Ty5-10 + 26D5-21 (ex DRG 50 451, Schichau 3413/1940) can now be seen at Wolsztyn loco depot; photo taken on September 8, 2004



Earlier photo of Ty5-10, taken on April 29, 2002.




Another picture of Ty5-10, taken on May 2, 2008.




This battered Ty5-16 (ex DRG 50 1029, BMAG 11518/1941) was photographed at the Jaworzyna Śląska locomotive shed on August 4, 2004…




…and its restoration is proceeding; this photo was taken on October 28, 2005.




Side view of the early variant (drawing by K.-E. Hertam, source: TB vol.1)




Ty5 with service modifications, late 60s (drawing by M. Ćwikła, source: SK vol.6/ 2002)




Ty5-32, Poznań Główny depot, April 1962. Photo from my collection.




 DRG 50 001 (Henschel 24355/1939) on display at Deutsche Techniksmuseum, Berlin; photo taken on May 16, 2009.




50 3670-2 in the DR service, photographed in Berbersdorf in summer 1980. This engine began life as DRG 50 1120 (Škoda 1199/1941), was rebuilt in 1961 and still exists. Photo by G. Feuereissen (postcard from my collection).




50 2408 (Krauss-Maffei 16283/1942) represents the ÜK interim version. I have no information on location and date – possibly this is an early post-war photo. This locomotive, later re-numbered 052 408-2, survived in the DB service until April 1973. Photo from my collection.




051 441, DB (former 50 1441), Henschel 26251/1941, photographed in Rottweil, Germany, in August 1974. Withdrawn in March 1976. Photo by Wolfgang Matusek (postcard from my collection).




50 2167, DB, built by Belgian Société Energie (406/1943), survived in service until June 1976. Postcard from my collection.



50 975 (Krupp 2340/1941) is currently on static display at the Deutsche Dampflokmuseum in Neuenmarkt; photo taken on May 1, 2014.



DRG 50 3519 (Henschel 24976/1940) remained with DR after the war and was sold to ÖGEG in 1992. Lokpark Ampflwang, August 25, 2016.



50 622 (Henschel 25841/1940) remained with DB and was withdrawn in September 1976, but is still kept operational. Offenburg, Germany, July 7, 1984; photo by Klaus D. Holzborn (postcard from my collection).



DR 50 3682-7 is a ‘Reko’ engine, originally delivered as 50 255 (Krauss-Maffei 15774/1939) and rebuilt in 1961. It was withdrawn in 1993 and currently is owned by Verein Historischer Lokschuppen Wittenberge. Photographed on May 30, 1998 near Gross Langerwisch by M. Kley (postcard from my collection).



DR 50 1280 (MBA 13542/1941), location unknown, before 1962. This engine was rebuilt and re-numbered 50 3705 in 1962; in September 1993 it was sold to a private owner. Photo from my collection.



DR 50 3044 (Esslingen 4535/1942), photographed between Bautzen and Löbau on May 3, 1975. This engine was withdrawn in April 1979. Photo from my collection.



DR 50 3562, originally delivered to DRG as 50 1782 (Schichau 3483/1941), rebuilt and re-numbered in 1959; Halberstadt, April 1969. Sold to a private owner in December 1993. Photo by Dieter Wünschmann (from my collection).



Factory photo of the 50 3012 ÜK (WLF 9599/1942) fitted with Brotan boiler. After the war this locomotive served with DB until July 1969. Photo taken in October 1942, source: Deutsche Kriegslokomotiven (see References).



DR 50 3703-1 (ex DRG 50 877, Krauss-Maffei 16987/1941, rebuilt in 1962) was sold to industry in 1984. Railway museum Prora, July 6, 2019.



50 3093-7, DR (MBAG 14219/1943), Dessau, date unknown. Photo by H. Müller (from my collection). This engine was withdrawn in August 1981.


In 1937 German Ministry of Transport (RVM) issued requirements for a freight locomotive for secondary lines with axle load of about 16 tonnes, intended to replace DRG class 5710-35 (former Prussian G10, built in Germany between 1910 and 1924 in large numbers – almost 2950 examples, excluding those from Romanian and Swedish factories). Between the lines of these requirements, however, preparations for war could be traced: full speed (80 km/h) tender first and possibility of low-grade coal combustion were mandatory. Several designs were submitted, with both 1-4-0 and 1-5-0 axle arrangements, and the latter was finally chosen.

