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Brawa KPEV S9

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Brawa Model 40272
Review by Neil Wood

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The (S9) Hanover 915 photographed Werner Hubert 1914 BW Stendal
Photo: Collection Rauter

The Royal Prussian Railway, normally abbreviated to KPEV, was the largest of the German Landerbahn; the German equivalent of grouping. The genus S (Schnellzuglokomotive) in the connotation of Prussian railways signifies an express locomotive. S9 being the ninth in a series of express locomotives made for the Prussian Railway.

The S9 was built in response to competition by electric locomotives which could attain speeds of 206- 210 Km/h. The initial experimental versions also had forward cabs for increased visibility and looked rather unusual. These were completed in Spring 1904.

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S9 Altona 562 with partial cladding

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S9 Altona 561 with complete cladding.

Despite the differences in the external appearance of the running Fairing of the locomotives, the construction of boilers, frames, Engine and control was identical.

At the turn of the century the European express train and passenger train scene was dominated by locomotives with the 4-4-0 or 2B wheel arrangement. This was to last for around 20 years. KPEV (Königlich Preußische Eisenbahn Verwaltungen) purchased 3472 locomotives with the 2B wheel arrangement.

As trains started getting heavier and heavier In the early 1900s trains were beginning to become increasingly heavy, and the 2B locomotives were reaching the limits of their performance. An additional carrying axle was necessary to allow more efficient boilers to be fitted to locomotives. This modified configuration was the 4-4-2 or 2B1 wheel arrangement, known as the Atlantic type.

KPEV was the first railway company to purchase the S7 Atlantics. These were delivered in 1902 in two variants named after their suppliers; the Hanoverian and the Graffenstaden. While they ran quietly and were much more powerful than the 2B type they replaced, they still werent capable of meeting the demands placed on them. In the period from 1905 to 1907 there was an increased demand for express trains in Prussia. In order to achieve the higher requirements and fulfil the demand, the Hanoverian S7 was further upgraded to the S9. Beginning in 1908, 99 of the S9 class were designed and built at Hanomag in Hanover.

Its overall length across the buffers amounted to 21, 860 mm nearly 3.5 meters longer than the S 7 type of Hanover. Particularly significant was the magnification of the boiler heating surface of 163 m2 'in S 7 to 229 m2 for the S9. Together with the 4 m2 large grate area and 5,200 mm long heart tubes showed a significant increase in the boiler performance magnifying the cylinder diameter of 2 mm x 360/560 to 2 x 380/580 mm by 600 mm stroke.

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The (S9) Hanover 947.
Photo: Collection Dr. Graber sham

The S9 was not only one of the most powerful
locomotives of the time, additionally from an aesthetic point of view it was
also good, thanks to their high boiler situation and the balance engine. Only
the deep down ash pan ruined the harmonious looks. For the Prussian State
Railways the S9 meant the high point of Development of the wet steam express
train locomotive.

Between 1909 and 1912, 99 locomotives of the genus S9 were built as seen below:

KED Altona 15 machines
KED Bromberg 9 machines
KED Essen 12 Machines
KED Hanover 51 machines
KED Munster 12 Machines

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Side view of the genus from the S9 W2g leaf pattern (issue dated April 1911).
Drawing: Collection Dr. sham Grabe

The S was regarded as one of the best machines of all time. When the heavy express services were driven at high speed without stopping they proved their efficiency. The full boiler performance was hardly needed below normal ratio, it was only fully exploited in the upper speed range.

While it may seem odd that the S9 did not use the efficient superheated steam process two experimental locomotives were converted. Experimental conversion to superheated steam running began in 1913 or 1914 for the two locomotives (S9) Hanover 903 and 905 which were given a new boiler with Schmidtschem smoke super-heater tubes installed. The new boiler had a total heating area of 237.0 m (of which 545 m was superheater heating area).

But by 1914 the delivery of locomotives of the genus S 10 was already in full swing and it was decided it was not worth rebuilding locomotives of the genus S9 to superheated steam. But that was not the sole reason for their demise: after 1918 and the end of the First World War fast express trains were no longer in demand, and the Prussian State railway, ran fewer but longer and heavier trains. However after the end of the First World War the S9 was delivered to Belgium and met with great popularity, and continued to operate there until the Second World War. However, the fact remains that the S9 is the best ever four-cylinder composite Wet Steam locomotive produced in all Prussia.

