Class 323F 4-6-2 (1947)
Class 323F 2-Cylinder Passenger Locomotive
Designed by Frihdrik Tešlov
Built in 1947 by Henschel & Sohn, Kassel, Germany

Following the Second World War, as part of his programme for rebuilding the RSR's locomotive stock, Tešlov saw the need for a medium passenger locomotive to replace the remnants of several older classes which had survived the hostilities, many of them damaged or badly run down. The 323F combined a new, all-welded boiler, cast chassis with integral cylinders and various devices for reducing servicing time (and costs), such as fully automatic lubrication, Franklin automatic hornblock wedges, rocking grate, hopper-bottomed smokebox and firetube cleaning gear. The new engines entered service during 1947 and 1948 and prompted a rapid revival of RSR passenger services. There was trouble at first with the automatic lubrication, which led to an alarming rate of hot-boxes and knocking big-ends. Some oiling was done by hand after that, much after the fashion of the Norfolk and Western.  In 1957 the entire class was extensively rebuilt with tapered boilers, boxpok wheels and poppet valve gear, becoming class 323FF.

Text and graphics © Norman Clubb 2012