Category Archives: Interesting Locomotives

Featuring photos and information of interesting locomotives brought to our attention

Adventures in Research

As many of you know, we here at have an ongoing project to attempt to verify the location, condition and whereabouts of locomotives in our database. To this end, I’ve been working my way through our lists of locomotives without photos. There are probably more rational ways to do this, but this seemed convenient.

So, without further ado, let me introduce you to an extraordinary railway museum: The Bochum Railway Museum in Bochum, Germany. The link takes you to a mostly-English version of their website. And the site is stunningly beautiful, the museum quite extraordinary. We had excellent photo coverage of the museum by several photographers — except for one locomotive DB 0-4-4-0T No. 99.604. And this caused me to wonder why.

The locomotive proved elusive on Google, at least at first. The locomotive was not listed on the museum’s website as a part of their collection. A search by builder and construction number on Google turned up nothing. (The builder information we had was wrong, of course).  Another wonderful website, if you’re interested in German steam locomotives can be found at The Steam Locomotive Archive. The site is wonderfully informative if you speak German, and if not, well Google Translate is your friend. Therein, I discovered that good ol’ 99.604 did indeed exist, and had been at the Bochum Railway Museum in 2006.

In the history of the locomotive  on I learned that the locomotive had been transferred in 2006 to the The Society for the Preservation of Narrow Gauge Railways in Dresden, Germany, where it is nicely displayed. Our page for this locomotive is at: DB 0-4-4-0T No. 99.604

And that, dear friends, is how I came to be on my fourth cup of coffee at 5:31 am writing a blog post about a convoluted internet search.




A Happy Discovery

There is an ongoing effort here to both improve the accuracy of the database that drives, and to add locomotives, maps and imagery to the site. Occassionally this yields a pleasant surprise.

So it was, this morning. I often use Google Earth Pro or to search for locomotives in our database. If I can find them in a satellite image, I can add a map/satellite view for the locomotive. I had been searching for locomotives in Chile and was trying to locate Humberstone 0-6-2T No. 11 in Humberstone, Chile. Our data said the locomotive was “Inside Shop”, but the photo provided by Sr. Pato Moris showed the locomotive outside, against the background of a somewhat run-down building. So the search began and I discovered that Humberstone, Chile is actually the Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works, now defunct.

It has been converted into a sort of tourist attraction, and Humberstone No. 11 is indeed outdoors in front of a building. So I began using Google Street View to explore the area at ground level and this is what I found:


The locomotive on the left is, indeed Humberstone No. 11 and it matches our photo by Sr. Pato Moris. The surprise, of course, is the locomotive on the right. This locomotive was not on any list of Chilean locomotives I could find. Navigating around it with Google Street View revealed markings that make this Humberstone No. 8, a locomotive which had been reported scrapped in 1940. So…I’ve cheerfully added this little critter to our website and database, and am searching for technical details for it.


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Posted by on August 6, 2017 in Interesting Locomotives


A Memorial to the Heroes of Kruty

In 2006, the citizens of Kiev and surrounding areas dedicated a memorial, near Kruty station to the Heroes of Kruty. Before we discuss these heroes, please note the nice photo of the memorial:

Photo Copyright ©

That is a Soviet-era 0-10-0 built in 1954. Bear that in mind as we learn about the Heroes of Kruty.

The Battle of Kruty took place on January 29 or 30, 1918, near Kruty railway station, about 130 kilometres northeast of Kiev, Ukraine, which at the time was part of Nezhinsky Uyezd of Chernigov Governorate. 400 Ukrainian cadets opposed at Bolshevik force of about 4000 men. Armored trains were a part of the battle on both sides.

The result of the battle? Strategic Ukrainian People’s Republic victory, capture of Kiev delayed and enabled the Ukrainian government to conclude the Peace Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.

The organizers of the memorial had wanted to include a period locomotive at the head of an armored train typical of the period. Such a locomotive was not available and Ukrainian Railways kindly provided Er799-13 as a stand in. The irony of using a Soviet-era locomotive to commemorate a Bolshevik setback at the end of the Civil War is simply delicious.


