Immediately after WWII many Hungarian 324s were taken by Soviets as a war booty, to be returned after a few years. This picture (dated April 14, 1948) probably shows one of them returning home. Photo from my collection.
During WWI several 324s were used by KuKHB (military railways). This picture shows 324,920, derailed in Kowel, Ukraine, on August 9, 1917. Photo from my collection.
Preserved MÁV 324,540 (Budapest 3827/1915), photographed in Budapest on December 4, 2010 by someone who wishes to be known as Rainerhaufe. Source: www.de.wikipedia.org.
In 1909 Hungarian Magyar Állami Vas-, Acél- és Gépgyárak (MÁVAG) of Budapest built the first class IIIu locomotive for the state railways MÁV, intended as the successor to earlier class IIIt, supplied by Austrian factories. This engine, later re-classed 324, remained in production until 1943 (!) and was destined to become the most numerous and probably the best known product of Hungarian steam locomotive industry.
First production variant (324,001 through 355, factory type 90) ran on saturated steam and featured compound engine. In 1913 second version was introduced (factory type 108), with single-expansion engine and steam superheating. Until 1915, 143 examples were delivered, numbered 324,401 through 543, followed by further forty between 1922 and 1923 (324,806 through 845). In addition, ten examples were built in 1943 for Slovakian railways. Third basic variant, introduced in 1915, featured Brotan-Deffner type boiler and remained in production until 1921 (324,544 through 805 and 324,901 through 995, factory type 114). This gives a total of 905 engines. Class 324 was designed primarily for fast freight traffic; it was a successful locomotive, popular with footplate personnel.
After 1919 MÁV managed to keep only 222 examples, of 828 delivered so far. The rest were divided among several countries:
- Romania (CFR class 324) – 454 engines,
- Kingdom of Serbs, Croatians and Slovenians (SHS), later Yugoslavia (JŽ class 22) – 87 engines,
- Czechoslovakia (ČSD class 344.4) – 47 engines,
- Italy (FS class 683) – 14 (some sources give 12) engines,
- Poland (PKP class Tl103) – 4 engines.
They remained in service with their new owners until WWII, with the sole exception of FS: all 683s were based in Udine and were withdrawn after electrification of lines in this area in 1936. Many Romanian engines of this type were converted to oil firing. Some sources give higher numbers of 324s in the CFR service (475 or even 499), so it seems possible that some more were obtained after 1919.
Four Polish 324s belonged to two types: with standard boiler and steam superheating (Tl103-1, ex 324,541, and Tl103-2, ex 324,542) and with Brotan-Deffner boiler (Tl103-3, ex 324,910, and Tl103-4, ex 324,923). Initially classed as freight engines, they were re-classed Ol103 between 1927 and 1931, as they ran mainly with passenger trains in southern Poland. Little is known about their service. In 1939 Ol103-1 fell into Soviet hands (to be captured by Germans in 1941) and the remaining three went directly to DRG. They were numbered 35 701 through 704. Subsequent fate of the 35 701 (ex O103-2) is unknown. 35 702 went to DR and was returned to Poland in December 1955, to be scrapped next February without being assigned new service number. 35 703 (ex Ol103-4) initially went to ČSD; and was numbered 335.2500, later re-numbered 335.201 – the mistake resulted from the fact that it was unknown to the depot staff and its maximum speed was erroneously identified as 60 km/h. Withdrawn in 1950, it was transferred to MPS (according to EZ – LP states that it was returned to PKP, but most probably its former ‘home’depot was located in the part of Poland annexed by the USSR after the war, hence it was considered Soviet property). Finally, 35 704 (ex Ol103-1) remained with DB and was written off in December 1951.
Main technical data*)
*) Only for versions used in Poland.
1) Data in parentheses refer to the version with Brotan-Deffner boiler (third production sub-type).
2) Hungarian 324s were fitted with Hardy brakes.
References and acknowledgments
- LP, EZ vol. 2, ISRSL;
- Attila Kirchner, Josef Pospichal, Tamas Haller and Adrian Raduta (private communication);
- http://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/MÁV_324_sorozat (don’t suppose I understand Hungarian!).