Tuesday, 20 March 2012

M62- A Soviet Monster

I am slowly developing my own thoughts on what my 'favourite' non-British locomotives would be. Certainly there are many worthy contenders throughout the world and while I am not sure that they would win an outright 'favourite locomotive in the world' category, the M62 would certainly top a 'Soviet' group.
Built between 1965 and 1980 the M62 is most definitely a monstrous class with a massive 7164 (according to Wikipedia) single sections produced to be formed into more than FIVE THOUSAND locomotives! To put that into context the most locomotives of any single class to ever operate in Britain were the class 47's at a meagre 512 pieces!
The locomotives have been common throughout former Soviet states from Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Belarus, Poland and of course Hungary (from where the designation M62 originates) to name just a few. Some M62 locomotives have even found their way to Cuba!
In Poland the class (known as ST44) have been in decline for many years now due to their huge fuel consumption and excessive track wear. Despite this many private operators continue to use the reliable locos, and even within PKP cargo rebuilt locomotives of this type are seeing something of a renaissance.
One of the highlights of my recent trip is photographed above- Privately owned Pol Meidz Trans loco M62-1199 heading a heavy ballast train through Poznan Staroleca on 2nd March 2012. This was the second PMT loco we had seen within the hour, the first being M62-3101. While 3101 gave the air of having been re-engined, M62-1199 with it's characteristic sound and exhaust was most definitely the real deal!
All being well I hope to be able to post some further M62's over the coming months...

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