BR 52 – Ruggedness and Reliability Recognized

With the start of the second World War and the ensuing exceptionally severe Winter two years later, the Reichsbahn openly admitted that it was not at all well coping well with the situation. The 1939 plans to build large numbers of the BR 44, 50 and 86 "Einheits" or standard locomotives were canceled or if there was to be any construction at all of these types, they were only to be built as greatly simplified versions. Thus, the BR 50 was continued albeit in a much simpler version both mechanically and with far fewer strategic materials as the BR 50 ÜK (Übergangs Kriegslokomotive – interim war locomotive).

Still, even this approach was not considered to be the answer. By December 1941, the Ministry of Transportation decided to proceed with an entirely new austerity engine based on the proven BR 50. The new engine was to be more suited to the poorly maintained track and the lower grade coal found in the eastern regions. The Main Committee for Rail Vehicles headed by director Gerhard Degenkolb at the Ministry of Armaments and Munitions issued a request for proposals encompassing three different wartime steam locomotives, called KDL (Kriegs Dampf Lokomotive).

KDL-1 was to be the BR 52. KDL-2 was to be known as BR 534.0, a machine using a plate (steel) frame in the event that the bar (steel) frame of the KDL-1 encountered production problems. If produced, the KDL-2 was to be used in Bohemia & Moravia. KDL-3 was to be the BR 42, which was, of course, built in quantity.

The plan assumed that production of the BR 44 and BR 86 would cease. In place of the 65 BR 50s already under construction, the order would be increased to 620 BR 50s but in the much simplified BR 50 ÜK version. This approach would enable the production of no fewer than 15,000 of the much more austere BR 52. This was to be accomplished in just two years. But, there were production bottlenecks in manufacturing the wheelsets and the bar frames. There was quite a bit of opposition to the use of the plate frames. The opposition, however, was placated with the argument that the shorter useful life of the BR 52 made the approach acceptable.

The plan for 15,000 locomotives, also called the Füherprogramm, was modified. It would call for 7,000 BR 52s to be finished by January/February 1944 at which point 8,000 BR 42s were to be started. Yet more changes came. The order for BR 52s was increased to 10,000 with production stopping in June 1944 after which BR 42 manufacturing would commence. However, much of this became a moot point made obvious with the conduct of war.


As with some other locomotives, production contracts were awarded to several companies. The Deutsche Reichsbahn Gesellschaft (DRG) and industry worked closely together to ensure that there were no bottlenecks in production. On September 12, 1942, the first BR 52, Number 52 001 was rolled out at Borsig’s Hennigsdorf (near Berlin) facility and by the end of the year 193 BR 52s had been completed. (This engine was retired on October 18, 1954.) The new Kriegslok featured the now familiar enclosed cabin and the 2’2’ T30 tub tender. The locomotive builders were pleased with what they had accomplished but, on the other hand, they did not like it that the highly simplified BR 52s perhaps proved that the BR 50 and even the BR 50ÜK were probably a little over-engineered. Further, the government bureaucrats and propagandists blew their collective horns and proclaimed that their directives for simplification and mandated material savings had proven themselves. Despite the program’s best efforts, there were a multitude of problems. While BR 52 production accelerated, there were also more BR 44ÜK heavy freight locomotives and BR 86ÜK tank engines being built. Add this the start-up of the BR 42 program and you have one massive effort underway under increasingly trying conditions.

The BR 52 was a sparse machine, indeed. Eliminating the feed dome, the preheater, the smoke deflectors, and even the bell, doing away with the second sandbox and simplifying the feedwater system saved 26 tons of material and nearly 6,000 man-hours per locomotive. Traditionally, side connecting rods are machined from a single billet which results in much scrap and requires a lot of time. In the case of the BR 52 the side connecting rods were consisted of three machined forgings which were welded together. This approach saved nearly 2,200 lb (1,000 kg) of material. Substantial reductions in the use of non-ferrous metals (brass, aluminum and others) brought about further savings and substituting non-strategic materials also resulted in additional savings.

