The G 71 was a heavy freight locomotive that was built in large numbers from 1893 and was in use for a very long time due to its simple design. Although a compound development was already in production from 1895 with the G 72, the G 71 with the simpler powerplant and better suitability for short distances was also produced at an unchanged rate.
55 669 in September 1988 in Potsdam
Werner & Hansjörg Brutzer
With a low top speed of just 45 km/h, it offered enough tractive effort for most heavy freight trains at the time and was therefore mainly used in the more mountainous areas of Prussian territory. A total of 1,002 G 71 were manufactured by Vulcan for Prussia until 1909 and Schwartzkopff manufactured three more for the Lübeck-Büchener Eisenbahn. When there was a need for an economic freight locomotive that was very easy to maintain during the First World War, an additional 200 units of the now 20-year-old design were ordered.
Engine for testing of the Brotan boiler
Die Lokomotive, February 1908
The Reichsbahn took over 680 units in 1923 and renumbered them as 55 001 to 660. In the 1930s, many faster standard designs became available, which gradually pushed the G 71 onto branch lines and into shunting service. Here, however, it was able to score again with her low axle load and low consumption, which continued to give it a long life. The Bundesbahn finally retired the last G 71 in 1957 and the Reichsbahn not until 1966, when all G 72 had long since disappeared. This career was very long, especially for a saturated steam locomotive, which testifies to its qualities.