Prussian G 12

The Prussian G 12 is a 1'E 2-10-0 goods train locomotive with the Prussian state railways (Preußische Staatseisenbahnen).

Prussia, Alsace-Lorraine, Baden, Württemberg G 12
Saxon XIII H (1919 version)
DRG Class 58.2–5/10–21
ÖBB Class 658
PKP Class Ty1
SNCF 150 C
JŽ class 36
DR 58 261 in Potsdam (1993)
Number(s)DRG 58 201–225, 231–272, 281–303, 311–318, 401–462, 501–543, 1002–2148
ManufacturerHenschel and others
Year(s) of manufacture1917–1924
Axle arrangement1'E
Axle arrangement1'E h3
TypeG 56.17
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Length over buffers18,495 mm (60 ft 8.1 in)
Service weight95.7 t
Adhesive weight82.5 t
Axle load16.7 t
Top speed65 km/h (40 mph)
Indicated Power1,133 kW
Driving wheel diameter1,400 mm (4 ft 7 in)
Leading wheel diameter1,000 mm (39 in)
Cylinder bore570 mm (22 in)
Piston stroke660 mm (26 in)
Boiler Overpressure14 bar
Grate area3.88 m2 (41.8 sq ft)
Superheater area68.42 m2 (736.5 sq ft)
Evaporative heating area192.43 m2 (2,071.3 sq ft)
TenderPrussian 3 T 20, Prussian 2'2' T 31,5, Saxon 3 T 21
Water capacity20.0/21.0/31.5 m3

It was built because it had been shown during the First World War that it was a great disadvantage, from a servicing and maintenance point of view, for each state railway to have its own locomotive classes with no standardization. In addition, the military railways needed a fast, powerful, goods train locomotive, that did not, however, have a high axle load. Even spare parts for locos of the same class often did not fit their sister locos.

Einheitslokomotive G 12

In the advertisements placed by locomotive factories, the G 12 engines are described as Einheitslokomotiven ("standard locomotives"). This caused much confusion as the term Einheitslokomotive had become synonymous with the Einheitslokomotive 1925, designed by the DRG that year („Kunibald“ Wagner). The DB also called its steam locomotives Einheitslokomotive 1950 according to DV 939a "steam locomotives and tenders (standard gauge)" from 1953; and its AC electric locomotives E10, E11, E40, E42, E50 and E51 as Einheits(elektro)lokomotiven.

The unification and standardisation began in Prussia in the 19th century with 'norms' (Normalien). Garbe's designs used many common parts, as the P8, G10 (common boiler) and T18 (also same boiler apart from Smokebox). The Prussian G 8.3 is a shortened G 12, the Prussian G 8.2 eliminated the inner cylinder.

In that way, the G 12 indeed is the first locomotive commonly in service by multiple German state railways and thus carries the name Einheitslokomotive rightly; however, apart from "Kunibald" Wagner continuing the tradition of Robert Garbe (and, later, giving the torch over to DB's Friedrich Witte and DR's Max Baumberg). However, it is a distinct machine from the Einheitslokomotive 1925 of the DRG.

In the 1920s, it was even considered continuing well-constructed types (like the Bavarian S 3/6, Saxon XX HV, Prussian P 8 and others - including G 82 and G 12); Wagner prevailed by stating that none of these machines offered the crucial standardisation of parts needed for an economic operation. The G 12/G 82 was also not used as template or first classes of the Einheitslokomotive 1925. Instead, the Einheitslok-1925 was a complete redesign, its genesis being described in detail by Alfred Gottwaldt, Geschichte der deutschen Einheits-Lokomotiven Franckh, Stuttgart 1978, ISBN 3-440-07941-4.


The G 12 was based on the Prussian G 12.1 and a 2-10-0 locomotive built for the Imperial Ottoman Department for Military Railways (Kaiserlich Ottomanische Generaldirektion der Militäreisenbahnen or C.F.O.A.) by Henschel (see Prussian G 12 (C.F.O.A)).

The locomotives differed - after Robert Garbe retired - in several points from earlier principles for Prussian locomotive design. Firstly they had a continuous bar frame and a wide, outer, Belpaire firebox located above the frame with a large grate area. The same principles entered also into other, later designs such as the Prussian T 20 or Prussian P 10.


Between August 1917 and 1921, a total of 1,168 G 12s were procured by Prussia. The Imperial Railways in Alsace-Lorraine ordered 118, the Grand Duchy of Baden State Railway 88, the Royal Saxon State Railways 42 and the Royal Württemberg State Railways 42 engines. In addition, Baden bought 10 locomotives from the Prussian state railways. Even the Deutsche Reichsbahn receive a batch of 20 locomotives in 1924 that, following the Saxon XIII H, were given the numbers 58 443-462.

The Saxon locomotives were, like their predecessors, designated as Class XIII H; Baden and Württemberg took on the Prussian designation of G 12. Only the Bavarian State Railways, the railways of Mecklenburg and Oldenburg did not buy any G 12s; as a result the G 12 can be viewed as the precursor to the standard locomotives or Einheitsloks in Germany.

Deutsche Reichsbahn

The majority of locomotives of this class were taken over by the Deutsche Reichsbahn. There they were given the following operating numbers:

  • Baden G 12: 58 201–225, 231–272, 281–303, 311–318
  • Saxon XIII H: 58 401–462
  • Württemberg G 12: 58 501–543
  • Prussian G 12: 58 1002–2148.

Number 58 1001 was not a G 12, rather an engine for the C.F.O.A. left in Germany.

Coal dust firing

Around 1930, six engines were converted to coal dust firing and, after 1945, a number of other engines followed suit, of which 43 remained in service for a long time (up to 1968).

World War II

In World War II, 58 2144 from Poland and 58 2145-2148 from Luxembourg were incorporated.

The Deutsche Bundesbahn retired their units in 1953. The East German Deutsche Reichsbahn still had 300 machines in service in 1968. On the introduction of EDP numbers in 1970, a '1' was usually prefixed to three-digit operating numbers. The last locomotives were mustered out in 1976. 56 locomotives were converted by the Deutsche Reichsbahn to Class 58.30 Rekoloks between 1958 and 1962.

After World War II, locomotives 58 1669, 1746, 1767, 1904, 1917, 2122 and 2132 remained on Austrian national territory. Number 58 1669 was given back to the DB in 1949, 58 1904 was paid off in 1951 and 58 1917 ended up in the Soviet Union in 1949. The remaining four engines formed the Austrian ÖBB Class 658. All the engines were retired by 1966. However at least two examples (658.1746) and (658.2122) survived longer in use as a heating locomotive at Linz depot. 658.1746 was seen dumped as 01033 in August 1972 along with 658.2122 as 01042. 01042 survived until at least February 1976.

The locomotives remaining in Poland after 1945 were given the PKP class Ty1. Those in Yugoslavia became class 36.


The G 12 was mainly equipped with Prussian class 3 T 20 or 2'2' T 31.5 tenders. The Saxon XIII H, on the other hand, generally ran with the somewhat larger Saxon class 3 T 21 tenders, resulting in a greater overall length. Because water tank volume was reduced on conversion to coal dust firing, only large Prussian 2'2' T 31.5 tenders or standard tenders were used after the war.


As of the time of writing, two former Baden locomotives of the older type, 58 261 (Bw Chemnitz-Hilbersdorf) and 58 311 (Ettlingen), a Prussian original, 58 1616 (formerly used as a steam generator (Dampfspender) (Bw Hermeskeil) and an example obtained by Yugoslavia after WW2, 36-013, notably with the rear steam dome removed (Železniški Muzej Ljubljana), remain preserved.

See also


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