The Peculiarities of Locomotive Numbers

Below, you’ll see a perfectly nice photograph of SZD 0-10-0 No. Er766-41 performing switching duties at the Museum of Railway Transport in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Image Source on Dmitri Zinoviev’s
But, “Wait!” I hear the eagle-eyed among you say. “That’s Er786-19, it says so clearly on the tender.” And therein lies the nuisance. Unlike practices in other parts of the world, in Russia, tenders are usually lettered prominently for the locomotive with which they were constructed. So this is, indeed Er766-41 dragging around the tender from Er766-19.

In times past, I fell into the trap of placing a photo with the record for the number on the tender (usually when I couldn’t see the number on the locomotive). After getting verbally thrashed over this a couple of times, I’m much more careful now. And I also thought a small explanation would be useful. And I liked the photo we’ve linked to here.

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Posted by on July 1, 2017 in Interesting Locomotives


Operational Steam at Umekoji, Japan

The Umekoji Depot Museum (now known as the Kyoto Railroad Museum) has long been home to operational steam. I had been unaware as to how much of their collection was operational until a recent Note from a site visitor (Yuki Taki) that outlined their status.

Locomotives in Japan can be operational, but not certified for mainline use. At Umekoji we have the following locomotives:

JNR 4-6-4 No. C62-2 Operational, Not Certified for Mainline Use
JNR 4-6-4 C61-2 Operational, Not Certified for Mainline Use
JNR 4-6-2 No. C57-1 Operational, Not Certified for Mainline Use
JNR 2-6-0 No. C56-160 Operational, Certified for Mainline Use
JNR 2-8-2 No. D51-200 Operational, Certified for Mainline Use
JNR 2-6-0 No. 8630 Operational, Not Certified for Mainline Use
JNR 0-4-0T No. B20-10 Operational, Not Certified for Mainline Use

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Posted by on June 30, 2017 in Interesting Locomotives


An Operational 2-6-0 In Japan

Japanese National Railways (JNR) 2-6-0 No. 8630 became operational at the Umekoji Museum Depot in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. Site visitor Yuki Taki recently provided some interesting details about this locomotive.

Copyright © Hahifuheho

Site visitor Yuki Taki provided some interesting background informatoin about this locomotive.

8630 is operational, albeit only within the Umekouji Depot premises. She is an unusual loco in Japan, in that she is equipped with a bell (just between her steam and sand domes). Also interesting to note that this locomotive belongs in the first batch of 52 Class 8620 2-6-0s introduced in 1914, which means that as-delivered, her running boards were not divided into two stages and she would have had the earlier, less sharply curved cab. Her cab and running boards are speculated to have been replaced by that of a retired member of her class at some point in her career.

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Posted by on June 30, 2017 in Interesting Locomotives


An 0-10-0 That Isn’t (Anymore)

In the course of running this website, I’ve encountered steam locomotives that have come to odd places at the end of their lives. In South American there’s a locomotive that has been converted into a very large pizza oven. And in Russia there are a couple of 2-10-0s that have been shortened to their smokeboxes, and pilot truck and displayed in parks emerging from pseudo-tunnels or in one case a simple brick wall.

So it was, long before I’d seen a photo of this locomotive, I received the following description of it:

Er762-27 the middle part of the boiler was disposed of, the firebox was attached to the smokebox and used as a incinerator unit on 4 wheels from the 0-10-0 cut down frames.

I shrugged my shoulders, and said to myself, “Well that’s odd.” And thought little of it, until I encountered this image from Dmitri Zinoviev’s wonderful website,

Copyright © Dimitri Zakutnyaya

It is precisely what it looks like: a mobile incinerator on four wheels. The smoke box has been grafted directly to the firebox, and comments on indicate that this is precisely what this contraption was used for.

This is SZD 0-10-0 No. Er762-27 last noted in 2007 in Isakogorka, Archangelsk Region, Russia. Our page for this locomotive is Er762-27



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Posted by on June 29, 2017 in Interesting Locomotives