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German Reichsbahn class 02
Germany | 1925 | 10 produced
02 003
02 003
Railway and Locomotive Engineering, October 1926

As already described for the 01, when the first standard express locomotive was being constructed, it was not yet certain which type of engine would be the best. Thus the 02 was created as an alternative to the 01 in order to be able to compare different designs. While the 01 featured a simple two-cylinder engine, the 02 was powered by four compound cylinders. The 02 was operational even before the 01 and was therefore the Reichsbahn's first standard steam locomotive. With it, the use of bar frames at the Reichsbahn began, with which the Bavarian State Railways had already made good experiences.

Henschel works photo
Henschel works photo
Die Lokomotive, February 1926

Except for the engine, the two classes were almost identical in order to create the optimal conditions for a comparison. Instead of the two cylinders with a diameter of 600 mm each on the 01, the 02 got two cylinders each with a diameter of 720 and 460 mm. Due to the tendency of this engine to run more smoothly, they were approved for 130 km/h from the start, which was only the case with their sister after modifications.

Schematic drawing with dimensions
Schematic drawing with dimensions
Locomotive Magazine, January 1931

In 1925 and 1926, ten of each variant were built, which were then compared in day-to-day operations at the Erfurt, Hamm and Hof divisions. As expected, the 02 was smoother at higher speeds and slightly more powerful. At cruising speed, consumption was lower than that of the simple engine, but contrary to expectations it was higher at lower speeds.

However, some experts argue that the steam paths of the two locomotives were designed in a way that their characteristics were more favorable for two-cylinder engines. Ultimately, it was concluded that the 01, with its two cylinders, was the better choice for series production. Today it is known that Wagner, who was head of the design department at the time, had a personal dislike for compound steam locomotives and, in his opinion, the more difficult maintenance negated the advantages of lower consumption. With a different design of the steam engine, significantly better power could probably have been achieved, after which the disadvantages of the four cylinders could have been accepted.

Despite the lack of series production, the ten units of the class 02 were still used. However, since they were identical in construction to the 01 except for the engine, all of them were also rebuilt to two cylinders between 1937 and 1942. Up to this point, the locomotives had been in use in the Hof area, where the tests had also taken place. So after the war they remained on the territory of the Bundesbahn and no distinction was made to the actual 01 in operation. The last to be retired was 01 234, former 02 003, on May 8, 1972.

ManufacturerHenschel, Maffei
Axle config4-6-2 (Pacific) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length77 ft 11 1/16 in
Length loco48 ft 10 5/8 in
Wheelbase40 ft 8 3/16 in
Fixed wheelbase15 ft 1 1/8 in
Total wheelbase66 ft 8 in
Empty weight229,060 lbs
Service weight250,224 lbs
Adhesive weight132,939 lbs
Total weight400,139 lbs
Axle load44,533 lbs
Water capacity8,454 us gal
Fuel capacity22,046 lbs (coal)
Power sourcesteam
Indicated power2,269 hp (1,692 kW)
Optimal speed48 mph
Top speed81 mph
Starting effort30,326 lbf
with start valve36,391 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter78.7 in
Boiler pressure232 psi
Expansion typecompound
Cylindersfour, HP: 18 1/8 x 26 in
and LP: 28 3/8 x 26 in
Grate area47.5 sq ft
Firebox area183 sq ft
Tube heating area2,374.1 sq ft
Evaporative heating area2,557.1 sq ft
Superheater area1,076.4 sq ft
Total heating area3,633.5 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
Von Borries compound
last changed: 01/2022

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