When the BR 52 entered service on the Eastern Front, it quickly became apparent that this machine was not particularly economical. Its coal consumption was 12 percent higher than other comparable locomotives. While it might have been possible to improve this figure, the program was under great pressure to produce a simple, readily maintainable machine and there was no time for a comprehensive R&D program. Production figures for the BR 52 will be found at the end of this article.

Thus, in the course of two and half years, ending with Germany’s surrender on May 8, 1945, 6,301 BR 52s were built and when you add 843 of the BR 42 to this, the result is, once again, impressive production under less than ideal conditions. In addition to the German locomotive manufacturers, Skoda, Krenau and Graffenstaden in Czechoslovakia also built BR 52s. Borsig suggested that the engine also be built in Italy but that proposal came to naught. WLF or Wiener Lokomotiven Fabrik (Vienna Locomotive Works) was another BR 52 producer. In June 1943, the goal of building 500 BR 52s was finally reached.

It is not really possible to provide technical, i.e., construction, details of these locomotives since so many manufacturers were involved. Manufacturing conditions became increasingly chaotic and each manufacturer had to deal with material shortages, myriad modifications and, no doubt, destruction of facilities due to bombing raids. What is known is that in 1943, total locomotive production, including Types 42, 44, 50, 50ÜK, 52 and 86, were built in factories in Germany, France, Belgium and Denmark. In addition, 70 electric E44s and E94s were turned out.

February 28, 1943 also marked the rollout of the first BR 52 (52 1850) with the condensing tender. Designed and built by Henschel, this variation of the 52 was intended for use in arid regions of Eastern Europe with long distances between watering facilities. The tender’s configuration was 3’2’ T16; one 3-axle truck, one 2-axle truck, 16 m3 (4,224 gallons) water. This tender carried 9 tons of coal. At 90.33 ft (27,535 mm) it was one impressive locomotive, exceeding the Borsig BR 05 and the Krupp BR 06 in overall length.

Despite all efforts to build nothing but identical BR 52s. there were variations. Some machines used welded plate frames, forged frames, tub tenders or rigid four-axle tenders, four and five axle condensing tenders, the Brotan boiler and virtually dozens of small changes that made for interesting variants.

One variant was designed to eliminate the pilot truck making it an 0-10-0 (E) similar to the Prussian G 10. This project advanced to the point where the Wiener Lokomotiven Fabrik was contracted to build three E h2 machines. These locomotives were to have axle loading of 15 tons; however, in anticipation of unusually high track (rail) wear, this contract was canceled.

Continuation in 1945

Not all of the locomotives ordered during the war were delivered during the war since Krupp and Orenstein & Koppel has suffered severely from aerial bombing and Krauss-Maffei and Borsig were involved in repairing war-damaged locomotives rather than building new ones. Additionally, the latter two also had to contend with repairing destruction caused by air raids. Graffenstaden turned out new BR 52s as could the Deutschen Waffen und Munitionsfabriken in Posen (Cegielski) continued producing BR 52s but for the Polish National Railways (PKP). Henschel continued to produce condensing tenders.

With war’s end and the ever so slight return to some degree of normalcy, various locomotive builders began to assemble BR 52s from available "bit and pieces." In addition, some of the parts left off during the severe simplification of this engine began to be incorporated once again. These included the Knorr surface preheater, the Henschel mixing preheater as well as the Franco Crosti preheater.

The exact number of BR 52s manufactured in France, Belgium and Poland after the war remain uncertain despite considerable research effort. There is even uncertainty as to how many BR 52s were built altogether. The generally accepted figure of 6,400 at least gives some idea of the magnitude of the project. One English researcher thinks the number may well be as high as 6,700. No matter what the figure, it is solid testimony to a sound design produced under adverse conditions that served well into the early 1980s.

