The Prussian S 10 Steam Locomotive

The Prussian S 10 Steam Locomotive

By Roger Heid


During the first decade of the 20th century, a shortage and lack of powerful steam engines for passenger express trains compelled the Prussian railroad to have a new type developed, initially built in 1910 by the Berlin Maschinenbau AG. This type locomotive became known as the Prussian S 10.  Three more sub-classes were added during the next four years. All of them had the 4-6-0 wheel arrangement in common.

Version S 10

From 1910 to 1914, a total of 202 were built. At first, they were designated S 8; in 1912 they were re-designated S 10. Top speed was about 68 mph. After WW I, they were renamed to DRG Class 17.0-1.  Only three of these survived WW II. The last one was retired in 1954.


Version S 10.1  (1911 variant)

In 1911, a new version was added to the line. This one was not based on the S 10; it was a new design. Changes in the cylinder and drive systems were made to make it more coal efficient. It was a little faster, doing about 75 mph. A total of 152 were built by Henschel.

To save weight, the installation of a feedwater preheater was omitted. Among some other shortfalls, there was also a maintenance problem due to poor accessibility to the inside drive gear.

After WW II, both, East and West Germany wound up with their share. The DR renamed them to Class 17.10-11. They were retired in 1963. In West Germany, they were re-designated  BR 17, with some numbers added. They were taken out of service in 1952. Austria took over three examples, designated OBB Class 617. Those were retired in 1957.


1911 Variant

Version S 10.1  (1914 variant)

In 1914, the disadvantages of the 1911 variant led to the development of the 1914 variant. Numerous modifications and improvements were implemented. The boiler was modified and the grate and firebox heating areas were increased in size, along with a larger super heater.

These modifications and improvements allowed these locomotives to reach speeds up to about 93 mph. They were considered the most powerful express steam engines ever used by the Prussian railroad. This is the reason why the Prussian railroad continued to live without the bigger ‘Pacific’ type locomotives.

In spite of all these changes, the designation S 10.1 was retained. After WW II, the East German DR took over 77 specimens and re-designated them Class 17.11-12. The last one was retired in 1964.


Version S 10.2

In 1914, Vulcan built 124 examples of this variant. It was based on and looked like the old S 10, but it was superior to the original S 10, however, it could not nearly match the performance of the S 10.1 1914 variant.

After WW I, 28 of them were handed to foreign railroad administrations, the remaining 96 were taken over by the DRG, designated Class 17.2. During the years to come, they were gradually replaced by the more powerful Pacific type locomotives, such as the BR 03 and BR 01.

After WW II, the surviving 88 ended up with the DB in West Germany (BR 17), but all of them were taken out of service in 1948. They were worn out and not up to the task.


There is a Prussian S 10 in my collection. I like it an awful lot. It is a Maerklin version I bought a few years ago. It is currently not available. I do not know if any other manufacturer is currently offering a model of the S 10.


One Response to The Prussian S 10 Steam Locomotive

  1. Bill Weizel says:

    Both Roco and Fleischmann have offered versions of the Prussian S10 locomotive. Roco’s KPEV offering was issued under their 1998/1999 catalog number 43312, while an ERA II DRG version with smoke deflectors was issued as 43314.
    Fleischmann’s offerings included both DC (#480901) and AC (#180901, later changed to 390901) versions of the KPEV S10. In Fleischmann’s 2010 catalog an SNCF 230G ERA II DC version was offered under catalog number 411701, while Era III Austrian OeBB and Deutsche Reichsbahn (East German) DC version were offered under numbers 411702 and 411704, respectively. In 2011, a DB Era III version became available in DC (411705, and 411775 with sound), and in AC as 391775. Some of the ERA II and III Fleischmann versions are likely still available.

Leave a Reply to Bill Weizel Cancel 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>