KPEV Stettin 1741 (Linke-Hofmann 149/1903) represents late production variant; location and date unknown. This locomotive later became DRG 89 7443 and its withdrawal date is not known. Source:




TKh-1444 (Orenstein & Koppel 1444/1905), plinthed at Toruń Kluczyki depot with fictitious designation TKh1-19; photo taken on August 8, 2003.




T3 side drawing by H.-D.Hertam (TB vol.2).




TKh1-20 (Orenstein & Koppel 3673/1909) plinthed at the Sucha Beskidzka depot; photo taken on August 19, 2005.




TKh1-429 (Hagans 430/1900), previously used by a sugar plant, is plinthed at the Rybnik depot; photo taken on October 20, 2006.



Fictitious TKh1-13 is in fact Orenstein & Koppel 9336/1920, previously used by a private railway in Germany and later transferred to industry. Warsaw Railway Museum, May 25, 2005.




GASAG Mariendorf No.1 (Schwartzkopff 3019/1901) on display at the Deutsches Technikmuseum, Berlin; photo taken on May 16, 2009.




Borsig 5528/1904, built for the Biberach-Oberharmersbach Railway, is currently owned by EUROVAPOR. Photo taken by R. Jungels near Binzen, date unknown (postcard from my collection).



Preserved T3 from an industrial railway (false number 89 7159), Henschel 10037/1910, photographed in Gross-Bieberau in May 1997. Photo by W. Löckel (postcard from my collection).



Another preserved T3: 89 6009, Humboldt 135/1902, previously Berlin 1808, then 89 7403, withdrawn in 1930 and later used by private railways, returned to DR in 1950. Photo taken in Potsdam on May 17, 1993, by someone who wishes to be known as MPW57. Source:



Another picture of the 89 6009: location unknown, August 1971. Photo by Werner Nagel (from my collection).



An unknown T3, possibly Cöln 1817 (Borsig 4354/1891). Location and date unknown, possibly a factory photo. From my collection.



Another unknown T3, photographed in Pfungstadt, Germany, probably about 1914. Photo by Ernst Büchner (



Between 1900 and 1904, Brandenburgische Städtebahn obtained thirteen locomotives corresponding to KPEV T3, built by Hohenzollern. Some enjoyed surprisingly long service lives. No.5 (1485/1902) was taken over by DR and re-numbered 89 6119 in 1950; it was withdrawn in September 1965. Photo taken at Neu-Rüdnitz, probably soon after withdrawal. Source: Die Brandenburgische Städtebahn by Walter Menzel (Transpress, 1985).



Another locomotive from this batch, 89 6125 (ex No.12, Hohenzollern 1709/1904) was sold to industry in 1957 and survived with Natursteinwerk Dubring until about 1973, as the last of the ex- Brandenburgische Städtebahn T3s. This picture was taken in 1972, location unknown; source: as above.



Former KPEV Berlin 6146, then DRG 89 7403 (Humboldt 135/1902), was sold to a private railway in 1931. Taken over by DR and re-numbered 89 6009, it was withdrawn from line service in 1971 and preserved. Photographed in Hetzdorf on June 8, 1975, with a special train. Photo from my collection.



T3 derivatives were built for many private railways. DR 89 6143 (Orenstein & Koppel 4403/1911) was from a batch of ten examples, originally built by this manufacturer for Oderbruchbahn. Initially numbered 5 and then 3-22, it was finally written off in February 1967. Location and date unknown; photo from my collection.

As early as in 1870s Prussian state railways KPEV faced a necessity to introduce light universal locomotives with three driven axles for local trains and switching; existing two-axle machines (later classed T0, T1 and T2) were no longer sufficient. Such engine was designed by Henschel on the basis of five locomotives built for Bergisch-Märkische Eisenbahn (BME). With some modifications, including slightly larger drivers and increased piston stroke, this type was standardized as Musterblatt III-4e and accepted for production. Deliveries to KPEV started in 1882 and lasted until 1910, totaling 1345 examples from as many as nineteen manufacturers. Data quoted in various sources show some discrepancies, probably due to the fact that these engines were also built for various private operators, later absorbed by KPEV, as well as for industry and export. In 1906 they were classed T3. This class, however, included also ex-BME engines, as well as 52 examples of more powerful Musterblatt III-4p, five earlier engines built by Henschel in 1881 for Main-Weser Eisenbahn (serial numbers 1235 through 1239) and five other similar locomotives. State railways of Mecklenburg and Oldenburg ordered 68 and 15 examples, respectively. A grand total of 1550 is quoted in most sources. Production of this type in small numbers for various private railways continued after the war: the last example built was Henschel 20345/1924, ordered by Italian Ferrovia Alta Valtellina.