At this point, I would like to note that I will be covering the almost countless railroads that have made use of the BR 52. Please refer to for a list of the names and their abbreviations.

Deutsche Reichsbahn until 1945

Until 1945 the German railways were known as the Deutsche Reichsbahn (Gesellschaft). The BR 52 was urgently needed for transport service to the Eastern Front. The locomotives in use at that time included the BR 50, 56, 57 and 58 but these were taxed to the limit. In addition, their exposed piping and open cabs were completely unsuited for the harsh winter in the Soviet Union. Also, the re-gauging to 5 ft (1,524 mm) of these engines soon led to frame and cylinder damage.

BR 52s were stationed throughout Germany and funneled through Posen and Posen/East on their way to the East. With the huge losses suffered on the Eastern Front and the subsequent retreat, all efforts were concentrated on retrieving as much railroad equipment as possible and bringing it to what was already decreed to be the Western occupation zones after the war.

Other BR 52s were collected in Vienna to reinforce activities in southern Europe and Turkey. In Linz, Austria more BR 52s were collected for Serbia and Albania and moved there in 1944. German locomotives in Rumania and Bulgaria were to remain in those countries. In 1944, there were 126 BR 52s in Bulgaria.

At war’s end (May 8, 1945) some 81 BR 52s were already sidelined with varying degrees of war damage ranging from superficial small arms fire damage to total loss.

Deutsche Reichsbahn (DR/w, DB)

After the end of World War Two, the name Reichsbahn (Unofficially DR/w; w = West) continued in use until 1949, after which the Deutsche Bundesbahn was formed. In 1945, the British and U.S. occupation zones were able to account for 921 BR 52s, eight of which were in the Saar and 89 in the French occupation zone. The majority of all BR 52s were not serviceable having been parked at various depots after arrival from the East. This included 106 BR 52 KONs.

In October 1945 a convoluted series of exchanges of locomotives took place between East and West. Many BR 52s changed hands. All the major railroads (DR/w, DR/o, ÖStB, SZD, SNCB, SNCF and MAV took part. The BR 52s that eventually wound up with the DR/w-DB were located primarily in Bavaria. In the British Zone, the BR 52 joined the reserve pool as early as 1948 but were much used in the French Zone. Sixty of the BR 52 KON were rebuilt into conventional machines. By 1948 these too were placed on the reserve list and were eventually replaced by BR 50s and BR 44s.

In 1952 there were still 63 conventional BR 52s and 15 BR 52 KONs in use. The Saar Railroad held on to their BR 52s until 1957 when this railroad was incorporated into the newly formed DB and those BR 52s were also sidelined. By 1960 virtually all of the BR 52s were taken out of service with only a few of those built in Poland being retained in reserve; however, these were scrapped shortly after that.

Deutsche Reichsbahn (DR/o, DR)

After the end of World War Two, the name Reichsbahn (Unofficially DR/o; o = East) continued in use until 1949, after which the Deutsche Reichsbahn was formed. At war’s end, there were 1,364 BR 52s in the Soviet Occupation Zone. The Soviets used a very simple system to return BR 52s to their rightful owners. For example, all BR 52s with designated Polish servicing facilities names were returned to the Polish State Railways (PKP). Other arrangement were made with Czechoslovakia.

In September 1945, the Soviet administration in the Soviet Occupation Zone instituted the so-called Kolonnensystem, a system to ensure continual service between the Soviet Occupation Zone of German and Brest. Brest in eastern Poland is a main station where the change to broad gauge takes place. Under the Kolonnensystem, German locomotive engineers and firemen were organized and overseen by the Soviet Army. This system was also used to transport war booty to the Soviet Union. Starting in 1946, and increasingly in February 1947, the Soviets sent 502 BR 52s to the USSR. Gaps in these locomotive convoys were filled with operating BR 52s that were then not available to the DR/o. An additional 68 BR 52s were turned over by the DR/w.

