EP02-08, photographed somewhere in
EP02-07, withdrawn on
EP02-02, typical livery from late 60s, Railway Museum, Warsaw, Poland, July 23, 2002.
EP02-08, preserved at the Kraków Bieżanów loco depot. Photo taken on August 8, 2004, by Wojtek ‘Mundek’ Nowak – thanks for permission!
Another picture of (externally) refurbished EP02-02, Railway Museum, Warsaw, May 25, 2005.
A very stylish photo of the EP02-02, probably shortly after arrival at the Railway Museum. Quixi Media collection (used by permission).
Side drawing of the EP02; source – ‘Electrification of the PKP between 20th and 21th centuries’, Warsaw, 2009.
EP02-08 again – this time at the Kraków Prokocim depot, October 10, 1997. Photo by Marek Niemiec (from my collection).
Warsaw railway junction was electrified before the WWII; reconstruction started almost immediately after the termination of hostilities and was completed before 1950. Lack of suitable locomotives for long-distance trains passing through the capital remained, however, a problem, as the pre-war railway stock was in most part either damaged or lost. First eight brand-new electric locomotives were purchased from the Swedish company ASEA in early 50s (classed E03, later EP03). Polish industry was not yet able to produce a complete electric locomotive; it was felt, however, that with electric equipment and traction motors purchased abroad, such machines could be built. Contacts with the British Contractors Committee for the Electrification of Polish Railways, dating from the 30s, had in fact been revived before the purchase of Swedish machines and in 1949 a contract was signed for delivery of electric equipment and traction motors for eight locomotives. Design was completed in 1951. These machines were first designated E110 (corresponding to allocated service numbers E110 to E117, factory type 1E), then E02 and finally, in 1958, EP02 in accordance with new relevant Polish Standard. They were built by Pafawag factory of Wrocław (pre-war Linke-Hofmann).
EP02 was a compromise between demands and actual capabilities and was never entirely satisfactory. This resulted from both almost no experience in design of such machines and limited ability of various sub-contractors to deliver necessary items and equipment of sufficient quality. First machine, rolled out probably in August 1953, had, for example, journal bearings of axle sets, instead of originally intended two-row roller bearings; their failures were frequent. Most important shortcomings, however, were uneasy running, snaking and considerable vibration, especially at speeds above 70 km/h – rather disturbing for a locomotive intended in fact for fast trains. Crews complained of draughts and excessive shocks. More serious were wheel flange fractures. These problems were never completely solved, but several modifications were progressively introduced. Reliability, however, was always comparatively low and failures remained frequent. Experience gained with the EP02 proved, in the end, very valuable for design of the successful ET21 freight locomotive, built in series from 1957 onwards.
Electric traction motors and other electric equipment was almost the same as in the pre-war EL100 (EP01), but trucks and body (of welded construction) were new, more modern and different in appearance. Last machine built (E117, then EP02-08) was fitted with new LKa635 traction motors and different reduction gears, intended for the ET21. In 1966 EP02-03 (former E112) during a major repair at the Lubań works was fitted with inter-truck coupling and improved electric equipment, including some elements adopted from that used in the ET21. Modifications introduced during overhauls resulted in significant differences between individual examples, but general upgrade of the entire series was considered unjustified, due to deliveries of new and more modern locomotives.
Service of the EP02s with fast trains was comparatively short and after a few years they were switched to slow trains, remaining in use until early 70s. In September 1971 their service speed was limited to 70 km/h and after a few weeks they were withdrawn from use. Three were kept as stationary heater cars, the last of them remaining in this inconspicuous role until 1996. Next passenger locomotives for PKP were purchased in East Germany (EU04), Czechoslovakia (EU05) and Great Britain (EU06), the British machine finally going into license production in Poland.
Having in mind that many other locomotives, often unique, had been scrapped before their historical value was recognized, it is somehow surprising that three EP02s still exist. EP02-08 is preserved in Krakow; this locomotive, used as a stationary heating unit in Przemyśl from about 1975 until November 1997, is not complete and several items, including traction engines, are missing. EP02-07 is now in the Chabówka rolling stock heritage park. This machine, after sixteen years of service, spent further twenty years as a stationary heater car in Zakopane; in 1992 it was restored and brought to Chabówka. EP02-2 is now on display in the Railway Museum in Warsaw. None is, however, in working order or even complete. Prototype EP02-01, initially transferred to the Technical University of Cracow as an educational exhibit, was finally scrapped in 1976.
Main technical data
1) EP02-08 fitted with LKa635 motors
2) 78:31 in the EP02-08
3) Some sources give 110 km/h.
References and acknowledgments
- article by Paweł Terczyński (SK vol. 2/1997);
- www.parowozy.pl (Chabówka railway stock heritage park website).