Steam storage locomotive

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Henschel steam storage locomotive in the large Mannheim power station
Steam storage locomotive 002 of the DLM , ready for use on industrial tracks, at the demonstration in Schaffhausen 2010
Operational Hanomag steam storage locomotive (in Heinsberg - Oberbruch )
LKM -Feuerlose-C in the Henkel factory museum Genthin
Fireless B-coupler from Hohenzollern
Steam storage locomotive of the Süddeutsche Kabelwerke Mannheim in the Bochum-Dahlhausen Railway Museum
Krupp steam storage locomotive in operation at Sasol in Herne
Krauss-Maffei Gilli high pressure steam storage locomotive in Gendorf / Kastl
Wiener Lokomotivfabrik Floridsdorf Gilli - high pressure steam storage locomotive in Strasshof on the northern line

A steam storage locomotive or fireless locomotive is a special design of a steam locomotive that draws its drive energy from superheated water.

Before the steam storage locomotive is ready for operation, the water in the locomotive's boiler must be heated from an external steam boiler.


A steam storage locomotive can be used in potentially explosive environments, such as B. in the chemical industry , in ammunition factories or in mining , are used, since there is no combustion . The possible uses of the storage steam locomotive are roughly the same as those of a compressed air locomotive .

However, due to the dependency on a steam supplier, steam storage locomotives are not used underground. However, steam storage locomotives can move trailer loads of over 2000 t. They have to be refilled after six to eight hours. Even today, steam storage locomotives are still used in industrial companies that generate considerable amounts of process heat themselves , such as the paper, sugar and iron industries.

In the period from 1984 to 1988 RAW Meiningen built the last large series of 202 steam storage locomotives of the type FLC.


Steam storage locomotive when refueling

The running gear and engine largely correspond to that of a normal steam locomotive ; the axle sequences B, C and rarely also D. The cylinders of the vehicles are usually relatively large so that the locomotive can still be operated even if the steam pressure has dropped significantly.

The boiler is a simple pressure vessel . However, it is not simply filled with steam, but steam supplied from the outside heats the water in the boiler, which makes up about 2/3 of the boiler volume. The pressure-tight system heats the water to around 180 degrees Celsius. If steam is now consumed by driving, the boiler water boils immediately. With this principle, steam storage locomotives can be used for several hours without refilling. The ratio of the amount of steam that can be withdrawn in relation to the storage volume can be calculated very precisely for the relevant boundary conditions.

The boiler does not require a fire box or smoke pipes and is therefore a very inexpensive and low-maintenance component compared to the boiler of a normally heated steam locomotive. It is also relatively light in relation to its volume, so that storage steam locomotives can be equipped with relatively large boilers. In addition, the boiler is provided with a thermal insulation equipped to the waste heat as low as possible.

The boiler is usually shifted a little forwards in relation to the center of the vehicle because the driver's cab is at the rear end . In order to maintain an even weight distribution, the cylinders are arranged below the driver's cab.

High pressure steam storage locomotives

The conventional steam storage locomotive has two decisive disadvantages: On the one hand, its operating range is severely limited due to the design, and on the other hand, the constantly decreasing operating pressure in the boiler means that the cylinders have to be made quite large in order to be able to generate sufficient tractive power even with low steam pressure. That is why they tend to spin at high steam pressures , as the force generated cannot be applied to the rail .

In 1934, the Floridsdorf locomotive factory built a steam storage locomotive based on the principles of Paul Gilli for the Leopoldau gas works of the City of Vienna . It should be able to move trains with a weight of 1500 tons over ramps of 17 per thousand. This first locomotive, which worked on the high pressure principle, was of considerable dimensions. Parts of the frame, engine and cylinder with Lentz valve control came from a five-axle superheated steam locomotive of the BBÖ series 80 . It had an operating weight of 82 t with an axle load of 16.5 t. The boiler pressure was 118 bar. The boiler was separated from the engine by a pressure reducing valve , so that the pressure in the boiler was reduced to such an extent that the cylinders operated at around 14 bar pressure. As a result, a constant working pressure was available in the cylinders until this pressure was reached in the boiler.

Locomotives of this type had another advantage: Due to the higher storage pressure, the water temperature in the boiler is much higher than in conventional steam storage locomotives. The withdrawn steam loses temperature due to its pressure reduction, which can be fed back to it through a superheater (pipe coils in the boiler). The superheated steam that is reheated in this way has a higher energy density than normal wet steam , which enables more economical operation of the locomotive. Overheating, however, removes additional heat from the storage tank, which means that the originally filled amount of steam can no longer be extracted and remains in the storage tank in the form of water.

Only three locomotive factories were involved in the production of the high-pressure steam storage locomotives: Henschel in Kassel supplied five locomotives, the Floridsdorf locomotive factory 45 and Krauss-Maffei in Munich three locomotives. These three machines of the type C 17 F from Krauss-Maffei were the only ones of the Gilli design and ended the construction of steam storage locomotives there in the early 1950s. The last high-pressure steam storage locomotive ever was delivered in 1973 by the locomotive factory in Vienna-Floridsdorf to the ÖMV , Schwechat refinery .

Steam storage locomotives available in Germany

See also

Individual evidence

  4. Fireless locomotives from Krauss-Maffei in


Web links

Commons : German steam storage locomotives  - collection of images, videos and audio files