SM01 and related types
An unidentified Köf II, built by Deutz in 1944 and allegedly designated Ls150 – no details available. Skierniewice depot, August 6, 2005.
Kö 0130 (type Kö I), Esslingen 4256/1934, previously used by Oświęcim Chemical Works; Pyskowice depot, May 2, 2009.
100 054-6, DR (ex Kö 0154, type Kö I, Windhoff 282/1935), photographed in Magdeburg-Buckau on July 12.1977. This locomotive was withdrawn in July 1978. Photo by Helmut Constabel (from my collection).
Another photo from my collection: 310 498-1, DB, is former Kö 4498 (type Kö II, Henschel 22295/1934) that saw service with DR as 100 498-5 and is currently owned by Dampflokfreunde Nossen. Photographed in Nossen on April 3, 2005 (photo from my collection).
Another preserved Kleinlokomotive: Köf 6114 (type Köf II, Deutz 46999/1949), operated by Museumsbahn Bremerhaven-Bederkessa. Photographed in Bederkessa on August 21, 2002, by Bartosz Łoziński (photo from my collection).
Kö 4638 (type Kö II, Jung 5665/1935) in the DR livery, is preserved at the Lokpark Ampflwang in Austria; photo taken on August 25, 2016.
Kö 0049 (Jung 5396/1933) is one of non-standard Kleinlokomotiven, retroactively included in Lg I. Owned and operated by Eisenbahnmuseum Schwarzenberg, it was photographed there on May 7, 2005 by Geme (www.commons.wikimedia.org).
DR 310 430-4 (type Kö II, Jung 5632/1934) was originally delivered to DRG as Kö 4430; it was withdrawn in 1992. Photo taken at the railway museum in Prora on July 6, 2019.
Standardization of locomotive types, introduced in Germany following merging of individual national operators into Deutsche Reichsbahn Gesellschaft (DRG), referred not only to steam engines. In early 1930s similar measures were introduced for small two-axle locomotives powered by internal combustion engines (Kleinlokomotiven), built in large numbers for state railways, industry and army. They were used mainly as light switchers and for auxiliary duties, as well as by various industrial establishments. Three power rating groups (Leistungsgruppen – Lg) were distinguished, designated by Roman numerals:
- Lg I – up to 40 hp (later 50 hp),
- Lg II – from 50 to 150 hp,
- Lg III – above 150 hp (introduced only in 1959, never used in Poland).
Individual sub-groups were designated by capital letter K (for Kleinlokomotive) and one or two lower-case letters. First of these indicated prime mover:
- b (Benzol, benzol engine),
- ö (Öl, diesel engine),
- g (Generatorgas, generator gas),
- d (Dampfmaschine, steam engine),
- s (Speicher, battery, later changed to ‘a’ for Akku).
Last three of these sub-groups were represented by comparatively few examples: locomotives powered by steam engines or fitted with gas generators were developed basically as a response to wartime fuel shortages. Second letter indicated transmission type and was either ‘e’ (for elektrische Kraftübertragung, electric transmission) or ‘f’ (for Flüssigkeitsgetriebe, hydraulic transmission); with mechanical transmission, this letter was missing. Kleinlokomotiven were built in considerable numbers by various manufacturers and fitted with various prime movers, even within one sub-group. Apart from standard gauge, they were also built for 600 mm, 750 mm and 1000 mm tracks, the same basic type designation system being used. It has to be noted that the above-described designation system retroactively included also a number of earlier, non-standardized types in sub-groups Kb I (10), Kö I (94), Kb II (32) and Kö II (29). Individual examples were numbered; in Lg I numbers started from 0001, in Lg II – from 4000 and in Lg III – from 10 001.
Of Leistungsgruppe I, German state railways DRG received 289 examples (most data on production have been obtained from www.deutsche-kleinloks.de) from various manufacturers; the majority came from Gmeinder and Windhoff. Many more were built for industry, but on these I have no information. Production of these locomotives did not continue after the war, but many remained in use with both DB (in 1968 classed 311) and DR (class 100.0) for a long time.
Leistungsgruppe II far outnumbered two other ones. According to the above-mentioned website, until 1945 DRG took delivery of 1278 examples. Production for DB (in 1968 classed 321, 322, 323, 324, 381 or 382, depending on engine and transmission type) continued until 1965 and totaled 738 examples. With DR these locomotives were classed 100.1 through 100.9, again depending on propulsion and transmission; post-war production in Eastern Germany was modest, totaling 35 examples built by RAW Dessau between 1960 and 1962. It should be noted that above-mentioned post-war classes included also a number of locomotives of types other than standardized Kleinlokomotives; for example, DR class 100.9 included six examples from Lokomotivbau Karl Marx, types N 3, Ns 3 and V 10 C, the latter with three axles (!). Furthermore, eighteen locomotives were built for private railways, 197 for industry and 91 for armed forces. The latter number includes six Köf IIs built by Deutz in 1952 for Royal Air Force bases in Germany. Between 1966 and 1969 Frichs engineering company of Aarhus, Denmark, built forty Köf IIs for Danish state railways DSB, numbered 251 through 290; in 1992 a second-hand ex-DB 323 171-9 was purchased and numbered 250. In 2001 these locomotives were transferred to Railion Denmark. This gives the grand total of 2397 examples.
