| The Wonderful World of Vehicles |
The Hr1 wheel is 1900
Location: Haapamäki, Finland
The Wonderful World of Vehicles
In September 1997 just about 40 old steam locomotives of the Finnish State Railways stand abandoned and rusting away on the Haapamäki trainyard in Central Finland. One of the most interesting ones is the Hr1 class locomotive number 1005.
The 'P1' or 'Hr1' class
The 1005 is rather an early example of the largest passenger express steam locomotive class ever built in Finland. She is a heavy weight giant in Finnish scale. In early '30s The Finnish State Railways needed longer and faster passenger trains. So in 1932-1936 drawings were made for a new heavy express locomotive. The new class was called 'P1'. Later in 1942 the classification was altered to 'Hr1':
The first two locomotives were equipped with tenders for
The 'P1' or later 'Hr1' class was affectionately called 'Ukko-Pekka' or 'Grandpa Peter' after the Finnish president of those days, 'Ukko-Pekka' P. E. Svinhuvud. The nickname stood for greatness and power.
A War Baby
The first two P1's (1001 and 1002) were ordered in 1936 and delivered in 1937. In 1938 four more engines were ordered, numbers 1000, 1003, 1004 and our baby, the 1005. But then came the famous Finnish Winter War, and the locomotives were somewhat delayed.
||In their prime time the Hr1 locomotives
were the flagships of the Finnish Railways. They hauled
long express trains up and down the 1 000 km long
Still in the '60s the Hr1's run an average of a bit under 10 000 km a month. Especially the last two engines (1920 and 1921) with roller bearings were reliable haulers. These two carried the nickname 'Rulla-Pekka' or 'Roller-Peter'. These two are easily recognized by their smaller Witte-type smoke deflectors. The older ones were equipped with larger Wagner deflectors.
|Burn baby burn: coal, logs, oil|
||Originally the 1005 was built for coal,
but like some of her sisters she was burning birch logs
most of the year 1945 after the war. At that time her
slim coal chimney was replaced by the fat log chimney.
But the 1005 was the only Hr1 class locomotive that was ever altered for burning oil. For a while oil price was low when compared to coal. So the 1005 was burning oil for two years from february 1948 to february 1950.
|The Kuurila crash in 1957|
The 1005 is not just any one of the 'Ukko-Pekka' class locomotives. She has a sad reputation for her collision near Kuurila in March 1957.
The 1005 was pulling the P64 express from north to Helsinki. Between Kuurila and Iittala she hit the north bound MP41 express hauled by a Dm4 diesel motor car.
The delicate motor car was splattered into splinters and 28 people were killed and 19 injured. The 1005 suffered considerably less damage. She was put back on the track and taken to Hyvinkää for reparation.
The Kuurila crash was the worst peace time railroad accident ever in Finland even to this day.
|Lesser jobs for the Hr1, and the dying out of steam|
In the '60s the 1005 was stationed in Helsinki, where the Hr1's were hauling extra fast trains while diesels hauled the regular ones. Later on only saturday extras were given to the steamers and finally only local trains to Riihimäki.
The last regular Hr1 train from Helsinki was drawn by 1002 in 30. May 1970.
The last official passenger steam train was drawn by Hr1 1020 from Pieksämäki to Kouvola in 22. May 1971.
Due to lack of tractive resources the roller bearing Hr1s 1020 and 1021 returned to haul local trains in the spring 1974 between Vaasa and Seinäjoki.
All regular work with steam engines by the Finnish State Railways was ended 30.9.1975.
|Stored for crisis|
|When steam engines finally were replaced
by diesel engines, the old steam locomotives were stored
at Lievestuore military depot near Haapamäki to be used
during crisis, when diesel oil would be hard to come by.
The engines were packaged and protected against rusting
and weather. And they stood there ever since, until...
In 1981 Hr1 1004 was restored to find out how the engines had managed the long wait. It was used for museal runs and private trains till August 1990 when its kettle time was up once again. It was then hauled cold to Haapamäki.
|Restored Hr1's reliving|
||Some of the Hr1's have gained new lives:
1008 and 1016 were sold to England with several other types of steam engines in 1990.
1009 is owned by British enthusiasts or Steam Traction Ltd. It was inspected at Pieksämäki after restauration in England in April 1993.
The roller bearing 1021 was restaured by Finnish enthusiasts and it was inspected for traffic at Pasila depot in Helsinki in May 1996.
Both 1009 and 1021 locomotives run nostalgia trips and festival trips. I in the summer of 1996 on sundays the 1009 ran a regular route Helsinki - Toijala - Helsinki. In the summer of 1997 she ran only 3 scheduled rides Helsinki - Karjaa - Helsinki.
It is possible to rent them with passenger cars for private trips, films, advertisements etc...
|Scrapping in silence|
||In the 1990s the crisis store was abandoned when it
was obvious that the engines were rusting and that they
no longer could be used in possible crisis. The last 27 engines were
hauled to Haapamäki trainyard in 26. May 1991. Four Hr1s were among
At Haapamäki the engines are free for all to inspect and they are for sale. Unfortunately the State Railways also started scrapping the locomotives in silence. This to my mind was not exactly a culturally heroic deed. Only after strong protests they gave up the scrapping.
Now rusting away unless you buy her
Now (1997) the 1005 is standing abandoned on the Haapamäki trainyard with fourty other steam engines quietly rusting away getting no protection against weather or vandalism. But they are now for sale.
|Photographs without credits:
- B/W: Valtionrautatiet 1937-1962
- Color: Kurt Ristniemi
| The Wonderful World of Vehicles Home |