Come-back of the oldest locomotive of the SM42 series into operation

The project of a four-axle diesel locomotive with electric power transmission was developed for the change from steam to motor traction in shunting and light track service on the Polish state railways (PKP) at the end of the 1950s. Production of the 6D type, at the Polish state railways marked as the “SM42” class, was undertaken by the Fablok Chrzanów locomotive. The simple and robust design of the locomotive became very successful and the production of the SM42 series continued inclusive supplies for industrial enterprises and for export until 1992. It became the most numerous series of locomotives in Poland with a total of 1,822 machines produced at the same time.

The locomotive SM42-003 was manufactured under serial number 6D-6747/1964 and delivered to PKP to the mechanical depot (MD) Warszawa in 1964. It spent most of its operational life at the state railways in MD Kutno, from where it was transferred to Bydgoszcz in the 1990s. The division of PKP came in 2001 and SM42-003 was delimited to PKP Cargo, but in 2008 it was taken over by a subsidiary of the PKP Przewozy Regionalne, member of the PKP holding dealing with regional passenger transport. The locomotive was registered in the Pomeranian district of PR at Gdynia, but its home was the Chojnice depot, from where it ran on the tracks of the historical region of Kashubia. However, it became operationally useless in 2013 and was shut down with a decline in passenger transport and deliveries of new, more economical motor vehicles. Meanwhile, it was already the oldest existing loco of the SM42 class after the scrapping of its two previous colleagues, but planned museum activities with it was withdrawn.

METRANS Polonia was looking for the necessary vehicles for the shunting at its terminals Gądki and Pruszków in 2018. These needs were covered by leased SM42 locomotives for some time, but the subsequently decision was to operate the terminals with METRANS own locomotives SM42/SU42. The locos SU42-514, SM42-482 and just SM42-003 were bought after several rounds of negotiations with Przewozy Regionalne.

The SM42-003 was transported from Chojnice to Gądki near Poznań in 5 July 2019 and from there to the repair shop of Rail Polska in Włosienica at the beginning of 2020. There was planned a major repair of “P5” type, which means virtually complete dismantling of the vehicle and overhaul or replacement of all parts. METRANS also proved its responsibility for the history of the railway in Poland and it confirmed with painting of this special locomotive into the color scheme in which it left the gates of the factory in Chrzanów for the first time, more than fifty-five years ago, and it has been the basis for the most common nickname “stonka” (Colorado beetle).

The repair of this locomotive was completed in October 2020 and the SM42-003 is going to the regular service at METRANS terminals. The photos were taken on a test ride from Włosienica to Brzeźnica on October 8, 2020.