T3s were conventional and straightforward two-cylinder locomotives running on saturated steam. Given the long production period and many manufacturers, some diversity was inevitable. In KPEV service alone, three basic variants were distinguished, differing in certain details. First machines had no steam dome and were fitted with hand brakes. Later, domes of various sizes and shapes were introduced and mechanical Haberlein or steam brakes were fitted (many examples were subsequently retrofitted with Westinghouse brakes). Coal and water capacities were also increased, although all variants had coal boxes located in front of the driver’s cab. Overall length was increased by almost 200 mm and weight rose accordingly, but axle load remained moderate, not exceeding 12 tonnes. Grate area was increased from 1.2 to 1.35 sq.m in later production examples. Archaic Allan-Trick valve gear was retained through the entire production period.

These light and small locomotives certainly were not star performers, but proved very tough and reliable and their service life was in many cases surprisingly long. They were also very versatile and initially were often used with light local trains, hauling drafts of three or four cars. With cylinder bore of only 350 mm their rated power was moderate, but due to small drivers tractive effort was satisfactory. After the speed of local trains in Prussia was increased from 40 to 50 km/h, they gradually disappeared from line service, but for switching their performance remained adequate.

After WWI, German railways took over 511 ex-KPEV machines, plus 49 from various other operators; they were designated class 8970-75. Despite obsolescence, they still numbered about 250 in 1930 and some even survived WWII. Details on T3 service outside Germany are scarce. Several sources mention that they served in France, but these were possibly locomotives previously used in Alsace and Lorraine, which remained there, probably with industrial operators, after WWI; last were withdrawn in 1958. Similarly, twenty examples were purchased by various Italian private railways (not FS), last of them being withdrawn in early 1970s. According to, twenty examples were built for China. Information on their service in Greece has not been confirmed by competent Greek sources. After WWII, one example briefly served with ČSD (classed 312.8, sometimes written 312.8II to avoid confusion with former Czechoslovakian class 312.8 – ex-KkStB class 36, withdrawn in 1927); it was used only for auxiliary duties until written off in 1947.

Compared to other German types, only a handful of T3s were taken over by Polish railways after WWI – it seems quite possible that their obsolescence made them not a very desirable booty. A total of 33 examples, classed TKh1, is given by most recent sources. LP lists 26 engines (including two in Gdańsk, designated TKh1-1Dz and TKh1-2Dz), and seven more with various local private railways. A few were used by industrial establishments, but details are lacking; apart from the above, LP lists seven engines with no data on service or assignment. With PKP TKh1s served on local lines, mainly in northern and eastern Poland; eight were withdrawn before 1939. After the September campaign, fifteen TKh1s were captured by Germans. All but one were impressed into the DRG service and numbered 89 7542 through 7555; of these, seven (89 7544, 89 7546, and 89 7552 through 7555) were from local railways. TKh1-7562 was not given a DRG number and was written off in 1940. Soviets captured seven engines, plus three that had been previously withdrawn from the PKP service. Five of them later fell into German hands; four served with Ostbahn with their original numbers and TKh1-22 became 89 7556, although this number was assigned only formally. The fate of three PKP engines is unknown. After WWII only eight returned, including one from DR which was not restored in service. Post-war class TKh1 incorporated also a dozen or so machines from various local German railways, often slightly differing from the basic T3 design in some details. Last engines of this type (TKh1-10, TKh1-11 and TKh1-19), based in Toruń, were withdrawn from PKP service between 1966 and 1967. It seems possible that those used by industrial operators remained in use for a few years longer. Three TKh1s still exist, namely:

-        TKh1-20 (Orenstein & Koppel 3673/1909, pre-war TKh1-3763, then DRG 89 7555), in 1951 sold to a sugar plant, plinthed at Sucha Beskidzka loco depot in 1986 and transferred to Czerwieńsk in 2014;

-        Orenstein & Koppel 1444/1905 (ex-KPEV Osten 6158, then DRG 89 7491) – this engine is plinthed at Toruń Kluczyki loco depot and designated TKh1-19, although it was used by a sugar plant as TKh3-1444; original TKh1-19 had been scrapped;

-        TKh1-429 (Hagans 430/1900, ex-KPEV Breslau 1963, then Breslau 6177), plinthed at the Rybnik depot (this machine was temporarily given DRG designation 89 7474 in 1923, but later went to industry and in 1925 this designation was allocated to a different engine – many thanks to Ingo Hütter for information).

