ÖNWB class VIIb No. 345 ‘Kessler’ (WLF 162/1874), location and date unknown. This engine was impressed into kkStB as 171.33, later taken over by ČSD and re-numbered 411.031. Withdrawn in February 1956. Source: www.commons.wikimedia.org.
ČSD 411.019, ex kkStB 171.020 ‘Conrad Vorlauf’ (Sigl 1740/1873), photographed at the Jaroměř depot on August 25, 2004.
The same locomotive, photographed almost thirteen years later, on June 3, 2017, by someone who wishes to be known as Rainerhaufe (source: www.commons.wikimedia.org).
Side drawing of ČSD class 411.0; source: EZ vol. 2.
Polish locomotives of Austro-Hungarian origin provide an interesting, but difficult subject for research. Numerous classes, sometimes represented by single examples, were often withdrawn before PKP designation system came into use. Assignment of Polish designations to individual Kaiserlich-königliche österreichische Staatsbahnen (kkStB) classes is often a matter of little more than guesswork. As for PKP class Tp12, there are three candidates: kkStB classes 171 and 571 and Hungarian (MÁV) class 441. Most sources – albeit secondary ones – point out the first of them. Final confirmation is, however, lacking. What is known is that class 171 had a very interesting ‘Polish episode’ or, more precisely, several episodes.
Locomotives of this type were originally built for two private railways, Österreichische Nordwestbahn (ÖNWB) and Lemberg-Czernowitz-Jassy-Eisenbahn (LCJE). The former company purchased twenty examples from Sigl in 1873; they were classed VIIa and numbered 321 through 340, and all had individual names. Production continued with further fourteen engines from WLF in 1874 (class VIIb, numbered 341 through 354, also with individual names), ten from Esslingen in 1882 (class VIIc, 355 through 364), five from Wiener Neustadt in 1883 (class VIId, 365 through 369) and five from WLF in 1883 (class VIIe, 370 through 374). Orders from LCJE were much smaller, for just eight engines built by WLF between 1876 and 1878; classed IVf, they were numbered 70 through 77. Total output thus reached 62 examples. There were minor differences between individual batches and at least four principal distinct variants can be distinguished. In particular, later engines (ÖNWB types VIIc, d and e) were heavier by one tonne. All had inner frame and Allan valve gear.
Romanian part of the LCJE went bankrupt in 1888 and was taken over by state railways CFR. Austrian part became a part of kkStB in 1889 and ÖNWB was nationalized in 1908. All 62 locomotives of this type were impressed into kkStB and numbered 171.01 through 20 (ÖNWB class VIIa), 171.21 through 28 (LCJE) and 171.29 through 62 (ÖNWB classes VIIb, c, d and e). After the war all but one went to Czechoslovakian state railways ČSD. Two (171.13 and 171.21) were written off in 1924, the rest were later classed 411.0. In 1938 newly-formed Slovakian railways SŽ took over eleven examples, which were later transferred to Hungary; four were returned in 1945. The last Czechoslovakian engine of this type, 411.054 – former ÖNWB 369, then kkStB 171.57, Wiener Neustadt 2774/1883 – was written off in October 1962.
A single class 171 locomotive, 171.53 (former ÖNWB 365, Wiener Neustadt 2770/1883), was taken over by PKP, but disappeared from the company’s rosters before 1925, so new designation (Tp12?) was never actually assigned. However, this was not the end of Polish 171s. In July 1933 five Czechoslovakian locomotives of this type previously operated by LCJE (Nos. 70 through 73 and 77, kkStB 171.22 through 26, ČSD 411.020 through 024) were exchanged for two narrow-gauge engines, numbered U 15 and U 16. Details of this ‘deal’ are not known, as well as Polish service numbers, if ever assigned, and future fate. Certainly almost sixty-years old locomotives were not an attractive gain. In November 1938 three ČSD engines – 411.002, 411.036 and 411.049 – fell into Polish hands following the occupation of Zaolzie (Záolží). Again, no Polish service numbers are known. In March 1940 all were handed over to Hungarian MÁV and numbered 459,109 through 111. In 1945 first two of these engines, together with MÁV 459,106 and 459,107 (former ČSD 411.052 and 411.053) were initially taken over by PKP, but promptly returned to ČSD; it is doubtful if they saw any service in Poland. Thus, formally, PKP had as many as eleven locomotives of this type!
The last locomotive from the first batch built for ÖNWB (No. 340 ‘Conrad Vorlauf’, later kkStB 171.20 and ČSD 411.019, Sigl 1740/1873) was sold to Hodonin brickyard in 1955. In 1971 it was taken over by the National Technical Museum (NTM) of Prague. Kept in storage in a poor condition for over twenty years, it was transferred to newly-formed museum at the Jaroměř depot in 1992. Restoration began in 2005 and progressed rather slowly, due mainly to lack of funds. In late 2018 this locomotive was transferred to NTM depot in Chomutov. It is intended to restore it to the working order.
Main technical data
- See main text for details.
- Depending on production batch.
References and acknowledgments
- (website by Josef Pospichal);
- LP, EZ vol. 2, KT vol. 3, LBDZ;
- Piotr Staszewski (private communication).