SM03 / Ls150 / 409D and SM04 / 409Da
SM03-326, location and date unknown. Photo from my collection.
SM03-136, PKP, Fablok 6183/1962, photographed in Kościerzyna loco depot, August 2000.
Another picture of the SM03-136, taken on September 23, 2013.
Snow-covered SM03, photographed at the same
The same machine, in even poorer condition,
photographed at the Gdynia Grabówek depot on
Although designated SM03-41, this is probably
SM03-165, PKP, Fablok 6704/1964; Zduńska Wola Karsznice loco depot,
Another photo of this locomotive, date unknown (from my collection).
SM03, serial and service numbers unknown; Lubsko,
SM03-089, PKP, on a narrow-gauge
The same locomotive photographed on October 16, 2019.
Ls150a-612, used by Gosławice sugar plant and photographed there on
… and 409Da-522 from the same plant, photographed on the same occasion.
This SM03-268 is used by PKP and was
photographed at Krotoszyn station on
Another SM03 from Krotoszyn:
SM03-009, photographed on
The same locomotive, undergoing some minor maintenance; Krotoszyn, August 13, 2008.
Yet another picture from this location: SM03-259, March 18, 2009.
This SM03-422 is owned and operated by
Jaworzyna Śląska loco
SM04-002, PKP, Zastal
219/1972, Chabówka rolling stock heritage park,
Operational 409Da-436, owned by TOZKiOS Pyskowice and photographed there on October 9, 2004 (LDH18-001 in the background).
Narrow-gauge derivative: this WLs150 (service number unknown) is probably Fablok 7689/1968. Photo was taken in Cisna on May 1, 2003
This derelict SM03 (number unknown) was photographed near Wrocław Brochów station on June 29, 2005
409Da-734 (Mystal 734/1981), formerly used by an industrial plant in Warsaw, is now a part of the PSMK collection at Skierniewice depot; photo taken on August 6, 2005.
Another photo of this machine, taken on September 17, 2006.
Wreck of SM03-240, photographed in Mława on April 9, 2006.
Ls150a-607, photographed at the Strzelin sugar plant on May 3, 2006.
SM03-645, used by Nutrena feed plant in Krzemieniewo; photo taken on July 26, 2006.
SM03-134 on a narrow-gauge transporter; photo taken at the Rogów depot on November 22, 2006.
The same locomotive after an overhaul; photo taken on May 19, 2007.
WP-06 400-96, photographed at the Gdynia Naval Base on August 23, 2007. Note makeshift-looking headlights.
This 409Da, photographed near the Warszawa Żerań station, has an untypical livery, no logo and no service number; April 29, 2008.
409Da-005, owned probably by railway repair works, photographed near Konin on September 16, 2008.
409Da-012 from the fleet of the Konin lignite mine, photographed at the mining railway depot in Kleczew on the same day.
Back to Pyskowice: neatly-looking 409Da-519 fitted with a makeshift pilot, photographed on May 2, 2009.
Two withdrawn SM03s, photographed at the Czeremcha depot on July 24, 2009: SM03-057…
409Da-786, used for switching at the WKD suburban railway depot in Grodzisk Mazowiecki; photo taken on September 2, 2009.
Another picture of this locomotive, taken during the ‘Public Transport Days’ on September 19, 2010.
General drawing of the 409Da (factory drawing from my collection).
This 409Da is used by the Aleksandra basalt quarry and was photographed at the company’s siding in Zgorzelec on October 4, 2010. Plates are missing, but possibly this is 409Da-750, Mystal 74/1982.
SM03-147 (Fablok 6400/1963), photographed in Opole on June 16, 2007. Photo by Norbert Tkaczyk (thanks for permission).
SM03-204, photographed at the Czeremcha depot on July 17, 2011.
409Da-712, operated by PESA, photographed at their premises in Bydgoszcz on March 9, 2013.
A SM03 – service number, operator, location and date unknown. Photo by Miłosz Zaborski (from my collection).
409Da-321 (Zastal 321/1969) from Przeworsk sugar plant, plinthed at former PZO optical works premises in Warsaw; September 25, 2013.
