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German class BR80
Author: Kurt H. Miska, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
We all have our favorite Loks and they may well range from the Era 1 Spanish Brötli Lok to an Epoch 5 ICE Triebwagen. As for me, one of my favorites is the humble BR 80 0-6-0 (C-Kuppler) switcher, one of the many Deutsche Reichsbahn Gesellschaft (DRG) standard or Einheitslokomotiven. There is something charming about the little engine as it bustles about shunting classic two-axle freight cars.
Overshadowed by any number of major DRG developments, including the service starts of the luxurious Rheingold train and Berlin's S-Bahn, the introduction of the little BR 80 switcher in 1928 went almost unnoticed. While largely ignored by the mass media, the appearance of the BR 80 brought on considerable discussion in the technical press. The intent behind this new switcher was to replace the multitude of small engines, including the Prussian T3, with one standard type throughout Germany.
For some time, based on the Prussian State Railways' experience, it had been shown that the use of superheated steam locomotives could result in significant cost savings, compared to those using saturated steam, during the frequent starting and stopping encountered in switching operations. Further, with the impetus toward reducing the great number of different locomotives, it was time to think about a new switching engine that would also serve as a light engine for local passenger service.
Two organizations - Verein Deutscher Strassen und Kleinbahnverwaltungen and the Engere Lokomotiv-Normenausschuss (ELNA) - initially proposed an 0-6-0 locomotive with 12 tons axle loading and slightly over 800 ft2 (74 m2) heating surface as well as a machine of 14 tons axle loading and 1,076 ft2 (100 m2) heating surface. It was thought that 43.6 in. (1,100 mm) diameter wheels would be sufficient since these would operate at no more than 193 rpm at 25 mph (40 km/h). The request for proposal (RFP) permitted 260 rpm. However, the ELNA group thought that 25 mph (40 km/h) was too low a maximum speed for the new locomotive and therefore offered a design using 47.2 in.(1,200 mm) diameter wheels. Other variations included an engine with cylinder bores of 15.3 and 17 in. (388 and 432 mm), respectively as well as one design with a piston stroke of 21.6 in.(549 mm). Then there were designs using saturated steam and superheated steam.
But, only a few of these ELNA designs were actually built. Hanomag built one engine for the regional railroad of Wistedt-Zeven-Tostedt. Since this particular design was also intended for non-switching service, it featured a pilot truck, making it a 2-6-0 (1’C) engine.
Design of the BR80
In 1925, Friedrich Fuchs of the DRG suggested, in his engineering paper entitled "Normung, Typisierung und Spezialisierung im Lokomotivebau" (Standards, Types and Specialization in Locomotive Construction) for the BR 80 that this locomotive use a cylinder having 19.7 in. (500 mm) bore and 24.8 in.(488 mm) stroke together with 49.2 in. (970 mm)wheels and a service weight of 52.5 tons.
However, the 49.2 in. (970 mm) wheels did not lend themselves to the design and the 43.3 in. (853 mm) ELNA wheels were incorporated into the plans but it still demanded some clever solutions where the frame and suspension were concerned. In general, the design had to be simple and use a wide range of standard fittings and other components. The end result was a very compact tank engine with a nominal axle loading of 17.5 tons. This was well within the limits imposed by the 20 ton capacity rail used in switching yards.
At the time the famous locomotive designer Friedrich Witte said, "the design of the BR 80 is a well thought out compromise of performance and low weight while keeping within the guidelines set down for standard locomotives requested by the DRG."
The BR 80, designed for light duty switching, was the complete opposite of the 0-8-0 (D-Kuppler) BR 81 which was intended for more heavy-duty switching service. The BR 80 developed 485 hp (356 kW) vs. the BR 81 with its 660 hp (485 kW). In general, the lighter duty machine was well accepted all around.
From Construction to Retirement
The companies Hohenzollern (Düsseldorf), Jung, Union Giesserei (foundry) Königsberg, Hagans (R. Wolf Erfurt) and Jung supplied a total of 39 BR 80 locomotives in 1928 and 1929. (The book "50 Jahre Einheitslokomotiven" shows that seven of the locomotives were built in 1927.) The initial order of 22 machines were to be built by Humboldt in Köln-Kalk but were then turned over to Hohenzollern. There were no follow-on contracts for further BR 80s due to the precarious finances of the DRG. The engines were numbered sequentially form 80-001 to 80-039.
