The Bavarian D XII Steam Locomotive

The Bavarian D XII Steam Locomotive

By Roger Heid


During the past few years, my wife and I have, more and more, taken a liking to run very charming Era I trains on our layout which is rather generic, thus allowing us to run trains of any era. It is more like a train museum, if you will. We are, however, quite picky about not to mix eras within train consists, but we don’t lose much sleep over it. Our motto is: If the shoe fits, wear it.

When we saw the Maerklin train kit seen below, we just had to have it. We already had a bunch of these cute Era I freight cars.


This was a sample of the ever-loving so-called ‘One Time Series’, meaning it would only be issued during one given production year. For some reason, this seems to be a trend among these manufacturers, especially when it comes to this old Era I stuff, which seems to have become more popular and harder and harder to come by. I learned the hard way to jump on it when I see it and like it. You see, if it takes you forever to make up your mind, it will be sold out, and you will be forced to get it from some second hand source, if you’re lucky. Hopefully, it will work.

This little freight train is pulled by a Bavarian type D XII steam locomotive. So, what is it?

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There were a total of 174 built by Krauss from 1897 to 1912, mostly for the K. Bay. St. B., the Royal Bavarian State Railroad. They were intended for freight service between Munich and the mountains (Alps). On a good day, they could muster about 56 mph top speed. If not taxed too hard, they were able to climb up on some modest hills. Some of them were fitted with super heaters, but, due to the overall design, this proved not to be significantly gainful.

They wound up being shoved around a bit, doing whatever they were capable of, wherever they were needed, for whatever purpose. They turned out to be just a general work horse, no glory. I won’t bore you with all the tedious details, some of which were not accurately documented, anyway. There is nothing particularly noteworthy about these locomotives, but, they were around, doing the best they could. Whatever they could do, they did very well.

After WW I, most of them were taken over by the DRG, designated Class 73. In 1925, most all of them were retired. A few of them remained on rosters, here and there. The last ones were scrapped in 1948.


The Maerklin model we have defies this relatively lack-luster description of this locomotive. It does not have all the bells and whistles (no sound features), but it is a solid runner. It is sheer pleasure to watch it hauling a consist of these Era I freight cars. It actually pulls more than what it could, in the real world. It already has done a lot of jobs. We love it.

Trix also offered it in a 2-rail DC version. Maybe Maerklin and Trix will bring it back. If so, jump on it,

One Response to The Bavarian D XII Steam Locomotive

  1. Bill Weizel says:

    K.Bay.Sts.B. DXII locomotives were offered in DC versions under Trix catalog numbers 22340 and later as 22704. The later version was revised with digital interface and NEM 362 coupler pockets. Trix and Maerklin also offered Pfalzbahn P2.II versions of the locomotive in attractive red-brown. Those locomotives were issued singly under catalog number 22518, and in a Pfalzbahn freight set under number 21248. I believe that Maerklin also offered an AC version of the Pfalzbahn freight set…

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