TGK2-832, used by VAE Riga (Latvian division of the Voest Alpine corporation), photographed in Riga on December 11, 2004. Photo by Toms Altbergs (thanks for permission!).
An unknown TGK2, photographed at the Railway Museum in Riga on August 5, 2002. Photo from my collection.
Oddities and rarities of Polish railway tracks include (probably) two TGK2 diesel switchers of Soviet origin. Perhaps ironically, this is one of the most widespread light switchers in Europe, with about 10,000 examples built.
TGK2 was developed at the Kaluga machine building factory – hence ‘K’ in type designation – on the basis of earlier TGK (684 built between 1958 and 1962), from which it differed mainly in more powerful diesel engine, improved suspension and slightly modified body. Both were intended to replace steam engines on minor industrial sidings, marshalling yards and depots. Prototype was completed in 1960 and production started two years later. TGK2 is powered with the U1D6-250TK six-cylinder diesel engine, initially rated at 220 hp and later boosted up to 250 hp. It is fitted with a two-stage hydraulic transmission which gives maximum speed of 60 km/h in the line operation mode and 30 km/h in the switching mode, tractive effort being 3.6 tonnes and 7.2 tonnes, respectively. TGK2-1, built in parallel with the original variant, is fitted with one-stage transmission (switching mode only).
According to Russian sources (www.scado.narod.ru), this type still remains in production, with at least 9139 examples built, including TGK2-1s. In 1996, an improved version appeared, designated TGK2M, differing in U1D6-TK-S5 diesel engine rated at 275 hp and new transmission (switching mode only – maximum speed 28 km/h) and heavier by four tonnes. This variant, however, was not built in quantity, only nine examples being delivered until 2015. TGK2E was an export version for the 1435 mm track. Prototype was built in 1977 and orders came from Czechoslovakia (about 55 examples, class T203.05, later re-classed 706.5) and Eastern Germany (probably 184) – in both cases solely for industry. Production totaled about 300 examples.
First Polish TGK2 (s/n 7492/1986), in fact a TGK2E, was taken over from the Soviet army by military authorities and was initially used at the military depot in Duninów in western Poland, with army number WP08 400-1. The book by Zbigniew Tucholski (see References) gives the Ls250 designation, which is consistent with the system used in past for industrial diesel locomotives. It was later transferred to Jastrzębie Śląskie and withdrawn in 2013. This locomotive is intended for preservation in Jarocin. According to SK, second locomotive of this type, a broad-gauge one, is used at a freight transfer station in eastern Poland; I have not managed to find any details.
Main technical data
1) Until 2015, possibly more. Most probably excluding export versions (about 300 examples).
2) Switching / line operation.
3) 220 hp in early variant.
References and acknowledgments
4) LOZD vol.2, AL;
5) Polish State Railways as a means of transportation for the Warsaw Pact armed forces by Zbigniew Tucholski (IHN PAN, Warsaw, 2009),
7) Toms Altbergs (private communication – thanks a lot!).