The end result was that of the 462 remaining BR 52s only 249 were serviceable. Only in 1949 did the movement of BR 52s to the Soviet Union let up. Some of these locomotives were sidelined in the summer of 1954. Slowly some of these engines were returned to the DR/o. Finally a lot of 267 returned. The PKP also profited from this in that the DR/o lent the PKP 72 BR 52s for 13 months.

By the mid-1950s, 1956 to be specific, the DR/o was able to provide the Bulgarian State Railways (BDZ) 20 engines and this form of economic aid was repeated in 1959 with another lot of ten. In 1961, the DR/o obtained 60 more BR 52s from the Soviet State Railways (SZD), many of which needed more than a little attention. The few remaining BR 52 KON were converted back to conventional operation in Cottbus. With much back and forth of BR 52s, the DR/o had 684 in its inventory. Soon many of them were replaced by more modern oil-fired locomotives.

Outside Germany

The BR 52 literally served from the English Channel to the Urals in Russia, as far north as Norway and going in the other direction as far south as Turkey. There is record that at one each machine wound up in the United States and Japan. Also, at least 15, and possibly 16, went to North Vietnam. The dispersion of these rugged and reliable locomotives is a chapter in itself, but here are a few sentences about the countries that used the BR 52. Again, it is beyond the scope to this particular article to go into any detail.

Western Europe

Austria – After World War Two a substantial number of BR 52s from the Eastern Front were brought to depots in the Vienna region. When, like Germany, Austria was occupied and governed by Soviet forces and U.S. and British forces. The Austrian State Railways (ÖStB West) was allocated 345 BR 52s and the ÖStB/R (Soviet Zone) was given 404.

Belgium – When German forces vacated Belgium, condensing BR 52s 1972, 1977 and 1992 remained behind. The Belgian National Railways (SNCB) renumbered then 2800 to 2802. These were returned to Germany in 1950 where they were taken out of service a year later. In 1945 and 1946 Belgian locomotive builders Tubize, Cockerill, Haine St. Pierre and La Croyere built new BR 52s designated as Type 26 and the series was numbered 26.001 to 099.

France – Upon withdrawal of German troops from France, 24 BR 52s remained behind to be joined by one more (52 6178) in 1946. They were given the Type number 150-Y by the French National Railways (SNCF). Condensing engine 52 1993 returned to Germany in April 1951. The 150-Ys were stationed in the eastern France depots of Mühlhausen, Saargemünd, Diedenhofen, Strasbourg, and Hausbergen until 1957. All of these engines were mustered out by April 1959.

Italy – Italy left the German-Italian Axis in 1944 but the transport arm of the German Army needed to supply its troops in the south of the country and had 93 BR 52s available for that purpose. In early 1945 some of these engines were transferred to Austria. At war’s end, the Italian National Railways (FS) had 54 of the BR 52s. Between 1945 and 1947, the British occupation government in Austria directed the Austrian National Railways to lend ten of these engines to the FS. These locomotives were then assigned to service on the Brenner route. Starting in 1947, the FS returned all of its BR 52s to the DB.

Luxembourg – Lacking sufficient serviceable locomotives, the Luxembourg State Railways (CFL) rented some new Types 26 (BR 52) from the SNCB in the summer of 1946. These constituted 2612 – 2616, 2642, 2644 – 2646 and they were renumbered 56.01 – 10. The CFL ordered an additional ten BR 52s from the builder at Grafenstaden; they were 52 1756 – 1765 and then became 56.11 – 20. These machines, together with some BR 42s, served well until 1955 when they began to be displaced by more modern diesel and electric engines.

