Benno Orenstein and Arthur Koppel introduced narrow gauge railways into new markets around the world, revolutionizing transportation of bulk goods. Initially O&K were reluctant to get into the manufacturing of locomotives, instead they were focusing solely on laying the rail tracks and purchasing locomotives from other distributors.
It wasn’t until 1890 that O&K opened its first locomotive factory. When the company became more serious about locomotive manufacturing, it purchased a new factory in Drewitz. The new facility was designed to manufacture 300 locomotives per year. However it produced 100 locomotives its first year, 200 in its second year, and fluctuated the following years until it reached its potential in 1905. From then on, the factory excelled in production, and by 1908 it was producing 600 locomotives per year.
Orenstein& Koppel factory around 1910 with the dome known as "circus".
Inside the Drewitzer "circus": final assembly of narrow gauge locomotives.
O&K delivered 13.264 steam locomotives to almost all countries in the world, many of which are still in use. O&K is worldwide famous for its field, forest, plantation and industrial narrow gauge locomotives.
Design of narrow gauge locomotives was mostly standardized. The locomotives were built in a number of sizes, providing a range of horsepower’s. There was a choice in four, six and even eight & ten coupled designs. They were built with either inside frames or outside frames. Outside frames were used in case of very narrow gauge, in case the wheel gauge had to be adjustable and for locomotives with flexible hollow axles patented by O&K.
In 1945 O&K stopped building steam locomotives.
Standard design locomotive 50 HP, weight 7.700 kg.
Outsite frame locomotive 90 HP, weight 13.500 kg.
60 HP 0-8-0 locomotive with tender at sugar plant Sragi, Java, Indonesia.
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