Roco DR Br50.50 oil tender loco
Roco nr62265 DR 50 0018-7
The history behind the Br50 seems to be quite complicated so here goes. The Br57 or Prussian G10 was coming to the end of its useful life and in the mid 1930s the Reichsbahn saw the need for a replacement. The successor to the Br57 was to be the Br46 which had a 1D1 wheel arrangement. The Br46 was to be able to handle a 1400ton train at 60kph on level track with a top speed of 80kph.The loco was to have a 16ton axle loading and be able to negotiate a 140m radius curve. It also was to able to fit on the 23m turntable then in common use. It became clear the this loco would be unable to meet the design criteria so a loco with 1E wheel arrangement was decreed suitable to meet the specifications.
In 1939 the first of 12 locomotives, 50001, emerged from Henschels works. More engines were built by Krupp, Kraus-Maffei and Floridsdorf. By the end of the year 218 had been built and these Einheitsdampflokomotive or standard locomotives were to form the backbone of the Reichsbahn provisional war locomotives or Ubergangskreigslokomotiven. In all some 3,164 locomotives were manufactured during the war by various manufacturers in Europe. Despite wartime losses some locomotives survived the war. In the west the Deutches Bundesbahn took over about 2,159 working examples. In the east only about 350 locomotives remained along with a few Br44s, the Br 52 being the predominant class.
The DR designated the Br50, Br50.35 and when the original boiler showed signs of fatigue 208 locomotives were given new boilers. These boilers were of an all welded design that included mixing preheaters. Witte smoke deflectors were also fitted and approx 70 locos were fitted with Geisel ejectors.
Between 1966 and 1971, 72 Br50.35 locos were selected for conversion to oil firing and designated Br50.50. These locos were given the operating numbers 50 001 to 50 072 and were stationed in the Schwerin and Griefswald divisons of the Reichsbahn and were used on heavy freight assignments. In 1981 the sudden withdrawal of the Br50.50 due to high oil prices showed that the demise of the steam loco was on the wall and increasing numbers of diesels and electrics were taking over.
The DR also produced the Br50.40. This was to be a parallel development similar to pre war ethics in that a passenger locomotive, the Br23.10 and a freight locomotive the Br50.40 were to be produced. The locos would be designed with many of the parts interchangeable but the weak point, for the Br50.40, would be the plate frames and the locos would suffer due to the constant repairs needed to the frames. Boilers were to be new build with combustion chambers and mixing preheaters. New tenders, 22T28 would be fitted. 88 locomotives would be delivered between 1956 and 1960 and numbered 50 4001 to 50 4088. 50 4088 would have the dubious honour of being the last new build standard gauge steam loco in Germany. The Br50.40 would have a short lifespan with most locos taken out of service by 1980.
The Roco model is of a DR Br50.50 oil burner. The model is a beautiful representation of the this loco and follows, I guess as this is my first Roco model, Roco standard fare. The loco chassis is cast and the boiler is plastic with a hefty weight contained inside. The loco is of the tender drive type with the rear bogie of the tender driven and fitted with traction tyres. The front bogie carries the pickups in the form of a formed copper plate that bears down on the top of the flanges. The motor is I think a Bueler that carries an flywheel at one end and the worm drive at the other. A cardan shaft is fitted at the flywheel end that carries the drive to a gearbox on the second most rear driving axle of the locomotive. The loco also carries pickups in a similar style to the tender and these are applied to the front pair of axles. No other pickups or traction tyres are fitted to the locomotive.
Details on the model are excellent and a number of user applied details are also included. Crew figures are also supplied but these are in half form, no legs!. This is due to the sliding cover that disguises the cardan shaft where it passes through from the tender to the firebox. Roco style close couplers are also included. All wheels are chemically blackened. The wheel flanges are to NEM standards but are a bit larger than those on my Liliput Br18.3, Br52 or Gutzold Br52. So to run this loco on my small layout Im going to have to pull up the track and relay with code100 track and points as the loco just jumps going through code83 points. I expect this will be common with other European manufacturers so relaying the track will let me try an new track plan. The valve gear and side rods are nicely done but are stampings rather than the cast examples of other manufacturers.
The lights are miniature bulbs, one at the rear of the tender and one in the chassis near the smoke box saddle. Both use light bars to distribute the light to the lamps on the loco and tender.
This model is also DCC ready with an interface fitted and this is located in the tender under the cover of the oil tank.
This interface is made of flexible plastic that carries the PC traces and the NEM 8 pin socket. Power is carried to the motor from two large copper strips that bear down on copper contacts in the motor. The tender chassis is cast and the motor is located by a large alloy casting. The tender body is plastic and is held to the chassis by an interference fit and two small clips that clip to the chassis.
Okay that was the good part. This model has given me no end of trouble by either refusing to run or stalling at every opportunity. Ill cover this in a separate post as it will take up a bit of space.
Sufficed to say I solved all the little problems and the loco now runs as it should.
Would I buy another?................. Yes. Now I know what can go wrong doesnt detract from an excellent model of a beautiful locomotive.
Review by Charles Emerson, 26.06.2009