In Kurgan, Oblast Kurgan Russia stands a lonely locomotive on display. This locomotive was extensively used during
the Great Patriotic War, World War Two. It is a FD type locomotive, written in Russian as “ФД”. This type of steam powered train was developed in just 100 days in the Lugansk Locomotive Factory, Voroshilovgrad, in 1931.
Lugansk is a town in the Ukraine some 2350 kilometres eastward. It took 170 days to complete a single locomotive. The design referred to an American type steam locomotive of this era. The first tests were promising and the locomotive went into mass production by the Voroshilovgrad plant in 1932.
With the start of the Great Patriotic War on 22 June 1941, fall Barbarosa, the attack of Germany on the Soviet Union, production halted, the factory in Ulan – Ude, north of Mongolia, produced only 4 locomotives in 1942. In total 2927 FD20 Locomotives were constructed between 1931 and 1942. During the Second World War the Lugansk Locomotive Factory switched to military production, it was evacuated twice during this period. The FD21, ФД21 is a subclass of the FD20 Locomotive, they differ in type of super heater used for steam production. The FD21 was produced 286 times.
The locomotive had a 2-10-2 configuration, this means 2 front wheels on a axle followed by 10 powered wheels on 5 axles and two following wheels on an axle. It could reach a top speed of 85 km/h. It was almost 16 meters long and with tender it reached 28,5 meters. It weighed 260 tons and used coal and water for steam production which was transferred into energy and two cilinders transferred this energy to the wheels.
The trains were used for troop transport and transport of materials to the frontline. They worked on 23 of the 43 railways in the former Soviet Union, the USSR. Somewhere between 1950 and 1960 the Diesel and Electric engines introduced the leave of the steam powered locomotives. Between 1958 and 1960 a 1000 of the FD locomotives were transferred to China.
The FD locomotives are named after Felix Dzerzhinsky, Феликс Дзержинский, his nickname was “Iron Felix”. Felix Dzerzhinsky lived from 1877 until 1926 and was the director of the GPU, Cheka and OGPU, all political and government institutes and the secret police. He was born in Poland and was prominent political figure during the Soviet revolution era under Vladimir Lenin. He died in 1926, 48 years old. His image was widely spread in the KGB, the former secret police, and six towns are named after him and a tractor plant. This plant, the Dzerzhinsky Tractor Works in Stalingrad became a scene of bitter fighting during World War Two in the Battle of Stalingrad. The FED camera was named after him and the ФД20 – FD20 steam locomotive as well.