The reference for locomotives and railcars


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Prussian G 72
German Reichsbahn class 557-13
Germany | 1895 | 1,642 produced
Die Lokomotive, April 1910

The G 72 arose from the idea of developing a locomotive with a compound engine from the G 71. This should lead to greater efficiency on long stretches and make it possible to transport freight trains of up to 1,400 tonnes at a speed of 40 km/h, which was sufficient at the time. 690 tonnes and 30 km/h were still required on gradients of 0.5 percent.

55 800 in the year 1953
55 800 in the year 1953
Bundesarchiv / Bild 183-15765-0024 / CC-BY-SA 3.0

The compound design with only two cylinders meant that the right cylinder received the high-pressure steam and then the left the low-pressure steam. Despite the greater effort involved in manufacture and maintenance, this design proved its worth in comparison to simple steam expansion, and a total of 1,642 units were produced by various manufacturers between 1895 and 1911 for Prussia alone. From 1914 Linke-Hofmann manufactured eleven more for the Mecklenburg Friedrich-Franz-Eisenbahn.

Sectional drawing
Sectional drawing
Die Lokomotive, April 1910

The Reichsbahn took over 691 units in 1923 and designated them as 55 702 to 55 1392. As with its sister, however, it soon became clear that a locomotive with a top speed of 45 km/h was too slow for freight transport on the line. However, since the complicated compound engine was not suitable for shunting service, almost all of them were retired before the start of the Second World War. After the war, there were larger numbers on both German railways that had returned to Germany after the Polish campaign. However, in contrast to the G 71, these no longer played a major role and disappeared by 1961.

Built1895-1911, 1914-1916
Axle config0-8-0 (Eight-coupled) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length54 ft 6 5/16 in
Length loco33 ft 8 1/4 in
Wheelbase14 ft 9 3/16 in
Fixed wheelbase14 ft 9 3/16 in
Total wheelbase38 ft 7 9/16 in
Empty weight105,601 lbs
Service weight117,506 lbs
Adhesive weight117,506 lbs
Total weight190,259 lbs
Axle load29,321 lbs
Water capacity3,170 us gal
Fuel capacity11,023 lbs (coal)
Power sourcesteam
Indicated power770 hp (574 kW)
Optimal speed23 mph
Top speed28 mph
Starting effort21,645 lbf
with start valve25,974 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter49.2 in
Boiler pressure174 psi
Expansion typecompound
Cylinderstwo, HP: 20 7/8 x 24 13/16 in
and LP: 29 1/2 x 24 13/16 in
Grate area24.2 sq ft
Firebox area107.6 sq ft
Tube heating area1,388.5 sq ft
Evaporative heating area1,496.2 sq ft
Total heating area1,496.2 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
last changed: 01/2022

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