The Bavarian S 2/6 Steam Locomotive

The Bavarian S 2/6 Steam Locomotive

By Roger Heid


There was only one built, by Maffei in Munich, Bavaria, in 1906. She was the first German made locomotive implementing a cast steel frame, something that had been developed in the U.S. This made her lighter in weight and more slender in appearance. She was also the first large Bavarian steam locomotive fitted with a superheater.

Before she was put into service, she had to undergo numerous test runs, mostly between Munich and Nuremberg. On July 2, 1907, while on such a test run, pulling four express passenger cars from Munich to Augsburg, she reached a speed of 154.5 km/h, about 96 mph. This was a new German record, not to be beaten until 29 years later. The estimated power output was in the vicinity of 2,170 hp.

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She was finally assigned to Munich, handling fast passenger service on the Munich-Augsburg-Nuremberg line. Even though she was fast and efficient, at the cost of hauling ability, her overall performance was considered lackluster; her usefulness for heavier service was restricted. She also earned criticism for inadequate riding and tracking properties. She was unable to successfully compete against the contemporary Bavarian S 3/6 design.


Roco Model of the Bavarian S 3/6

In 1910, she was shifted to the Rhineland-Palatine railroad (Pfalzbahn). There she saw service until 1922, when she returned to Munich. A year later, she was transferred to Augsburg. In 1925, the DRG briefly employed her, re-designated BR 15. Later that year, she was returned to Maffei for restoration. From there, she was handed around to various museums, finally winding up in the Nuremberg Transportation Museum where she still sits around, regretting that she had not been designed better.

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In spite of her somewhat dubious past, she did make a splash, at the time. Therefore she deserves a blog, don’t you think? Unfortunately, I never bumped into her, in real life. But now I have a chance to at least drool over pictures of her.

Maerklin and Trix have taken it upon themselves to offer a limited run model. They may be sold out, by now, who knows. At least, in the model world, there are more than just one.


Maerklin 37015 / Trix 22049

On an Era I layout, one of these models would make a truly unique and spectacular addition.

Both have all the whistles and bells.

Addendum:  The Prussian S-9 is a very similar locomotive, built for the Prussian railroad, during about the same time frame.It looks almost the same, and it pretty much suffered from the the same shortfalls as the S 2/6 did.  I don’t think an additional blog is needed.

One Response to The Bavarian S 2/6 Steam Locomotive

  1. peter martin says:

    I agree with Roger, the 37015 is a real gem, I have one! The unit, in my opinion, is one of the finest HO model locomotive. I have a rake of era I /II carriage behind it, 8 cars. The loco has very fine running properties and the sound capabilities are great. It is perhaps my favorite loco followed closely by the P10. I am not sure if it is still available but believe me it is worth every penny…get one! It looks great on a shelf or running.

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