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Picture: ModelEisenbahn Journal

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The Brawa model 40272 KPEV S9
Released: February 2009
Price 550.00 (approx £500)

Model Specifications:

Motor: flywheel drive;
Length: 251mm;
Livery: KPEV; [
Purpose: Express passenger;
Finish: Pristine;
Features: Body die cast zinc, Die cast locomotive and tender chassis; Detailed tender under body; Operating prototypical headlights; Directional backup light; opening cab doors; Loksound v3.5 decoder preinstalled with following effects: Engine Sounds; Synchronized Chuff; Whistle (Whistle can be manually controlled by use of toggle on Ecos controller); Squealing brakes; Coupler crash; shovelling coal; water pump; cab light; Headlight; Pre installed smoke generator; Sprung Buffers; NEM coupler pockets.

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Having previously baulked at the price of the top of the range Brawa models, this year I eventually capitulated and decided to get one as I really like the KPEV locos and my curiosity was killing me. Unfortunately I chose to buy one in a year in which the exchange rates went pear shaped so it ended up costing me Aus$200 more than I had originally anticipated when I ordered it in January 2008. The previous Brawa locomotives I had purchased were streamlined black and red locomotives and, due to the streamlined casing, were cheaper due to less external detail. This model was a different kettle of fish entirely as it was an early locomotive from the early days of German rail. There is much external detail; most of which is already applied and some (four items) of which comes in a bag for you to apply yourself depending on whether you intend to run the model or display it.

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The loco is well and securely packed however that did not prevent a small detail part being found underneath the loco tender when it was removed from its packaging. As the packaging is very secure indeed, my guess was that this tiny part must have either been loose to start with or must have been knocked off when put in the box. It is clear where the small part came from however reattaching it will involve cyanoacrylate and a small amount of paint. This will result in a slightly less than perfect model however probably preferable to returning it to Germany and risking a re-run of the entire scenario. I have not yet attached the extra detailing as I need to try it first to ensure that the model runs without hindrance when they are attached.

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The model is also available without sound and also in AC current sound and non- sound versions.

The loco is very sharply detailed and all external piping is replicated in fine detail. The model is precise to scale which is why some of the restrictive parts are left off so that you can actually run the loco. The detail is very good. You can see the three dimensional aspect of the insignia on the tender. Rivets are all present and correct although there are an awful lot so I havent counted them. The paintwork is very nice. No complaints there.

Wheel flanges are of the Continental pizza cutter type.

There is an accompanying manual which is in English and German which also shows all the parts and their numbers and quite a lot of other information on care and maintenance. There is also special tool for unscrewing the coupling rods should you have reason to do this.

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The sound decoder is the new Loksound v3.5 and is good. The accompanying leaflet by ESU was only in German however I suspect that this may have been because the loco had been purchased from a German shop. The leaflet does not tell you what the functions are and neither does the manual for the model. I found that they were:

F* lights
F1 locomotive sound
F2 whistle
F3 coupler crash
F4 smoke generator
F5 coal shoveling
F6 steam let off

The sound is adequately loud although very clear and has some great sound effects. The running sound is unusual, probably because it is such an early locomotive, and has some interesting quirks. I do wonder where the sound came from as I am not aware of any S9s that are still operational. The sound while stationary is interesting; sounds just like a kettle simmering away with some good background noises. The whistle is very nice and when a long whistle is sounded there is none of that synthesized sound loop which you get with some decoders. I will post some clips so that you can hear the sound for yourself as some sounds can be hard to describe.

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The lights have a new feature which I have not seen before; they fade on and off as does the cab light.

The inbuilt smoke generator can be turned on and off digitally. This is a good feature as some digital locos have this linked to the lights and therefore on all the time. The high chimney helps keep the residue from the loco but some does still collect around the front of the loco.

The loco is a smooth runner although it does have traction tyres which may be a negative for some. There is a reasonable amount of weight in the loco given its size due to the metal chassis and body. There is a slight click coming from the running gear which is not ideal. I also notice that one of the tender wheels is sticking slightly when the loco is going slowly. This may be resolved by slight lubrication.

