The BR 232 is part of a wider family of heavy diesel locomotives built in the USSR between 1970 and 1982 and used mostly by the Deutsche Bahn. This family of locomotives was made up of the following classes:
More than 700 such machines were built in Lugansk and imported into Germany. The Deutsche Bahn (in all its forms) has used them extensively and is still using them today, especially for cargo transport, but also for fast passenger trains. The Ludmillas are robust, powerful and heavy diesel locomotives. Due to the heavy axle load (20.3 t), the BR 232 can mostly be used only on main lines.
The locomotives of this family were born out of the desire of East Germany to focus on diesel traction after 1960. The first class designed and built at Lugansk was the BR 130/230. Its main limitation was the lack of an electric heating system. This not only resulted in these locos being restricted to freight traffic, but also helped them being the first of their kind to be retired. The BR 131/231 was pretty much the same and suffered the same fate, but it also had its top speed reduced from 140 km/h to only 100 km/h due to poor track conditions. The improved descendant, the BR 132/232, was first built in 1972, with electric heating system and these locos were longer by 0.2 m. Their top speed was limited to 120 km/h. They are still used today, mostly in Germany, but in other countries too.
The Ludmillas have Co-Co wheel arrangement, with two bogies , each pivoting around a central pin. They are powered by 16- or 12-cylinder turbo-charged diesel engines and the transmission is electrical.
The H0 model seen in the pictures is a beautiful Revell model of the BR 232 locomotive with serial number 800-3.
Facts (BR 232 / other classes of the same family):
ID: BR 232 800-3
Wheel arrangement: Co-Co
Builder: October Revolution Locomotive Works (Lugansk)
Built: 1975 (1970-1982)
Top speed: 120 km/h (100 km/h, 140 km/h)
Power: 2208 kW (2206 kW, 2940 kW)
Length: 20.82 m (20.62 m)
Wheel diameter: 1050 mm
Engine: Kolomna 5 D 49 / 16 Tsch N26/26
Gauge: Standard (1435 mm)