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Steam & Excursion > Highest Mileage 21st Century Steam Engine


Date: 07/08/19 12:18
Highest Mileage 21st Century Steam Engine
Author: Tominde

What steam locomotive has the highest mileage in the world of any engine in the 21st century?   Howard Jones of The Wolsztyn Experience says that the Polish OL49 #69 is tops.  My understanding is that this engine was returned to daily passenger service in Poland in 2003.  It has run about 200 days per year typically 200+ miles a day.  There was about a 3 year period of limited use 10-20 days per year.  The past 2 years has been back to 200 days per year but about 150 miles per day.    For a good stretch of time she would go 21 days straight of 200 mile trips, then pause for a boiler wash.  This is about as close as you get to how it was back in the day.  Most all of that is with student engineers and more importantly student fireman.

The Polish OL 49 class is a remarkable design.  2-6-2.  It is the GP7 of steam engines.  It is mixed use built in the early 50s.  #69 (originally 99) was built in 1954.  She's good for about 65 mph, and often approaches 60 mph on daily trains. 

I've had the experience to run this engine and most of the others. I've logged about 2500 miles on the main line.  It's still open to you too. But time is running out for the Wolsztyn Experience.  It winds down seriously next year.  PM me if you are seriously interested. 

The Polish numbering system is pretty neat.   Letter O=mixed use  L=2-6-2   49 = year of design.  Followed by engine #








Date: 07/08/19 12:34
Re: Highest Mileage 21st Century Steam Engine
Author: gregscholl

What ever happened to that good looking 4-6-2, or 2-6-2 that had the full smoke-deflectors.  It was best looking of the bunch as I recall.
Cool you can still run the engines as well as view steam ops.
Greg



Date: 07/08/19 13:12
Re: Highest Mileage 21st Century Steam Engine
Author: RRBaron

In my opinion, anyone who hasn't had the The Wolsztyn Experience, but could, is not a dye-in-the-wool railfan. Don't wait until this steam train has left town for the last time.  



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/08/19 14:23 by RRBaron.



Date: 07/08/19 18:25
Re: Highest Mileage 21st Century Steam Engine
Author: BDrotarIII

gregscholl Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What ever happened to that good looking 4-6-2, or
> 2-6-2 that had the full smoke-deflectors.  It was
> best looking of the bunch as I recall.
> Cool you can still run the engines as well as view
> steam ops.
> Greg

Pm36-2, the 4-6-2 also known as Piekna Helena, or Beautiful Helen, is due for the Polish equivalent to a 1472. She's owned by the National Railway Museum in Warsaw, and while there is a lot of people that would like to see her come back, the museum apparently doesn't feel that there is enough interest to justify it. So she sits cold in the roundhouse in Wolsztyn.



Date: 07/08/19 19:36
Re: Highest Mileage 21st Century Steam Engine
Author: gbmott

When was Ol49-99 supposed to have been renumbered to Ol49-69?  If it was subsequent to 1994, then here's Ol49-69 in her original number of 99 as well as a photo of the "real" 69.  At this time (1993), 99 was based at Stargard Szcz. while 69 was a Wolsztyn engine (along with Ol49's 7, 23. 32, 59, 81 and 105).  If the renumbering was subsequent to this, then considerable car was taken to duplicate the smokebox front decoration as well as painting the scallops and circles on the smoke deflectors.

Ol49-99 - Jezioro Wirow 8-14-93
Ol49-69 - Wolsztyn 7-30-93

Gordon



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/09/19 05:43 by gbmott.






Date: 07/08/19 20:26
Re: Highest Mileage 21st Century Steam Engine
Author: Tominde

99 changed to 69 my version of the story. 

69 was a Wosztyn engine, but needed a lot of work.  99 was a static display in a museum. It was in great shape.  Wolsztyn experience wanted to trade engines,  Two problems.  #1 you just can't trade like that in Poland.  No way for a govt RR to accept something from a museum.  Second problem, 69 was a Wolsztyn based engine.  99 was not. OH NO!   Magically during the night the numbers fell off both engines and got put back up on the other engine.  So a simple number swap kept things going.



Date: 07/08/19 23:46
Re: Highest Mileage 21st Century Steam Engine
Author: Mgoldman

I'll bet some tourist locomotives have some miles on them - Durango, Cumbres & Toltec,
Alaska Railroad and maybe even some locomotives at the Strasburg Rail Road.  All
(almost) daily runners, several days, if not 7 per week.

/Mitch



Date: 07/09/19 04:18
Re: Highest Mileage 21st Century Steam Engine
Author: gbmott

By the way Tom, your first photo is outstanding!

Gordon



Date: 07/09/19 10:32
Re: Highest Mileage 21st Century Steam Engine
Author: andersonb109

We went there last Summer. Spent a great few days in and around Wolsztyn. A great experience that sadly probably won't last much longer. Where else in the world can you experience and photograph real working steam on track speed commuter trains with actual passengers (not just enthusiats and tourists)? 



Date: 07/12/19 18:13
Re: Highest Mileage 21st Century Steam Engine
Author: engineerinvirginia

I reckon steamers are like any other machine....regular use makes them last and last. Letting them sit ruins them. 



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