ŽSR 771.054-4, photographed
ŽSR 770 058-6, photographed at the same location almost exactly six years later, on March 4, 2009.
T669 drawing by ČKD, from AV vol.2
This S200-284, operated by NZGTK,
was photographed at the Piast
…while this S200-276, also from NZGTK, photographed at the same location on
S200-233, PTKiGK Rybnik,
photographed near Knurów on
S200-254, PTKiGK Rybnik,
photographed in Jastrzębie Zdrój on
...and S200-295 from the same company, heading for a spoil bank near Borynia colliery; photo taken on the same day.
(ex 770 540-3), photographed in Krotoszyn on
T669 0085, ČSD, Czech railway museum, Lužna u Rakovnika, June 14, 2008.
S200-283, PTKiGK Rybnik, photographed near the Sosnowiec Jęzor depot on November 27, 2009.
S200-2103, also from tis company, photographed on the same occasion.
S200-302, STK, photographed at the Turoszów station on November 18, 2011.
S200-296, DB Schenker Rail Polska (still in old NZTK livery, photographed at the Sosnowiec Jęzor depot on April 10, 2012.
S200-303, operated by STK; Zduńska Wola Karsznice, December 11, 2012.
locomotives designated S200 were built in
To begin with, during the first half of 1945 68 heavy diesel switchers with electric transmission from the ALCO RS family were supplied to the USSR. These machines of Bo’Bo’ layout had axle load of almost 30 tonnes, quite high for European and especially Russian standards, so they were supplied in a modified six-axle (Co’Co’) version. Designated Da20 (Дa20 in Russian script) and later simply Da for Diesel-ALCO, they were much more modern than contemporary Soviet counterparts, so their clones were promptly ordered in quantity as TE1 (road diesels built in Kharkov between 1947 and 1949) and TEM1 (switchers built in Bryansk between 1958 and 1968). TEM1 was further developed into what finally became the most prolific family of Russian diesel switchers; its offspring includes the TEM2, used in Poland in fairly large numbers and designated SM48 (described under a separate entry).
The demand for heavy switchers in the USSR was much higher than capabilities of national locomotive industry, so large orders were also placed with Czechoslovakian manufacturers. ČKD factory of Prague had supplied considerable number of ChME2 (ЧМЭ2 in Russian script) machines, roughly equivalent to Czechoslovak classes T435 and T458 (522 examples purchased by the USSR between 1958 and 1965). These locomotives were considered very reliable, but too light for most tasks, so there was a demand for a switcher with the tractive effort of TEM1 and reliability of ChME2. Although preliminary drafts of such machine were prepared in a hotel room in Moscow, in conditions hardly resembling a design office, they resulted in a successful locomotive that remained in production for over thirty years, with 8200 examples built. In Czechoslovakia they were designated T669 (after 1995, class 770 or 771, depending on the particular variant). Vast majority (7455 machines) went to the USSR, where they served as the ChME3 class; they still remain in service in the CIS. 402 examples went to ČSD and national industrial operators and the rest were exported to Albania (61, HSH class T669, delivered in six small batches between 1968 and 1990), India (12, for two steel plants), Iraq (100, class DES3100), Syria (25, class LDE1500) and Poland.
T669 or ChME3 makes an interesting comparison with its Soviet counterpart TEM2, as they both were developed from the same basic ALCO’s design. They are similar in appearance and have similar ratings. In general, Czechoslovak machine is considered more reliable and having better overall workmanship quality, while the Soviet one is more robust and suited for operation in extreme weather conditions. Due to similar, slow-running (750 rpm) engines, both developed from American design, they also sound much the same – and loud. It is perhaps worth mentioning here that the crowning achievement of heavy diesel switcher design at the ČKD was the ChME5, an eight-axle (Bo’Bo’Bo’Bo’), 2000-hp machine. It was intended to build 2000 locomotives of this class for the USSR until the year 2000 (Communists always liked round figures), but in 2000 neither Czechoslovakia nor the USSR existed…
Both TEM2s and T669s were purchased for Polish railways. Contrary to the Soviet machine, used both by PKP (as SM48) and various industrial operators, Czechoslovak switchers were purchased mainly for sand railways in the Upper Silesia. These machines were supplied between 1966 and 1990 and classed S200. The reason for this odd practice (other locomotives used by industrial operators usually retained their factory type designation) is that 62 examples went to ‘Lenin’ steel works, which had their own system. All diesel locomotives were designated there by an alphanumerical symbol beginning with S: for example, S100 corresponded to the PKP class SM41 and S400 – to SM42. This was later extended over an entire class. In all, 143 examples were purchased. Two more (S-229 and S-230), damaged en route to Poland in 1977, were not delivered and remained in Czechoslovakia, becoming T669.0109 and T669.0540, respectively; their Polish designations were then used again. Further two (S-2140 and S-2141) of 1989 were also not delivered – for reasons unknown to me – and became T669.0538 and T669.0539, respectively. Despite rather obsolescent basic design, Polish S200s will probably remain in operation for a long time, hauling heavy trains on industrial lines and sidings; they had been designed for such tasks. Largest fleets are currently operated by PTKiGK Rybnik company – 43 examples (2006) and NZGTK (now NZTK) company of Nowy Bieruń– 14 examples (2005). They are encountered mainly in the Upper Silesia, but recent extension of private operators’ activity will most probably send them to various other parts of Poland.
In November 2006 a second-hand Czech machine appeared in Poland, namely 770.540-3 (ex T669.0540 – initially intended for Poland, but never delivered, operated by Doly Nástup Tušimice, ČKD 10175/1977). This locomotive was purchased by STK, a private operator specializing in the out-of-gauge cargo, and is currently designated S200-301. Later STK purchased also S200-302 (April 2008), S200-529 (November 2009) and S200-303 (June 2010). In August 2008, the 770.528-8 (ČKD 13556/1984) followed and joined the CTL Logistics fleet as S200-528. Next example was 770.521-3 (ČKD 12101/1981), operated by a foundry in Ostrava until 2003, which arrived in April 2010 to join the Transoda fleet as S200-530. Further purchases seem likely.
Modernizations of these locomotives were focused mainly at replacing obsolete and uneconomical K6S310DR engines with modern units. One machine (S-269) was modernized by PTKiGK Rybnik in 1996 and fitted with MTU 12V396TC14 12-cylinder diesel engine rated at 1050 kW and LSG-1200-90 generator with state-of-the-art control electronics. Further modernizations are likely to follow. In the Czech Republic, ten machines were also modified and re-designated class 773; they have Caterpillar 3512DI-TA/2 engines rated at 1300 kW and lowered engine cowlings. Probably all are used by ČD as heavy freight road locomotives. Slovak modernization (class 772), with Pielstick 8PA4-185M4 engine, rated at 960 kW, and elegant streamlined silhouette, has probably remained a single example.
Main technical data
1) Plus 4 examples not supplied to Poland; included six second-hand locomotives purchased until June 2010.
2) 73:18 in Soviet machines (ChME3).
3) Some Czechoslovak versions 114 600 kg and 19.1 T, respectively.
4) MTU 8V396TC14 785 kW in the modernized version.
References and acknowledgments
- AV vol. 2;
- www.kolejowaklatka.org (website by Marek Dąbrowski);
- SK, various issues.