Three pictures from my collection: SM03-205, location and date unknown…
…an unknown SM03, Szczecin, April 17, 1994 (photo by M.Zaworski)…
…and SM03-186, Bydgoszcz Główna station, date unknown (photo by Zenon Maternowski).
An unknown Czech 706.40 or 706.45, photographed at the Česka Třebová depot on May 17, 2014. Photo by Chris West (thanks for permission!).
Three photos from my collection: SM03-214, operated by WAGREM rolling stock repair enterprise, Kluczbork, August 15, 2003 (photo by Bartek Łoziński)…
…Ls150a-241, Małaszewicze, February 2, 1999 (photo by Filip Sieradzki)…
…and an unknown SM03, photographed in Piotrków Trybunalski on July 21, 2002.
Another unidentified SM03, photographed at the Białowieża Towarowa station on October 23, 2015.
SM03-067 (Fablok 6147/1962), photographed in Kamieniec Ząbkowicki on December 18, 1996. Photo by Marek Niemiec (from my collection). This locomotive was written off in 1998.
An unidentified SM04, photographed at the Industry and Railway Museum in Jaworzyna Śląska on May 25, 2016.
SM03-018, PKP (Fablok 5646/1960), photographed probably at the ZNTK Poznań (Railway Stock Repair Establishment), date unknown. Photo from my collection.
An unidentified 409Da, most probably from Zastal, photographed in Pilawa on September 7, 2017, by Tomasz Pala, a friend of mine.
409Da-414, operated by a cement depot; photographed near Warszawa Praga station on October 12, 2017.
First diesel switchers built by Fablok with factory designations Ls40 and Ls60 were based on a pre-war German design. They were light machines with tractive effort of 3.0 and 4.3 tonnes, respectively, suitable only for switching at secondary sidings. A handful of these locomotives were used by PKP for auxiliary duties (only eight Ls40s being classed SM02), but due to low power and mechanical brakes their suitability was limited. Although production of Ls60, later transferred to Zastal, continued until 1971, a need for a stronger switcher was realized much earlier. In order to fill the gap between 40 hp Ls40 and 300 hp Ls300 (in PKP service designated SM30), new locomotive was designed by Fablok in 1958. This machine, designated Ls150, still featured mechanical transmission, but was substantially stronger (tractive effort increased to 6.0 tonnes) and faster and had Westinghouse brakes. Prototype, with serial number 5071, was built in 1959 and production was commenced by Fablok for both PKP (class SM03) and industrial operators. In 1967 it was transferred to Zastal factory of Zielona Góra, as medium and heavy switchers were given priority. Probably all machines built at Zastal were fitted more powerful license-built Henschel 10H6 diesel, rated at 160 hp, and designated 409D or Ls160.
SM03 remained a very simple design and owed much to its predecessors, but due to higher tractive effort and better overall characteristics was widely used by PKP, although mainly for auxiliary duties and switching at depots and transfer stations. The majority, however, went to industrial operators (442 from Fablok and 204 from Zastal). Between 1959 and 1969, PKP received 269 examples, including 229 from Fablok (service numbers SM03-01 to 229) and 40 from Zastal (service numbers SM03-230 to 269). Four more (service numbers SM03-270, 316, 536 and 645) were given out-of-sequence service numbers and most probably were identified by serials – a common practice with industrial operators, but rare with PKP. Possibly they were initially intended for industry. 96 examples (service numbers from SM03-04 to 99) were fitted, apart from the typical four-speed gearbox, with a multiplying gear, increasing maximum speed from 25.7 to 45.8 km/h. This variant, with factory designation 2Ls150, was built for PKP only; it could haul a 200-tonne draft and was sometimes used with light freight and service trains. DSR150 engine, used in first machines from Fablok, was later supplanted by slightly modified 2DSR150 of the same rating (probably on that occasion this type was re-designated Ls150a). Total output from two factories reached 919 examples.
