Fireless Locomotives in Germany, Austria and Switzerland

(Updated 19 November 2007)

A version of this page formerly appeared on John Raby's "Forgotten Steam" website. Since it first appeared various news reports have come in, and so the page has been transferred back to me, so that I can keep it up to date.

Thanks are due to Christolph Oboth and Carsten Klatt for some of the new information below.


Riedel de Haën AG., Seelze, near Hannover
In 1993 they bought a Meiningen 0-6-0F from Lauchhammer in eastern Germany. They also have a Henschel 0-4-0F preserved on site.

Felix Schoeller, Papierfabrik Burg Gretesch, Osnabruck-Lustringen
They had also had a Henschel 0-4-0F, but in April 1991 replaced it with another Meiningen 0-6-0F, from a cellulose and paper mill in Weissenborn.

AKZO-Chemie GmbH, Köln-Niehl
This works is on the north side of Köln, not far from the Ford plant. They have two quite modern Jung 0-6-0F's, which came second-hand from the ARBED steel works in Luxembourg. AKZO-Nobel AG also have a works in Heinsberg-Oberbruch, close to the Dutch border. There are believed to be two 0-4-0F's (by Hanomag and Krauss-Maffei) still working there.

Up-date: The company is now know as Akzo-Nobel GmbH. The Krauss-Maffei loco at Heinsburg went for scrap this year. It has been replaced by an 0-6-0F (Meinigen 03147/1987) from Chemie AG Bitterfeld-Wolfen, which came here on 12th April 1997. This was after overhaul at the railway workshops of Stadtwerke Dusseldorf, Kraftwerk Lausward.

In September the Köln-Niehl works received a Krauss-Maffei diesel second-hand from Mannesmann Handel in Oberhausen. It appears that the fireless locos here are now just in reserve.

Hüls AG., Wanne
This works in the Ruhr is believed to still use a Krupp 0-6-0F, second hand from Shell in Hamburg, as well as two 4-wheel diesels.

Up-date: The Krupp loco is in fact at Hüls Werk 3, in Herne- Holsterhausen - not in Wanne. It comes out to the WHE harbour railway and the DB every day about 14.00hr. There are also three (not 2) diesels here, two in use and one in reserve.

On 1st July Christoph Oboth reported that this loco is now out of use, and the line to the WHE has been lifted.

Martinswerk GmbH, Bergheim/Erft
Until recently this works used three 0-6-0F's but they now have a new diesel. However a Jung fireless is still in reserve. The other two locos are now dumped.

VFT, Duisburg-Meiderich (formerly Rütgerswerke AG)
They have an Esslingen 0-6-0F and a Tubize 0-4-0F in use, with two Krupp 0-4-0F's out of use. They recently also obtained a 0-6-0F from Waggonfabrik Ammendorf near Halle. They also have a works in Castrop-Rauxel, which until recently had several fireless locos, but this has now gone diesel and only one 0-6-0F is left, officially 'in reserve'.

Up-date: The last fireless loco at Castrop-Rauxel (Henschel 24370/1938 - see below) went to the Westfälische Industriemuseum at the old Henrichshütte in Hattingen at the end of 1997.

Christoph Oboth now reports that steam has also finished at Duisburg-Meiderich.

LOK 3 (Tubize 2262/1941) at Rütgerswerke, Castrop-Rauxel on 26/5/1982. This loco now works at the company's plant in Duisburg-Meiderich. Tubize is a Belgian loco builder.

CONSOLIDATION 2 (Henschel 24370/1938) dumped at the Zeche Consolidation 1/6 mine of Ruhrkohle AG on 24/9/1973. This loco was later sold to Rütgerswerke AG for their Castrop-Rauxel works, where it became LOK 1. In 1996 it went to the Westfälisches Industriemuseum in Hattingen. This is one of Henschel's 'Gilli' high-pressure fireless locos, and was rebuilt from the chassis of a normal 0-6-0T.

VEBA-Chemie Scholven, Gelsenkirchen-Scholven
They had three fireless locos; an 0-4-0F, 0-6-0F and 0-8-0F, but in 1988 they bought a new MaK diesel. I am not sure how many, if any, of the fireless are now used here.

