VR Class Pr1

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VR Class Pr1

Kerava train station 1950s.png

Pr1 775 at Kerava station
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Builder Hanomag, Lokomo Oy and Tampella Oy
Build date 1924–1926
Total produced 16
   AAR 2-8-2T
Gauge 1,524 mm (5 ft)
Driver dia. 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in)
Trailing dia. 960 mm (3 ft 2 in)
Length 13.25 m (43 ft 6 in)
Loco weight 88.2 tonnes (86.8 long tons; 97.2 short tons)
Fuel type coal
Fuel capacity 4 tonnes (3.9 long tons; 4.4 short tons)
Cylinders Two, outside
Performance figures
Maximum speed 80 km/h (50 mph)
Operators VR
Numbers 761–776
First run 1924
Withdrawn 1972
Disposition one restored, others scrapped

VR Class Pr1 (original classification N1, nickname Paikku, from Finnish “paikallinen”, local) was a tank steam locomotive for local passenger services of Finnish railways.


Ordering and delivery

In the 1920s VR was concerned about the low power and speed of their existing class Vk1-3 class locomotives that were used in local services, especially on the Helsinki commuter rail services. A decision was reached to order a new and powerful, by standards of that time, local traffic locomotive from Hanomag with the intention of licence manufacture of more units by Finnish locomotive works. At the same time a shunting locomotive based on a similar design, Vr3, was also ordered. The classes share many parts such as frames, boiler and space for coal, but wheel arrangement, domes and top speed are very different because of their completely different roles. The locomotive was of tank design with small coal bunker in the rear, which limited operational range.

Helsinki commuter rail

Helsinki commuter rail is the commuter rail system serving Greater Helsinki, Finland. The network is part of the HSL network, and is operated by VR, the Finnish state-owned national railway company. Together with the Helsinki Metro, buses, and trams, the network forms the heart of Helsinki's public transportation infrastructure.

VR Class Vr3

Before 1942 VR Class Vr3s originally had the class name was O1. They were nicknamed “Rooster” / "Cockerel" and they have the same frames and boiler as the Vr Class Pr1 (Paikku) locomotive. The first locomotive was ordered in 1924 from Hanomag of Germany, number 10 351 and it was numbered 752. The remaining 4 were produced by Tampella Oy in Tampere. They were numbered 752-756. The VR3 was then the largest and most powerful Finnish locomotive. It was a success, but in the hands of inexperienced drivers it could all too easily damage buffers or break couplings. Therefore, a screw-drive regulator was fitted. At speed there could be longitudinal movement, because locomotive had no bogie wheels, only 5 rigid axles. However, the “Rooster” was generally considered to be a fine locomotive. Some say the name resulted from the slightly louder than normal whistle. They were deliberately designed to work within very large rail yards, where the overall noise level could be very high. The happy crow of the "Rooster" was for half a century, a familiar sound in Finnish marshalling yards. They proved to be agile and could easily scale the humps and complex pointwork of marshalling yards where their great power compensated for their low speed. VR3, the locomotives were in use until 1975.

The first batch of six locomotives was delivered in 1924 by Hanomag. Later examples were manufactured in Finland with the last being delivered in 1926. [1]

Hanomag German producer of steam locomotives, tractors, trucks and military vehicles

Hanomag was a German producer of steam locomotives, tractors, trucks and military vehicles in Hanover. Hanomag first achieved international fame by delivering a large number of steam locomotives to Finland, Romania and Bulgaria before World War I and making of first tractor Hanomag R26 in 1924 in Germany. In 1925, they added automobiles to their line, additionally moving in 1931 into the production of construction machinery. Since 1989, the company has been part of the Komatsu company.

Operational history

Locomotives were placed in Helsinki local services immediately after delivery. They were especially designed for this. Since Helsinki was and is a dead-end terminus with no turntables, Pr1's were designed so that they could be run in both directions without turning the locomotive. Both ends had cowcatchers and normal lights. Also the speed limit was 80 km/h in both directions. Generally Pr1's were run with front / boiler end pointing at Helsinki central railway station. Pr1's pulled mostly local wooden-carriage passenger trains, but they also performed shunting duties at Helsinki harbours and pulled local freight. The Pr1 was considered to have a high tractive effort and it had good acceleration. Pr1's were among the rare locomotive types in Finland which were for some time oil-burning at the end of 1940's. [1] Otherwise these locomotives were both coal and wood-burners. [1]

Port of Helsinki is owned by the city of Helsinki and is Finland's main port, specialized in unitized cargo services for Finnish companies engaged in foreign trade. Port of Helsinki handles the largest passenger flows in Europe with diverse services to Tallinn, Stockholm, Travemünde and St. Petersburg. In 2017, Helsinki grew to become the busiest passenger port in the world with 12.3 million passengers.

