When were steam locomotives converted to diesel?

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The Kornwestheim depot

The Bahnbetriebswerk (Bw) Kornwestheim was built under the direction of the Königlich Württembergische Staatseisenbahnen (K.W.St.E.) as part of the construction of the large marshalling yard, which was put into operation in 1918. The Untertürkheim freight station, which was built in 1896 together with the freight bypass railway, had become too small for the soaring freight traffic. This is how a central marshalling yard was built in Kornwestheim, which is still one of the largest in Germany today.

The depot was initially assigned to the Stuttgart machine inspection department. On April 1, 1920, the K.W.St.E. in the newly founded Deutsche Reichsbahn-Gesellschaft. This took over the organizational form, with the machine inspections being renamed Reichsbahn machine offices and subordinate to the Reichsbahn directorates. After 1949, the German Federal Railroad changed the terms into Machine Office (MA) and Federal Railway Directorate (BD). After the restructuring to Deutsche Bahn AG, Kornwestheim initially belonged to the Stuttgart branch of the Cargo division. Today the plant as a service point for locomotives of Railion Deutschland AG under the umbrella of DB Schenker is assigned to the management of maintenance south-west in Mannheim.


The Bw systems

The building complex, which was originally 215 m long and 70 m wide, was built between 1917 and 1923 in two construction phases as a steam locomotive depot. It is located within the track systems of the marshalling yard and is accessible to road vehicles via an access road from the Stammheim bridge. An underpass enables pedestrians to reach the depot from the city without using rails.

The largest part of the layout was taken up by the three locomotive and two transfer halls. On the north side is the electric locomotive hall, which is connected to the marshalling yard by a nine-track harp. 30 electric locomotives can be parked in front of the hall. There are 9 double stands in the hall, which are equipped with working pits. Follow-up and deadline work on the electric locomotives is carried out here. Crane systems and lifting jacks are also available for this purpose. The associated workshops were set up in the western annex. The four-storey extension on the east side houses common rooms, washrooms and changing rooms as well as overnight rooms for the locomotive staff, the locomotive management (moved to the BZ Karlsruhe in 2006) and administrative offices, files and equipment rooms as well as part of the fabric store.

The middle hall, separated from the electric locomotive hall by an electric transfer platform with a load capacity of 200 t, was demolished in 1997 after individual tracks had been closed for years due to the risk of collapse. It used to house an underfloor lathe for adjusting the profile of wheelsets and a mechanical locomotive cleaning system. The remaining tracks were used to park the locomotive.

The southern hall, connected to the middle hall by another electric transfer table with a load capacity of 160 tons, is used to carry out temporary work and repairs on diesel locomotives, tower cars and small locomotives. Lifting and crane systems are available for this. In addition, the hall has an axle recess, which is used to exchange wheelsets and traction motors (electric locomotive). The original wooden roof structure was rebuilt in 1968 using steel construction. The eastern extension houses the social and sanitary rooms of the workshop workers on three floors, as well as the workshop and equipment rooms of the former telecommunications master's office as well as the classrooms. There are also the kitchen and storage rooms of the canteen in the southern extension (closed in 2004).

The southern extension is dominated by the workshops of the locomotive fitters, joiners, painters and factory workers. The canteen dining room is located on the upper floor. The material store, which has a hydraulic freight elevator with a load capacity of 4 tons, extends over three levels. The two-storey west wing houses a transformer station for the Bw and a branch of the catenary maintenance department.

On the east side next to the middle hall there is a petrol station for diesel locomotives at the entrance to the southern transfer table. The outdoor facilities for treating the steam locomotives were gradually dismantled with the cessation of steam operation. Remnants of it can still be seen along the northern approach to the depot. The coaling plant with coal storage, coaling bunker with crane, slagging plant with slag sump and water cranes were once located here. The 1100 m3 The full water tower can be seen on the west side of the marshalling yard. It is a listed building and is still used today as a storage tank for industrial water.

In the apron of the depot, about 300 m north of the locomotive hall, there was an articulated turntable with a load capacity of 350 tons and a length of 23 meters. It gained notoriety when it was destroyed in December 1996 in an accident in which the museum steam locomotive 01 1066 fell into the pit. Until a few years ago, near the turntable pit, there was also the former steam locomotive sanding system, which was converted to sand the shunting locomotives of the 360-365 series.