Norway – In 1944 the Norwegian State Railways (NSB) began receiving a variety of German locomotives via the Reichsbahn’s Stettin facilities. This assortment included 74 BR 52s, which were re-typed as 63a. Engines 1101, 2293, 2570, 2572, 4929 and 5857 were converted to oil-firing. Initially the 63a engines were stationed in southern Norway, specifically Trondheim and Stavangar. The type served until the summer of 1970 when most of them were scrapped. Engines 63a 1104, 2770, 5856 and 5865 survived from 1958 to 1972 in an abandoned tunnel in Drangstal. Engine 2770 was restored for a museum in Hamar and 5865 was sold to someone in England.

Eastern Europe

Bulgaria – The Bulgarian State Railways (BDZ) were a heavy user of the BR 52 and they obtained these from various sources. The first BR 52 to reach Bulgaria was 52 6801 in May 1943. More followed and by late 1944/early 1945 there were 127 in this Balkan country. Then the Soviets came on the scene and that stopped further return of these engines to Germany with their retreating armies. Of the nearly 130 engines, 85 remained in Bulgaria and these became Types 15 and the engines were numbered 01 to 85.

The East German DR got in the act in May 1956 by sending an additional 20 BR 52s to the BDZ; they became 15.86 to 105. Then there were engines 15.106 to 125 which were actually Czech Type 555.0 or, once again, BR 52s bought in 1960 and 1961. And there are still more BR 52s to be accounted for. Numbers 15.126 to 135 were also supplied by the DR on July 1, 1961. Two years later the SZD furnished no fewer than 140 BR 52s (also known as TE in the Soviet Union). The became 15.136 to 275 but their German origin is doubtful. In turn Bulgaria gave 11 of the type to the JDZ (Yugoslavian Railways).

Obviously, the Bulgarians liked the BR 52s because they used them for every conceivable type of service from switching to passenger trains. They reigned until the early 1970s when they began to be displaced by more modern diesel equipment.

Czechoslovakia – As in Poland, countless BR 52s were is use in Czechoslovakia with the Czechoslovak State Railways (CSD) as well as the Bohemian Moravian Railways (BMB). In additions to BR 52s from Germany, Skoda also built 153. When World War Two ended, there at least 600 of these engines in Czech territory. The Soviets lost no time in appropriating most of them for their own use as well as in the Soviet occupation zone of Austria. The remaining engines were designated as Type 555.

Many Skoda-built BR 52s remained with the BMB and SZ (Slovak State Railways) during the war and together with others taken during the German withdrawal were absorbed into the CSD in 1946. Some went to the SDZ and 179 of the BR 52s went to the CSD to become Type 555s renumbered 555.001 to 179. Nine of these were re-gauged to 5 ft (1,524 mm) in 1952 to handle traffic headed to the Soviet Union. Their designation was 555.06.

In the 1962/63 period an additional 100 BR 52s were bought from the Soviet Union by the CSD. These were originally broad gauge and converted to standard gauge in Soviet shops. Many of these engines had been converted to oil-firing in the Soviet Union and remained so in Czechoslovakia. The Czechs had to import oil from the Soviets to the monetary advantage of the Soviets. These engine were then renumbered 555.0201 to 0300.

Hungary – The Hungarian State Railways (MAV) had its first encounter with the BR 52 in September 1944. By the Spring of 1945, there were 73 of the type with the MAV. With the advance of the Soviet Army, some BR 52s were sent to the CSD and ÖStB, reducing the number of BR 52s in Hungary to 61. The Soviets had to re-equip the MAV and this was accomplished by the simple expedient of taking 66 from Austria and eight from Czechoslovakia. The MAV was administered by the Soviets who recovered Hungarian locomotives that were in Germany. With the MAV once again in possession of its own locomotives, the BR 52s became surplus and were taken to the Soviet Union.

By 1957, the MAV experienced a shortage of motive power and thus turned to the ÖStB for 20 BR 52s. In 1963, the Soviet Union offered a further 100 of the same, with six of them former Hungarian BR 52s. Six more of the TEs, as they had been re-typed by the Soviets, had been converted to broad gauge and were assigned to the border depot of Zahony. The Hungarian BR 52 were re-typed as 520. The MAV began to phase out steam locomotives in the early 1970s. All were gone by 1979.

