Piko BR95/Oi, DR
Art nr 50080
The Halberstadt-Blankenburg Railway (HBE) began converting it's rack adhesion system to standard adhesion around 1920. This was made possible by the use of a specially constructed 1,E1 locomotive of the "Animal class". These locomotives were so successful that the Prussian State Railways also began to convert it's rack railways to standard adhesion worked railways.
After trail runs with an HBE locomotive, ten 1'E1' locomotives of the T20 class were ordered from Borsig.
The T20 differed somewhat from the original HBE locos in that the requirements were not only to replace rack locos but to work on mainlines in mountainous regions performing normal services like shunting of wagons. A speed requirement of 65kph was stipulated. As the loco was required to operate in both directions they were fitted with identical Kraufi-Helmholtz bogies which good stability on straight rail and more precise tracking on curvature. The ten coupled main frame allowed for the use of a high performance boiler with a tube length of 4.5m, a boiler pressure of 14bar and an output of 1620bhp. Side tanks had a water capacity of 12m3 and the coal bunker carried 4T of coal. Pistons were 700mm in diameter with a stroke of 660mm. The driving wheels were 1.4m in diameter and the bogie wheels 850mm. In service the Br95 weighed in at 127.4T and had an axle weight of 19T.
First locomotives were delivered from Borsig in 1922 under the old designation of Br77, In the DRG renumbering plan of 1925 theses locos were reclassed as Br95. By 1924 both Borsig and Hanomag had delivered 45 locomotives.
After 1945 14 locomotives remained with DB and these allocated to Aschaffenburg depot and were taken out of service by 1956.
The DR on the other hand kept their locomotives in operation till the early eighties when the Br95's were replaced by Br119 diesels. During their tenure on the DR many of the Br95's were converted to oil firing between 1966 and 1968. The DR locos were allocated to Probstzella and Blankenburg depots and remained on their regular routes in Thuringia and Harz until retirement.
Naked model before detailing
The Piko model is of an oil burning Br95 and has a detailed plastic body with various add on detail parts. Some of the surface detailing is cast on, like the sand lines. The add on detail parts, hand rails brake pump etc, are cast in plastic and may require some cleaning up due to flash on the mould part lines. The parts all fit in pre drilled holes in the body though discerning their actual position from the drawing on the supplied instruction sheet may require a large magnifier for those of us with old eyes.
NEM coupler pockets are fitted at both ends. A spacer is provided for use with close couplers.
The articulation at work. Note the silver screw. This holds the rear end and the front end is hooked to a spigot.
The Chassis is articulated. Now at first glance you'd think it was hinged in the middle but not so. Piko have come up with a unique way that allows the loco to have all driving wheels flanged as per the prototype and still travel around small radius curves 415mm or 16. The chassis attaches to the body at the front on a pivot and at the rear. These pivots allow the chassis to turn within the confines of the body thereby allowing the chassis to turn and the body stays in a straight line. I did think at first this would be instantly noticeable as the cylinders would swing out from the body but as I have 36 radius curves I haven't noticed the swing at all.
The model is fitted with three traction tyres and power is picked up through the front and rear bogies and the first, second and fourth and fifth pairs of driving wheels. The headlights are illuminated via a bulb, I have bought surface mount LED's to replace this.
Chassis showing DCC interface
The loco is driven via a small compact motor fitted with a flywheel through a gear box to the centre axle. The loco is also fitted with a DCC interface which combined with the motor/flywheel takes up most of the space in the cab so there is no detail.
Within the cab. Fitting a decoder is a little tricky and there is a slot provided in the rear wall of the bunker so the decoder can sit within the fuel bunker.
Chassis with DCC decoder fitted: TCS-DP2
To get the decoder to sit in there you have to pop the top off the bunker and feed the decoder in there then tease things about to get everything to sit neatly as you don't want any wires rubbing against the flywheel. Ensure you do this before fitting the details. Current draw of the motor is estimated at 180mA.
Inside the body. Note the little springs up front. Don't lose them.
The construction of the model is very good and a hefty weight is fitted inside the boiler. For those of us who like sound the model may present some challenges as space is at a premium for a speaker but with a little ingenuity I think it can be done.
Overall I am very pleased with this model as it's running qualities are superb and it is very quiet. The blackened wheel rims and excellent cast valve gear add to quality of the model. I can forgive the NEM flanges and the cast on detail as these are items that I change at a later date and don't detract from the models overall appearance all that much. I'd rate this model as 7 out of 10.
Finally all the details in place and the model is complete
Review by Charles Emerson, 05.06.2009