The vehicle stock

The Kornwestheim depot in the middle of the large marshalling yard has always been home to heavy freight locomotives for service on the Württemberg highways, lighter machines for the branch lines in the greater Stuttgart area and various shunting locomotives. During the steam locomotive era, the mighty Württemberg K was at home here alongside the light T 3 and later locomotives of the 44 and 50 series alongside 92.0 (Württ. T6) and 94.5 (pr. T 16.1). In the war years the series 42 and 52 were also at home in Kornwestheim, and "bag locomotives" were also used, including French 230 C.

The electrification of the main lines brought electric locomotives to Kornwestheim as early as the 1930s. Initially, it was class E 91 and E 93 locomotives that were located in Kornwestheim in connection with the electrification of the Ludwigsburg - Stuttgart - Munich line (including the Kornwestheim - Untertürkheim freight bypass), which was completed in 1933. In March 1933 the E 91 05, 06 and 09 came from Regensburg and shortly afterwards the E 91 91 and 92 from Hirschberg (Silesia). In 1934 the stock was increased by E 91 13 from Freilassing. By 1939 the number of machines had dropped back to three machines (06, 09, 92). It was only after the war that the E 91 could be used again. On January 1st, 1953, Kornwestheim had become an E91 stronghold with 8 machines. Although pushing operation with the E 91 on the Geislinger Steige ended in 1952, the slow rod locomotives found a new area of ​​responsibility in the local freight train service. In 1968 the entire inventory was handed over to E 91 to Oberhausen.

The history of the E 93 is closely linked to the Kornwestheim depot. At least one of them was stationed there during their entire service life. The E 93 01 and 02 delivered in 1933 started their work here. By the end of 1937, further E 93s followed directly from factory 11. E 93 14 - 18 initially came to the RBD Halle, but were relocated to southern Germany in the course of the war in connection with the delivery of the successor series E 94. At the end of the war, six E 93s were at home in Kornwestheim, their sisters drove for the Ulm and Geislingen depots. In 1951 the entire Ulm population was relocated to Kornwestheim. With the closure of the electric locomotive workshop in Geislingen in 1958, all E 93s were gathered in Kornwestheim. They stayed there until they were retired. With the summer timetable in 1984, the E93 service with the DB ended. As the last trip, the 193 006 pulled a special train for rail enthusiasts from Stuttgart to Horb on June 2, 1984.

From 1942 to 1969 locomotives of the E 94 series were stationed in Kornwestheim. The E 94 065-068 were already planned for the RBD Stuttgart in the distribution plan of 1940. After several changes, the E 94 035 was the first to arrive at the Kornwestheim depot at the end of April 1942. It was followed by the E 94 036 in May. After completion of the staff training, the E 94 038 and 039 followed in the summer. By 1944, the E 94 number had grown to 14 machines. Despite extensive destruction of the railway systems, electrical operation could be maintained until shortly before the end of the war. In an attack by the 8th US Air Force on February 23, 1945, the depot was badly damaged and many documents, including the operating books, were destroyed. The route to Munich was fully electric again from June 15, 1945. Since coal was scarce, work was done at full speed to restore the electrical systems and locomotives. In the following years, the E 94 was seen in front of all types of trains. With the arrival of the Ulm E 93 in 1951 (see above), with the exception of E 94 036, all E 94s were delivered to Ulm, which at that time hauled the trains on the main route "from the center". With the electrification of the routes to the north in the 1950s, more machines were needed again and the number of E 94s increased again. The E 94 142, 270 and 271, which had been equipped with a high-voltage control as an experiment, were also stationed here temporarily. At the end of 1957, the E94 fleet comprised 14 machines, 12 of which were used as planned in two circuits with the turning points at Neu Ulm, Mannheim, Tübingen and Weil der Stadt. From 1958/59 the routes to Karlsruhe and Heilbronn were added, the E 94 maintenance in Ulm was also discontinued until 1961 and all machines were relocated to Kornwestheim. With this, the cross-country runs Munich - Neu Ulm - Kornwestheim were also included in the local running plans. From March 1961 to May 1962, the Kornwestheim depot had the highest number in its history with 28 locomotives. But from then on, her star began to decline. On January 21, 1962, the first new freight locomotive appeared with the E 50 055. With their higher capacity, heavier trains could be transported over the ramps at Bretten and Geislingen. With further deliveries, the E 94 were increasingly given to other depots. In the years 1962-65, in which the Kornwestheim depot received a total of 23 E 50s, 14 E 94s were handed in. In the course of 1969 the last E 94s went to Augsburg and Heidelberg, but even after the E94 conversation had ended, the "crocodiles" could still be seen regularly in Kornwestheim. Until they left the DB in the summer of 1988, the 194 other depots ran into the Kornwestheim marshalling yard and paused at the local depot.

