German Steam Locomotives of the 1930s

Written by larry rivers
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German Steam Locomotives of the 1930s
1930s German steam trains set the standard for innovation and speed. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

After the devastation of World War I, a new Germany began to rebuilt its transportation infrastructure, focusing on railways for mass transit. Utilising newly built factories and a culture of mechanical design and manufacturing, Germany produced many iconic and technologically advanced steam locomotives in the 1930s.

Deutsche Reichsbahn 4-6-4 Baureihe 05

Built in 1935, these steam locomotives were designed for high-speed testing. Featuring three cylinders measuring 18 inches by 26 inches and a total weight of 212 tons, its boilers could generate 290 psi and more than 3,400 horsepower. in 1936, this locomotive set a speed record, read by a dynamometer car, of 200.4kph, or 124.4mph.


This unique steam locomotive was built in the late 1930s and featured many innovative achievements. It was seen as a contender for the world speed record at the time. This locomotive was driven by four axles, each powered by two cylinders arranged in a "V" angled format, and featured a sophisticated gear box which allowed multiple gear changes and reverse.


Controlled by the German military, Panzerzuege, or armoured trains, transported military officials and officers across Germany. In rare circumstances they would transport troops or materials across Germany. These steam locomotives were based on the Deutsche Reichsbahn's standard steam trains, known for their reliability and speed. Additional communications devices, heavy armoured plating and armament were added for protection.

Märklin BR 10

This iconic steam train was built in the 1930s. Featuring a streamlined look and heavy use during the decade, this train excelled in transporting freight and passengers. The BR 10 was rebuilt under many model numbers and remained in service through the 1950s. This train has also been featured by many modern train model manufacturers due to its classic lines.

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