End of operations and preservation

The era of Pr1's in passenger services came to an end in the 1960s with dieselization. The last passenger service run was in 1968. The locomotives were relegated to secondary freight duties, like gravel trains and some were moved to depots other than from Pasila. All of the locomotives were withdrawn by 1972. All were scrapped except one. Remaining number 776 was repaired for 125th anniversary of VR in 1987. It was used in heritage traffic. The boiler time expired in late 1990s. 776 is now on display at Finnish Railway Museum, but it is not in running condition. [2]

Finnish Railway Museum railway museum in Hyvinkää, Finland

The Finnish Railway Museum is located in Hyvinkää, Finland. It was founded in 1898 and located in Helsinki. The museum was moved to Hyvinkää in 1974.

See also

The history of rail transport in Finland began on January 31, 1862, with the opening of the railway line between Helsinki and Hämeenlinna. By 1900 most of the future main lines had been constructed, including the line to St. Petersburg. By the time of the birth of the new Finnish Republic in 1917 lines connected all major cities, major ports, and reached as far as the Swedish border, and inner Finland as far north as Kontiomäki in Paltamo region, as well as eastwards into Karelia.

Jokioinen Museum Railway

The Jokioinen Museum Railway is located in Jokioinen, Finland. It is located on the last operating commercial narrow gauge railway in Finland, the 750 mm gauge Jokioinen Railway.

VR Class Hr1 class of 22 Finnish 4-6-2 locomotives

Hr1 class was the largest passenger express steam locomotive built in Finland. Twenty-two were built between the years 1937–1957. They were numbered 1000–1021

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VR Class Hr11 diesel locomotive

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VR Class Tk3

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VR Class Hv1 class of Finnish steam locomotives

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VR Class Vr1 class of 43 Finnish 0-6-0T locomotives

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VR Class Tr1

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VR Class Vk4

The locomotive that came to form VR Class Vk4 was originally one of a pair of 0-4-0T locomotives ordered from Rheinmetall Borsig Lokomotiv Werke (AEG), Germany to work at Ino fortress at Terijoki on the Karelian Isthmus. The locomotives had 2 axles, they were the wet-steam type, and used a slip-Walschaert valve gear. Production numbers and years were 7268/1909 and 7858/1910. The fortress was in Finnish hands when Finland became independent.

VR Class Pr2 class of 4 Finnish 4-6-4T locomotives

The Finnish VR Class Pr2, nicknamed "Henschel", was a passenger tank class ordered from the Henschel & Son locomotive workshops by the Estonia State Railways in the spring 1939 and completed in 1941. The outbreak of the Second World War prevented their delivery to Estonia, but at least a few of these engines did manage to operate in Latvia in 1942. These engines became superfluous, because the Germans were converting the Baltic tracks to standard gauge, and so Finland could purchase these four engines. They were classified Pr2 and numbered 1800–1803 after their arrival in December 1942. The Pr2 tank engines were quite advanced locomotives, based on the Henschel Class 62 tank engine design of 1928. After their initial problems were solved, they proved to be fast runners and an ideal addition to the motive power roster. They were originally built by as oil-burners, and reverted to this type of fuel between 1947 and 1954 when oil prices were low. The Pr2 was very fast with its 1,830 mm wheel diameter. One of the Pr2 engines achieved 144 km/h during a test trial run. No. 1803, the final Pr2 in service, was withdrawn in May 1960. Only No. 1800 has been preserved at Haapamäki.

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VR Class Dr12 diesel locomotive

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VR Class Dr13 class of 54 Finnish diesel locomotives

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VR Class Vk3

The VR Class Vk3 was originally called the Finnish Steam Locomotive Class I3. The Finnish State Railways ordered three similar classes of locomotives; The American-built Baldwin Class I1s, and the Class I2s and Class I3s, built at Tampella. All were tank locomotives, which did not have to be turned at terminal stations and could run in both directions at the same speed.