KkStB class 229 was preceded by class 129. This 129.02 (WLF 1484/1902) was rebuilt and re-numbered 229.402 in 1906. After the war it was taken over by the railways of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croatians and Slovenians and later became JDŽ 116-011. Captured by Germans and impressed into DRG as 75 798, it was returned after WWII and withdrawn in February 1949. Source: www.commons.wikimedia.org.



KkStB 12903 (WLF 1485/1902), location and date unknown, probably a factory photo. Rebuilt and re-numbered 229.403, it remained with BBÖ and was withdrawn in February 1958. Source: Die Lokomotive May 1904.



Another photo from this source: kkStB 22910 (WLF 1566/1904), probably also a factory photo. Re-numbered 75 705 in the DRG service, this locomotive in 1947 became JDŽ 116-029; withdrawal date is unknown.




KkStB 229.170, photographed at the Museo Ferroviario Campo Marzio in Trieste on October 4, 2008; the engine is well-kept, but has no operator’s logo or number.




The same engine, photographed on the same occasion. Polish OKl12s usually had their drum spark arresters removed.





OKl12 side drawing by M. Ćwikła; source: SK vol.3/2003.




 This JŽ 116-002 (formerly KkStB 229.91), StEG 3730/1910, can be seen at the Lublana railway museum; photo taken on June 18, 2009.




ČSD 354.0130 (formerly KkStB 229.222), Wiener Neustadt 5444/1918, photographed at the Heizhaus Strasshof  two days later.




Two Soviet soldiers talk by the DRG 75 701. This engine (Wiener Neustadt 4552/1904) was BBÖ 229.04 and after Anschluss was taken over by DRG. Returned after the war, it was withdrawn in October 1961. Photo from my collection – probably taken somewhere in Austria in 1945.



Factory photo of the 229.15 (StEG 3124/1904). Later this locomotive was taken over by ČSD; re-numbered 354.006, it was withdrawn in February 1955. Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org.



Two unknown OKl12s, location and date unknown (probably southern Poland). Postcard from my collection.

In 1902 Austrian state railways KkStB (Kaiserlich-königliche österreichische Staatsbahnen) took delivery of 17 tank locomotives with the 1-3-0 axle arrangement, built by WLF (seven) and Wiener Neustadt (ten) and impressed into service as class 129. They were designed mainly for light passenger traffic and fitted with compound steam engines. Class 129 proved very successful. One of its few shortcomings was maximum speed limited to 60 km/h during reverse running, due to the axle arrangement – an obvious disadvantage of a tank engine. Thus, in 1903, Südbahn ordered a development variant with rear idle axle (1-3-1); this modification not only improved running qualities, but also allowed for much larger coal and water capacities (increased from 3 to 5.4 sq.m and from 6.9 to 9.8 sq.m, respectively). Eleven engines of this type were built by WLF between 1903 and 1907, numbered 1201 through 1211. Their immediate success prompted an order from the state railways. First example (classed 229) was built in 1904 and deliveries continued until 1918, totaling 239 engines from all Austrian locomotive manufacturers: BMMF (62), Krauss Linz (23), StEG (66), Wiener Neustadt (39) and WLF (49). Ten very similar locomotives were built between 1909 and 1920 by Wiener Neustadt for Eisenbahn Wien-Aspang (EWA – class IIIa) and four in 1913 by BMMF for Serbian state railways SDŽ (Srpske Državni Železnice – numbered 251 through 254). This gives the grand total of 264 examples. Between 1906 and 1912 all 129s were rebuilt to the same standard and re-numbered 229.401 through 417; they could be distinguished externally by longer water boxes, protruding beyond the smoke-box door.

A variant of class 229 running on superheated steam was built in 1912 and classed 29. It was, however, less successful and production totaled only 36 examples. These engines also served with PKP as class OKl11 and are described under a separate entry.

 After WWI these successful and comparatively new engines were divided between Austria, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Poland and Yugoslavia. Austrian state railways BBÖ were left with 69 examples of class 229. In 1923 former Südbahn engines were taken over as 229.501 through 511; in 1935 those from EWA followed as 229.801 through 810. After Anschluss all were taken over by DRG as classes 757 and 758; returned after the war, they were re-classed once again, to 175. Last were withdrawn in 1962. Czechoslovakia had the largest fleet: 145 class 229 engines were impressed into ČSD service as class 354.0. Some underwent various modernizations, including single-expansion steam engines and superheater (class 355.0 – five examples) and conversion to the 1-3-2 axle arrangement with extended rear water box (class 353.1 – also five examples). After disintegration of Czechoslovakia following the Munich treaty they were divided between German, Slovakian and Hungarian railways, to be returned after the war. Last were withdrawn in 1968. Yugoslavian state railways JDŽ had fifteen 229s, numbered 116-001 through 013 plus two more which numbers are not known. Italian railways FS were the smallest recipient, with just five 229s numbered 912.001 through 005.

