The reference for locomotives and railcars


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Austrian Southern Railway classes 17a to 17d
Austrian Federal Railways (BBÖ) classes 103, 403, 503 and 603, Czechoslovak State Railways classes 253.1, Yugoslav Railway class 103, Hungarian State Railways series 226 and Italian State Railway class 542
Austria-Hungary | 1882 | 98 produced
Class 17a No. 309
Class 17a No. 309
Die Lokomotive, October 1904

When the Südbahn made the decision to procure new express locomotives in 1881, the focus was basically on the class 16a “Rittinger” built in 1873. Since the train weights had increased from 70 to 80 tonnes before to around 150 tonnes and the use on gradients of up to 2.5 percent was required, the tractive effort had to be greater. To achieve this, the wheel diameter was reduced from 1,900 to 1,720 mm and the rear coupled axle was placed under the firebox to increase the adhesive weight. As with the 16a, an outer frame and Stephenson valve gear were used.

Class 17c No. 372 in October 1977 at the ÖBB open day
Class 17c No. 372 in October 1977 at the ÖBB open day

The first ten engines were delivered in 1882 and designated as class 17a. The Kaschau-Oderberger Bahn (KsOd) also bought ten more between 1884 and 1891. They almost used the axle load of 13 tonnes that was now permitted. During the official approval runs they reached 115 to 120 km/h without a load and with the usual load of an express train they could easily maintain 80 km/h.

Class 17d
Class 17d
Die Lokomotive, November 1904

In 1884 and 1890, the Southern Railway procured a total of 14 examples of a reinforced variant, which was listed as the 17b. This was followed by another 60 examples of a similar variant, which had a boiler pressure increased by one bar and a slightly larger boiler. They made full use of the axle load of 14 tonnes that was now permitted. Together with two other locomotives built in 1885, they became the class 17c.

Schematic drawing of the 17c
Schematic drawing of the 17c
Die Lokomotive, July 1912

In view of the increasing train loads, a locomotive had already been built in 1888 that had larger coupling wheels and cylinders and a Belpaire firebox. Together with three other engines delivered in 1890, it was listed as class 17d.

After the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, the remaining locomotives were distributed to the successor states. Apart from Austria, this affected the states of Hungary, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. The BBÖ no longer had any pieces of the class 17a, the rest were distributed over several classes. These were class 103 for the last two 17bs, 403 for the two 17cs built in 1885, 503 for the production version of the 17c and class 603 for the 17d. In Austria the engines disappeared in the 1930s, in Yugoslavia only in the 1950s.

Built18821884, 18901890-19011888, 1890
ManufacturerFloridsdorfFloridsdorf, Wiener Neustadt, MÁVAGFloridsdorf
Axle config4-4-0 (American) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length loco30 ft 1 1/4 in
Wheelbase18 ft 4 7/8 in20 ft 5 1/4 in20 ft 8 1/16 in
Fixed wheelbase7 ft 2 5/8 in7 ft 10 1/2 in
Empty weight82,673 lbs88,626 lbs93,388 lbs
Service weight91,359 lbs97,929 lbs104,631 lbs105,822 lbs
Adhesive weight55,865 lbs58,467 lbs61,729 lbs
Axle load27,933 lbs29,233 lbs30,865 lbs
Water capacity2,219 us gal3,698 us gal3,434 us gal
Fuel capacity14,330 lbs (coal)11,244 lbs (coal)12,566 lbs (coal)
Power sourcesteam
Indicated power493 hp (368 kW)602 hp (449 kW)671 hp (500 kW)
Optimal speed25 mph23 mph26 mph
Top speed50 mph56 mph
Starting effort12,643 lbf13,766 lbf14,963 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter67.7 in68.1 in71.7 in
Boiler pressure152 psi167 psi181 psi174 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 16 3/4 x 23 5/8 in
Grate area21.6 sq ft26.9 sq ft25.1 sq ft28.3 sq ft
Firebox area87.2 sq ft98 sq ft92.2 sq ft106.6 sq ft
Tube heating area1,156 sq ft1,162.5 sq ft1,323.5 sq ft1,405.8 sq ft
Evaporative heating area1,243.2 sq ft1,260.5 sq ft1,415.8 sq ft1,512.3 sq ft
Total heating area1,243.2 sq ft1,260.5 sq ft1,415.8 sq ft1,512.3 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
last changed: 07/2022

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