Class 533A 2-10-2 (1954)

Class 533A 3-Cylinder Goods Locomotive
Designed by Frihdrik Tešlov
Built in 1954 by Friedrich Krupp, Essen, Germany

The class 533A 2-10-2 is unique in RSR history in that it was built after its designer's retirement. In 1945, Tešlov was faced with the task of rebuilding the RSR's motive power from the ruins of the Second World War. A new heavy freight locomotive was high on the list of priorities, but finding a builder able to produce a machine of this size took time. It was well known that Breda, of Milan, had received a similar order for the Greek railways; however, the fact that Italy had generated no new experience of locomotive design since 1927 was not lost on the RSR's buyers. When Tešlov retired, in 1950, the order still had not been placed. Not until 1953 were the contracts with Krupp, of Essen, signed and work begun. The RSR was not disappointed in Krupp quality. The 533A was the only large post-war design not to receive poppet valves. The majority of the class remained in service until 1994, sharing duties with the newer 564B and 555A 4-10-4s, after which withdrawals were heavy and the last 533A was retired in 1996 and took its place in the Museum of Science and Technology in Bevice.

There was however the same problem of loading gauge as with the 433D 4-8-2s. A misunderstanding in the drawing office led to the assumption that the loading gauge could accommodate the extra height of the chimney extension common in German practice. The 533As were thus also too tall as built and had to be confined to major routes in the northern plains. After the embarrassment of the 434A, the RSR knew better than to complain to Krupp.

From 1957 onwards, under the stewardship of Mikhail Rodnivacek, the whole class received the same tapered boilers as the 433Ds, becoming class 533AA, and their height was also reduced to fit within the general RSR loading gauge.

Class 533AA 2-10-2 (1957)

The 533AAs retained their Walschaerts valve gear after rebuilding.

Text & graphics © Norman Clubb 2015