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German Reichsbahn class 5040
Rebuilt from... DR class 50
Germany | 1956 | 88 produced
Partially disassembled 50 4073 in December 2018 in Immelborn
Partially disassembled 50 4073 in December 2018 in Immelborn

Even before the start of the reconstruction program, the Reichsbahn began procuring new freight locomotives to replace outdated Länderbahn locomotives and worn-out war locomotives. What was required was a machine with an axle load of not much more than 15 tonnes that could be used universally. Since it was not possible to procure the Czechoslovak class 556.0 due to political problems, a new machine was developed on the basis of the class 50. Care was taken to use as many identical parts as possible with the class 2310 built at the same time.

In terms of frame dimensions, the class 5040 was almost identical to the classes 50 and 52. As with the war locomotives, a plate frame was used, which was too weak for the strains which were posed upon them later. The boiler was a new design with a combustion chamber and mixing preheater, which had about 150 hp more than that of the class 50. This was later also used on the classes 5035, 5830 and 5280. Trofimoff valves were used for better idling characteristics.

Originally, the procurement of 350 locomotives was planned. However, production was discontinued in December 1960 after only 88 locomotives had been completed, presumably because of the reconstructed locomotives. Road number 50 4088 was the last standard-gauge steam locomotive to be newly built in Germany. As early as 1968, the class 5040 was only in use in the area of the Reichsbahn division in Schwerin. It was not until 1980 that the last one was retired. Road number 50 4073 in Nördlingen is the only machine that has survived to this day. It is being rebuilt since 2016, has been in the Meiningen steam locomotive works since June 2022 and could be operational again as early as 2023. Road number 50 4088 should also have been preserved, but this had to be abandoned after an accident.

ManufacturerLKM Babelsberg
Axle config2-10-0 (Decapod) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length74 ft 1 3/4 in
Wheelbase30 ft 2 3/16 in
Fixed wheelbase10 ft 9 15/16 in
Empty weight169,976 lbs
Service weight189,377 lbs
Adhesive weight161,819 lbs
Total weight329,370 lbs
Axle load32,408 lbs
Water capacity7,397 us gal
Fuel capacity22,046 lbs (coal)
Power sourcesteam
Indicated power1,735 hp (1,294 kW)
Optimal speed21 mph
Top speed50 mph
Starting effort51,897 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter55.1 in
Boiler pressure232 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 23 5/8 x 26 in
Grate area39.9 sq ft
Firebox area192.7 sq ft
Tube heating area1,525.2 sq ft
Evaporative heating area1,717.9 sq ft
Superheater area737.3 sq ft
Total heating area2,455.2 sq ft
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
Franco-Crosti boiler
last changed: 03/2023

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