January 15, 2016

2216 GERMANY - Steam locomotive no. 44 451

The Class 44 (Baureihe 44) was a ten-coupled, heavy goods train steam locomotive built for the Deutsche Reichsbahn (German Imperial Railway) as an Einheitsdampflokomotive (a standard steam engine class - the steam engines built in Germany after 1925 using standard design features and components). It was intended for hauling goods trains of up to 1,200 tonnes on the routes through Germany's hilly regions (Mittelgebirge) and up to 600 tonnes (590 long tons; 660 short tons) on steep inclines.

From 1926 to 1949, a total of 1,989 locomotives were manufactured. During the WWII an austerity variant was built with simplified construction and delivery, known as the Class 44ÜK (one of the so-called Übergangskriegslokomotive, austere versions of standard locomotives). The most striking features of the ÜK locomotives were the omission of the smoke deflectors (that from 44 013 was standard) and also the forward side windows of the driver's cab.

The Class 44 used a lot of steam and correspondingly large amounts of coal. In order to simplify the work and hold its power steady, 32 units were converted to oil-firing. Until their replacement by modern diesel and electric locomotives, the Class 44 engines were the backbone of heavy goods train duties in Germany. German railwaymen nicknamed the Class 44 locomotive the "Jumbo" because of its power. At present there are still two working 44s in the world, number 44 1486 in Germany and number 44 1593 in Netherlands.

The one shown in the postcard was manufactured under the number 26060 in 1941 at Henschel und Sohn (Henschel & Son), a company from Kassel best known for its aircraft and tanks (it was the sole manufacturer of the  Tiger I and Tiger II). After the WWII, it was one of the 67 taken by Polskie Koleje Państwowe SA (Polish State Railways, Inc.), being classified as Ty 4-23. The picture was taken by Werner Hubert (1896-1947), a famous railway photographer.

About the stamp
The stamp is part of a series of three definitive stamps, depicting King Willem-Alexander, about which I wrote here.

DRG Class 44 - Wikipedia

Sender: Daphne Naves (direct swap)
Sent from Zutphen (Gelderland / Netherlands), on 26.01.2015
Photo: Werner Hubert

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