The Class 39 – A Powerful Locomotive in the Mittelgebirge Region.
In 1919, development began at the firm of Borsig in Berlin for a passenger locomotive with a 2-8-2 "Mikado" wheel arrangement. Its job was chiefly to master heavy express train operation in the Mittelgebirge region. It could often be seen on the Main-Weser line, the Eifel line, the Schwarzwald or Black Forest line, the Gäu line, and in Saxony. Between 1922 and 1927, a total of 260 units of this locomotive with four driving axles left the builder's halls that the German State Railroad Company (DRG) designated as the class 39 and that were indispensable after World War II in both of the German states. These locomotives measured 22,890 mm / 75 feet 1-3/16 inches long and weighed 100.4 metric tons. They reached a maximum speed of 110 km/h / 68 mph with their three-cylinder running gear and had an indexed performance of 1,620 horsepower. However, the class 39 exceeded the required axle load of 17 metric tons considerably so that several of these powerful locomotives could not be used until the rail lines had been improved. The P 10 was considered to be the most powerful passenger locomotive among the provincial state railroads.
On the German Federal Railroad most of these locomotives were equipped with Witte smoke deflectors and the type 2’2’ T 34 tender, which replaced the type pr2’2’ T 31,5 tender. The DB retired the class 39 in Stuttgart, where the last three units disappeared from service in 1967.