ÖNWB (WLF 715/1889) represents the first production version with oblique smokebox front wall. Later re-numbered 55.03 by kkStB, this locomotive was finally taken over by PKP and withdrawn before 1927. Source: www.commons.wikimedia.org.
KkStB 155.05, formerly SNDVB No. 205 (StEG 2222/1891), location and date unknown. Large Rihosek-type spark arrester was fitted to several locomotives of this type. This engine was later impressed into PKP and withdrawn before 1927. Source: as above.
Side drawing of the ČSD class 324.0 (first production version)…
…and class 314.1. Source: EZ vol. 1.
According to www.pospichal.net/lokstatistik, PKP class designation Th23 was probably reserved for kkStB classes 55 and 155, but this information has not been confirmed by other sources. Even if this was the fact, re-numbering was only formal, as all engines of this type were withdrawn before new designation system was introduced in mid-1920s.
Twenty class 55 locomotives were originally built by WLF for Österreichische Nordwestbahn (ÖNWB). First ten examples, initially classed XIa, were delivered in 1889 and assigned service numbers 241 through 250. Six followed in 1893 (251 through 256) and four in 1899 (257 through 260). These locomotives, classed XIb, were fitted with modified boilers (steam pressure increased from 10 to 12 bar) and differed from earlier ones in more typical smokeboxes. Initially oblique smokebox front wall was used, which gave the engine a somehow awkward appearance. In this version, however, coal combustion was found poor and later ‘normal’ flat vertical front wall was introduced. All locomotives of this type featured inner frame, Allan valve gear and comparatively large drivers, which made them suitable also for passenger traffic on secondary lines. Following nationalization of ÖNWB in 1908, both XIa and XIb were re-classed 55 and given consecutive service numbers 55.01 through 10 (XIa) and 55.11 through 20 (XIb). They ran with three-axle class 27 tenders.
Between 1891 and 1896 eighteen very similar locomotives were built by StEG for Süd-Norddeutsche Verbindungsbahn (SNDVB), which maintained close ties with ÖNWB. Classed XIII, these engines were based on class XIa, but fitted with the XIb boiler, albeit with steam pressure reduced to 11 bar. Drivers were reduced in diameter from 1364 to 1195 mm and maximum speed was set at 45 km/h – class XIII was intended solely for freight traffic. These locomotives were given service numbers 201 through 218. They were also coupled with class 27 tenders. Later they underwent minor boiler reconstruction, which resulted in slight decrease of overall weight in working order. SNDVB was nationalized in October 1909; all XIIIs were taken over by kkStB and classed 155
After WWI Austrian state railways got rid of these locomotives. Six 55s were taken over by Czechoslovakian state railways ČSD. They were classed 324.0; the last one, 324.001 (former 55.02, WLF 714/1889) was withdrawn in July 1943 and sold to industry. Italian state railways FS received two examples, classed 262; one was withdrawn in 1924 and the other one in 1925. Two 55s taken over by the railways of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croatians and Slovenians (later Yugoslavia) enjoyed slightly longer service lives: one was withdrawn in 1930 and the other one in 1932. The remaining ten examples (five ex-XIa and five ex-XIb) became the property of PKP. As for class 155, seven went to Czechoslovakia and were later classed 314.1 by ČSD. They turned out to be surprisingly long-lived: the last one, 314.105 (former 155.14, StEG 2433/1895) was withdrawn in May 1952. FS obtained only one example, re-numbered 224.001, which was written off in 1925. Railways of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croatians and Slovenians received five engines, classed 127. Three were withdrawn in the 1930s and two were taken over by FS during the war; their ultimate fate is not known. The remaining five 155s became the PKP property. All locomotives of this type were written off before 1927, so their new service numbers were assigned only formally, if ever. No locomotive of this type has been preserved.
Main technical data – kkStB class 55
1) Former classes XIa/XIb.
Main technical data – kkStB class 155
1) After reconstruction.
References and acknowledgments
- www.pospichal.net/lokstatistik (website by Josef Pospichal);
- KT vol. 2, LP, EZ vol. 1, ISRSL;