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A Slim on a Thin one!

Location: Haapamäki Train yard, Finland
Visited: 27 September 1997

For more info search for 'Finnish railroad rolling stock'

The Wonderful World of Vehicles

by Kurt Ristniemi

Rail Tractor
The former Lko-KK 14
of The Finnish State Railways

by Tampella

If you have further information on Kisko-Kalle Rail Tractors,
please contact me on front page

Page updated 14.08.2005
published April 11. 1998

© Kurt Ristniemi, 1998 - 2003

A Thin Boy, eh?
Lurking between box cars.

While wandering among the stored locomotives on the Haapamäki train yard in September 1997 with sEs, I saw a green and yellow thin something lurking between two box cars. It was the thinnest railway something I ever have seen.

I knew it was called 'Kisko-Kalle' ('Rail Charles'), but I did not know what it actually was. Checking it out later on revealed that it was a Rail Tractor or a Locomotor, as it also was called. Classified in its time in the '50s at the Finnish State Railways as 'Lko-KK 14'. Where 'Lko' stands for 'Liikenneosasto' (Traffic Department') and 'KK' for 'Kisko-Kalle'. Not too usual a class name, as Kisko-Kalle was the product name of the builder, Oy Tampella Ab.

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Classification yard



A Museum Piece
Kisko-Kalle Trr 378 (981/1958) at Hyvinkää Railroad Museum
Photo: Courtesy & © Petteri Aranne

The Tampella 'Kisko-Kalle' Rail Tractor, model Breuer 4G

Manufacturer: Oy Tampella Ab
Wheel arrangement: B (0-4-0)
Wheel diameter: 450 mm
Traction effort: 1 500 kp
Weight in working order: 5.5/11.5 t
Total length: 3.52 m
Max. speed: 25 km/h
Engine: Tampella 504A
Power: 80 hp at 2 500 rpm
Type 6 cylinder, 5.25 ccm, 4 cycle gasoline engine
Transmission: Mechanical 4 gear box, final drive with chains

The engines were later replaced first with 100 hp Deutz F6L-514 diesels, and once again with 195 hp VolvoND 67C diesels.

A Rail Tractor?

In the '50s in Finland there were adjustments made in shunting. The Finnish State Railways 'Suomen Valtion Rautatiet' or 'VR' for short, found that it was not economical to have shunting (steam) locomotives at smaller line stations, where shunting nevertheless was necessary.

A smaller motor driven shunting engine was needed, a rail tractor or a locomotor. VR had had some small locomotors since the '20s. Also in the early '50s Finnish industry had bought locomotors from the German firm Breuer-Werke G.m.b.H. in Frankfurt for light shunting work on their train yards. VR decided to order Rail Tractors of the Breuer type. They were built under license by the Finnish Oy Tampella Ab. Altogether 39 'Kisko-Kalle' rail tractors were built for VR during the years 1956 -1960.

The Kisko-Kalle rail tractor weighs only 5,5 tons. That is not too much if you aim to move several railroad cars. But Kisko-Kalle is quite a clever thing: it is low at both ends and it goes well under a railroad car. By lifting the car a bit with a hydraulic lifting arm, Kisko-Kalle increases its own friction weight up to 11,5 tons. With the increased weight it manages to pull more cars. Clever, huh?

Kisko-Kalles were also used for transporting cars between minor line stations. They proved not quite powerful enough for this kind of work, and sometimes Kisko-Kalles did get stuck on the lines. Especially on rainy days on the wet rails they would tend to loose their grip and they slipped. And they got halted disturbing time tables.

Eventually Kisko-Kalles were replaced with larger, heavier and more powerful locomotors, and they were moved on to train yards and repair depots. To do jobs they actually were better suited for.

No code to be seen!
The lollipops on the roof are front end indicators.
Photo by sEs

The third KK in the world
The third Kisko-Kalle, Lko-KK 3 (956/1956)
Photo: 'Valtionrautatiet 1937-1962'

Writing on the door
A detail of the above picture enhanced to extreme:
"Lko-KK 3"

Our Baby has been under many disguises

Our 'Kisko-Kalle' was made in 1958, as number 974/1958 by Tampella. It is the 14th one of the 39 rail tractors that were made for VR from 1956 to 1960.

It had several codes during its life at VR:

1958 - 1965: Lko-KK 14. It started its life as Lko-KK 14. Lko stood for Liikenneosasto (Traffic Department), and KK for Kisko-Kalle.

1965 - 1966: Trr-Lko 14. In 1965 it was re-coded according to the new unified coding principle of 1961. T stood for Työkone - (working machine), an rr for raidetraktori, (Rail Tractor). Lko stood still for the department: Liikenneosasto. Don't ask me for the logic of the 'rr'!

1966 - 1968: Trr-Hto 1. It was moved over to Procurement Department or Hankintaosasto. Hence Hto. It was used at the Pasila Depot in Helsinki. On the inventory records it was for some reason coded Trr-Vo 1. Vo stands for Varasto-osasto (Storage Department).

1970 - 1977: Trr-Vo 1 and Trr 351. In 1970 the coding principle of VR was again changed. The department name was dropped, and the number series of different types were unified. For some reason our baby not only got the new code Trr 351, but also the Trr Vo 1 that had previously been on its inventory card.

In 1977 it was sold to 'Lahden Lasitehdas' (Lahti Glass Factory).

In 1989 Lahden Lasitehdas handed it over to 'Wanhat Waunut ry' (Ye Olde Cars), an association salvaging old railroad cars, who managed to restore it. And whose logo the Rail Tractor now boasts with:

W for Wanhat Waunut

But now (1997) - almost at the age of 40 - it was standing on the Haapamäki train yard with a cracked engine, as the Finnish railroad news group were able to tell me when I was making my research for this page.

  The Breuer Shithouse
Studying the Breuer-Lokomotor at the Toijala Engine Museum

Breuer-Lokomotor VL
As shown on the Breuer User Manual

The Breuer-Lokomotor Type VL

Manufacturer: Breuer-Werke G.m.b.H., (3075/1953)
Wheel arrangement: B (0-4-0)
Weight in working order: 5.8 t 
Total length: 2.8 m
Engine: Air cooled 6 cyl. Klöckner-Humboldt-Deutz A6L 514 diesel motor
Power: 75 hp/1500 rpm
Max. speed: 25 km/h at 1800 rpm

Nov, 28.2001: Spelling corrections
May, 16.2003: Breuer technical data corrected, manual images.

Forerunner: the Breuer-Lokomotor VL

One of the German Breuer-Werke G.m.b.H. built Locomotors purchased by Finnish industry in the early '50s is saved in the Toijala Locomotive Museum. Its is a Breuer-Lokomotor Type VL that was bought by 'Lännen Tehtaat Oy' sugar mill at Kauttua.

It was called the Shithouse because of its resemblance to Finnish outhouses that were common in the early '50s, and still are used at several summer cottages in Finland. They are not quite as open in their structure though. One gets more privacy in an actual outhouse.

The original Breuer, or "Broileri" as it also was called, had an air cooled 75 hp Klöckner-Humboldt-Deutz diesel motor.

The Breuer VL base:
Motor to the left, gearbox, batteries and fuel tank to the right.


Grandpa Breuer
A forefather: A Breuer type I Locomotor working at Pieksämäki car repairing depot

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