DRG 13 1247, preserved at the former Railway School premises in Warsaw, is the only surviving machine of this class; photo taken on March 15, 2004…




… and another view of the same machine. Its current service number Pd5-17 is fictitious.




DRG Class 1310-12, side drawing © Lokomotiv-Revue (from TB vol.1)




In Warsaw, 13 1247 was not displayed in a photographer-friendly manner… This photo was taken on July 30, 2001.




KPEV S6; LHW catalogue card from my collection.




13 1247 at the Skierniewice depot; it seems that restoration has begun. September 19, 2011.



Factory photo of a S6. From my collection.



KPEV Breslau 197 (Linke-Hofmann 351/1906), location and date unknown. After the war this locomotive went to Belgium and was re-numbered 6605, to become SNCB 66.05 in 1946. Source: Die Lokomotive September 1906 via www.de.wikipedia.org.



An unidentified S6, location and date unknown. Source: Die Lokomotive September 1906.



1000th locomotive built by Linke-Hofmann was an S6, delivered to KPEV in 1913. Later it was re-numbered 13 1280 by DRG; withdrawal date is not known. Factory photo, source: Die Lokomotive April 1915.



KPEV Breslau 624 (Linke-Hofmann 643/1909), location and date unknown. Postcard from my collection. This locomotive was taken over by DRG and re-numbered 13 1089 in 1925; withdrawn in 1927.



Prussian express locomotive S2, which appeared in 1890, became the starting point for the entire family of machines with 2-2-0 axle arrangement. It was designed by August von Borries in a response to a need for faster and more powerful locomotives for express trains. S2 remained basically an experimental machine, but its further derivatives – S3, S4 (first locomotive in the world built in series with Schmidt superheater), S51 and S52 – were built in quite large numbers, over 1600 examples combined, and dominated KPEV express trains. All but 104 S4s had compound engines, as von Borries – drawing on British and American experiences – viewed this layout superior due to better economy.

Despite increasing demands concerning tractive power and speed, KPEV decided to maintain the 2-2-0 axle arrangement. Robert Garbe, who designed the next express locomotive for this service, had different ideas concerning economy. His approach was more general; he rejected compound engines, arguing that lower coal consumption did not make up for higher manufacture and maintenance costs. On the other hand, he was a great advocate of steam superheating. After initial experience with express singles (class S4), new class S6 was ordered and supplies began in 1906. They were the heaviest machines in Europe with only two driven axles (it is worth reminding here that in 1906 KPEV received first P8 passenger locomotives with three driven axles), but increase of tractive effort was not impressive: 6.9 tonnes, as compared to 6.2 – 6.4 tonnes of S51 and S52. Production was terminated in 1913, after 584 examples had been built by Linke-Hofmann, Henschel and Humboldt. First engines had chamber-type superheater in the smoke box, but this proved unreliable and troublesome in service and was quickly replaced by Schmidt-type one, which was becoming standard. Also oblique front wall of the driver’s cab, intended to reduce drag, but distorting forward view, was replaced in 1908 by more typical flat one. Initial operational experience was far from unequivocal. Some considered these engines adequate for tasks they had been designed for. Other complained of uneasy running – not particularly surprising with only two driven axles, despite drivers 2100 mm in diameter, introduced in order to reduce rpm; in fact, 2200 mm drivers were initially planned. Due to comparatively light balancing masses, intended to reduce locomotive weight, excessive vibrations were commonplace. Some of these shortcomings were rectified by minor modifications, especially after acceptable weight on drivers was increased in 1910. In those times, when external appearance of locomotives was also appreciated and discussed, S6 – with its two large-diameter drivers shifted backwards and large clearances between wheels – was considered not well-balanced and somehow ancient-looking, especially in comparison with modern engines. It was, however, steam superheating that made it modern.

After WWI, at least 442 machines survived in Germany, but only 286 were taken over by new Deutsche Reichsbahn and designated class 1310-12. Despite their comparatively young age and large number, they were soon considered obsolete and inadequate for increasing tasks. Due to mounting supplies of new, standardized locomotives, they were fairly quickly withdrawn from service, the last surviving only until 1931. 42 machines taken over by Belgian railways served until 1956. Two S6s briefly served with Italian FS as class 553; they were withdrawn in the 1920s.