After final arrangements Polish state railways PKP received twenty-two 229s; after 1925 they were classed OKl12. One of them, OKl12-13 (former 229.414, Wiener Neustadt 4499/1902) had begun its life as 129.14 and was rebuilt in 1913. As with many other engines of Austrian origin, they served almost exclusively in southern and south-eastern Poland. At least eleven saw service with armored trains, having been fitted with armor in Kraków and Nowy Sącz. They included 229.29 (later OKl12-4), 229.46 (OKl12-8), 229.49 (OKl12-10, badly damaged in July 1920, but repaired), 229.140 (OKl12-19) and 229.230 (OKl12-21). Some of them saw action during the Bolshevik assault; all were withdrawn from military service in early 1920s and returned to PKP. OKl12s remained in the Kraków regional management inventory until 1939. Their modernizations were few and included mainly fitting standard Westinghouse brakes; large Rihosek-type spark arresters were usually removed in service. In 1939 eighteen OKl12s were captured by Germans and impressed into DRG service as 75 851 through 868. Four fell into Soviet hands, but became German booty in 1941; three were re-numbered 75 869 through 871, while OKl12-19 remained in the Ostbahn service with Polish designation until 1945. Many engines of this type were transferred to Austria. In 1945 only six OKl12s were directly taken over by Polish authorities, but later six more followed, from Austria, Hungary and Czechoslovakia. All were impressed into the PKP service. One engine returned from Czechoslovakia in 1950 and three from Eastern Germany in 1955, but all four were just scrap and were not even given new service numbers. Three ended up in the Soviet Union. Finally, two OKl12s were taken over by JDŽ and remained in Yugoslavia, while another one, taken over by ČSD, was not returned (it was not assigned any service number and scrapped in early 1950s).

Post-war service of these engines with PKP was comparatively short. Contrary to pre-war practice, they were considered most suitable for lowlands and transferred to northern Poland (regional managements in Szczecin and Olsztyn). All were written off between 1950 and 1955, falling victims to the campaign of withdrawing various minor types. Nine went to various industrial establishments, although their performance was by no means suitable for this kind of service. Some survived there well into 1960s. The last one, OKl12-11, had a colorful life. Built by Wiener Neustadt (s/n 5126/1913), it became KkStB 229.130 and was later taken over by PKP as OKl12-16. In 1939 it was captured by Germans and impressed into the DRG service as 75 863. Returned from Austria in 1948, it became OKl12-11 and in August 1954 went to the Gosławice sugar plant. There it earned itself a somehow contemptuous nickname ‘dzika świnia’ (literally ‘wild boar’), due to problems with the compound engine, unfamiliar to industrial railway personnel. Transferred to Unisław sugar plant in 1959 and to Nakło sugar plant in 1965, this engine was finally withdrawn from service in early 1969. For a dozen or so years more it remained in Nakło, but was scrapped in 1982 (some sources give 1980). The unique occasion to save an interesting (and beautiful) locomotive was lost: not a particular surprise for a Polish railway fan…

Four 229s have survived in Europe and one of them is an ex-PKP engine. KkStB 229.03 (Wiener Neustadt 4551/1904), then PKP OKl12-3, captured by the Soviets, was later taken over by DRG and impressed into service as 75 869. After WWII it was used by JDŽ as 116-037 and can now be seen at the railway museum in Zagreb (unfortunately not opened to public). KkStB 229.91 (StEG 3730/1910), which served in Yugoslavia as 116-002 and in 1941 fell into German hands (DRG 75 792), was returned after the war and is now at the railway museum in Lublana. KkStB 229.170 (Krauss Linz 7112/1916), which remained with BBÖ, was impressed into the DRG service in 1938 as 75 743 and after WWII served with JDŽ as 116-032; this engine can be seen at the Museo Ferroviario Campo Marzio, Trieste. Finally, ex-ČSD 354.0130 (previously KkStB 229.222, Wiener Neustadt 5444/1918) was after withdrawal transferred to Austria and is now on static display at Heizhaus Strasshof.


Main technical data







Years of manufacture


1904 – 1920


Total built / used in Poland


2641) / 22


Tender class




Axle arrangement




Design maximum speed




Cylinder bore


420 / 650


Piston stroke




Engine rating


720 / 980


Tractive effort


7 200


Boiler pressure




Grate dimensions

m X m

2.0 m2


Firebox heating surface




Distance between tube plates


3 500


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


870 / 870


Total weight, empty


50 500


Total weight, working order


67 100


Weight on drivers, working order




Weight with tender, empty




Weight with tender, working order




Maximum axle load




Axle base (with tender)


8 000


Overall length (with tender)


11 766


Brake type




1) Including 239 built for KkStB; seventeen more rebuilt from class 129.

2)1574 mm according to Austrian standards (medium-degree flange wear).


References and acknowledgments


-       Monographic article by Paweł Terczyński (SK vol. 3/2003);

-       EZ, LP, EDÖ;

-       www.pospichal.net/lokstatistik (website by Josef Pospichal);

-       http://republika.pl/derela (website by Michał Derela – information on armored locomotives).