The reference for locomotives and railcars


Page views since 2023-01-26: 237576
German Reichsbahn class 03
Germany | 1930 | 298 produced

With its 20-tonne axle load, the class 01 could not be used on many routes. Although the plans provided for the upgrading of all main routes for these loads, this project could not be implemented due to the economic crisis, and it could not have been completed within a few years. Thus, the class 03 was developed, which was almost identical in construction to the 01, but lighter.

The main changes consisted in the fact that the bar frame was now only 90 mm thick instead of 100 mm, the diameter of the cylinders was reduced from 650 to 600 mm and the pressure of the slightly smaller boiler was reduced to 14 bar. With almost identical external dimensions, an axle load of 17.7 and later 18.1 tonnes was achieved, thus significantly expanding the range of routes that could be used. After the first three examples, the boiler pressure was increased to 16 bar, analogous to most standard locomotives, but in return the diameter of the cylinders was further reduced to 570 mm.

03 001 in the year 2000 on the turntable in Dresden-Altstadt
03 001 in the year 2000 on the turntable in Dresden-Altstadt

As with the 01, the top speed was initially 120 km/h and later from the 03 163 130 km/h after the diameter of the leading wheels had been increased. Since the series was even designed for 140 km/h, some examples could also be approved for this speed after adapting the braking equipment. With a few engines, the performance in the high speed ranges could be significantly improved by using a complete or partial streamlined fairing, but this was later removed again, as was the case with the development 0310. The series machines could pull trains of 430 tonnes at 120 km/h and 790 tonnes at 100 km/h on the flat.

The three coupled axles were fixed in the frame and only the middle driven axle had wheel flanges that were 15 mm weaker. The front bogie could be moved sideways by 100 mm, the trailing axle behind the firebox was an Adams axle and had 140 mm of play. As with its heavier sister, the wheels of the bogie were 850 or 1,000 mm depending on the year of manufacture, the coupled wheels were 2,000 mm and the wheels of the trailing axle were 1,250 mm.

With a total of 298 locomotives built between 1930 and 1938, the 03 reached a larger number than the 01. After the Second World War, the West German Federal Railways received 154, the East German Reichsbahn 86 and the Polish PKP around 40 units. In the case of the latter, the engines were called Pm 2. In 1968, only 45 units were still in use on the Bundesbahn, all of which were in storage by 1972. The Reichsbahn equipped damaged locomotives with a welded firebox and feedwater heaters. The larger part of 55 engines was even completely reconstructed and provided with completely welded new boilers between 1969 and 1975. Due to the combustion chamber, they only had 5,700 mm long heating pipes instead of the 6,800 mm of the original boilers, which was already in the problematic area. They had an output increased by around 100 kW and were still used in the 1980s.

Variant03 001-12203 123-298
ManufacturerBorsig, Krupp, Henschel, BMAG
Axle config4-6-2 (Pacific) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length78 ft 5 1/8 in
Wheelbase39 ft 4 7/16 in
Fixed wheelbase14 ft 9 3/16 in
Total wheelbase66 ft 4 7/16 in
Empty weight199,298 lbs200,620 lbs
Service weight219,580 lbs221,123 lbs
Adhesive weight116,845 lbs119,711 lbs
Axle load39,022 lbs39,904 lbs
Water capacity7,925 us gal8,982 us gal
Fuel capacity22,046 lbs (coal)
Power sourcesteam
Indicated power1,953 hp (1,456 kW)
Optimal speed38 mph
Top speed75 mph81 mph
Starting effort32,786 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter78.7 in
Boiler pressure232 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 22 7/16 x 26 in
Grate area42.7 sq ft41.9 sq ft
Firebox area173.3 sq ft171.1 sq ft
Tube heating area2,000.6 sq ft2,015.5 sq ft
Evaporative heating area2,173.9 sq ft2,186.7 sq ft
Superheater area753.5 sq ft777.4 sq ft
Total heating area2,927.4 sq ft2,964.1 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
last changed: 01/2022

We use cookies to save the following settings:

  • selected navigation structure
  • selected language
  • preferred units
  • spelling of railway company names

If you refuse the use of cookies, the settings will only be retained for the current session and will be reset to the default values the next time you visit the site.

Display of units

Here you can set the desired unit system for the technical data.

  • Metric: Lengths in meters, weights in tonnes, and volumes in cubic meters
  • Imperial (UK): Lengths in feet/inches, weights in long tons and volumes in imperial gallons
  • Imperial (US): Lengths in feet/inches, weights in pounds, and volumes in US gallons
  • Individual: Depends on the country of origin of each locomotive
Operator names

Here you can set the display of railway company names.

  • Short: Abbreviation or short form of the name
  • Standard: commonly used name, partially translated to English
  • Complete: full name in local language