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Italian State Railway classes 746 and 747
Italy | 1923 | 60 produced
Die Lokomotive, August 1933

When in the early 1920s, the existing six-coupled express locomotives of the FS could no longer provide sufficient adhesive weight on hilly routes, the FS was one of the first railway companies in Europe to develop an eight-coupled express locomotive. This was the only way to comply with the maximum axle load of 17 tonnes that applied on hilly routes such as those in the Rome and Florence area. It was based on the 2-6-2 locomotive of the class 680 and added another coupled axle

While up to this point engines based on the Plancher system were preferred for four-cylinder compound locomotives in Italy, here the system according to von Borries, which was also used in Germany, was used. There were thus two inside high-pressure cylinders and two outside low-pressure cylinders, all of which acted on the third coupled axle. In order to create space for the connecting rods of the inner cylinders, the cylinders were arranged somewhat higher and inclined, and the second coupling axle was slightly cranked.

In contrast to the bar frame, which was very popular with express locomotives on the European mainland at the time, a plate frame with a thickness of 30 mm was used here. The leading axle with a lateral play of 94 mm was combined with the first coupled axle to form a Zara bogie and gave it a play of 20 mm. Due to the large grate area, the trailing axle was further away from the last coupled axle and therefore had a lateral play of 140 mm.

Schematic drawing with dimensions
Schematic drawing with dimensions
Locomotive Magazine, July 1921

The production initially consisted of 40 engines that were supplied by Breda and had Heusinger valve gear. Another 20 pieces came from Ansaldo and received a Caprotti valve gear. These were initially designated class 477 and redesignated 746.100 in 1929. After their original routes were electrified, the locomotives were re-stationed once each in 1935 and 1937. They eventually landed in Sicily and were retired by 1967. Today only the 746.038 survives and is located in Milan, where it was once made.

Built1923, 1926-1927
ManufacturerBreda, Ansaldo
Axle config2-8-2 (Mikado) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length74 ft 9 1/16 in
Length loco42 ft 9 3/8 in
Wheelbase36 ft 10 1/2 in
Fixed wheelbase25 ft 11 13/16 in
Total wheelbase66 ft 1 11/16 in
Empty weight187,393 lbs
Service weight205,030 lbs
Adhesive weight145,505 lbs
Total weight314,379 lbs
Axle load36,376 lbs
Water capacity5,812 us gal
Fuel capacity13,228 lbs (coal)
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power1,810 hp (1,350 kW)
Optimal speed36 mph
Top speed68 mph
Starting effort31,764 lbf
with start valve38,117 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter74 in
Boiler pressure203 psi
Expansion typecompound
Cylindersfour, HP: 19 5/16 x 26 3/4 in
and LP: 28 3/8 x 26 3/4 in
Grate area46.3 sq ft
Firebox area183 sq ft
Tube heating area2,368.1 sq ft
Evaporative heating area2,551 sq ft
Superheater area721.2 sq ft
Total heating area3,272.2 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
Von Borries compound
last changed: 09/2022

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