A narrow-gauge variant for 900 mm track, designated WLs150B (W for ‘wąskotorowy’ – narrow-gauge) was also developed, but this locomotive was not accepted for production. It was further developed into three-axle WLs150C, which retained engine, transmission gear, brakes and many other sub-assemblies of the standard-gauge Ls150. This version was built in quantity (191 examples between 1960 and 1972, for 750 mm, 785 mm and 900 mm tracks), both for PKP and industry.
Production of Ls150 at Zastal lasted until 1969 (some sources give 1971), when it was phased out in favor of a modernized variant with more powerful license-built Henschel 14H6 engine (all above-mentioned power units were supplied by Z.M.Wola mechanical works of Warsaw). Designated 409Da – Ls180 designation is also sometimes used – this variant can be distinguished by slightly more angular engine cowling. It remained in production at Zastal until 1978, solely for industrial operators (676 examples). In 1979 production was transferred to Mystal factory in Myszków, where further 176 machines were built until 1989. Furthermore, ZNTK (railway stock repair works) of Oleśnica assembled 12 (some sources give 13) locomotives of this type between 1990 and 1995, bringing total output to 864. PKP had two second-hand examples, obtained in 1992 (Zastal 219/1972 and 598/1974, previously used by a railway car repair works) and classed SM04; one was withdrawn in 1999 and the other in 2000. Further two, Ls150-344 (Fablok 5615/1961) and Ls150-345 (Fablok 5616/1961), taken from industry, were converted to the 1524 mm track and fitted with Henschel 14H6 engines. They were re-designated type SLs-180, where capital S stood for ‘szerokotorowy’, or broad-gauge. Classed SM04 and retaining their original service numbers, they served for some time as light switchers at border transfer stations near Przemyśl. Most SM03 also have already been withdrawn from PKP service. Rosters compiled by Paweł Terczyński and quoted in AL give 43 machines in 2004, probably not all of them serviceable. According to Internet sources (www.szopa.glogow.pl), in early 2005 only eight of them remained in active service. At least six examples (401D-01, 401Da-734, SM03-102, SM03-136, SM03-165 and SM04-002) have been preserved at museums and heritage parks, but many more can be found abandoned at various railway and industrial premises, their condition varying from quite good to derelict.
Apart from PKP and industry, several locomotives of this type were used by military railways, which introduced their own designation system around 1975. Ls150 was classed WP-05; 26 examples were purchased between 1959 and 1969. Ls160 was classed WP-06; I have no exact information on their number (probably over 20). A few WP-05s and WP-06s still remain in use. In early 1960s, five SM03s were purchased by various industrial operators in Czechoslovakia and classed 706.40. In late 1970s three 409Das followed, classed 706.45. In fact they were the only Polish diesel locomotives supplied to Czechoslovakian operators. Some were later fitted with indigenous Tatra diesel engines. According to AV vol.2, three 706.40s and one 706.45 have survived until today and at least one is intended for preservation. According to www.psmk.org.pl, one machine from ZNTK Oleśnica, built in 1990 went to industrial railway Etibank in Turkey.
Most probably the Ls150 designation was used also for other machines. Collection of the PSMK railway fan society at former Skierniewice depot includes also an Ls150 – in fact a German wartime locomotive (type Köf II, built by Klöckner-Humboldt-Deutz, probably in 1944 for German army), obviously a war booty. The machine has no service number and no details are available. It seems quite possible that this designation, indicating just engine rating, was used for miscellaneous untypical locomotives, which service life – due to poor condition and lack of spares – was usually very short.
Main technical data – SM03
1) Version with multiplying gear (2Ls150 – SM03-04 through 99).
2) Including 273 with PKP.
3) In later examples, 2DSR150 or DTK-150 of the same rating or 10H6, rated at 160 hp.
Main technical data – SM04
1) Including two for PKP; some sources give 865.
2) Small number sold to Czechoslovakia and Turkey.
References and acknowledgments
- AL, LSPP,
- www.psmkms.ipx.pl (Michał Wojtasik),
- www.kolej.pl/~jareks/ (Jarek Stawarz aka Chester) – unfortunately this link is currently dead,
- PSMK website (www.psmk.org.pl).