SM42, SP42 and SU42
Something slightly ‘different’ to begin with: SM42 (number unknown) on
the longest stone railway bridge in
Slightly derelict SM42-002,
photographed at the Ełk depot on
Another picture taken in Ełk on the same day: SM42-016.
SM42-144 leaves the Szczytno station with a passenger
Another picture from Szczytno: SU42-503,
SM42 side view; drawing by M.Ćwikła from SK vol. 5/2002.
‘New’ SU42 side view; drawing by M.Ćwikła from SK vol. 10/2001.
This Ls800-2667, photographed at the
Turoszów station on
Another picture of this locomotive (but re-designated SM42-2667), taken at the same location on December 21, 2010.
Another example from a power plant,
this time SM42-2196 from Ostrołęka;
SM42-765 at the Zawidów station,
This SM42-893, photographed at the
Chabówka loco heritage park, is not a heritage loco! Photo taken on
During the 2006 steam locomotive show
at the Chabówka depot, SM42-664 provided necessary assistance;
Another SM42 on duty in Chabówka: SM42-270, photographed on November 12, 2008.
SM42-2015, used by PRKiL track maintenance company;
Due to deteriorating track condition, only light diesel locomotives are allowed to enter the Hel promontory. SM42-126...
...SM42-356 with SU42-514...
...and SU42-514 alone were
photographed at the Hel station on
SM42-514, photographed at the
Krotoszyn station on
...SM42-890, photographed at the same
...and SM42-862, the same location,
Krotoszyn once again: SM42-861, August 13, 2008.
Derelict SM42 (number unknown),
photographed at the Ostrołęka depot on
SM42-336, photographed in Wolsztyn
during the Steam Locomotive Gala on
SM42-336 performed the same duties during the 2008 show; photo taken on May 2.
During the 2007 parade on April 28, SM42-650 was used for switching.
Another picture of the SM42-650, taken
near the Poznań Franowo depot on
...and more photos taken on the same occasion: SM42-423...
Another picture from this location:
…and yet another: SM42-774, October 28, 2008.
SP42-245, photographed at the Jelenia
Góra depot on
Three more pictures from this location, taken on November 29, 2008: SP42-001…
… SP42-235 in rather poor condition…
…and SM42-499, displaying new PKP Przewozy Regionalne livery.
New PKP Przewozy Regionalne livery is also demonstrated by this SM42-304, photographed in Tarnowskie Góry on September 1, 2008. Photo by Ryszard Rusak (thanks for permission!).
SM42-2149 from the Pol-Miedź Trans fleet, Lubin Górniczy,
SU42-516, Jaworzyna Śląska station, August 4, 2004...
…and the same example, photographed at
the Kamieniec Ząbkowicki depot on
...together with SU42-528...
SM42-847, photographed at the
SM42-735, Ełk depot,
Two locomotives photographed at the
Gdynia Grabówek depot on
...and SP42-161, the latter probably withdrawn.
One of very few photographs of the EPA42-001, taken at the Warszawa Odolany depot, probably in 1996. Photo by Maciej Stępień (thanks for permission!).
SM42-2251 from the Maczki Bór sand
mine, photographed in Czempiń on
Two SM42s photographed at the Nysa
Two SM42s, photographed in Korsze on September 9, 2008: SM42-1122...
This engine belongs to the Konin lignite mine; note dual designation (Ls800/SM42-1657). Photo taken at the Kleczew depot on September 16, 2008.
SM42-2130 from the PCC Rail fleet, photographed at the Sosnowiec Jęzor depot on November 27, 2009.
SM42-1026, Racibórz station, April 27, 2009.
SM42-073, Wrocław Sołtysowice, June 3, 2009.
Back in Wrocław: SM42-411 from Majkoltrans company, photographed at the Psie Pole station on August 7, 2009.
Korsze again, August 15, 2009: SM42-722 in new PKP Cargo livery…
…together with two SU42s: SU42-503…
…and SU42-526, the latter displaying new PKP Przewozy Regionalne livery.
Chabówka again: SM42-750 was the ‘service loco’ during ‘Parowozjada 2009’. Photo taken on September 6, 2009.
SM42-473, PKP Cargo, approaches the Wrocław Psie Pole station; February 17, 2010.
SM42-385, PKP Cargo, photographed with a track maintenance draft at the Warszawa Wawer station on March 4, 2010.
SM42-621, photographed in Zduńska Wola Karsznice on April 6, 2010.
Another picture from this location: SM42-510, October 6, 2010.
SM42-459, PKP Cargo, Krotoszyn station, May 19, 2010.
This SM42-592 (Fablok 8631/1973) is used by the PNI track maintenance company; photo taken near the Warszawa Zachodnia station on September 19, 2010.