Information on Kleinlokomotiven service in Poland is sparse. A handful were purchased by PKP before the war for auxiliary duties at railway depots. In 1938 three examples were ordered from BMAG (factory numbers 10775 through 10777; designated Db 80/1 through 3, they were later captured by the Germans and none was returned. Also in 1938, PKP purchased a single locomotive (BMAG 10783/1938) from a private operator; designated Db 110/1, it was later impressed into DRG as Köf 5047 and remained in use with DR until 1991. Most sources – e.g. AL – give that after the war PKP had three locomotives of this type, for which class designation SM01 was reserved; whether it was actually assigned is a different story. The only confirmed designation is SM01-03 (Kö 4476, Borsig 14496/1934). Possibly PKP had several more examples; anyway, they were used solely for auxiliary duties. At least seventeen were used at railway stock repair establishments (ZNTK). Most of them were given untypical designations, e.g. Db 20-1, Db 110/1, Lb 395 or Lr-398; in the latter two, ‘b’ probably stood for ‘benzol’ and ‘r’ for ‘ropa’ – a common word for fuel oil. Several examples were used by various industrial plants (most, if not all, transferred from PKP and repair establishments), but information on them is very limited. In Poland it was typical to fit these locomotives with cab doors (usually made of wood), windows and standard headlights. On the basis of various sources, I have compiled a list of 24 Kleinlokomotiven used in Poland after the war (some unconfirmed). A few of them enjoyed surprisingly long lives: Lb 350 (Köf 5004, Deutz 11503/1942) survived at the ZNTK Gliwice until 1993. According to the monograph by Peter Große and Horst Troche (see References), about thirty Lg I and up to 200 Lg II locomotives have been reported missing; most of them had been used by Wehrmacht or assigned to depots located in western Poland. They were either destroyed during hostilities or abandoned during evacuation. This means that the above-mentioned list may be far from complete.
Collection of the PSMK (Polish Association of Railway Fans) at the Skierniewice depot includes a Kö II, allegedly built by Deutz for German armed forces in 1944; confirmation is lacking and Ls150 designation painted on the body is probably entirely fictitious. Possibly this locomotive is Deutz 33267/1941, originally built for German army, taken over by PKP and withdrawn in May 1946, but this is just a conjecture. Kö 0130 (type Kö I, Esslingen 4256/1934) is kept at the Pyskowice depot. Originally built for DRG, this locomotive was taken over by PKP (number unknown) and in 1959 sold to a chemical plant, where it remained in use until 2004. One Kö locomotive was reportedly used by Ursus mechanical works, Warsaw, but confusion with some other type, possibly Ls40, cannot be excluded (information from SS vol. 117). Mention has also to be made of seven two-axle locomotives captured in Poland in September 1939. Built by BMAG (four), Orenstein & Koppel (one) and Lilpop, Rau & Loewenstein engineering company of Warsaw (two), they differed from standardized German types; all but one, however, were given typical Kleinlokomotiven designations. Only one was returned after the war: built by Lilpop in 1939 (serial number unknown), it was taken over by Ostbahn, in May 1943 transferred to DRG and re-numbered Köf 5045 and withdrawn in January 1945. After the war it was briefly used by Czechoslovakian state railways ČSD as T 200.303. Returned in October 1947, it was impressed into PKP service, but its further fate is unknown.
Kleinlokomotiven were used in many European countries and number of preserved examples is comparatively high. Perhaps most exotic history has been of Köf 6231 (Gmeinder 4861/1955) and Köf 6291 (Gmeinder 4991/1957), originally built for DB and sold in 1990 to British Balfour Beatty company. Numbered 51 and 50, respectively, they were transferred to Hongkong in early 1990s and used during airport construction. Both later returned to UK; Köf 6291 is currently operated by Nene Valley Railway.
Main technical data – Lg I*)
*) Note: data refer to late production examples.
1) Seven different engine types from four manufacturers.
Main technical data – Lg II*)
*) Note: data refer to late production examples.
1) Mechanical, electric or hydraulic.
2) Twenty different engine types from ten manufacturers.
3) With hydraulic transmission.
References and acknowledgments
- Typenkunde deutscher Diesellokomotiven by Stefan Alkofer (Transpress, 2004);
- Die Einheitskleinlokomotiven Leistungsgruppen I und II by Peter Große and Horst Troche (EK-Verlag 2002);
- www.deutsche-kleinloks.de (most surprisingly, no mention of Polish Kleinlokomotiven!);
- Patrick Böttger (private communication);
- many thanks to Ms. Walentyna Chomańska for translation!