The DR Class 01.5 series was created by converting the DR series 01 of the Deutsche Reichsbahn in the GDR.

Since the class 01 locomotives were still indispensable in heavy passenger service, renewal was necessary. From 1962 onwards, 35 locomotives were therefore modernised (reconstructed) at RAW Meiningen. Worn parts like frame and boiler were exchanged. Only locomotives with reinforced brakes (from 01 102) and 1000 millimetre wheelsets were used.

Details of the DR class 01.5

Manufacturer: RAW Meiningen
Length: 23,350 mm
Numbering: 01 501-01 535
Weight: 111.0 t
Years of construction: 1962-1965
Top speed: 130 km/h forward,
50 km/h reverse
Retirement: 1991
Fuel supply: 10 t coal or
13.5 m³ heavy fuel oil
Water supply: 34.0 m³
Number: 35
Power: 1839 kW (2500 PSi)
Train heating: Steam
16 bar
Grade: S 36 20
Type: 2'C1' h2
Tender: 2'2' T 34
Worth knowing
The DR Class 01.5 belongs to the type 2'C1' h2 or h3. It has 2 successive running axles combined in one bogie, independent of the main frame, and 1 running axle independent of the main frame. The steam type is superheated steam and the machines have 2 or 3 cylinders.

More things to know

The story of the powerful DR class 01.5

Not only welded boilers with 2 shots but the whole locomotive was renewed. A striking external feature was the continuous dome cladding, as was also found on the CSD series 477.0. This gave the locomotives a modern, sleek appearance. The Wagner wind deflectors were replaced by bevelled Witte deflectors.

The new boiler made the Reko 01 one of the most powerful German express steam locomotives of the post-war period. In addition to a combustion chamber and the mixing preheater type IfS, the boiler was equipped with three full-lift boiler safety valves (type Ackermann, NW 60) and with Trofimoff slide valves. Except for 01 501 and 01 520 all new cylinders were of welded construction. Furthermore, the locomotives received a new, welded driver’s cab in standard design with upholstered seats, as well as wet steam side draft regulators and other improvements. The steam locomotives DR Class 01.5 also got an Indusi. This was required for cross-border traffic to Bebra or Hamburg-Altona and on the Berlin-Dresden line. Eight copies of the steam locomotive DR Class 01.5 were equipped with cast steel Boxpok wheels due to broken spokes in the coupling wheel sets. The boxspok wheels are known from steam locomotives from the USA and the USSR. However, due to manufacturing defects, they were replaced by spoke wheels again.

To enable a further increase in performance, the locomotives from road number 01 519 onwards were equipped with oil main firing. With the exception of the seven DR Class 01.5, which are based at Bw Berlin Ostbahnhof, all others were retrofitted with oil main firing. The tender could carry 13.5 cubic metres of heavy oil. All steam locomotives were to remain in service for six years, which they all exceeded. The oil-fired locomotives were shut down in the early 1980s in the wake of the oil crisis. Some locomotives were used as heating locomotives after they left service.

When the locomotives were re-drawn in 1970, all oil-fired locomotives were listed as 01.05 and the coal-fired locomotives as 01.15.

The steam locomotive 01 0531-2 received a grate firing system in 1984 and then as 01 1531-1 as an operational traditional locomotive in the DR stock. In 1990/91 the 01 519 was refurbished from a stationary heating system to a fully operational locomotive. It was sold to Switzerland in 1991. In 1996 the 01 519 was bought by the Eisenbahnfreunde Zollernbahn and after a long period of work was refurbished in Rottwil. It has been in service again since autumn 2015.

Six locomotives of the DR Class 01.5 series were preserved (as of March 2010), including 01 509, 01 514, 01 518, 01 519, 01 531 and 01 533.

Accidents of the DR Class 01.5

The 01 516 with the then EDP number 01 1516-2 gained sad fame on 27 November 1977 when its boiler burst in Bitterfeld station due to lack of water. This was the last boiler bang in Germany so far. As the condition of the boilers was reliably monitored, such an accident seemed unimaginable even then.

In the spring of 1978, a comparative run was carried out to determine the cause of the accident. The unpublished report of the Deutsche Reichsbahn showed that the scheduled locomotive driver was at that time undergoing retraining as an electric locomotive driver. He was replaced by a train driver. This driver was replaced by a locomotive driver due to lack of communication with the stoker regarding the lack of water at the entrance to Bitterfeld station.

The accident had no effect on the continued use of steam locomotives by the DR of the GDR.