Two SM42s used by Kłodawa Salt Mine: SM42-2135 (Fablok 8401/1972)…
…and SM42-2577 (Fablok 10335/1983). Both pictures taken during our visit with Chris West on September 20, 2010. Many thanks to everyone involved for the ride!
Two more SM42s, photographed at the Kłodawa station on the same day: SM42-2037, Pol-Miedź Trans (Fablok 8107/1970)…
…and SM42-2190 from the Lotos Kolej fleet, but still in old PKP-type livery. More pictures of SM42s from this company can be found here.
Another Pol-Miedź Trans locomotive: SM42-2162, photographed in Bolesławiec on October 6, 2010.
Two pictures by Norbert Tkaczyk (thanks for permission): SU42-516 (ex SP42-236, Fablok 9901/1978), Tułowice Niemodlińskie, October 14, 2007…
…and SU42-504 (ex SP42-055, Fablok 8757/1973), Polanica Zdrój, October 19, 2008. SU42s have already been replaced with railcars in this region.
Two SM42s from the PKP Cargo fleet, photographed in Zduńska Wola Karsznice on March 26, 2011: SM42-381 (Fablok 8121/1971)…
…and SM42-875 (Fablok 9557/1976).
This SM42-2292 is owned by PRK Kraków track maintenance company; photo taken at the Lubin Górniczy station on May 13, 2011.
Zduńska Wola Karsznice again: STK-owned SM42-2427 with a draft of tank cars. June 17, 2011.
SM42-381, PKP Cargo, Skierniewice, September 21, 2011.
SM42-528, PKP Cargo, maneuvering at the Sochaczew station; October 4, 2011.
This SM42-1153 is operated by PNI track maintenance company; Tomaszów Mazowiecki, October 19, 2011.
SM42-969, PKP Cargo, photographed in Sosnowiec on December 19, 2008 – clearly a rainy day. Photo by Michał Korfel (from my collection).
SM42-289, also PKP Cargo, location and date unknown. Author – as above.
SM42-1107 working a short freight train near Ogorzelec in June 1998. Photo by Henryk Magoń (postcard from my collection).
This storage track used to be occupied by ET42s: SM42-1156, photographed in Zduńska Wola Karsznice on December 21, 2011.
Another visit to the same location: a SM42-2467, operated by Hagans Logistics and advertising the Cargomaster software package. February 29, 2012.
Two locomotives from the DB Schenker Rail Polska fleet: SM42-2032…
…and SM42-2249, both photographed at the Sosnowiec Jęzor depot on April 10, 2012.
This SM42-204 is operated by Przewozy Regionalne; photo taken at the Skarżysko Kamienna station on April 14, 2012.
Back to Zduńska Wola Karsznice: SM42-100, April 25, 2012...
...SM42-861, two days later...
…and SM42-1112, photographed on the same day; all are operated by PKP Cargo.
SM42-2600, Lotos Kolej, Koluszki station, June 27, 2012.
Another picture from this location: SM42-741, PKP Cargo, July 25, 2012.
Ls800-9364, Orion Kolej, photographed in Rokiciny on September 12, 2012.
SM42-2167 from the same operator, photographed a few hours later in Długołęka.
Another private operator: SM42-2500, SKPL, photographed at the same location two days later.
Four SM42s from the PKP Cargo fleet, photographed in Zduńska Wola Karsznice: SM42-692, September 14, 2012…
…SM42-149, December 9, 2012…
…SM42-452, photographed on the same day…
…and SM42-911, photographed on March 1, 2013.
SM42-419, Bydgoszcz Główna station, March 9, 2013.
SM42 medium switcher was developed with an intention to replace a motley collection of obsolete and worn-out steam engines used for switching and with light local freight trains. Such locomotive was necessary for both PKP and industrial operators, for whom 300 hp SM30 was too weak. Design was submitted by the CBK PTK (Central Design Bureau of the Railway Stock Industry) of Poznań in 1962 and production was entrusted to Fablok of Chrzanów. New machine was fitted with the indigenous a8C22 medium-speed turbocharged eight-cylinder diesel, developed by HCP; up-rated version of this prime mover was later successfully used in the SM31 heavy switcher, but its 12-cylinder variant, intended for the SP45 passenger locomotive, proved a failure and was finally abandoned. Alternative and more advanced high-rpm CD19 diesel engine, although built as a prototype and successfully tested, was not proceeded with.
Almost in parallel, attempts to produce a medium switcher with hydraulic transmission were pursued, on the basis of Soviet TGM3, which was license-built at Fablok as type 12D or Ls750H with imported diesel engines and torque converters (PKP class SM15). This locomotive, however, proved very unreliable and only 57 examples were built. Their service life was extremely short and SM42 was left on the field.