Poland – Polish steam locomotive servicing facilities received BR 52s during the early days of World War Two. At the end of the war there were 1,116 BR 52s were in use by the PKP. Locomotives came from the DR, CSD, ÖStB and SZD. Re-typing made no fewer than 1,209 Ty 2 out of this collection. According to Michael Reimer, writing in "Die Lokomotiven der Baureihe 52", the story of the BR 52 in Poland is, at best, incredibly complex.

After the war the Polish locomotive builders assembled an additional 150 Type Ty 2. By 1962, there was a need for more steam power and the PKP bought 187 additional of these from the Soviet Union. There probably wasn’t a single one of these locomotives that wasn’t used to the utmost. These robust and reliable engines were used everywhere in Poland. They were very much favored for passenger service because the more modern Russian ST 44 diesels did not provide the necessary heating for passenger cars. Many of the ex-German engines were finished with red and white trim, the Polish national colors.

Despite their reliability and excellent service, the end had to come sometime and the end began about the early 1970s with phasing out of 200 Ty 2s. More were scrapped in the 1980s but even in the early 1990s there were still 338 of them in use. The official end came in 1991. During the 1980s Poland also sold six of them to North Vietnam.

Romania – In 1943, the Rumanian State Railways (CFR) acquired BR 52s directly from Germany and these then became Type 150s. The CFR received engines 150.1001 to 150.1100. In addition, the CFR borrowed 160 more in January 1944. There is no exact count of the total number of this type. In the Spring of 1944, many of these engines were dispersed to Hungary, the DR in the western part of Germany, ÖStB and at least 64 to the Soviet Union.

By 1948 few BR 52s remained in Romania. One count has only 10 remaining in the country in the late 1940s. Several were converted to oil firing, something that should come as no surprise since the country had oil reserves. What was unusual and for which there seems to be no good explanation is that the engines were equipped with petroleum burning headlights. The few BR 52s as well as other steam locomotives served in Romania until the late 1980s.

Soviet Union – In July 1943 the DR reported that 333 BR 52s were on the Eastern front with these engines working out of facilities in Riga, Minsk, Kiev and Dnjepro. Several months later as many as 2,000 mostly BR 52s were in service in the Soviet Union.

By the end of the war only 750 of the BR 52s remained in the Soviet Union with the Soviet State Railways (SZD) with many of them being damaged to the point where they could not be moved west. When Soviet forces reached Germany and they began their occupation, they appropriated numerous locomotives. The DR was not alone in having to provide locomotives to the Soviets. The ÖStB, CSD, MAV, PKP, CFR had to provide this reliable source of motive power. In this way nearly 1,200 BR 52s reached the Soviet Union between 1945 and 1953. By 1952, these engines were redesignated at Type TE.

By 1956 many TEs were used as industrial locomotives. Between 1962 and 1966 the SZD sold approximately 725 of their TEs (BR 52) to the BDZ, CFR, CSD, DR, JDZ and PKP because newer diesel power came online in the Soviet Union. In Belorus, these engine soldiered on until the 1971/73 period.

Still there countless BR 52 kept as part of a strategic reserve. Reportedly they all faced west and were occasionally fired up, moved around a little and then parked again. There is more to the chapter of the Russian BR 52s but that’s beyond the scope of this article.

Yugoslavia - .The region of the Balkan that was to become Yugoslavia consisted of Croatia and Serbia during World War Two. In 1944 each 15 BR 52s as part of a German aid package. The Serbian State Railways) (SZ/SDZ) received numbers 33-001 to 015 and the (Croatian State Railways (HDZ) received 33-016 to 030. In addition to these other BR 52s found their way to these countries and by war’s end there were 139 BR 52s in that region. After the war the various small states in the region were united under one flag, the flag of Yugoslavia. Together, HDZ and SDZ became the JDZ (Yugoslav State Railways). The BR 52s served well into the 1980s. One source indicates that some of the BR 52s still saw service in the mid-1990s during the civil war that engulfed Yugoslavia at that time.

