The reference for locomotives and railcars
Leipzig-Dresden Railway “Saxonia”
Germany | 1838 | only one produced
The replica in April 2000 in Dresden-Altstadt
The replica in April 2000 in Dresden-Altstadt
Werner & Hansjörg Brutzer

The “Saxonia” was the first functioning steam locomotive to be manufactured entirely in Germany. Since no one had any experience in building such a machine, one leaned on the “Comet” delivered from England. Construction began in 1937 in the newly founded engineering institute in Übigau near Dresden under the direction of Johann Andreas Schubert.

The two coupled axles with large wheels were retained, but a trailing axle was also added to improve handling. Although the trailing axle had been removed in 1840, it was reinstalled in 1842 after an accident in France and also retrofitted to the English prototypes, since from this point on the operation of two-axle locomotives was no longer permitted.

As with most early steam locomotives, inside cylinders were used, but also an inner frame. The boiler barrel and firebox were paneled with wood and the latter protruded far beyond the barrel and had a dome-shaped ceiling. The steam dome was also very tall and had a hemispherical ceiling.

Although this locomotive was intended for the inaugural run of the Leipzig-Dresden railway on April 7, 1839, it is reported that there were protests or sabotage on the part of the English locomotive builders, which is why the opening train was pulled by two English locomotives and the “Saxonia” only ran behind. Nevertheless, the locomotive continued to be in service, the end of which is not exactly documented. The locomotive was probably used until the 1850s.

In 1985, the GDR decided to create a replica of the engine that was true to the original for the 150th anniversary of the line between Leipzig and Dresden. One had to turn to the few surviving blueprints or contemporary literature, but tried to replicate the model as well as possible. However, since some of the original manufacturing methods were no longer familiar or modern safety regulations had to be observed, the original design was deviated from in many places. So the frame of the tender was clad in wood, as the original construction method could no longer be reproduced exactly.

After the jubilee run, the engine was kept operational and demonstrated its capabilities at speeds of up to 70 km/h. Today it is owned by the DB Museum Nuremberg, but is on display in the Dresden Transport Museum. It is no longer operational as the boiler expired in 2011 and has not been repaired since then.

Axle config0-4-2 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length28 ft 7 11/16 in
Wheelbase10 ft 0 in
Fixed wheelbase10 ft 0 in
Service weight22,046 lbs
Adhesive weight17,637 lbs
Fuel capacitycoal
Power sourcesteam
Indicated power54 hp (40 kW)
Optimal speed19 mph
Top speed31 mph
Starting effort1,791 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter55.7 in
Boiler pressure61 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 11 x 16 in
Grate area6 sq ft
Evaporative heating area307.8 sq ft
Total heating area307.8 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
last changed: 01/2022

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