SM31-029 (Fablok 10393/1984) from Pol-Miedź Trans, photographed in Polkowice
10391/1984), also from Pol-Miedź Trans, sporting the company’s new livery; photo
taken at the Lubin Górniczy
Yet another SM31 from the Pol-Miedź Trans fleet: SM31-028 (Fablok 10392/1984), Lubin Górniczy,
SM31-112 with a draft of empty gondolas passes by
the plinthed Ol49-1; Jarocin
Another example from PKP: SM31-087, photographed in Krotoszyn
SM31-158 at the Leszno
SM31-119, maneuvering near Sosnowiec Maczki station; photo taken on
Derelict SM31-109 at the Zduńska
Wola Karsznice depot;
photo taken on
SM31-009, operated by the PRKiL track maintenance
The same machine at the Węgliniec
SM31-081, photographed at the Kraków Płaszów depot on
SM31-158 was used for switching during the 2007 steam locomotive parade in Wolsztyn; photo taken on April 28.
SM31-139, PKP, displayed at the railway stock exhibition in Gliwice on June 15.2008. Banners are not standard.
Slightly derelict SM31 (number unknown), photographed at the Rybnik depot on April 18, 2009.
SM31-117, Bytom, April 30, 2009.
SM31-075, photographed at the Ruda Śląska Chebzie station on the same day.
SM31-111, Ostrów Wielkopolski, July 6, 2009.
Two locomotives from the PKP Cargo fleet, photographed in Tomaszów Mazowiecki on February 29, 2012: SM31-070…
The same location and operator: SM31-113, September 27, 2012.
Another locomotive from the PKP Cargo fleet: SM31-126, photographed in Zduńska Wola Karsznice on December 9, 2012.
Another photo taken at the same location: SM31-143, PKP Cargo, May 23, 2013.
SM31-093, Rybnik, February 6, 2003. Photo by Rafał Roskosz (from my collection).
SM31-063, Białogard, August 8, 1994. Photo by K.Czaplicki (from my collection).
SM31-128, photographed in Kostrzyn on May 12, 2001. Photo by Roman Szczeciński (from my collection).
Two more photos from my collection: SM31-138, location and date unknown…
…and SM31-040, Rybnik, August 1998.
SM31-087 (Fablok 10157/1979), Poznań Starołęka, September 16, 1993. Photo by Marek Niemiec (from my collection). This locomotive still remains in use with PKP Cargo.
SM31-046, PKP (Fablok 9935/1978), Rybnik, June 1998. This locomotive was written off in September 2012. Photo by Mariusz Plewka (used by permission).
SM31-052, PKP Cargo, photographed in Sokołów Podlaski on October 20, 2017.
Withdrawals of steam locomotives used for switching resulted in a need for a heavy diesel switcher, for both PKP and industrial establishments. This led to purchases of as many as four distinct locomotive types, all in the 1200 hp class: Czechoslovak T448P and S200, built by ČKD (161 and 143 examples, respectively, delivered between 1966 and 1990, all for industry), Soviet TEM2 (SM48 in PKP service, 439 examples delivered between 1974 and 1990 from Bryansk and Lugansk) and indigenous SM31, built by Fablok of Chrzanów.
SM31 (factory designation type 411D) drew on experience gained with earlier SM42, but differed considerably from its predecessor, both externally and internally. First of all, it had the Co’Co’ axle arrangement, was longer by almost three metres and heavier by 60%. Engine and electric equipment compartment cowlings had the same height as the cab and the entire silhouette was more angular, which promptly resulted in the nickname ‘trumna’ (coffin), widely used in service. With such layout, forward view was rather restricted. Eight-cylinder a8C22W diesel engine was of the same type as in SM42, but boosted up to 1200 hp by higher supercharging. Three-axle trucks were similar to that used in SP45 and SU46 diesel locomotives from Cegielski (HCP). SM31 design facilitated easy re-gauging to the 1524 mm track, but there is no information of any such operation being actually performed. They could also be fitted with the SA3 automatic coupler, standardized with Soviet railways.
Design of SM31 was completed in 1973 and first three production examples were delivered to PKP in 1976. Until 1985, state railways received 167 locomotives of this type from Fablok, numbered SM31-003 through SM31-169. Furthermore, thirty machines (including two prototypes, SM31-001 and SM31-002) went to various industrial operators between 1977 and 1984. They were designated SM31, 411D or Ls1200P. Due to three-axle trucks and comparatively long axle base, they had some problems with negotiating tight curves, so many industrial operators tended to prefer less powerful, but more versatile SM42s. One example (Ls1200P-011) was sold to PKP in December 1988, to become SM31-170. At least five SM31s from industry were written off and scrapped between 2000 and 2005.
Currently (February 2019) PKP Cargo have 82 examples, but probably not all of them are operational. Most of them are based in Upper Silesia and haul heavy freight trains between collieries or steelworks and switch yards. Of industrial operators, the largest fleet was that of Pol-Miedź Trans (PMT) company, which had five examples, all built in 1984. Initially numbered 411D-025 and 411D-027 through 030, they were later re-classed SM31, retaining their service numbers. Currently only SM31-028 remains in use with PMT; SM31-025 was sold to a private operator in 2007, while three remaining locomotives were withdrawn in 2016 and scrapped. It has to be noted that in several cases identical service numbers were assigned to two different locomotives, one from the PKP Cargo fleet and the other one owned by an industrial or private operator; this was the case with all PMT vehicles. Contrary to several other types, SM31 underwent no modernization.
Main technical data
1) Including 167 for PKP.
References and acknowledgments
- AL, LSPP;
- SK (various issues).