Bavarian express locomotive S 2/6
The fastest locomotive|of its time
Designed by Anton Hammel, the S 2/6 reached a speed of 154.5 km/h on a test run in 1907. This was a new world record for steam locomotives, which would not be broken until 29 years later by the German locomotive 05 002.
The speed of the locomotive – whose name S 2/6 derived from its six axles, including two driving axles – was thanks in part to its unusually large driving wheels measuring 220 centimetres in diameter. The locomotive's novel streamlined design also played its part. The cab, cylinder front, smokebox door, chimney and steam dome were given a smooth shape to reduce air resistance.
But the design also had its weaknesses. The large wheels were slow to get going, and the locomotive lacked sufficient torque. Apart from the short route from Munich to Augsburg, the site of the record-breaking run, Bavaria had no lines suitable for the high speeds of which the S 2/6 was capable. Given these shortcomings, only one S 2/6 was ever built. However, it provided important lessons for the design of the Bavarian S 3/6, which subsequently became a successful locomotive class.