Written by: TrainSim-James
The Legendary Iron Horse has Galloped into Train Simulator!
Back in the early 1900s, the Royal Bavarian State Railways were in need of a new steam locomotive fleet that would specialise in express passenger operations. Maffei, a locomotive manufacturer which dated back to the 1830s, was chosen to provide the new fleet; the new locomotives were to be a development of the Baden IV f, several concepts were brought forward to the new design, with the ultimate difference of housing more power for their intended duties.
In 1908, construction of the Bavarian S 3/6 had begun, the first order was for 23 locomotives and they had all joined the rails by 1911. Despite being under the same class, multiple series would be built; the first 3 series, a-c, featured smaller driving wheels than the following d & e series, which were destined for exclusive express operations out of Munich. Some locomotives differed very little, if not at all, this was the case for the last S 3/6s for the Royal Bavarian State as they were built to aid in the First World War.
Even in the 1920s, with Deutsche Reichsbahn now in control, the S 3/6 fleet (now known as the DR BR 18) would continue to grow throughout the decade. Series k was the first to be delivered to DR, these locomotives were fitted with larger superheaters to make them even more powerful than their predecessors. It was the k series that hauled the famous Rheingold Express and ensure the BR 18s place in locomotive history.
After more than 20 years of production, the final DR BR 18 rolled out in 1931. A total of 159 had entered service in that time, an incredible feat of period engineering. Constant developments ensured that the BR 18s were set to stay, and even right into the 1950s, they could still be seen doing what they did best. It was in the ‘50s when the fleet became known as the DB BR 18, the change owing to Deutsche Bundesbahn’s reign, and 30 examples were modernised. A new lease of life was found for the rebuilt locomotives, they could compete with the BR 01’s performance all while providing an unbeatable efficiency.
The 1960s would be the DB BR 18’s final decade, many locomotives were ageing (along with the steam era itself), and the modified variants developed fate-sealing faults that forced a reduction in power. By 1966, most of the fleet had faced the cutter’s torch and only a handful would survive into preservation. One locomotive, 18 505, remained in service into the late 1960s, and was one such example that still sits on the rails to this day.
Overall, the DB BR 18s remained unmatched throughout their operational life. A key locomotive fleet to 20th Century Germany, with a few examples living on to carry the legacy left behind them. It’s time for you to discover the might behind the Bavarian Pacific, as the DB BR 18 from Partner Programme Developer, Eisenbahnwerk, is available now for Train Simulator!
The DB BR 18 for Train Simulator features the classic steam locomotive 18 505 in DB Black & Red livery, preserved condition, and 18 461-508 in running condition. Get to know the intricate art of steam by taking the BR 18s across the beautiful Mosel Valley route in several Career Scenarios. The passengers will be looking forward to the heritage operations ahead, will you step up to the task?
The DB BR 18 is available now for Train Simulator, head to the Store for more details ■