New machine (factory designation 6D) owed something to earlier SM30, as well as to SM40/SM41 supplied by Hungarian Ganz-MAVAG, and certainly drew on service experience acquired with them, but was an entirely new design. Prototype (s/n 6276/1964) was rolled out in June 1964 and underwent extensive tests, so it was not accepted by PKP before 1967 and actually was preceded in service by SM42-002 and SM42-003, delivered in March 1965. If not particularly advanced, SM42 proved a sound and successful design. Production for PKP lasted until 1981; it was re-commenced four years later and continued, on a small scale, until 1993. Deliveries for industrial operators went on in parallel. SM42 thus enjoyed the longest production run of any Polish locomotive, comparable only to that of license-built EU07 (and surpassed only by class EN57 EMU). Commonly nicknamed ‘Stonka’ – literally ‘potato beetle’ – it can be encountered virtually everywhere where standard-gauge track has reached. According to some sources, small-scale production for industrial operators continued after 1993 and in fact this type and its specialized version 6Da/R (see below) still remain in the Fablok offer. Given such long period, modernizations were rather few, the most important being modified LSf-430 electric engines in place of earlier LSa-430 and improved lighter trucks from SM42-521 onwards. Later variants were designated type 6Da. Total output amounted to 1856 examples, of which 1153 went to PKP. Thirty-seven (factory type 6D/M) were sold to Morocco in 1973. Classed DG-200 by ONCFM (Office National de Chemins de Fer du Maroc), they differ in minor details – mainly aimed at ‘sand-proofing’ – and are used only as switchers. In 1982, six similar engines (factory type 6D/I) were built for Polish construction company Dromex for use in Iraq. The rest went to various industrial operators; three of them were later sold to PKP and re-numbered SM42-1061 through -1063. In general, industrial operators designated these locomotives SM42 plus service number (above 2000, to distinguish from those used by PKP) or Ls800.
SM42s were also used with local passenger trains, but lack of car heating equipment limited their suitability to warm seasons. In early 1970s an idea of low-voltage (500 V) car heating, with feeding from main generator, was conceived and suitable modifications were introduced in 39 (some sources give 40) SM42s between 1975 and 1977. They were re-classed SU42, but service numbers were retained. As with the SM30/SP30 conversion, this concept did not prove entirely successful. At low speeds, which were typical on local lines for which these locomotives were intended, generator yielded only 200 to 400 V and heating was very inefficient. Moreover, there were few cars fitted with low-voltage heating. SU42s remained in passenger service until mid-1980s, later to be used as plain switchers; 26 of them survived until 2000, to be re-classed SM42 with heating equipment removed (three were converted back to SM42s earlier and ten were written off between 1997 and 1999). Class designation SU42 was formally cancelled on June 1, 2000.
SU42 was in fact preceded in service by a dedicated and more extensively re-designed passenger version. In early 1970, SP42 (factory type 101D) appeared, fitted with WB5 oil-fired heating boiler. Acceptance tests were completed by December. As there were comparatively many steam-heated passenger cars in PKP service, this locomotive found a widespread use and 268 examples were built by Fablok until 1978. SP42 was by some 2.7 tonnes lighter than the original variant; although heating boiler added some extra weight, about three tonnes of cast-iron ballast were removed and new, lighter LN1 bogies were fitted. Externally it is easily distinguished by a streamlined stack fairing aft of the driver’s cab. In 1993 two SP42s were converted to the SM42 standard and became SM42-011 and SM42-012, these numbers being allocated for the second time. A number of surplus SP42s were withdrawn in late 1990s; on January 1, 1999, PKP had 190 examples, probably not all serviceable. Forty were rebuilt between November 1999 and August 2000; they were fitted with electric heating systems, but this time comprising a 180 kW Caterpillar CAT3208 diesel and 3000V AC generator, which makes them compatible with typical passenger cars used by PKP. These locomotives were re-designated SU42 but, in order to avoid confusion with earlier class, were assigned service numbers from 501 onwards. ‘New’ SU42s could initially be distinguished by yellow-blue livery, different from that of other locomotives from this family, which are typically painted green; in 2009 new PKP Przewozy Regionalne livery has been introduced. Further conversions of SP42s into SU42s are not very likely, due to certain surplus of light passenger diesel locomotives and introduction of railcars. Furthermore, SU42 is considered not entirely satisfactory. Most SP42s have already been written off or are used as plain switchers with their boilers removed. Last examples with steam heating systems were expected to remain in service until circa 2007. According to KMD, in November 2007 PKP had only three SP42s in normal service (SP42-007, -011 and -172), based at the Skarżysko depot, plus two more (SP42-071 and -247) used as switchers – most probably the latter have retained their heating boilers. Last scheduled service of a SP42 with the steam heating installation in use took place on September 27, 2008, when SP42-007 hauled a special train for railway fans: steam boiler broke down during the ride.
