For operation between Berlin and Potsdam, a tank locomotive was needed that ran more smoothly than the T 51 at higher speeds. The solution was to do without the trailing axle and instead to use a laterally sliding bogie at the front.
30 of this variant were procured from Henschel and six more from Grafenstaden, which were delivered in 1899 and 1900. Despite the same size driving wheels and an unchanged top speed of 75 km/h, the running smoothness had improved significantly above 60 km/h. The disadvantage of the missing trailing axle, however, was the worse running properties when reversing, which meant that the T 52 was used on the Ringbahn (Berlin belt railway) instead of on the planned route. The special feature of the last two examples was the use of a Schmidt-type smoke tube superheater. Although no further production took place, they were superior to the conventional engines and also represented the first superheated locomotives in Prussia.
One of the two engines that were delivered from the factory with a superheater
Die Lokomotive, January 1924
Of the 20 engines that existed in 1923, two were redesignated two years later by the Reichsbahn as the class 720 and retired the following year. In 1941, two examples came from the Eutin-Lübecker Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft to the Reichsbahn, which were identical in construction to the T 52 and had already been converted to superheated steam. They were given the same numbers as the previously retired engines. One of them was able to stay with the Deutsche Reichsbahn in the GDR until 1955.