The reference for locomotives and railcars


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Bavarian S 3/6
German Reichsbahn class 184-5
Germany | 1908 | 159 produced
18 478 in the original paint scheme as No. 3673 of the K.Bay.Sts.B.
18 478 in the original paint scheme as No. 3673 of the K.Bay.Sts.B.
Rainer Lippert

The Bavarian S 3/6, later designated as the class 184-5, was probably one of the best-known express steam locomotives in Germany. Developed by the Munich company Maffei, it was not only procured by the Royal Bavarian State Railways from 1908, but even the Deutsche Reichsbahn commissioned new series until 1931.

Although more than 150 km/h had already been achieved with the S 2/6 trial locomotive in 1906, the speed to be reached with the S 3/6 was reduced to 120 km/h, which was more suitable for everyday use. Their performance program stipulated that a train weighing 400 tonnes should reach at least 115 km/h on the level. The same train should still be pulled at 95 km/h at 0.5 percent and at 65 km/h at one percent.

The locomotive was based on the Baden IV f and was given a driving wheel diameter of 1,870 mm as a compromise. This enabled the S 3/6 to cover long distances at a high line speed without excessive wear on the engine, without having to sacrifice too much traction for climbing. As with previous Bavarian express train locomotives, the running gear was built on a bar frame

Die Lokomotive, November 1908

Of the 159 locomotives of series a to o, only 18 locomotives of series d and e were built with wheel diameter of 2,000 mm in order to be able to drive at a constant speed of 120 km/h on flat lines between the largest cities in Bavaria. These were mainly the Munich-Nuremberg and Munich-Augsburg routes, on which there were hardly any significant inclines. They were soon given the nickname “Hochhaxige” (“the high-heeled one”) to distinguish them from the rest of the S 3/6.

Traction was provided by a four-cylinder compound engine, which enabled very smooth running and led to consumption that did not need to fear comparison with the later two-cylinder standard locomotives. Despite the significantly higher maintenance effort due to the internal cylinders, the S 3/6 continued to be procured in several series even after the Deutsche Reichsbahn was founded. This can be explained, among other things, by the fact that the new standard express train locomotive of the class 01 had an axle load of 20 tonnes and many main lines were not strengthened accordingly at the time. With an axle load of 18 tonnes, the last S 3/6 could also be used on almost all main routes until a lighter standard express locomotive became available with the class 03.

After the Second World War, all locomotives came to the Bundesbahn, where they were extensively modernized. Despite their still comparatively very good performance and economy, however, all of them were retired between 1961 and 1965, since a miscalculation during the rebuilding process had meanwhile made it necessary to reduce the boiler pressure and thus the power.

Variantseries a-c and f-iseries d and eseries kseries l-o
Built1908-1911, 1913-191819121923-19241927-1931
Axle config4-6-2 (Pacific) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length70 ft 2 3/8 in72 ft 5 7/8 in69 ft 11 1/4 in75 ft 0 1/16 in
Length loco45 ft 8 1/16 in
Wheelbase37 ft 3 1/4 in37 ft 5 5/8 in36 ft 8 9/16 in
Fixed wheelbase13 ft 7 3/4 in
Empty weight176,370 lbs177,472 lbs
Service weight194,007 lbs195,109 lbs207,234 lbs
Adhesive weight105,822 lbs108,026 lbs116,183 lbs
Total weight313,056 lbs
Axle load35,715 lbs36,156 lbs39,463 lbs
Water capacity6,921 us gal8,586 us gal6,921 us gal8,374 us gal
Fuel capacity19,842 lbs (coal)22,046 lbs (coal)19,842 lbs (coal)
Power sourcesteam
Indicated power1,743 hp (1,300 kW)1,810 hp (1,350 kW)
Optimal speed45 mph48 mph44 mph42 mph
Top speed75 mph
Starting effort24,725 lbf23,118 lbf26,373 lbf27,734 lbf
with start valve29,670 lbf27,742 lbf31,648 lbf33,281 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter73.6 in78.7 in73.6 in
Boiler pressure218 psi232 psi
Expansion typecompound
Cylindersfour, HP: 16 3/4 x 24 in
and LP: 26 3/8 x 26 3/8 in
four, HP: 17 5/16 x 24 in
and LP: 26 3/8 x 26 3/8 in
Grate area48.8 sq ft
Firebox area157.4 sq ft157.2 sq ft
Tube heating area2,193.7 sq ft2,124.8 sq ft
Evaporative heating area2,351.1 sq ft2,281.9 sq ft
Superheater area538.2 sq ft798.3 sq ft
Total heating area2,889.2 sq ft3,080.2 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
Von Borries compound
Anton Hammel
last changed: 01/2022

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