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These standard gauge locomotives were delivered from various East European countries. They are Warsaw Pact versions of the standard BR52 class of the German Railways of the 1940's and 50's commonly known as "Kreigslokomotive". Unfortunately they were never used on the DSVN 1435 mm tracks. Possibly they were too heavy for the poorly maintained track at the time. They have a 2-10-0 wheel arrangement and presumably would have been used on freight trains if they had ever been used, though one source suggests they were for passenger service! The locomotives were apparently delivered sometime in the 1980's. One record says there were 8 delivered, another says 12 another 15 or 16! They would presumably  would have been classified as 150 Class if they had ever run. If they were delivered in the late 1980's they would have been in pretty poor repair I would imagine as some appear to have been built in the 1940's! There seem to be conflicting records as to which locomotives were actually delivered to Vietnam.

The different records are as follows:
First Record:

PKP Ty2.464 (ex 52 5240 Krenau 1249/1943)

PKP Ty2.1214 (ex 52 6797 WLF 16250/1943)

PKP Ty2.1220 (ex 52 4362 Krenau 1494/1944)

PKP Ty2.1274 (ex 52 ? ? ?)

SZD (USSR) TE1263 (ex 52 1263 DWM 694/1944)

SZD (USSR) TE 5978 (ex 52 5978 BMAG 12414/1943)

2 more unknown TE's

Second Record:

In the book 'baureihe 52 von lok-report', there is a little different list:

From Moldova were sent TE 1263, 1390, 2363, 2727, 5096, 5470, 5490, 5560, 5978

From PKP (Polish Railways ?) were sent Ty2 464, 1214 and 1220

Third Record:

CSD(DB) No. TE-5978(52.5978) 2-10-0
CSD(DB) No. TE-6797(52.6797) 2-10-0
CSD(DB) No. Ty2-464(52.5240) 2-10-0
CSD(DB) No. TE-2727(52.2727) 2-10-0
CSD(DB) No. Ty2-1214(52.839) 2-10-0
CSD(DB) No. Ty2-1274 2-10-0
CSD(DB) No. TE-1263(52.1263) 2-10-0
CSD(DB) No. TE-1390(52.1390) 2-10-0

So the common numbers are : 464, 1214,1220, 1263, 5978,

The photos below include 2727, 5470, 5096, so there appear to be at least 8 verified numbers....

There also seems to be a photo of TE ?4?05 which doesn't appear on either of the above lists. Curioser and curioser......!

As they were not used were they scrapped? Most were stored at Yen Vien.


The Website "www.steamloco.info" lists the following information:
Note: All information regarding matters Vietnam on this site seems terribly out of date, but this sort of information is probably accurate.

Year Built
Pre-VN Railway
Builder/Builder's No
Last known Location
TE-4362(52.4362) 1944
Chrzanow (Poland) /1494
Dong Anh
TE-5978(52.5978) 1943
BMAG - Schwartzkopff (Berlin)/12414 Dong Anh
TE-6797(52.6797) 1943
WLF (Floridsdorf)/16250 Dong Anh
Ty2-464(52.5240) 1943
Chrzanow (Poland)/not known
Dong Anh
TE-2727(52.2727) 1944
Henschel & Son (Kassel)/27959 Hanoi (Yen Vien)
Ty2-1214(52.839) 1943
Chrzanow (Poland)/1249 Hanoi (Yen Vien)
Ty2-1274 Not Known
Not known/not known
Hanoi (Yen Vien)
TE-1263(52.1263) 1943
H. Cegielski Works/677 Hanoi (Yen Vien)
TE-1390(52.1390) 1943
Esslingen (Esslingen)/4576 Hanoi (Yen Vien)

te 1263

Above: "TE 1263 from Russia, the former German war locomotive 52 1263, stored at Yen Vien, picture taken 1989." Photo by Johannes Gloeckner) The locomotive, even though dusty, appears to be in better condition than the locomotives in the other photos.


German BR52 class (Kreigslokomotive) Russian TE Class
Built By
See table above for some possible builders
Years Built
From 1942 -  (see information above for some possible builders numbers)
Road Numbers
(See Above)
Wheel Arrangement
2-10-0 (1-5-0)
22975 mm
9200 mm
Service Weight
84 tonne
Service Weight including tender
102.7 tonne
Axle Load
15 tonne
Driving Wheels
1400 mm
Leading Wheel Diameter
850 mm
Max Speed
80 kph
No of cylinders
Cylinder Bore
600 mm
Piston stroke
660 mm
1192 kw/1598 hp

Photo Gallery

Click on thumbnails for fullsize image

TE thumb001TE thumb002TE thumb003

TE thumb004TE thumb005

Locomotive Classifications

Steam Locomotives generally used the traditional French classification system. A steam locomotive with a 2-8-2 wheel arrangement is classified as 141 class, a locomotive with  4-6-2 wheel arrangement is classified as 231 class etc. Pretty straight forward, except what they did  if  two classes had a 2-8-2 wheel arrangement I'm not sure. It didn't happen so wasn't a problem?

Diesel locomotives have a completely dfferent clasification system.

All diesel classes start with the letter 'D'  (for diesel?) then a number which I believe is related to the locomotives  power output. The third character defines  Electric' (E) or hydraulic  (H).

e.g. D5H class = Diesel + 500 hp + hydraulic.

Again, what happens if two classes are the same I don't know.

I am still investigating pre 1975 classifications. Some are the same e.g. 141 steam class, and some are different e.g. 'BB' class instead of D9E.

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Railways in Vietnam website 2009-2013 David Gurnett
  Updated November 16, 2013
All images remain the copyright of their original owners and are reproduced purely for the purposes of research.

Please feel free to contact me at railwaysofvietnam@gmail.com