The five coupled axle, class 44 is one of Europe's most powerful steam locomotives, and justly is considered to be the standard freight train locomotive. The mighty exhaust thrust from the three cylinder drive gear fascinated several generation of railway enthusiasts, who fondly called the 44, "Jumbo". New factory finished locomotives rolled out of the production facilities of various plants in Germany, or countries occupied during the war, for no less than 23 years. It started in 1926 with 10 prototypes. At first they had to take a place behind class 43 two-cylinder E-couplers - the locomotive committee was under the mistaken notion that they could do without the somewhat more service-intensive locomotive with the additional cylinder. Then as total gross train load and speed grew, the time had come for the well-designed 44, which was fast and quiet for its time. Scheduled delivery of the 44 ended in 1944. Lokomotivbau Hennigsdorf built ten additional units from existing parts. In total, 1989 locomotives were built and they differ in numerous details - which should not be any surprise, given the long production period. After the war both German State Railways modernized a portion of their stock. In the west the class 44 was in service until the end of the steam locomotive era, 1977. Late in 1981 it also came to an end in the DDR.