Written by: TrainSim-James
The utterly grand profile of the DB BR 10 will soon be gracing the German rails within Train Simulator!
The 1950s, Germany’s railway future was in full swing, wires were being erected across key routes for brand new electric locomotives, and the first 5 pre-production units of the famous diesel V200s were in operation. It would seem that the steam days were numbered throughout Germany, but Deutsche Bundesbahn saw a different future for the classic traction.
While electric locomotives were proving successful on their new routes, both the pre-production, and production V200s were suffering greatly from reliability problems, and were less efficient than the steam-powered BR 01. This meant that unelectrifed routes would be left with questionable traction for the time being, and that simply wouldn’t do. It was decided that this set back was reason enough to place an order for a new locomotive, while developments had been made to the BR 01, forming the BR 01.10 initially, even this left DB with uncertainty, and a brand new design would be ushered in to provide.
Power over innovation was the main drive in what would become the BR 10’s design and construction, only a few high tech advancements were utilised as Krupp focused on reusing parts, such as the proven boiler from the modified BR 01.10. The 4-6-2 Pacific design was settled upon, as the originally proposed Prairie was not suitable. A total of 2 pre-production locomotives were built, 10 001 and 10 002, and while mainly similar, 10 001 was built as a hybrid-firing locomotive, taking both coal and oil in the newly designed 2’2′ T 40 Tender. 10 002 featured oil-only firing, and 10 001 would one day be refitted in such a manner.
The new BR 10 locomotives rolled out of the production line in 1957, very late as far as steam is concerned, and was ready for testing and main line operation throughout the unelectrified routes in Germany. Thanks to the stylised streamlining up front, the BR 10 was expected fulfil its role with flying colours, as the twins could easily gallop at 140 km/h with a full train. In reality, very much the opposite would ring true, while they were fantastic locomotives, their operational limitations left a lot to be desired.
It was already pretty much decided by 10 001 and 10 002’s completion that they would not be followed by a production fleet, the order was cancelled. If it weren’t for that, their limitations would have definitely put an end to future models; the BR 10 featured an astounding 22 tonne axle load, and while this had the benefit of putting down some serious power onto the rails – it would be unlikely that they would slip in any circumstances, hauling any weight – there were very few routes that could accommodate such a heavy locomotive.
Frankfurt, Kassel and Hanover were 3 locations that 10 001 and 10 002 were allowed to serve in early service, with both locos being based at Bebra Bf from 1958 until 1962, by which time they were moved to Kassel. In rare cases, the BR 10s could be specially permitted to run on railway lines with a 21 tonne axle load, this was the only way they could reach Münster in their later days. The BR 10s spent many days in the workshop lusting for repair, being essentially the last of their kind, spare parts were hard to come by, and the older BR 01.10 was used more frequently where steam traction was still required.
Sadly, the 1960s would mark the end of the BR 10s in operation, cylinder damage would put 10 002 out of service indefinitely by January 1967, and 10 001 would join her sister in retirement by June of the following year. Once out of service, the two locos went on to quite different lives; 10 002 was used as a heating locomotive for maintenance depots and stations until 1972, when she was sadly scrapped at the Offenberg Repair Shop. 10 001 on the other hand, luckily survived the cutters torch, and after acting as an exhibition locomotive, found a comfortable home at the German Steam Locomotive Museum at Neuenmarkt-Wirsberg, Northern Bavaria.
Despite half the fleet being non-existent today, and the one remaining locomotive being in preservation, the DB BR 10 for Train Simulator, lovingly represented by Partner Programme member Romantic Railroads, will unlock the experience of what it was like to populate the footplate of these classic Black Swans, complete with period mainline rolling stock for the ultimate in German steam era authenticity ■