Friday, February 25, 2011

CFR 150.1123 at Dej Triaj Depot

After the end of World War II, Romania received from the Soviet Union 30 German locomotives as war prey. They were engines of the DR 42, DR 44, DR 50 and DR 52 classes. As others, most of them arrived to Romania from Austria between 1948 and 1958 to be repaired and transformed to fit the broad gauge of the Russian railway lines at the railway workshops in Bucuresti and Iasi. However, these 30 engines were given by the Soviet Union to CFR, because they had severe damages or simply because the Russians were not interested in running steam locomotives with such technical characteristics on their lines. 23 of these locomotives belonged to class DR 50 and DR 52. CFR enlisted them in its inventory with ID numbers ranging from 150.1101 to 150.1123. Four engines of class DR 50 received the IDs CFR 150.1113 - CFR 150.1116. The rest of 19 locomotives originally belonged to class BR 52, which was derived from the class DR 50 by the Deutsche Reichsbahn during the war by the means of simplification, making the locomotive as cheap as possible (they've built over 7000 pieces in 4 years!). This also meant that the life expectation of these locomotives was not high, still some of them have functioned on the lines of CFR for over 40 years. All except one of the locos that came from the DR 52 series, were equiped with tenders of type 2'2'T32 (wannentender). During the reparation in the CFR workshops, the locomotives have been prived of their smoke deflectors, the only one that kept them until today is CFR 150.1105 in the Sibiu steam locomotive museum.

The last one of these steamers was retired by CFR in 1989, after 10 years from its last technical inspection, after which it has rolled uninspected for 522.837 kilometers. It is no other than CFR 150.1123, the last from its series, which has done service in Hungary, belonged to the Soviet Union and finally ran on the Romanian lines. After its retirement it has arrived in 1996 to Dej, where it has been left to rust for several years. Here are a few pictures in which you can see in what a sad state it got by 2009:

Luckily, unlike so many CFR steam locomotives, 150.1123 has escaped the scrapyard and by the summer of 2010 it has been salvaged and restored by a handful of railway enthusiasts, led by Mr. Florin Nan. He and his team have saved several Romanian steam locomotives, they have nicely restored them and they are now all on display in the Dej Triaj train depot. For this they deserve great respect, for they are the few who dedicate their time and effort to saving such precious pieces of Romanian railway history, standing against the general tendency of destroying old steam locomotives.

ID: CFR 150.1123 (ex DR 150.1127)
Wheel arrangement: 2-10-0
Built: 1944
Builder: Skoda (Pilsen)
Top speed: 80 km/h
Gauge: Standard (1435 mm)
Location: Dej Triaj (train depot)


Much of the information in this article has been taken from the book "Istoricul tractiunii feroviare din Romania" by Serban Lacriteanu and Ilie Popescu. Thank you!

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