The International Steam Pages


The Frankfurter Feldbahn Museum, December 2019

For other reports on the FFM see:


After a 10 year gap, James Waite went back to the FFM to greet a distinguished new arrival:

Here are some photos from the Frankfurter Feldbahnmuseum on Saturday 7th December. The main attraction for me was the opportunity to see the Pechot-Bourdon loco which has recently arrived there on loan from the Dresden Transport Museum where it has been since the early 1950's. It's Baldwin 43325/1916. The design of these locomotives dates back to 1888 when Colonel Pechot promoted a system of light railways as an asset for the French army in future wars. 62 had been built by the start of WW1 in 1914, a woefully inadequate number once the Western Front had been established. The idea of adopting the Fairlie principle was that the locomotive could keep going if enemy action put one end out of action and so the railways serving the front were less likely to be clogged up. It was impossible to built more locomotives in France in the time required and the French army turned to Baldwin who supplied 280 in 1916. By then the Fairlie concept was very out of date and one wonders what Baldwin must have thought of this unusual order! This locomotive is one of two survivors, the other being at the Pozega narrow gauge museum in Serbia. This one is known to have been in France in 1940, probably at a Maginot Line fort, and was discovered in a shed at Chemnitz after the war. It's thought it may have worked on a light railway laid in the streets of Magdeburg towards the end of the war, one of several similar lines in German cities which were used to clear away rubble from bomb-damaged buildings. It is now on a ten-year loan to the Frankfurt museum but this will be extended to thirty years in the event that they restore it to working order. I was told that the boiler is in quite good shape but it's by no means certain that it will be restored since the FFM is a relatively small, volunteer-run organisation and they already have three major restoration projects in hand. Ruediger Fach at the FFM kindly arranged for it to be towed out for me to photograph it.

The night shots are from a photo event the same evening. 

The Mallet tank is OK 3902/1909 and came from Gending sugar mill in Java, Indonesia. It's more or less a standard OK design.

The small green/blue 0-4-0T is OK 9244/1921 which spent its working life in Germany, mostly at Monchengladbach. 

The black 0-10-0T Luttermöller locomotive is OK 11073/1925. It's a German army design produced in 1918 with a view to supplementing the Brigadelok 0-8-0T's, possibly to assist the advance deeper into France which they were hoping to achieve that year, but only a few were built before the war ended. This is one of several built for the Japanese army as their no E103 and one of the three which ended up working at the Seibu Railway's quarry at Ahina in the north-eastern outskirts of Tokyo. 

The little 0-4-0T with the twin buffers at the right hand end of the row of four engines in front of the shed is Henschel 20517/1925 which also spent its working life in Germany. Finally the little 0-4-0T in the last photo is Decauville 648/1912, a 3.5 tonne machine which came from the Mount Pelion line in Greece where it was named "Demetrios".


Rob Dickinson

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