The BR 64 Steam Locomotive

The BR 64 Steam Locomotive

By Roger Heid

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The BR 64 does not have a long history; therefore not that much can be written about her. Development started in 1926. Between 1928 and 1940, a total of 520 were built by several German manufacturers. She never achieved a notable level of fame or glory. She simply was an economical and hard working beast of burden; she reliably performed her assigned tasks, on a daily basis, just like a docile plow horse.

As you can see, she was a 1’C1’ (UIC classification) or 2-6-2 (Whyte notation). She was derived from the BR 24, which I will address in a future blog. Her primary duty was to pull local passenger trains; occasionally, she also hauled short freight consists. Top speed was rated at about 55-57 mph. Something about her appearance earned her the nickname ‘Bubikopf’, a bob type ladies’ hair style, popular at the time when she was first seen.

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Only 393 specimens survived WW II. 278 went to the West German DB, out of which one of them was given to Austria. 115 went to the East German DR, out of which an undocumented number went to Poland. It would take extensive research to establish the exact disposition of BR 64’s during the second half of 1945. It appears that, from the West German pool, some of them went to Belgium and Holland.

At any rate, it is known that in 1968, the West German DB still had 60 of them in service. They were finally retired by 1975. 20 samples were preserved, mostly in Germany. At present, there are still six BR 64’s in operational condition; three are in Germany, one in Belgium, one in Holland, one in Switzerland.

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Neuenmarkt Museum 2010 in operational condition

In spite of the lack of glory and stardom, it has become apparent that she was highly regarded and appreciated, nevertheless. This does make her glorious, in her own rights, after all. She was definitely to be reckoned with, by all standards. There were plenty of them built within only 12 years. This alone speaks for itself.

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In the model railroad world she has her place, for sure. She is a pleasure and joy to have and to watch her doing her thing. She won’t pull more cars than what she could, in the real world. She fits perfectly on any Era II or III lay out.

There are three of them in my loco roster. During my youth, I was exposed to the BR 64 on an almost daily basis. At that time, she was my favorite real world engine. You see, there is a lot of personal nostalgia involved. I rode on many trains being pulled by a BR 64, for 13 years.

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This looks exactly like the trains I rode

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Maerklin 39644 (mfx+)

Trix and Roco are offering DC 2-rail versions. I know that Fleischmann and Piko do or did offer these models, as well.

Please, do not post questions in the Blog System. Go to the Forum, instead. Thank you.

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