ASF / EL16
This ASF is probably the 20657/1989; photo taken at the Żagań depot (recently closed down) on August 23, 2004.
WKD suburban railway uses a single ASF 20218/1988, which is seen here at the Grodzisk Mazowiecki depot on September 19, 2004.
The same example, this time displaying the service number and a graffiti ‘artist’ signature; picture taken at the same location on September 2, 2009. The vehicle behind is the EKD 16 heritage railcar.
An unrecognized ASF, photographed at the Czerwieńsk depot on April 27, 2007…
…and two ASFs spotted at the Olsztyn depot on September 12, 2008.
20650/1989 poses with a PKP InterCity coach; Warszawa Olszynka Grochowska depot, January 29, 2009.
Another two pictures from this location: 20650/1989 and 20228/1988, April 29, 2010…
…and 20228/1988 alone, September 21, 2010.
This ASF, photographed at the Łuków depot on June 6, 2002, is probably the 20221/1988. Photo by Marek Dąbrowski (thanks for permission!).
While running through my photos, I discovered this ASF photographed quite by chance at the Węgliniec depot on April 27, 2007 (actually I was taking a picture of a crane!).
ASF No.3, operated by Przewozy Regionalne, photographed at the Kraków Płaszów depot on June 20, 2013.
An unidentified ASF photographed at the Gdynia Grabówek depot on September 24, 2013. Photo by Chris West (thanks for permission!).
Numbered No.1, this ASF was photographed at the Szczecin Port Centralny depot, date unknown. Photo by D. Szymczyk (from my collection).
An unidentified ASF operated by Koleje Mazowieckie, photographed at the Warszawa Zachodnia depot on October 8, 2015.
Another unidentified ASF, this time photographed at the Grudziądz depot on November 19, 2009. Photo by Sławomir Fedorowicz (from my collection).
Among other electric and diesel locomotives, VEB Lokomotivbau – Elektrotechnische Werke ‘Hans Beimler’ of Hennigsdorf near Berlin (the site formerly occupied by AEG and Borsig plants, now a part of Bombardier), known as LEW, built a considerable number of small battery-powered switchers, both standard-gauge (factory type EL16) and narrow-gauge (EL9). Such machines, simple and versatile, were used mainly at railway depots and some industrial plants, especially those with inherent fire and explosion hazards; in a way they were successors to fireless steam engines. Type EL16 appeared in 1966 and enjoyed a long production run, being phased out only in 1990; there were four distinct variants, differing only in details. According to LEW production list, compiled by Jens Merte (obtained via Chris West – many thanks!), total output amounted to 513 examples; http://de.wikipedia.org gives 514. Initial production locomotives went to East German railways DR, which designated them ASF (for ‘Akkuschleppfahrzeug’, literally ‘battery-powered towing vehicle’) – this name was later adopted for those used by some other operators, also outside Germany, and is commonly accepted as the type designation. They were assigned to depots throughout the country. DR service numbers eventually went up to ASF 163, but several numbers were used twice, as individual examples were transferred from DR to various industrial plants and vice versa. In fact, German industry took over more examples than DR did.
EL16 is a light two-axle vehicle, weighting only 12 tonnes in working order. Capacity of the batteries, which yield 110 volts, is sufficient for one working day in typical conditions, so that they may be charged overnight. Maximum available tractive effort is four tonnes and the locomotive can haul a 200-tonne draft.
A number of EL16s were exported, mainly to Poland; export to other countries was marginal and included one locomotive for Hungary and three for Czechoslovakia. First Polish ASF was 13382/1973, assigned to the Kluczbork depot. Deliveries continued almost until the production was terminated, last example being 20675/1990, and totaled 132 locomotives – two more were not delivered and finally went to Leuna Werke of Merseburg. Last five Polish ASFs were built for the 1524 mm track and went to the LHS broad-gauge line or transfer stations at the eastern border. The design is obviously a versatile one, as some German examples were re-gauged to 750 mm! I have no detailed information on this locomotives being used by Polish industrial operators, but the above-mentioned factory list includes seven entries labeled ‘Polen’, which suggests that they possibly went to an operator other than PKP, but this is just a conjecture.
One example, built in 1988, was for some time based at the Railway Stock Heritage Park in Chabówka, but was used for service duties only; in 1998 it was transferred to Kraków. Several withdrawn ASFs can be found in various depots throughout the country, but none has yet been intended for preservation.
Main technical data
1) Other sources give 514.
2) Plus two not delivered.
References and acknowledgments
- www.parowozy.pl (website by Miłosz P.Mazurek);
- SK, various issues;
- Chris West (private communication).