Ty37-17 +22D23-20, Jaworzyna Śląska loco depot,
Another view of this machine – the sole surviving example.
Another picture of the Ty37-17, taken at the Chabówka railway stock heritage park on November 12, 2008.
Side drawing of Ty37 + 22D23; source – PPN.
Ty37-8, location unknown, 1961. Photo from my collection.
Since mid-1920s, coal transport demands were essential for the development of heavy freight locomotives in Poland. They called for more and more powerful machines. As early as in 1919, 175 Tr20s were ordered from Baldwin; these locomotives, weighting 75.6 tonnes in working order (without tender), were followed by 148 slightly heavier (80.2 tonnes) Tr21s, supplied from 1922 by StEG, Cockerill and Fablok. They had the 1-4-0 axle arrangement and developed tractive effort of about 14 to 14.4 tonnes. This, however, soon became insufficient, as freight trains were becoming heavier and heavier (in 1932, an average freight train in Poland weighted 931 tonnes, much more than in any other European country, while heavy coal trains typically weighted 2,000 to 2,200 tonnes). It was thus decided, in order to keep axle load within reasonable limits, to shift to the 1-5-0 axle arrangement. This layout, known in the USA as Decapod (and, quite oddly, used there mainly with lighter freighters!), was to become almost standard for freight locomotives built and used in Poland. Almost 1700 Decapods were ordered for PKP (terminating with Ty51 in mid-1950s); together with ex-German machines that appeared in the PKP rosters after WWII, their combined number reached almost 3500. In fact, no freight steam locomotive with axle arrangement other than 1-5-0 – apart from switchers – was ordered by Polish state railways in quantity after 1926.
First Polish Decapods, classed Ty23, numbered 612 examples and quickly dominated heavy freight traffic throughout the country. Robust and reliable, they were, however, not trouble-free. Problems concerned mainly boiler, with comparatively low steam pressure of 14 bar and superheated steam temperature of only 320°C. Detailed boiler modifications, introduced in later examples, showed much promise. With large number of comparatively new Ty23s in service, modernization of their entire fleet was not considered justified, due mainly to costs. It was, however, decided to build an entirely new machine with better performance, which materialized in 1937 at the HCP (Cegielski) company of Poznań as Ty37.
New locomotive drew on experience gained with both Ty23 (with subsequent modifications) and other new engines, mainly OKz32. In comparison with her elder sister, Ty37 was slightly heavier and longer, but main differences concerned boiler design. Belpaire firebox was replaced with a standard one; distance between tube walls was increased from 5000 to 5100 mm; number of flues increased from 34 to 40 and number of fire tubes reduced from 199 to 130. Steam pressure was increased to 16 bar. The new boiler provided significantly better steam superheating – even up to 420°C. In effect, overall boiler efficiency was substantially improved. Due to higher steam pressure it was possible to use cylinders of slightly smaller bore and stroke – the same as in Pt31 and OKz32 (and after WWII in Ty45 and TKt48). Running qualities were improved by new Krauss-Helmholtz lead truck with idlers of reduced diameter (from 1000 to 860 mm). New machine thus differed considerably from Ty23 and few parts were interchangeable. Aesthetically it was also superior, to some extent due to large, Wagner-type smoke lifters, resembling that of fast express locomotives.
As many Ty23s were at hand, orders for Ty37s were not large. First batch of fifteen machines was supplied in 1938 and second of twelve in early 1939. This moderate output was, however, vital for the HCP company, which remained the sole supplier of this type. After September 1939, eighteen machines were taken over by Germans and eight by Soviets; according to LOZD; five examples were rebuilt for the 1524 track until July 10, 1940. The fate of Ty37-4 is not known: according to PNPP, it was also taken over by the Soviets, but this has not been confirmed either by Soviet sources or by LP. Possibly it was destroyed during hostilities – but this is just my conjecture. In 1940, former HCP works (renamed DWM Posen) assembled five machines for DRG and in 1941 five more, thus bringing total output to 37 examples. Last of them was delivered on June 30, 1941, and then production switched to standardized DRG war locomotives – BR50. In 1941 all DRG machines were designated class 5829 and given service numbers 58 2901 to 58 2928. One machine – ex-Ty37-10 – was captured on the Eastern Front and impressed into DRG in 1944 as 58 2929.
There were plans to manufacture a modified and slightly heavier derivative of the Ty37 for German Ostbahn at former Fablok works of Chrzanów (then Krenau). Ostbahn needed a freight engine more powerful than BR50 or BR52, but lighter than BR44. It was intended to fit a modified boiler, similar to that of normalized German types. Some sources even mention orders for 20 or 50 examples, designated Ty41 or Ty42 – it seems that this issue remains open. No production was, however, undertaken; orders were instead placed with Krenau works for another Kriegslok – in this case, BR42, with very similar characteristics (axle load and tractive effort were only marginally lower).
Right after WWII, twelve examples returned to Poland; nine more followed later, returning from Eastern Germany between 1949 and 1955, and were also impressed into PKP service. Eight examples formally taken over by DB were withdrawn in December 1951 and later scrapped. No machine captured by Soviets was taken back; they served in the USSR until 1952. In late 1950s all Polish Ty37s were concentrated in Upper Silesia. Their withdrawals began in 1971 and last of them was written off in Kędzierzyn in December 1977. This locomotive – Ty37-17, pre-war Ty37-16, DRG 58 2909, s/n 347/1938 – has been preserved at the former Jaworzyna Śląska locomotive depot and is the only surviving example. In November 2004 it was transferred to the Railway Stock Heritage Park in Chabówka for restoration. It should be noted, however, that post-war Ty45 was basically a slightly improved Ty37, differing only in details; its production by far outnumbered that of the earlier type, totaling 448 machines.
Main technical data
1) Some sources give 196.7 sq.m
2) After WWII – 21 machines, including seven from wartime production.
3) Some sources give 153 300 kg
4) Some sources give 17.75 T
List of all Ty37s can be found here.
References and acknowledgments
- Monographic article by Paweł Terczyński (SK vol. 8/2000);
- PNPP, LP, PPN;
- www.parowozy.best.net.pl. (website by Michał ‘Doctor’ Pawełczyk).