KPEV Kattowitz 831, later Kattowitz 4206 (Borsig 5030/1902). Kept by DRG, it was re-numbered 54 819 and withdrawal date is unknown. Factory photo, source: Lokomotiv-Archiv Preußen Band 2 (see References).
Side drawing of the G54, source – as above.
KPEV Halle 4305 (Henschel 8741/1907) was later taken over by PKP and designated Ti4-162. Source: as above.
54 825 (Borsig 5075/1902) was initially designated Posen 4222. In May 1929 it was rebuilt and fitted with steam superheater; it was written off in November 1946. Source: Lokomotiven der alten deutschen Staats- und Privatbahnen by Hermann Maey and Erhard Born (Transpress, 1983).
An unknown G54 (there were five examples with service number 4180), date and place also unknown. Source: Dampfloks der Preußischen Staatsbahn by Thomas Estler (Transpress, 2012).
KPEV Hannover 861 (Hanomag 3792/1902) remained with DRG after the war and was withdrawn before 1925. Source: Die Lokomotive, April 1910, via www.de.wikipedia.org.
This locomotive (Henschel 9019/1908) was originally delivered to KPEV as Königsberg 4197. Taken over by Lithuanian railways LG and re-numbered 687, it fell into German hands following the annexation of Klaipėda in March 1939 and was again re-numbered 54 1104. In 1945 it was taken over by PKP and served as Ti4-31 until written off in October 1951. Photo taken while in LG service, location and date unknown. Collection Toms Altbergs (used by permission – thanks!).
Prussian freight Moguls with single-expansion and compound steam engines (later classed G51 and G52, respectively), used also with light passenger trains on local lines, were modernized in early 1900s. Class G54 was developed from G52 as a compound version of class G53. Differences between G54 and G52 were the same as between G51 and G53: reduced locomotive axle base and lead Krauss-Helmholtz pony truck, introduced in order to improve running qualities at higher speed, higher boiler pitch, Heusinger valve gear and increased diameter of cylinders. Weight in working order was higher by about four tonnes.
Of all above-mentioned sub-classes, G54, ordered in quantity in 1901 and standardized as Musterblatt III-3k, enjoyed the longest production run and was built in largest numbers. Production figures given in individual sources differ slightly. According to data taken from Lokomotiv-Archiv Preußen Band 2 (see References), 747 examples of class G54 ‘proper’ were built for KPEV by seven manufacturers: BMAG (nineteen), Borsig (210), Grafenstaden (55), Hanomag (61), Henschel (258), Hohenzollern (28) and Humboldt (116). Besides, Borsig supplied a single engine of this type to Prussian military railways and Henschel three to Frankfurter Hafenbahn; all four were later taken over by KPEV. Three examples were ordered from Linke-Hofmann by Lübeck-Büchener Eisenbahn (LBE); they were withdrawn in 1936.
According to above-mentioned reference, further 28 engines of this type, but fitted with Adams lead axle, were built for KPEV by Borsig (nineteen), Grafenstaden (four) and Humboldt (five). They were classed G55, but many sources do not distinguish them from G54. In fact, it is possible that first five engines of this sub-type were actually G54s. To make things ever more complicated, nine G55s built for Mecklenburgische Franz-Friedrich Eisenbahn (MFFE) by Linke-Hofmann were classed G54, while three examples built by Grafenstaden for Reichseisenbahnen in Elsaß-Lothringen were classed G55. This is possibly responsible for above-mentioned discrepancies concerning total number of these engines. MFFE 459 (Linke-Hofmann 1079/1913) was the last locomotive of this type built. Above figures sum up to 794 G54s and G55s; I shall be grateful for any correction or amendment.
After the war locomotives from Alsace-Lorraine were taken over by SNCF and five from MFFE went to Belgium. Several engines were taken over by Lithuanian railways, which in 1926 had 23 G54s (LG class P54) in service; initial number was possibly higher, as two G5s were withdrawn earlier. Initially DRG intended to keep 371 examples, but finally only 278 G54s and eleven G55s were re-numbered 54 801 through 981 and 985 through 1092 (numbers 982 through 984 were erroneously assigned to G52s from Alsace-Lorraine). The majority were withdrawn in late 1920s or early 1930s. Twenty were rebuilt with steam superheating and most of these survived until late 1940s, together with one example in its original form, 54 929 (Borsig 6005/1906), withdrawn in 1948. Last superheated G54 was written off in 1951. Three ex-MFFE engines became 54 1201 through 1203; all were withdrawn before 1939.
Polish railways were a major recipient of this type, in 1925 classed Ti4. Data on their number vary slightly, depending on source. According to LP, 197 examples were actually re-numbered, namely Ti4-1 through 195, Ti4-1Dz and Ti4-2Dz (used in Gdańsk – Dz stood for Danzig, then a Free City). LP gives also three more examples (KPEV Elberfeld 4187, Kattowitz 4211 and Stettin 4205), which were never re-numbered; their ultimate fate is unknown. This may correspond to the fact that at least three engines of this type were used with armored trains during the war with Bolsheviks and 3rd Silesian Uprising and later returned to PKP. They might be written off due to poor condition after harsh war service or withdrawn before 1925, but this just a conjecture. Eleven Ti4s were withdrawn before September 1939. DRG took over 83 examples, which were impressed into DRG and re-numbered from 54 1108 upwards (numbers 54 1101 through 1107 were assigned to former Lithuanian locomotives, taken over after annexation of Klaipeda in May 1939). Three Ti4s were not re-numbered and written off in 1940. The Soviets took over 76 examples, plus eight already withdrawn and one evacuated to Lithuania and initially impressed into LG. As many as 49 Soviet Ti4s fell into German hands after June 1941 and were either impressed into DRG or transferred to Ostbahn. Ultimate fate of 26 Ti4s after September 1939 is not known. After WWII several locomotives of this type returned from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia. They were given service numbers Ti4-1 through 60 (numbers Ti4-31, Ti4-32 and Ti4-46 were assigned to ex-LG engines 687, 689 and 686, respectively); further five saw no service and were formally written off in 1946. Eleven engines returned by DR between 1955 and 1956 were scrapped. Post-war service of class Ti4 in Poland was not long; last engines were withdrawn in mid-1950s, a few went to industry, mainly to railway track construction and maintenance establishments. Ti4-17 (pre-war Ti4-57, originally Erfurt 4175, Henschel 7143/1905) was perhaps the last in active use: sold in 1956 to a sugar plant, it was finally scrapped in 1968. Despite comparatively large number built, no locomotive of this type has been preserved.
Main technical data
1) Plus possibly three more not re-numbered.
List of vehicles can be found here.
References and acknowledgments
- www.lokomotive.de/lokomotivgeschichte/datenbank (Ingo Hütter’s database);
- Lokomotiv-Archiv Preußen Band 2 by Andreas Wagner (Bechtermünz Verlag, 1996);
- Lokomotiv-Archiv Mecklenburg/Oldenburg by Hans-Joachim Kirsche, Hermann Lohr and Georg Thielmann (Transpress, 1989);
- www.derela.republika.pl (website by Michał Derela);
- Steam Locomotives of Lithuanian Railways 1919-1940 by Toms Altbergs (Zidex, 2012);
- John Peakman and Toms Altbergs (private communication).