The occasional home of E 44 in 1952 and 1963-67 was only a temporary phenomenon.They were mainly to be found in neighboring Stuttgart.

In the fifties and sixties, the lines served by Kornwestheimer steam locomotive were electrified in stages or converted to diesel operation. Between 1950 and 1956 the contact wire was hung up to Mannheim, 1958 it reached von Mühlacker from Karlsruhe, 1959 from Bietigheim from Heilbronn. In 1962/63 Schorndorf and Böblingen were connected to the electrified network.

Between 1957 and 1959, shunting operations at the Kornwestheim and Untertürkheim marshalling yards and the surrounding stations were switched to diesel operation. Up to now, locomotives with internal combustion engines were based at the Stuttgart depot, which today no longer has any diesel locomotives. With the allocation of V 60 103 on January 16, 1957, diesel locomotive maintenance began at the Kornwestheim depot. By December 31, 1958, the number of V 60s had grown to 12, four years later there were already 26.

The Kornwestheim depot received the first V 100 series diesel locomotives (today 211/212) in 1962/63. From July 1962 to March 1963, Henschel and the Esslingen machine factory delivered 27 machines directly to Kornwestheim. They were initially used at the Pforzheim and Plochingen depots and replaced the steam locomotives used there on the branch lines.

In 1964, the steam locomotive maintenance at the Kornwestheim depot ended. In the spring of 1963 Kornwestheim handed over his last 44ers to Rottweil after the contact wire from Stuttgart had already reached Böblingen. On January 20, 1964, 93 836 was the last Prussian T 14 to be handed over to the Kornwestheim depot. For the summer timetable in 1964, the V 100 took over the services of the 86 on the Ludwigsburg - Backnang route, which were only based in Kornwestheim from 1962 to 1964. The 86s were delivered to Stuttgart, Schwandorf and Kassel. The last 50s went to Heilbronn in October 1964. But even in the following years there were still occasional clouds of steam over Kornwestheim when Wendelok from other depots called into the depot to replenish their supplies.

Kornwestheim received its first V 90s (later 290) from 1966 for the heavy shunting service, especially on the northern part of the run-off mountain. The radio remote control for automating the process operation was tested here at an early stage. On November 1, 1968, Kornwestheim took over all V 60s now as 260/261 from Stuttgart and Plochingen. This meant that all of the shunting locomotives in the greater Stuttgart area were based here. With the takeover of the Heilbronn diesel locomotives (except for the small locomotive) by September 1986, the number increased again.

With the new delivery of the E 50 series (from 1968: 150) and the concentration of electric locomotive maintenance, the electric locomotive workshop lost its E 94 (194) to other offices. Nevertheless, the "crocodiles" were guests at the Kornwestheim depot until their end of service in May 1988. With the delivery of the 150 to Stuttgart in 1981 and the retirement of the 193 series in 1984, the electric locomotive maintenance in Kornwestheim temporarily ended. Since then, only a handful of diesel locomotive series and tower railcars have been recorded in the stationing directory. With the separation of the business areas at DB AG, the electric locomotive workshop was revived and the class 150 locomotives returned to Kornwestheim on December 1, 1997. Their use ended on December 31, 2003 with the decommissioning of the last machines in this series.

With the commissioning of the new Mannheim - Stuttgart line, another series made its home in Kornwestheim. Two machines of the 214 series (later renamed 714) have been at home here since 1991 as locomotives for the tunnel rescue train. These are class 212 locomotives that have been specially converted for this purpose. Although these are listed at DB Netz in Fulda, they are serviced by the Kornwestheim diesel locomotive workshop. Today you are the last representatives of the V 100 locomotive family in Kornwestheim. In the 1990s, the 211/212 were increasingly displaced by railcars from their services in passenger transport. The shuttle services between Marbach and Backnang ended with the electrification of the Murrbahn in 1997 and on the Teckbahn they were replaced by more powerful 218s. In freight transport, they were gradually replaced by radio-controlled 294s. With 212 084 the last active mainline diesel locomotive of the depot Kornwestheim was relocated to Saarbrücken in April 2004. She had previously been on loan in Saarland for two months. Today, only 335, 362, 363, 290 and 294 shunting locomotives are at home in Kornwestheim. As a DB Schenker service point, the workshop continues to carry out repairs and maintenance work on electric locomotives.

To the vehicle stationing
To pictures from the Kornwestheim depot.

Text: Joachim Hund
Last changed on November 30, 2009