On entering service in 1928 and quickly assuming the nickname "Bulli or little bull" for its short, chunky appearance, it was hoped that the BR 80 would do much to reduce the costs of switching operations. It was hoped that the use of superheating would accomplish this. The new Einheitslok performed well by pulling 900 tons on level track at 28 mph, 175 tons on grades of 10 parts per thousand at 28 mph and 140 tons on grades of 25 parts per thousand at 15.5 mph (25 km/h).
The new engines saw service in the passenger stations of Halle, Leipzig and Cologne. All but one of the BR 80s survived World War 2 and the end found 17 of them in the West and 21 in what was to become East Germany. The East German machines continued to serve at the Leipzig main station and they did so until about 1963 when they were phased out. The West German Loks operated in the Dortmund and Ingolstadt regions until their mustering out in 1965.
Even though they were replaced by more economical diesels, they found new homes in various heavy industries. One of these was Ruhrkohle AG, a large coal mining operation that acquired six of the BR 80s. Specifically, they bought numbers 80-013, 014, 030, 036, 038 and 039. More information on the fates of some of the engines is contained in the attached table but it is obvious that many gaps exist and the author would appreciate hearing from anyone who can furnish additional information on the whereabouts of one of his favorite German locomotives.
Individual histories of the BR80s
BR 80-001 Built by Hohenzollern; (Düsseldorf); Factory No. 4561. BR 80-002 Built by Hohenzollern; Factory No. 4562. BR 80-003 Built by Hohenzollern; Factory No. 4563. BR 80-004 Built by Hohenzollern; Factory No. 4564. BR 80-005 Built by Hohenzollern; Factory No. 4565. BR 80-006 Built by Union Giesserei; (Königsberg, East Prussia), Factory No. 2796. DR 80-006 was the last BR 80 to be mustered out. August 4, 1964. BR 80-007 Built by Union Giesserei; Factory No. 2797. Modeled by Märklin (3304.10 and 3604.10) in DR livery, BR 80-008 Built by Union Giesserei; Factory No. 2798. BR 80-009 Built by Union Giesserei; Factory No. 2799; DR 80-009, On display in Berlin. Privately owned. BR 80-010 Built by Union Giesserei; Factory No. 2800. BR 80-011 Built by Union Giesserei; Factory No. 2801. BR 80-012 Built by Union Giesserei; Factory No. 2802. In use until 1976 BR 80-013 Built by Hagans, (Erfurt)Wolf (Magdeburg); Factory No. 1227. DB 80-013, After DB service to Klöckner in Unna-Königsborn and then to Ruhrkohle Aktien Gesellschaft (RAG) as D-721. Mechanically simplified by its new owners. Mustered out in 1974. Now, non-operating, in museum in Neuenmarkt-Wirsberg BR 80-014 Built by Hagans/Wolf; Factory No. 1228. DB 80-014. After DB service to Klöckner in Unna-Königsborn and then to RAG as D-722.Then to England. In 1998 returned from England via the Netherlands and France to the Bayrische Eisenbahnmuseum (BEM) in Nördlingen. BR 80-015 Built by Hagans/Wolf; Factory No. 1229. BR 80-016 Built by Hagans/Wolf; Factory No. 1230. Sold by DB in March 1963 to a steel mill near Osnabrück. BR 80-017 Built by Hagans/Wolf; Factory No. 1231 BR 80-018 Built by Hohenzollern, Factory No. 4570. BR 80-019 Built by Hohenzollern, Factory No. 4571. BR 80-020 Built by Hohenzollern, Factory No. 4572. BR 80-021 Built by Hohenzollern, Factory No. 4573. BR 80-022 Built by Hohenzollern, Factory No. 4574. BR 80-023 Built by Jung Lokomotivfabrik; Factory No. 3862. DR 80-023. After DR service to Verkehrsmuseum Dresden and then to DB AG Bw Leipzig Hbf Süd. BR 80-024 Built by Jung Lokomotivfabrik; Factory No. 3863. BR 80-025 Built by Jung Lokomotivfabrik; Factory No. 3864. BR 80-026 Built by Jung Lokomotivfabrik; Factory No. 3865. BR 80-027 Built by Jung Lokomotivfabrik; Factory No. 3866. BR 80-028 Built by Hohenzollern; Factory No. 4627. This number has been applied to the Roco model of the BR 80. BR 80-029 Built by Hohenzollern; Factory No. 4628. Sold by DB in 1960 to Klöckner Bergbau Viktor Ickern in Castrop-Rauxel. BR 80-030 Built by Hohenzollern; Factory No. 4629. DB 80-030; After DB service to Klöckner in Unna-Königsbom and then to RAG as D-723. Then to museum