PKP took over 81 ex-KPEV machines, designating them Pd5. They were given service numbers from 1 to 79; two of five machines used in Gdańsk were not given consecutive PKP service numbers and were designated Pd5-1Dz and Pd5-2Dz (Dz standing for ‘Danzig’). Most of them were used with light express and passenger trains, first mainly in north-western Poland (Toruń and Poznań), then also in Warsaw and Wilno. Later they also ran with local trains. They remained in service until 1939. According to LP, 49 machines, captured by Germans, were impressed into DRG and saw a brief service there as class 135 (this designation had formerly been assigned to ex-KPEV class S4, withdrawn much earlier). 22 examples were taken by the Soviets; some were converted to the 1524 mm track (the only engines with two driven axles that underwent such conversion!), but retained their Polish service numbers, written in Russian script. No details on their service history are known, apart from the fact that eleven fell into German hands after Fall Barbarossa; some of them were impressed into service with Ostbahn and retained their ‘original’ service numbers. One engine (Pd5-30, Linke-Hofmann 620/1908), evacuated in 1939 to Lithuania, was impressed into the LG class K5.2 with service number 121; it fell into Soviet hands in 1940. The fate of nine Pd5s remains unknown.

After WWII, 37 machines returned to PKP and were re-designated Pd5-1 through 37. According to KMD, Pd5-7, -19, -28 and -29, in bad condition, were written off before 1948. The last example in service, Pd5-9 (pre-war Pd5-25, later DRG 13 516, Linke-Hofmann 616/1908), was written off on April 8, 1958. Several (probably ten) were transferred to various industrial establishments (most of them as stationary heating machines – obviously they would not make good industrial engines!), but none has been preserved. One S6 can, however, still be seen in Poland. This machine (ex-KPEV Altona 656, then DRG 13 1247, Linke-Hofmann 934/1912, the last of this class in active DRG service) was converted into an educational exhibit before WWII in Braunschweig and used for this purpose – with boiler casing partly removed – until the outbreak of the war. Somehow it found its way to Warsaw, when it was plinthed at the former Railway School premises. In April 2010 this engine was handed over to the PSMK railway fan society and transferred (by road) to the Skierniewice depot. It had never served with PKP and its current service number Pd5-17 (previously Pd5-5) is purely fictitious. This is the only S6 that has survived until today; unfortunately its overall condition is not entirely satisfactory and many details are missing.

Class S6 quickly disappeared from service in Germany, as its basic layout was obsolescent almost from the very start. It is a little surprising that KPEV insisted on express machines with two driven axles that had neither good running qualities nor enough tractive effort; in fact, another class of such machines that remained in production for slightly longer – S7, built between 1902 and 1914 (237 examples) – had the 2-2-1 axle arrangement and tractive effort equal to that of S51. Major progress came only with class S10, which appeared in 1911.


Main technical data







Years of manufacture


1906 – 1913


Total built / used in Poland


584 / 81 – 371)


Tender class


22D1 or 22D2


Axle arrangement




Design maximum speed




Cylinder bore


2 x 550


Piston stroke




Engine rating




Tractive effort


6 900


Boiler pressure




Grate dimensions

m X m

2.35 m2


Firebox heating surface




Distance between tube plates




Number of flue tubes




Heating surface of flue tubes




Number of smoke tubes




Heating surface of smoke tubes




Evaporating surface, total




Superheater heating surface




Diameter of drivers




Diameter of idlers front/rear




Total weight, empty


54 600


Total weight, working order


60 600


Weight on drivers, working order


34 700


Weight with tender, empty


75 5002)


Weight with tender, working order


108 0002)


Maximum axle load




Axle base (with tender)


15 0652)


Overall length (with tender)


18 3402)


Brake type


Westinghouse / Knorr


1)      After WWII.

2)      With 22D2 tender.


References and acknowledgments


-       Monographic article by Paweł Terczyński (SK vol. 12/2001);

-       AP, TB vol. 1, LP;

-       www.holdys.pl/tomi (website by Tomisław Czarnecki);

-       KMD vol. 1/2000 (survey of the 13 1247).