05 003 – Steam Locomotive with a Cab on the Front
In 1933 the German State Railroad Company (DRG) contracted with the firm Borsig to design and build two three-cylinder streamlined steam locomotives as the class 05 to reach speeds as high as 175 km/h / 109 mph and beyond for the first time. As early as the presentation of the designs, there were doubts whether the locomotive crews would be able to monitor the track and the signals sufficiently at 175 km/h / 109 mph. The decision makers therefore requested development of a third locomotive with the same performance but with the cab at the front of the locomotive as with electric locomotives. In 1934, the DRG thereby ordered a third high speed locomotive from Borsig as road number 05 003 with a cab located at the front. Since the locomotive engineer and fireman were not to be separated, the Borsig designers came up with a 4-6-4 plan in which the outer firebox was located in the rear relative to the main direction of operation, while the tender was coupled behind the smoke box. However, this design permitted only oil firing or powdered coal firing. Since oil firing was not considered given the raw material situation at that time, the decision was made to equip the locomotive for powdered hard coal firing.
In the fall of 1937, the first test runs took place on the route Berlin – Hamburg. At this time, powdered hard coal was not yet available. The decision was therefore made to run with powdered lignite. As expected there were no problems in terms of combustion, however the maximum speed reached was 156 km/h / 97 mph. Subsequent attempts with powdered hard coal did not achieve considerably better results. World War II prevented fundamental modifications and the locomotive was therefore stored for a long time. When the shortage of locomotives increased sharply in the summer of 1944, road number 05 003 was remembered and by February 14, 1945 it was converted at Hennigsdorf to a normal version for lump coal firing. On February 15, 1945, it was assigned to the Hamburg-Altona District where it was used for various purposes and then it remained in storage until May of 1947. Subsequently it was transferred to the Hamm District at the request of the British Occupation Authorities and after an overhaul was used in scheduled express train service between Hamm and Cologne until it was placed in storage again in October of 1947 due to damages.
At the start of 1950 road number 05 003 as well as road numbers 05 001 and 002 were overhauled again at the firm Krauss-Maffei in Munich. After that, it along with its siblings went to the Hamm District and were now used fully in railroad operations. These locomotives were given a three-day service plan and from 1951 on, they had their longest run between Hamburg and Cologne at 478 km / 299 miles. From 1953 on, they even ran for a short time between Hamburg and Frankfurt (Main) a full 703 km / 439 miles. At this time, these units gave their best performance. Road number 05 003 reached a proud 22,345 km / 13,966 miles in August of 1954. In the summer of 1955, these units shined in "F-Zug" express service with the trains F 1/2 “Hanseat”, F 13/14 “Dompfeil”, and F 16 “Sachsenross”. However, they were not to have a long life, because as a minor class they were on the cut list. Road number 05 003 was stored in operating condition on September 9, 1957, was ordered into retirement on June 16, 1958, and was scrapped in 1960. In its relatively short working life it achieved a remarkable 798,328 km / 498,955 miles.