DB Class 23

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DB Class 23
Steam locomotive BR 23.JPG
Class 23 in Darmstadt-Kranichstein
Number(s)23 001–105
Year(s) of manufacture1950–1959
Retiredby 1976
Wheel arrangement2-6-2
Axle arrangement1′C1′ h2
TypeP 35.18
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Length over buffers21,325 mm (69 ft 11 12 in)
Service weight82.8 tonnes (81.5 long tons; 91.3 short tons)
Adhesive weight56.0 tonnes (55.1 long tons; 61.7 short tons)
Axle load18.7 tonnes (18.4 long tons; 20.6 short tons)
Top speed
  • forwards: 110 km/h (68 mph)
  • backwards: 85 km/h (53 mph)
Driving wheel diameter1,750 mm (5 ft 8 78 in)
Leading wheel diameter1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in)
Trailing wheel diameter1,250 mm (4 ft 1 14 in)
No. of cylindersTwo, outside
Cylinder bore550 mm (21 58 in)
Piston stroke660 mm (26 in)
Boiler Overpressure16 kg/cm2 (1.57 MPa; 228 psi)
Grate area3.11 m2 (33.5 sq ft)
Superheater area73.80 m2 (794.4 sq ft)
Evaporative heating area156.28 m2 (1,682.2 sq ft)
Water capacity30 m3 (1,100 cu ft) or 30,000 litres (6,600 imp gal; 7,900 US gal)
FuelCoal: 8 tonnes (7.9 long tons; 8.8 short tons)
Train controlHeusinger

The steam locomotives of Class 23 were German passenger train locomotives developed in the 1950s for the Deutsche Bundesbahn. They had a 2-6-2 wheel arrangement and were equipped with Class 2'2' T 31 tenders. They were designed to replace the once ubiquitous Prussian P 8 engines that had been built between 1908 and 1924 and, in their day, were the most numerous post-war replacement class.[1]

Manufacture and Design[edit]

A class 023 working in the Moselle Valley, Easter 1972

From 1950, 105 examples of this newly designed class were manufactured for medium passenger train and light express train services. They had welded locomotive frames, boilers and tenders together with all the latest refinements of German practice. These included a superheated multiple-valve regulator and central lubrication of the least accessible parts of the running gear. Engines up to operating number 023 had Knorr surface preheaters and journal bearings. Locomotives with serial numbers 024 and 025, as well as those from 053 onwards were equipped with roller bearings for the axles and drive as well as mixer-preheaters. A small number of vehicles were given Heinl preheaters and several were equipped for push-pull train operations.

Last new steam locomotive in West Germany[edit]

Locomotive number 23 105, built by Arnold Jung Lokomotivfabrik and taken into service by the DB in December 1959, was the last steam engine to enter service in the Federal Republic of Germany. After its retirement it was stabled at the Nuremberg Transport Museum where it was severely damaged by the great fire in the locomotive shed on 17 October 2005.

Reclassification and retirement[edit]

On the introduction of the new DB numbering scheme on 1 January 1968 the class was redesignated as Class 023. The last few locomotives were retired in 1976 at Crailsheim locomotive depot (Bahnbetriebswerk or Bw).

Preserved locomotives[edit]

The following engines had been preserved as at September 2006:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ransome-Wallis, P. (1959). Illustrated Encyclopedia of World Railway Locomotives (2001 republication ed.). Dover Publications, Inc. p. 357. ISBN 0-486-41247-4.