Up-date: Note the change of name - VEBA-Oel AG was another, nearby works. The MaK loco was in fact supplied to that works, not VEBA-Chemie.
According to the latest issue of "Drehscheibe" magazine, all three fireless locos were out of use by 1995, and were given to the preservation group "Förderverein Bahnbetriebswerk Bismarck", who have them stored in the old DB Bahnbetriebswerk in Gelsenkirchen-Bismarck.

Gross Kraftwerk Mannheim, Mannheim-Neckerau
This modern power station had an Esslingen 0-6-0F and a huge Henschel 0-8-0F, which was bought from a power station near Stuttgart. In 1992-93 they bought two Meiningen 0-6-0F's from eastern Germany, and retired the Esslingen to a plinth outside the offices. Two of the locos work each day, with the third in reserve.

Wacker-Chemie GmbH., Burghausen
This works down on the Austrian border has two Krupp 0-6-0F's, as well as four diesels. I believe that the steamers still do a little work.

Hoechst AG, Bobingen, near Augsburg and Burgkirchen-Gendorf
There are two 0-4-0F's at Bobingen, by Borsig and Esslingen, and one works down to the DB connection every day. Burgkirchen have two 0-6-0F's, plus several diesels, but I don't know if the fireless still work. One is of the wartime 'austerity' type.

No.1 (Borsig 14913/1939) at Hoechst AG., Bobingen on 27/8/1975.

Up-date: According to an item in the Hoechst house magazine, passed on via Rob Dickinson and Chris West, the locos at Bobingen finished working in July and now rail traffic will be handled by the DB. Apparently the cost of overhauls was getting too much to justify. This change to contracting out shunting (or getting a Unimog!) is an increasing trend in German industrial railway circles.

BASF, Ludwigshafen
This huge works is nearly all dieselised, but it is possible that a Hohenzollern 0-4-0F and a Jung 0-6-0F still work here, in a fire hazard zone on the north end of the site.

Up-date: The Hohenzollern fireless went to Eisenbahnfreunde Robel in January 1996. The Jung 0-6-0F was still here in 1995.

One of several preserved fireless locomotives in Germany - Nr.2 (Hohenzollern 3478/1916) 'plinthed' in the top yard at Papierfabrik Neustadt GmbH, Neustadt-Tittisee, in the Black Forest, photographed on 14th August 1989. This loco has inside cylinders, which is the standard practice for Hohenzollern fireless locos.


The fireless here are nearly all Meiningen and LKM types. Meiningen fireless locos were built at that DR works in the 1980's! There are a lot more fireless than those below, but most are dumped out of use.

Energieversorgung Berlin AG., Koepenicker Chausee, Berlin-Rummelsburg
This big power station had six 0-6-0F's, but I don't know how many are still in use.

Dohna-Chemie, Dohna
This works had two fireless in 1991, but I don't know if they are still there.

Eilenberger Chemie-Werk, Eilenberg
They had four fireless in recent years and may still use one of them.

Up-date: According to a recent report from a local enthusiast, there is still one Meiningen fireless here. However it is not certain if it still does any work.

MIBRAG, Regis-Breitingen and Deutzen
There are a number of fireless locos at these two brown-coal briketting works, and in 1993 some of them were still in use.

Up-date: Both works have closed and all locos have gone. Regis-Breitingen has already been demolished and in October work had just started on Deutzen.

WESAG, Heizwerk Sud-Ost, Arno-Nitzsche Strasse, Leipzig-Sud
There were four fireless here in 1992, three of which were still working.

Up-date: This place was visited in October 1997. Now called Stadtwerke Leipzig, Heizwerk Sudost, and it seems all rail traffic has ceased. There was no sign of any locos, although they might have been locked in the shed.

Westsachsische Energie, Kulkwitz, near Leipzig
There were three fireless at this heating plant in 1991.

Up-date: Rail traffic has ceased and the track has been lifted - no sign of the locos.

Romonta GmbH, Amsdorf, near Roeblingen am See
Three 0-6-0F's, of which at least one was still working in 1996.