New locomotive was designated class (Baureihe, or BR) 50 and first twelve examples were built by Henschel, the prototype being accepted in March 1939. By that time it had been decided to supply 1200 machines until 1943 and these modern locomotives were intended primarily to supplement and finally replace obsolete rolling stock of former Austrian and Czech railways. Further orders came with the concentration of locomotive production in Germany and occupied countries on three basic classes – 44, 50 and 86. As a result, until 1943, German factories supplied 2314 examples, Austrian – 368, Czech – 175 and Polish – 91 (plus seven more in 1944). Production was then transferred to seven Belgian companies, who built 186 machines, bringing total wartime production of class 50 to 3141 examples. According to Kurt H.Miska, total deliveries for German railways were in fact 3159 BR50s, numbered 50 001 to 50 2772 and 50 2778 to 50 3164 (although combined outputs from all manufacturers in fact give 3141). Even more confusion comes from the fact that several late production examples were re-classed BR 52 prior to delivery.

As with other German locomotives, several modifications were progressively introduced during the war, in order to facilitate mass production: large, Wagner-type smoke lifters were deleted, as were front boiler dome and feedwater heaters, and driver’s cab was simplified. 50 3011 and 50 3012 were fitted with Brotan boilers which, although gave some man-hour savings in manufacture, were found demanding from the point of view of maintenance. Locomotives built from March 1942 onwards were designated BR50 ÜK (for Übergangs-Kriegslok). These measures, however, did not suffice and in 1943 all manufacturers (apart from Belgian companies) shifted to class 52, which in fact was a major redesign of BR50, with all conceivable simplifying modifications. Probably from 50 3045 onwards, BR50s were delivered as BR52s with new service numbers.

After the war, production continued in Belgium (14 examples built between 1944 and 1949). Furthermore, in 1946, production began in Romania. Until 1960, 282 examples were built there for CFR (some sources give 286, which seems incorrect) and these were the last steam locomotives built in Romania. This gives the grand total of 3437 locomotives. According to data quoted in the monographic article by Paweł Terczyński (SK 6/2002), numbers for individual manufacturers are as follows:

-         Germany: BMAG (Schwartzkopff) – 370, Borsig – 179, Esslingen – 69, Henschel – 645, Jung – 105, Krauss-Maffei – 317, Krupp – 324, MBA (Orenstein & Koppel) – 170, Schichau – 135;

-         Austria: WLF (Floridsdorf) – 368;

-         Czech Republic: ČKD – 35,  Škoda – 140;

-         Poland: HCP (re-named DWM Posen) – 72, Ostrowiec Works (former WSABP) – 26;

-         Belgium: Cockerill – 42, Couillet – 24, Energie – 16, Franco-Belge – 26, Haine-St.Pierre – 28, La Meuse – 26, Tubize­ – 38;

-         Romania: Malaxa – 31, Reşiţa – 251 (in 1958, ten similar machines were built for China – Reşiţa 2916 through 2920 and 2923 through 2927, impressed into service as class DK5, service numbers 241 through 250) .

With mounting supplies of class 52, during the war most of 50s were withdrawn to Germany. As a result, DB railways had over 2500 examples. In late 50s, 31 examples (plus two more converted from BR52s) were rebuilt and fitted with Franco-Crosti feedwater heaters (designated class 5040).  This conversion proved successful, but due to corrosion problems this concept was fairly soon abandoned. DR railways in Eastern Germany had about 350 machines, designated BR5035. In 1956 a thoroughly modified version was introduced, by peculiar coincidence also designated BR5040; until December 1960, 88 examples were supplied as last steam locomotives built for German railways. Many other European railways kept these modern and new locomotives in service. The largest fleet served with CFR as class 150.000. Bulgaria bought thirty second-hand machines from DRG in 1943; twenty more were purchased from ČSD in 1959 and delivered in 1960 (class 14). Last of them survived in service until 1979. Soviet Union had about sixty examples; all German locos acquired as war booty were designated there with capital letter T (which stood for ‘trofyeinyi’, or booty) and second letter, indicating an indigenous class with similar tractive effort and basic characteristics, so class 50 became TYe (TE in Russian script; for clarity, it should be noted that class 52 became TE or TЭ in Russian script). Czechoslovak railways had 28 machines, designated class 555.1; last of them, 551.108, was written off in April 1971. Austrian railways had twelve examples, French – 33 (class 150Z), Danish – 10 (class N). Several others served in Belgium (class 25), the Netherlands (class 49), Yugoslavia and Hungary.

