The reference for locomotives and railcars


Page views since 2023-01-26: 309956
Swiss Federal Railways C 5/6
Switzerland | 1913 | 30 produced
No. 2969 “Alfred Escher” in 2017 in Lavorgo
No. 2969 “Alfred Escher” in 2017 in Lavorgo
Hanspeter Baumeler

For use in front of freight and express trains on the Gotthard, the SBB ordered the C 5/6, which was similar to the C 4/5 with a fifth coupled axle. Initially, three locomotives were built with four compound-acting cylinders and two with four simple-acting cylinders. The remaining 25 were built as compounds. Because of their power, they quickly earned the nickname “Elephant”. The 2901 and 2902 were also rebuilt into compound locomotives in 1920 and 1922, but did not achieve the same power as the others and were retired in 1933.

Since the Gotthard was electrified in the 1920s, the C 5/6 were relocated to the flatlands, where they were also used for heavy shunting duties. Since the Reichsbahn did not have enough locomotives for deliveries to Switzerland during the Second World War, 16 C 5/6s were leased to them. After the war, some were leased to France for the same reason. Their retirements took place between 1954 and 1968. Today there are two operational C 5/6 preserved and two more that are not operational.

Axle config2-10-0 (Decapod) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length62 ft 11 11/16 in
Wheelbase28 ft 10 7/16 in
Fixed wheelbase21 ft 1 15/16 in
Service weight189,156 lbs188,054 lbs
Adhesive weight167,772 lbs166,669 lbs
Total weight281,310 lbs280,207 lbs
Water capacity4,755 us gal
Fuel capacity15,432 lbs (coal)
Power sourcesteam
Indicated power1,596 hp (1,190 kW)
Estimated power1,408 hp (1,050 kW)
Optimal speed23 mph17 mph
Top speed40 mph
Starting effort43,781 lbf52,799 lbf
with start valve52,537 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter52.4 in
Boiler pressure225 psi188 psi
Expansion typecompoundsimple
Cylindersfour, HP: 18 1/2 x 25 3/16 in
and LP: 27 15/16 x 25 3/16 in
four, 18 1/2 x 25 3/16 in
Grate area39.8 sq ft
Firebox area147.5 sq ft
Tube heating area2,127.5 sq ft2,233.5 sq ft
Evaporative heating area2,275 sq ft2,381 sq ft
Superheater area586.1 sq ft618.9 sq ft
Total heating area2,861 sq ft2,999.9 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
Von Borries compound
last changed: 12/2023

We use cookies to save the following settings:

  • selected navigation structure
  • selected language
  • preferred units
  • spelling of railway company names

If you refuse the use of cookies, the settings will only be retained for the current session and will be reset to the default values the next time you visit the site.

Display of units

Here you can set the desired unit system for the technical data.

  • Metric: Lengths in meters, weights in tonnes, and volumes in cubic meters
  • Imperial (UK): Lengths in feet/inches, weights in long tons and volumes in imperial gallons
  • Imperial (US): Lengths in feet/inches, weights in pounds, and volumes in US gallons
  • Individual: Depends on the country of origin of each locomotive
Operator names

Here you can set the display of railway company names.

  • Short: Abbreviation or short form of the name
  • Standard: commonly used name, partially translated to English
  • Complete: full name in local language