at Bochum-Dahlhausen, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Eisenbahngeschichte. Photo finish. Mustered out in 1974. Modeled by Märklin (3304.1) with this road number. Also in Märklin Primex set 2750 but painted silver. BR 80-031 Built by Hohenzollern; Factory No. 4630. Apparently the DB's last BR80; stricken from inventory in 1968. The to Weme-Bochum-Höveler Eisenbahn. Still in use in 1971. Only the boiler has survived. Modeled by Märklin as Primex 3190. BR 80-032 Built by Hohenzollern; Factory No. 4631. Sold by DB in 1958 to Schlackenverwertung Ilsede in Gross-Bülten. BR 80-033 Built by Hohenzollern; Factory No. 4632. BR 80-034 Built by Hohenzollern; Factory No. 4645. BR 80-035 Built by Hohenzollern; Factory No. 4646. BR 80-036 Built by Hohenzollern; Factory No. 4647. DB 80-036; After DB service to Klöckner in Unna-Königsborn and then to RAG as D-724. Not serviceable. Beekbergen, Holland; Veluwsche Stoomtrein Maatschapig. BR 80-037 Built by Hohenzollern; Factory No. 4648. As D-725 to RAG. BR 80-038 Built by Hohenzollern; Factory No. 4649. As D-726 to RAG. Mechanically simplified by its new owners. BR 80-039 Built by Hohenzollern; Factory No. 4650. DB 80-039; After DB service to Klöckner in Unna-Königsborn and then to RAG as D-727. Only operating BR 80 reamaining. Hamm, Historische Eisenbahn Frankfurt. Modeled by Märklin as RAG Lok D-727.
Configuration 0-6-0 (C h2) Operating specification Gt 33.17 Years of construction 1927 7 1928 20 1929 12 Total 39 Manufacturers Hohenzollern, Jung, Union, Wolf Cylinder diameter 17.7 in. (450 mm) Stroke 21.6 in. (382 mm) Wheel diameter 43.3 in. (766 mm) Wheelbase 10.5 ft (3.2 m) Overall length 31.72 ft (10 m) Boiler pressure 203 psi Grating area 16.4 ft2 Steam area 749 ft2 (70 m2) Weight, empty 44.3 t Weight, ready for use 54.4 t Permitted service speed 28 mph (45 km/h) Water capacity 176 ft3 (5 m3) Coal capacity 2 t Power output 575 hp (423 kW) Initial price 76,860 Reichsmark or $18,300 at $1 = DM 4.20
Author's note: Verein Deutscher Strassen und Kleinbahnverwaltungen means German Street and Light Railway Administration
Engere Lokomotiv-Normenausschuss (ELNA) means "Narrow" Locomotive Standards (Association)
Models of the BR 80
Several manufacturers of HO-gauge model railroad equipment have and still are offering models of the BR 80 with Märklin being the most prolific. Since 1988, when Märklin introduced their Deutsche Bundesbahn BR 80 (3304 and 3604) with road number 80 030, the company has offered this model in seven ever so slightly different versions. It is a nice little model with good detail and suitably delicate valve gear. The 3304 featured electronic reversing and 3604 was for digital operation. A year later they came out with the 3504, which was the same as 3304 except that it featured what is called Five-Star propulsion. You could set acceleration and top speed. In 1990, Märklin came out with Set 2866 (Junkers aircraft transport set) which included a Deutsche Reichsbahn BR 80 with road number 80 007. Set 2666 was the same as 2866 except that it was for digital operation. In 1992 the proven little Lok became 3704 but retained its DB identity and road number 80 030. The last variant was 3704, a DELTA configured version. This one was one used by the Ruhr coal company Ruhrkohle Aktien Gesellschaft (RAG) with road number D-727. From 1985 to 1992, the Märklin Primex program sold item 3190, a much simplified BR 80 with the road number 80 031. This Lok was also part of passenger train set 2750 but, in that case, the road number was changed to 80 030 and the engine was painted silver. I can't offer any explanation for that. Märklin did not offer an DC versions of these Loks.
Roco in Austria sold a DC version and this one carried the number 80 028 in the early 1980s and another detailed version with the numbers 80 018 in 1996 only. In addition, Roco offered what might be called a Junior model, a less detailed version. Trix has a BR 80 albeit a rather simplified one.
This article was originally printed in "ETE Express", quarterly publication of the European Train Enthusiasts (www.ete.org) and is reprinted here with permission.
[ last updated 31st Dec 2003 ]