BR 232 “Ludmilla”

 Locomotivele BR 232 “Ludmilla”

The best-known Diesel locomotives operated by DB Cargo Romania is the BR 232 Ludmilla. It is an emblematic locomotive liked by the majority of railway photographers in Romania, appreciated by the train drivers thanks to its high-power output and relatively high reliability. The locomotives were built by “October Revolution” locomotive works from Lugansk, Ukraine (back then it was a part of the USSR). They were designed for hauling fast, long – distance passenger trains in East Germany, but because they lacked electric heating systems, they were used for freight transport. Once they were fitted with the electric heating, they started being used for passenger trains as well.

After 1989, the locomotives were kept in operation, being appreciated for their much higher power (compared to Western diesels), reliability and higher speed. Once more and more railways were electrified, they were slowly withdrawn and sold to private operators across Europe. They are still in use in Romania, Bulgaria, Poland and Germany, to name just a few countries.

“Ludmilla”, with the original paint job, in the early 1990s

Short technical data overview:

  • Diesel engine: 5D49
  • Power: 3.000 HP
  • Transmission: electrical
  • Axle formula (UIC): Co’Co’
  • Top speed: 100 km/h, 120 km/h
  • Mass: 120 – 126 t
  • Length over buffers: 20.820 mm
  • Width: 2.950 mm
  • Electric traction motors: 6

Most of the BR 232s operated by DB Cargo Romania had already undergone significant updates and modernization, with the last ones scheduled to complete this process in 2023 or early 2024. The modernization aims at reducing fuel consumption, pollution, and malfunctions, while increasing reliability, efficiency and safety. 

13-BR 1005
BR 1005 DB Cargo Romania in Aleșd

The locomotives in this series belonging to DB Cargo Romania have each been named after a historical personality who made a significant impact on our past. For example, BR 1003 has been named after Voivode Radu the Fair, BR 1005 is named after Mihai the Brave or BR 1010, which carries Iancu Hunyadi’s name.

14-BR 1010
BR 1010 – Iancu de Hunedoara in Bicaz

15-BR 1005 Vaslui
BR 1005 – Mihai Viteazul in Vaslui

16-BR 1009 frontal
BR 1009 Nicolae Titulescu