Hello everyone! My Name is Alexey Davydov, and you may know me as a developer of Train Valley. Magnitogorsk is my home town. A square near railway station is dominated by a monument to “the first steam engine”. A low pedestal is topped by a “Series E, model 684” steam engine with a serial number 58. The full name is Eu684-58. However, you won’t find the details of the engine on its hull – the most recent “renovation” hid everything under a thick layer of black paint.
The left side of the engine has a plaque that says “On June 30, 1929, this engine brought the first train to the train station of Magnitogorsk”. Therefore, the attribute “first” is more symbolic than historical. However, the day of July 30, the day when the first train arrived in Magnitogorsk, became the City Day. And it was on June 30, 1979 that the steamer was officially placed on its pedestal in the center of the square next to train station.
However, there is a mistake in the description of the Magnitogorsk steam engine. It says that the engine was built in 1929 by the Kolomna works. This isn’t true. Number 58 proves that the engine was built in 1917, right before the revolution, in Lugansk, Ukraine. Serial numbers 51 through 67 correspond to this manufacturer and the year 1917.
Another detail worth mentioning: on June 30, 1929, this steam engine arrived at a different location, not the one where the current train station can be found. At that time, there was no station and railways here. The first railway station of Magnitogorsk was on the other bank of the Ural river, but didn’t last until today.
Anyway, those were the E series steam engines, identical to the one exhibited in Magnitogorsk, that were the main type of steam engines used in the USSR. They worked at large construction projects of the Stalin era, worked during the war and remained intact for as long as 1980’s.
The steam engine in Magnitogorsk was probably a real workhorse that was active till the end and never spent two days in a row in a depot. This can be derived from the fact that the tender is equipped with a modern automatic coupling, and such “gadgets” first appeared after the end of Series E production in the early 60’s. An archaic coupling still remains in the front, since it didn’t need a replacement.
The Series E steam engines are featured in the Guinness Book of Records as the most mass-produced steam engines on the planet, with 12000 units manufactured by different factories. The first unit was built in 1912, and the last one left the factory in 1957. The steam engine produced over 1000 bhp and could accelerate up to 60 km/h on long tangents.
We are going to add this steam engine to the game and you will be able to enjoy seeing it in action!