Turkey – In the past, Turkey received many German as well as Prussian locomotives. The State Railways of the Turkish Republic (TCDD) continued this practice during World War Two and in the Spring of 1943 took delivery of 10 BR 56 from Henschel, however, neither Henschel or Krupp could fulfill and order for a further lot of 10 BR 56s. Henschel gave these engines to HDZ, In place, the TCDD was provided with BR 52 loan locomotives from the DR in Vienna.

Between May 1943 and December 1944/January 1945, the TCCD was lent 43 locomotives from various sources in German and Austria. The TCDD had a total of 53 available and made good use of these to the end of the 1980s. Several remained in good working order into the early 1990s.

Across the Atlantic and Pacific - In 1945, U.S. Forces In Germany shipped 52 3674 to Forts Eustis and Monroe, Virginia for evaluation. After evaluation this engine was scrapped in 1952. In 1977, 52.2436 from the ÖBB was sent to Japan and displayed as a tourist attraction in front of the Hotel Biwasse in Kioto. Either 15 or 16 Russian (Type TE) and Polish BR 52s (Type Ty 2) were sent to the North Vietnam (DSVN) to be used in passenger service to Communist China but the poorly maintained standard gauge trackwork was inadequate to the task. Subsequently, the engines were never placed into service and most likely were scrapped soon after that.



1942 193 units
1943 3,906 units of which 100 went to the Rumanian National Railroads, 10 to Turkey and 10 to Croatia.
1944 2,115 units of which 9 went to Turkey and 15 to Croatia.
1945 87 units in January and February.


Year introduced September 12, 1942
Axle configuration 1'E h2
Service class G 56.15
Cylinder bore 23.6 in. (600 mm)
Piston stroke 26 in. (660 mm)
Wheel diameter 55.1 in. (1,400 mm)
Boiler pressure 16 bar (227 psi)
Grate area 42 ft2 (3.9 m2)
Heating surface, firebox 171 ft2 (15.9 m2)
Heating area, total 1912 ft2 (177 m2)
Superheating surface 686 ft2 (63.7 m2)
Wheelbase 30 ft (9.2 m)
Overall length 75.9 ft (23 m)
Engine weight, empty 76.54 tons
Maximum axle load 15.34 tons
Adhesive weight 75.54 tons
Tender type 4T30, 4T32
Builders (see list)

Builders between 1942 and 1945

Maschinenfabrik Esslingen
Arn. Jung
Deutsche Waffen und Munitions Fabrik (Cegielski)
Orenstein - Koppel
Oberschlesische Lokomotiv Werke
Wiener Lokomotiv Werke (Floridsdorf)
Skoda (Czechoslovakia)
Mavag (Hungary)
Chrzanow (Poland)
Cockerill (Belgium)
Haine St. Pierre (Belgium)
Tubize (Belgium)
Franco-Belge (Belgium)
Graffenstaden (SACM)

Author’s Notes

1. This article does not cover the BR 52 KON (condensing locomotives), the BR 52.80 rebuilds and the BR 52.9 version using powdered coal.

2. Note that at the time of the BR 52, what are now independent states all belonged to the Soviet Union (USSR) and therefore I am using the term Soviet Union and Soviets in this article.


"Die Lokomotiven der Baureihe 52," Michael Reimer, Lokrundschau Verlag, Gülzow, Germany, ISBN 3 931647 03 X, 1996.

"Die Baureihe 52", Märklin Magazin, 3/94, p. 40

"Loco Profile 18 – German Austerity 2-10-0," Brian Reed, Profile Publications Ltd., England, October 1971.

I appreciate the assistance provided by Gerhard Nosske in Germany. He provided valuable information about the Kolonnensystem.