SM42 is still the most numerous diesel locomotive type in Poland. On January 1, 1999, PKP had (according to SK) 1008 SM42s, plus 31 SU42s. Rosters given in AL list 974 SM42s in the PKP service in early 2004, plus 119 SP42s and 40 SU42s. Among private operators, the largest fleets are that of CTL Rail (27), Lotos Kolej (22) and Pol-Miedź Trans (18).
Although SM42 has turned out to be a reliable machine, well suited for its intended tasks, it can no longer be judged modern. PKP activities concerning modernization of this important and numerous class have for a long time been rather modest. In 1996 one machine (SM42-039, type 6Dc) was fitted with MTU 12V396TC12 diesel engine, rated at 950 hp, ac generator and state-of-the-art controls; there were also numerous minor improvements. Re-numbered SM42-2000, this successful conversion has until now remained a single example. PTKiGK Rybnik, who have a considerable fleet of these engines, implemented a more advanced program, not only involving prime mover (this time 1000hp MTU 8V396TC14), main generator (ac LSG-850-90, supplied by ABB) and minor improvements, but also changing external appearance. New high-rpm diesel engine is much lighter (2.52 tonnes instead of 7.4) and specific fuel consumption is lower by almost 9%. Modernized machine, designated type 6Dd (or Ls1000), has a modified body, with driver’s cab shifted forward and accessible directly from footplates. Modernization of the first example (SM42-2536, s/n 10267/1979, which became Ls1000-01) was completed in March 1999, second one (SM42-2197, s/n 8612/1973) followed three years later. Two examples were modernized by Newag in 2007; fitted with 750 hp Caterpillar C27 diesel engines, they were supplied to a metallurgical plant.
Fablok offers also a special conversion for pig iron transport at foundries. This variant, with factory designation 6Da/R, has provisions for remote control (up to 4 km/h) and can be fitted with additional ‘armor’ of 1.5-mm thick steel plates. Details can be found at the manufacturer’s website www.fablok.com.pl. As far as I know, only one example has been delivered. In 2007, Newag presented an extensively redesigned variant, with factory designation type 6Dg, which is in fact a new locomotive and is described under a separate entry. The same refers to type 6Dk (developed by PESA), with two 550 hp Caterpillar C15 diesels, which appeared in 2009.
Perhaps the most unusual conversion was EPA42, of which little is known. The idea was to obtain a battery-storage locomotive for use with service and rescue trains in areas where exhaust gas emission was unacceptable. Diesel engine and two of four electric traction engines were removed. Energy was supplied from a battery of 320 cells, with three supply voltage values available, and estimated range was 120 km at 40 km/h. According to initial plans from early 1980s, a number of conversions was to have been made by the railway stock repair works of Nowy Sącz (now Newag), but only one was in fact completed in 1985 (according to some sources, by Fablok). This was the SM42-024, which was re-designated EPA42-001 and assigned to the Warszawa Odolany depot for use with wreck trains in the Diameter Line tunnel, in order to eliminate pollution with exhaust gas. I cannot recall any information on this locomotive ever being used for this purpose. It stayed in Warsaw throughout its entire life and underwent several tests between 1985 and 1987. EPA42 proved too weak for the intended purpose (there were problems with hauling even light drafts, comprising five standard four-axle passenger cars) and design maximum speed, estimated at 50 km/h was never attained. In general this conversion was judged unsuccessful and no further SM42s were rebuilt. EPA42-001 was written off in October 1996 and scrapped a few years later. Another ‘electric’ episode in the history of SM42 took place much later, in 2010, when SM42-2243 (formerly owned by Huta Katowice steelworks) was fitted with two current collectors and remote control devices. This locomotive is used for works transport and operates on ‘normal’ 3 kV DC.
Although SM42 is one of the most popular Polish locomotives, still in use in large numbers, a few have already been preserved. SM42-002 is kept at the Ełk depot, although in a condition far from satisfactory. SM42-2339 (Fablok 9247/1976, service designation ‘21’), was plinthed at the Kolprem premises in Dąbrowa Górnicza, although fitted with Diamond-type trucks from freight cars (!). In early 2012 SP42-001 was transferred to the KSK Wrocław railway fan society and is now undergoing external refurbishment.
Main technical data – SM42
1) Including 1152 for PKP.
2) In SM42-39 (re-numbered SM42-2000) MTU 12V396TC12 rated at 700 kW / 950 KM
3) LSa-430 in earlier examples.
Main technical data – SP42
1) Some sources give 69 300 kg.
2) Some sources give 577 kW / 785 KM.
3) Some sources give 269.
Main technical data – SU42
1) Converted from SM42s with service numbers retained; re-classed SM42 in 2000.
2) Converted from SP42s with new service numbers from 501 onwards.
References and acknowledgments
- Article by Paweł Terczyński on passenger versions (SK vol. 2/2002);
- SK (various issues);
- LSPP, AL;