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Soviet Railways series ТЭ1
Soviet Union | 1947 | 298 produced
Preserved ТЭ1-20-135 in St. Petersburg
Preserved ТЭ1-20-135 in St. Petersburg
Vitaly V.Kuzmin

The first diesel locomotives were already being built in the Soviet Union in the 1920s, but these were only built as prototypes or in very small numbers. When the production of the Ээл was stopped after 46 examples in 1941, no more diesel locomotives were built in the country. ALCO and Baldwin locomotives were soon ordered in the USA, with ALCO's RSD-1 prevailing. Of the 70 pieces sent to the Soviet Union, 68 actually arrived and some continued to serve until the 1980s. After the end of the war, the decision was made to build own locomotives based on the RSD-1 as soon as the locomotive factory in Charkiv was rebuilt. The production of the engine using new production methods presented a challenge, but finally the first locomotive of the series initially designated ТЭ1-20 (TE1-20) was delivered in 1947. The designation was made up of “diesel-electric number 1” and the axle load of around 20 tonnes. Later the 20 was omitted from the designation.

Generally speaking, the ТЭ1 corresponded to the RSD-1, which was in service in the Soviet Union as Дa. The engine was essentially the same as the ALCO 539T and, like this, delivered 1,000 hp. The other assemblies were mostly adopted with minimal changes, but first converted to the metric system and thus deviated by a few millimeters from the American parts. Not only in general construction, but also in optical details, the Soviet locomotive corresponded almost completely to its prototype. This meant a wide driver's cab with a barrel-shaped roof at one end of the locomotive, followed by a narrower, long and short body respectively. The existing American-made locomotives were gradually retrofitted with assemblies based on the metric system as part of maintenance work and were thus adapted to the ТЭ1.

The diesel locomotives were often used in regions where the water supply for steam locomotives was difficult. Some were also used in the greater Moscow area or for shunting, and by 1950 almost 300 examples had been built. The ТЭ5 was built in small numbers as a variant for extremely cold climates. The driver's cab was extended with a longer housing, which protected the engine, including the turbocharger, and the battery from the cold. To test the use of coal in diesel engines, 16 examples were converted to gas generator locomotives ТЭ1Г and dismantled again after the end of the trials. The shunting locomotive ТЭМ1 followed only eight years after the end of production of the ТЭ1, whose developments with a similar appearance are still being built today. The direct successor to the ТЭ1 was the ТЭ2, which used almost the same technology but consisted of two sections.

General
Built1947-1950
ManufacturerCharkow
Axle configC-C 
Gauge4 ft 11 13/16 in (Russian broad gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length55 ft 5 1/16 in
Wheelbase42 ft 3 1/16 in
Fixed wheelbase11 ft 3 1/16 in
Service weight273,152 lbs
Adhesive weight273,152 lbs
Axle load45,636 lbs
Power
Power sourcediesel-electric
Top speed59 mph
Starting effort35,295 lbf
EngineD50
Engine type6-cyl. diesel
Fuel1,360 us gal (diesel)
Engine output987 hp (736 kW)
Power Plant
Boiler
Calculated Values
diesel locomotive
freight
last changed: 02/2022
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