Polish railways took over 56 examples, but two of them (50 536 and 50 912) were damaged beyond repair and were finally written off in 1946 and scrapped. The rest were designated class Ty5 and allocated service numbers from 1 to 54. Many were in bad condition and two (Ty5-40 and Ty5-43) were not restored in service. Ty5-19 was to be returned to Czechoslovakia, but finally it remained in Poland and was renumbered Ty5-55. Post-war modifications were few. As with most ex-German locomotives, Metcalfe-Friedmann (later Nathan) injectors were fitted, as well as standardized boiler accessories, new headlights and electric equipment. Cabs were also modified. As many elements were interchangeable with that of Ty2 (= DRG class 52), some of them were exchanged during repairs: several Ty5s were even fitted with complete boilers from Ty2s. Many had also original, large smoke lifters replaced with long, narrow ones, typical for class 52. Of 52 examples serving with PKP, first three were written off in 1972, but then their number dwindled rapidly and last four ended their service in 1979. Some survived a few years longer as stationary boilers. Two machines still exist. Ty5-10 (ex DRG 50 451, Schichau 3413/1940) can be seen at Wolsztyn locomotive depot and Ty5-16 (ex DRG 50 1029, BMAG 11518/1941) is kept at the Industry and Railway Museum in Jaworzyna Śląska; the latter example is in bad condition, but will probably be restored.

BR50 was one of the most important German steam locomotives. Together with its direct derivative, BR52, it set the pattern of the 1-5-0 freighter, wherein such layout was adopted for moderate axle load and thus versatility rather than suitability for heavy drafts; in fact, class 50 had the tractive effort of 15 300 kG with axle load of 15.2 tonnes and these values differed only marginally from that of its predecessor, class G10 (15 200 kG and 15.4 tonnes, respectively). For comparison, Polish Ty37 had the tractive effort of about 18 400 kG. In Central Europe they served until the end of steam era and were used even with express trains.

Several locomotives of this type still exist. Apart from Polish machines, at least ten examples (probably more – data from www.railwayfan.ro) have been preserved in Romania; 150.139, based in Dej, is still operational. WLF 3317/1940 (ex DRG 50 307) is operational with Veluwsche Stoomtrein Maatschappij, The Netherlands, but this loco, purchased in 1968 in Germany, is not one of the Dutch class 49, withdrawn much earlier. At least two examples (BDŽ 14.41 – Henschel 25882/1941, ex DRG 50 798 and BDŽ 14.49 – Henschel 26351/1941, ex DRG 50 1541) have survived in Bulgaria. According to EDÖ, six engines of this class have been preserved in Austria (Krupp 2364/1940, Schichau 3427/1940, Henschel 24976/1940, Henschel 25766/1940, Škoda 1199/1941 and Škoda 1256/1942) – by a peculiar decree of fate, no WLF-built example has survived in their country of origin! As it might be expected, many locomotives of this most numerous post-war class have been preserved in Germany (at least 19, including one ex-DR class 5040, probably more); some of them are still operational. Finally, DK5 No.250 (Reşiţa 2927/1958) can be seen at the railway museum in Shenyang, China.



Main technical data







Years of manufacture


1938 – 19603)


Total built / used in Poland


35254) / 545)


Tender class




Axle arrangement




Design maximum speed




Cylinder bore


2 X 600


Piston stroke




Engine rating


938 / 1275


Tractive effort


15 300


Boiler pressure




Grate dimensions

m X m

2.542 X 1.532


Firebox heating surface




Distance between tube plates


5 200


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


850 / -


Total weight, empty


78 830


Total weight, working order


86 850


Weight on drivers, working order


75 290


Weight with tender, empty


104 330


Weight with tender, working order


140 3506)


Maximum axle load




Axle base (with tender)


18 890


Overall length (with tender)


22 940


Brake type




1)      Some sources give 15.1 tons.

2)      One example with 26D74 = 26D5 with trucks from 33D48 (tender used with Pt47)

3)      After WWII built in Eastern Germany, Belgium and Romania.

4)      3141 for DRG, 14 for SNCB, 282 (some sources give 286) for CFR, 88 post-war DR class 5040.

5)      Including three examples not restored in service (Ty5-55 is in fact renumbered Ty5-19); two more not rebuilt and not allocated new service numbers within class Ty5.

6)      Some sources give 146 400 kg (with different tender?).


References and acknowledgments


-       Monographic article by Paweł Terczyński (SK vol. 6/2002);

-       TB vol.1;

-       http://www-personals.umich.edu/~khmiska (website by Kurt H. Miska – unfortunately this link is no longer active);

-       Deutsche Kriegslokomotiven by Alfred B. Gottwaldt (Transpress, 2016).