Observing a V60 Diesel Locomotive

Observing a V60 Diesel Locomotive

By Roger Heid


Sometime in spring of 1965, still going to Tech College once a week, I missed my train from Stuttgart to Aalen. Some dippy teacher could not finish his long-winded dissertation about some electronic circuitry in time to make the usual train home. Oh well! Now I had a little over an hour before the next train departed. So I decided to check and see what was happening on the abutting rail yard.

There my eyes fell on a small diesel loco, red in color, being busy pushing and pulling a bunch of 2 axle tank cars around. It was a 3 axle type with coupling rods driving the wheels. A glance at the number plate informed me it was a V60.


From the hollow sound of things, these cars must have been empty. It finally managed to put the whole train together, consisting of a total of 13 tank cars; two of them were the 4 axle type. This little engine had little trouble pulling this train away and out of sight. It spun wheels only a couple of times on take-off. I don’t think it would have made it with another car added to the train.

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A total of 942 V60s were built by several manufacturers from 1956-1964. It could do about 37mph, powered by a 650 hp 12 cylinder diesel engine driving a hydraulic transmission. It was primarily intended for shunting jobs, but it also saw service pulling light freight over distance. In some areas, it was even used for local passenger service.

In 1968, they were assigned the numbers 260 (light version) and 261 (heavy version). These engines did service in several European countries, including Norway, Greece, Turkey and former Yugoslavia.

In 2008, there were still about 70 of them in use, owned by private companies. I believe that even now, in 2014, there are still a few of them chugging around. To date, this would be a very respectable service life of 58 years.

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Of course, I have a Maerklin V60 in my collection. I bought that about 3 years ago, and I like it a lot. It is so handy for certain jobs. Mine can pull 14 ea 2-axle freight cars with hardly any wheel spinning on take-off. This may be a little more pulling power for this model, compared to real world operation.

Currently, Maerklin offers a V60 with the whistles and bells. For all of you DC 2-railers, Roco also has one in their line-up.


This is a very nice locomotive. It is a must have, believe me, especially if you model Eras III and IV.

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