Unfortunately, the oldest surviving example in Poland (Henschel 1949/1885, designated TKh 5), kept at the Odolany depot in Warsaw and later transferred to Krzeszowice, was scrapped by thieves (!) in mid-2000s. This engine was used by the Janikowo sugar plant and never served with PKP. Collection of the Warsaw Railway Museum includes TKh1-13; this designation is, however, fictitious. In fact this locomotive (Orenstein & Koppel 9336/1920) is former Kleinbahn Weidenau-Deuz No.5, sold in 1942 to an unknown industrial establishment in Upper Silesia and in 1955 transferred to a paper mill in Włocławek. Some earlier sources state that this is pre-war TKh1-18 or TKh1-11, which is incorrect. The reason for fitting it with fictitious plates and PKP logo is not known.

Two similar engines built for Liegnitz-Rawitscher Eisenbahn by Vulcan and taken over by PKP in mid-1930s were classed TKh4; a few originally built for private operators and impressed into PKP after 1945 were included, together with other 0-3-0s, into class TKh100.

I have information on seven T3s preserved in Germany:

-        Esslingen 2985/1898 (ex Braunschweigische Landeseisenband ‘Rhueden 13’, DRG 89 7531): Süddeutsches Eisenbahnmuseum, Heilbronn

-        Henschel 5224/1899 (ex Kassel 1774, DRG 89 7296): Brandenburgische Museum für Klein- und Privatbahnen, Gramzow;

-        Humboldt 32/1899 (ex Elberfeld 1744, later sold to industry): Lübeck, private property, fictitious designation 89 7077;

-        Schwartzkopff 3019/1901 (ex GASAG Mariendorf No.1): Deutsche Technikmuseum, Berlin;

-        Humboldt 135/1902 (ex Berlin 1808, DRG 89 7403, later sold to a private railway): owned by DB, with post-war DR designation 89 6009;

-        Hagans 499/1904 (ex Hannover 1854, DRG 89 7462): BSW Gruppe, Koblenz.

-        Henschel 10037/1910 (ex Eisenindustrie Menden und Schwerte): DGEG collection, Neustadt, fictitious designation 89 7159.

Another German locomotive, Borsig 5528/1904 (EUROVAPOR No.30, ex Biberach-Oberharmersbach railway No.20, represents a very similar version, built for private railways. At least three examples are preserved in Italy: two are plinthed, while the third (formerly Ferrovia Valle Sessero No.2), based in Turin, is probably still operational. One more locomotive of this type can be seen in The Netherlands: Hannover 1702 (Union 844/1896) is in working order, based at Museum Buurtspoorweg in Haaksbergen. This list is probably not complete; one source estimates that forty to fifty T3s have survived until today, but this number possibly includes 0-3-0 tank engines of other types.



Main technical data







Years of manufacture


1882 – 19101)  


Total built / used in Poland


15501) / 337) – 232)


Tender class




Axle arrangement




Design maximum speed




Cylinder bore


2 x 350


Piston stroke




Engine rating


 280 / 380


Tractive effort


6 150


Boiler pressure




Grate dimensions

m x m

1.3 x 1.04


Firebox heating surface




Distance between tube plates


3 240


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




Total weight, empty


26 330


Total weight, working order


35 9004)


Weight on drivers, working order


35 9004)


Weight with tender, empty




Weight with tender, working order




Maximum axle load


11.0 – 12.06)


Axle base (with tender)


3 000


Overall length (with tender)


8 5915)


Brake type


hand, Haberlein, steam8)


1)     Some sources give 1878 – 1906; production for various private operators possibly continued until 1924. A total of 1345 examples, given in some sources, refers to Germany only.

2)     After WWII.

3)     Some sources give 60.8 m2

4)     Some sources give 32 000 kg – higher value refers to variants with increased coal and water capacities

5)     Some sources give 8 780 mm – see above.

6)     See above.

7)     Some sources give 22 or 24; refers to PKP only.

8)     Depending on variant; in PKP service Westinghouse brakes were fitted.


References and acknowledgments


-     TB vol. 2, EZ vol. 1, LP, AP;

-     Ingo Hütter (private communication);

- (website by Jürgen Utecht);


-     Nick Clarke (private communication).