The Bavarian B VI Steam Locomotive

The Bavarian B VI Steam Locomotive

By Roger Heid


After the first ‘German’ railroad started to run in Bavaria, on Dec 7, 1835, it took another nine years before the K.Bay.St.B. ( Royal Bavarian Railroad) was founded, namely in 1844. This was still before Germany came into existence, as a whole nation. That did not happen until 1871.

One of the steam locos of notoriety developed during that time frame was the B VI.

images (2)

At the time, the UIC notation did not exist; the Whyte notation was not used in Bavaria. The letter B means two coupled drive wheels per side. The Roman numeral VI (6) was the type. So we are looking at a B VI.

Instead of individual plate numbers, the Bavarians used names, such as locations, famous people, animals and mythological characters.


Maerklin  B VI  ‘Sauerlach’


Maerklin B VI ‘Mittenwald’

You may have noticed the difference in the shape of the smoke stacks. I will get to this shortly.

The B VI was derived from its forerunner, the B V. The major difference was the wheel diameter. The overall dimensions, grate and heater area saw no significant changes.

A total of 107 examples were delivered between 1863 and 1871, in four batches. On the second batch, the boiler pressure was increased. During that whole period, there were also changes in cab configurations and smoke stack shapes. Conical and cylindrical shapes were seen on locos burning coal; funnel or pear shaped stacks were used by locos burning peat. The top speed was in the vicinity of 47 mph.

images (1)

Most of these locomotives were retired by 1896. Two lonely survivors were taken into custody by the DRG in 1920, after WW I. They were never re-numbered and put to use. They were scrapped in 1923.



The Maerklin ‘Sauerlach’ is on my loco roster. This is really a top notch model. One has to be careful handling it, though. Some of the detailing is a bit fragile. It is NOT a kid’s toy, for sure.

It is beautifully executed, has all the whistles and bells, and it runs like a charm. However, it does belong into the hands of an experienced model railroader.

My favorite Era I train is the B VI ‘Sauerlach’ pulling the fully lit passenger train pictured below.




This one burns peat, as you can see.

One Response to The Bavarian B VI Steam Locomotive

  1. Jay Greer says:

    Can you supply this as a set, reisezugwagon mitt das Lok? Das Mittenwald Bahn Zug Ja?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>