The reference for locomotives and railcars


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Prussian G 71
German Reichsbahn class 550-6[/]
Germany | 1893 | 1,005 produced
Die Lokomotive, March 1913

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
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
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.

Built1893-1909, 1916-1917
ManufacturerVulcan, Hanomag, Schichau, Linke-Hofmann, Hartmann, BMAG, Henschel, Hohenzollern, O&K, Borsig, Jung
Axle config0-8-0 (Eight-coupled) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length54 ft 6 1/16 in
Wheelbase14 ft 9 3/16 in
Fixed wheelbase14 ft 9 3/16 in
Total wheelbase38 ft 7 3/8 in
Empty weight101,413 lbs
Service weight115,963 lbs
Adhesive weight115,963 lbs
Total weight189,333 lbs
Axle load29,211 lbs
Water capacity3,170 us gal
Fuel capacity6,614 lbs (coal)
Power sourcesteam
Estimated power738 hp (550 kW)
Optimal speed15 mph
Top speed28 mph
Starting effort31,240 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter49.2 in
Boiler pressure174 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 20 1/2 x 24 13/16 in
Grate area24.5 sq ft
Firebox area110.3 sq ft
Tube heating area1,520.2 sq ft
Evaporative heating area1,630.5 sq ft
Total heating area1,630.5 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
last changed: 01/2022

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