Overall it is a beautiful locomotive with lots of very fine detail. I suspect that the emphasis was on detail rather than on long term running ability though. Care will have to be taken with the fine running gear. Price wise, it is expensive, even for a Continental digital sound loco. What with the recent lurch in the exchange rates it has become even more expensive. So the question is; is it worth the money? Well its very good but unless you specifically collect KPEV express trains there are many other options which are far better value for money. If on the other hand you do collect KPEV locos then you dont really have much of a choice. Dont get me wrong this is a fantastic loco but if you compare it to some of the Roco Platin series they were of equivalent quality but much cheaper.

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KPEV Coaches

Brawa have also produced a set of KPEV coaches which go well with the loco. These are reviewed below.

Compartment Coach 1st/2nd/3rd Class K.P.E.V. Item no. 45257

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200 first, second and third class compartment coaches were also built according to official design number D.I.22 between 1901 and 1906. They were painted in the -colours of the class that they were to be used for; brown for third class, green for second and first class with a yellow trim on the first class coaches. This ensured that every passenger even the ones who couldnt read could find their seat.

Compartment Coach 3rd Class K.P.E.V. Item no. 45258

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Requirements of third class coaches were obviously highest, and 300 were built according to official design number D.I.23 between 1902 and 1906. The coaches had 9 compartments and 5 toilets. Unlike the higher class coaches, however, they didnt have anterooms outside the toilets. Instead, they were accessed straight from the compartments.

Compartment Coach 1st/2nd Class K.P.E.V. Item no. 45256

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200 four-axle first and second class compartment coaches with 3 toilets were built between 1900 and 1906 according to official design number D.I.21. They had five second class compartments and two first class compartments at the centre of the coach. The three toilets were arranged so that each compartment could access one of them via an anteroom.

Brawa Models 45256, 45257 and 45258
Price: 99.00 each

Released: February 2009

Model Specification:

Length: 225mm;
Type: D 121 D122 and D123;
Livery: KPEV;
Period: 1902- 1956;
Features: NEM coupler pockets; interior fittings; interior lighting can be retro fitted; many separately applied details.

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These coaches are very well made and finished beautifully. Lots of fine detail and excellent finish. The downside is that at current exchange rates they are almost 100 quid each! They really make an excellent set with the KPEV S9.

An interesting addition on the roof is the addition of weathering of smoke residue on the tops of the coaches.

There is a pack of add on parts depending upon whether you intend to display the coaches or run them. I tend to add on the detail parts to the end coach as it does not prohibit coupler attachment.

In summary they are scale accurate but so have wide wheel flanges. They have excellent paint and decal application. Detail is fantastic and many add on parts have been attached. But they are expensive. You may wish to consider cheaper alternatives if cost is a major consideration. However if you want the best then these are the ones you want.

- February 2009

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Hi Neil,
Sorry to resurrect such an old thread but I simply have to say “thank you“ for this excellent review! This is a model that I have long coveted but I still haven’t acquired yet. I have another Brawa Prussian steam loco that unfortunately started smoking on me when it shouldn’t have done and it’s made me cautious.
Do you still have the above model and is it still working, please?
Many thanks,
John E.
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Neil Wood was last active on this forum in terms of posting in 2016. You might try a message, and hope he has e-mail alerts or similar active?

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Many thanks Mr 34C!
I had actually seen in another topic that Neil was going to sell his Prussian/era 1 stuff off - a few years ago now. My question was therefore superfluous but if anyone else has one of these magnificent models, I would still be interested to hear of any long term issues, please.
It is a shame Neil has stopped posting on here, I hope it’s nothing sinister.
John E.
Hi Neil,
Sorry to resurrect such an old thread but I simply have to say “thank you“ for this excellent review! This is a model that I have long coveted but I still haven’t acquired yet. I have another Brawa Prussian steam loco that unfortunately started smoking on me when it shouldn’t have done and it’s made me cautious.
Do you still have the above model and is it still working, please?
Many thanks,
John E.
Similar here John, what a superb article that Neil has written and hope he is out there there 'in the ether' somewhere. Its a stunning locomotive and a quick check on my database revealed I actually have a non-sound version (it may have been on special at the time as Brawa are usually out of my fiscal reach)

I would also comment that when I came back to MRF, I had to re-register
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