph37 mph
Top speed28 mph31 mph
Starting effort899 lbf
with start valve1,053 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter39.7 in40.2 in
Boiler pressure261 psi
Expansion typecompound
Cylindersfour, HP: 4 9/16 x 5 1/2 in
and LP: 6 11/16 x 5 1/2 in
Calculated Values
steam railcar
secondary line
last changed: 06/2022
Württemberg DW
Kittel steam railcar
Germany | 1893 | 16 produced
DW 8 on a works photo of Maschinenfabrik Esslingen
DW 8 on a works photo of Maschinenfabrik Esslingen

The DW type steam railcars were developed for the Royal Württemberg State Railways from 1893, but a few examples were also built for the Baden State Railways. They were also known under the name “Kittel steam railcar”, which can be traced back to the Württemberg chief engineer Eugen Kittel.

A sample and six production vehicles were equipped with a boiler according to Henri Serpollet's patent. Unlike other boilers, this one did not have a water supply, but only the amount of steam that was currently required was generated directly by evaporation on the hot walls. Despite its low weight, it was not convincing. For this reason, Kittel developed its own type of upright boiler, with which the existing cars were equipped. Since these proved themselves, Württemberg ordered ten more vehicles with the new boiler, and an order for eight vehicles in almost identical design also came from Baden.

The railcars were mainly used on small branch lines with low passenger numbers in the area of the two operators. When the Reichsbahn took them over, they were given the numbers 9 to 14. In the 1930s, most of the examples were either retired or sold to private railways. A vehicle arrived in France in 1945 and remained in service there until 1953.

VariantDW 1-4DW 5-7DW 8-17
Axle config0-2-2T 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length36 ft 1 1/16 in37 ft 4 13/16 in
Wheelbase15 ft 1 1/8 in16 ft 4 7/8 in
Fixed wheelbase15 ft 1 1/8 in16 ft 4 7/8 in
Empty weight39,242 lbs
Service weight38,140 lbs50,706 lbs
Adhesive weight28,440 lbs30,644 lbs
Axle load28,440 lbs30,644 lbs
Water capacity396 us gal
Fuel capacity992 lbs (coal)1,323 lbs (coal)
Power sourcesteam
Indicated power79 hp (59 kW)
Optimal speed15 mph14 mph11 mph
Top speed37 mph
Starting effort3,311 lbf3,669 lbf4,440 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter39.4 in
Boiler pressure232 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 7 1/2 x 11 13/16 intwo, 7 7/8 x 11 13/16 intwo, 8 11/16 x 11 13/16 in
Grate area5 sq ft6.7 sq ft7.6 sq ft
Firebox area34 sq ft
Tube heating area240.6 sq ft
Evaporative heating area274.6 sq ft
Superheater area49.8 sq ft
Total heating area274.6 sq ft324.4 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam railcar
Eugen Kittel
last changed: 03/2022

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