Up-date: Two Meiningen locos still work here. One is used in summer, with a second in reserve. In winter only one is used occasionally. A third fireless (a LKM) is preserved outside the fence at the front of the works. There used to be an electric system to a local brown coal pit, but this has now been replaced by a conveyor belt.

Sodawerke Stassfurt GmbH, Stassfurt
This site was visited in July 1996 and four 0-6-0F's were found, of which two work every day.

Papierfabrik Coswig/Anhalt
Fireless locos were still used here in 1991.

Energieversorgung Gera, Heizkraftwerk Gera-Sud
Four fireless here, of which two might still work.

Sudzucker, Straussfurt
This sugar mill was being completely rebuilt in 1992, but two fireless were stored here, possibly for re-use.

Up-date: In October 1997 the rebuilding appeared to have been abandoned and the place seemed out of use. An old LKM diesel was dumped near the main gate, but there was no sign of the fireless locos.


Neusiedler AG, Papierfabrik Theresienthal, Ulmerfeld-Hausmening
They had two Orenstein & Koppel 0-4-0F's, but in 1992 had bought an 0-6-0F (LKM 146693/61) from eastern Germany and 'pensioned-off' the older O&K.

O&K 6829/13 beside the loco shed on 27th July 1993. This loco will be retained as a spare to HERMINE.

F136-4-11 HERMINE (LKM 146693/61) shunting in the interchange yard, 27th July 1993.

Up-date: In 1994 they bought a second 0-6-0F (Meiningen 03109/86) from MIBRAG in eastern Germany. The oldest O&K fireless has now gone for preservation.

OMV, Gross Schwechat
This oil refinery new Vienna airport had the last steam loco built in Austria. There are three 0-6-0F's built by Floridsdorf in the 1960's and another built by SGP in 1973. Their steam tanks are hidden inside square casings, which makes them look rather like diesels.

Up-date: Some sad news from Roland Beier. Apparently OMV have now contracted with the ÖBB to handle their shunting, using diesels. The fireless locos were still working on 19th August, but during September the ÖBB locos will gradually take over and the use of the fireless locos will stop by the end of the month. No.4 (the last steam loco built in Austria) may be preserved, whilst the others may be sold to Lenzing but this is still under consideration. Lenzing have been looking for new fireless locos, but could not afford to have them built new. They have since acquired some from Eastern Germany (see below), but they really wanted high-pressure machines (approx 20bar), while these Germany locos are only 12bar. The OMV locos are high pressure so they would suit Lenzing, if the price is right.

Lenzing AG, Lenzing
This is the place mentioned in "Continental Railway Journal" No.108. The three original fireless locos were two 0-6-0F's built by Krauss-Maffei and a Floridsdorf 0-4-0F. They have recently bought two 0-6-0F's from east Germany.

Up-date: Some news on the two 0-6-0F's brought from eastern Germany. These both came in 1995 and are:- PIRNA (Meiningen 03158/1987) which came from Heizkraftwerk Pirna; and WOLFEN (Meiningen 03187/1987) from VEB Filmfabrik, Wolfen. PIRNA was seen working during a visit on 9th July 1998, while WOLFEN had just been re-painted. The Floridsdorf and KM 17676/1950 were also working, but KM 18157/1954 was away at the ÖBB works in Attnang Pucheim for major repairs.

1 (Krauss-Maffei 17676/50) shunting in the pouring rain on 27th July 1993. Floridsdorf 16104/44, in the yard on 27th July 1993. This is one of the wartime industrial Kriegsloks (not all 'Kriegs' were 2-10-0's!)


There used to be fireless locos working at Papierfabrik Biberist and Chemiefaser Attisholz - does anyone know if any of them are still there?

Up-date: The fireless loco at Papierfabrik Biberist was sold to Attisholz, for dismantling for spares, as long ago as 1980! Steam working at Cellulosefabrik Attisholz AG finished in 1992 - the three remaining fireless locos were scrapped or sold in August 1995.

I would be very interested if anybody can add anything new to the above list, especially regarding the situation in the former DDR.

Please contact me at my usual email address

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