The Saxon Class I K
In 1881, the Saxon State Railroad purchased four small compact 6-wheel steam locomotives for its first narrow gauge railroad from Wilkau-Haßlau to Kirchberg (750 mm / approximately 30 inch gauge). These units were purchased from Hartmann in Chemnitz, and they were later operated as the class I K. These locomotives had a total wheelbase of only 1,800 mm / 70-7/8 inches but were equipped with a relatively large, two-part boiler. Their characteristic look came from the large, tapered smoke stack with a concave spark arrestor that was replaced on later deliveries of the locomotive with a "bonnet" stack. Common to all of these locomotives were the sheet metal external frames, the outboard mounted Allan valve gear with flat slide valves, and the propulsion by means of Hall eccentric cranks.
With the growth of narrow gauge lines Hartmann delivered 39 units of this design to the Saxon Railroad by 1892. The privately owned Zittau-Oybin-Johnsdorfer Railroad (ZOJE) took delivery of five locomotives between 1889 and 1991. This railroad was acquired by the Saxon State Railroad in 1906.
Four Saxon State Railroad class I K locomotives were delivered from 1886 to 1888 with a Klien-Lindner hollow axle as an experiment in order to reduce the amount of flange and rail wear. These units were designated as the class Ib K. The boilers also had slight differences between the series delivered.
After World War I five units had to be handed over to Poland in 1919 as a reparations payment. By the introduction of the final DRG reclassification plans in 1925 a total of 12 locomotives had been retired. The DRG designated the rest as road numbers 99 7501-7527 on its roster but retired all of them by 1928. After the occupation of Poland two of the units given up for reparations came back to the DRG's roster for a short time as road numbers 99 2504 and 2505. Number 12 did reach a ripe old age; it was sold in 1923 as an industrial locomotive to the Schmiedeberg Iron Works and was operated there until 1964.
In 2005, an interesting project brought the Association for the Promotion of Saxon Narrow Gauge Rail Lines (VSSB) into being: A milestone in the history of Saxon narrow gauge railroad history was brought back to life with the new construction of a "Saxon I K" with the road number 54. The firms participating in the construction of the locomotive gave their knowledge, their work, as well as a large amount of material available to the VSSB either free of charge or only at a fraction of the actual costs. This reduced the financial outlay for the construction of class I K, road number 54, from a projected 1.5 million Euros to only about 800,000 Euros which was covered totally by private donations. The assembly of the approximately 4,400 individual parts manufactured in Saxony took place on January 16, 2009 in the well-known DB steam locomotive shops in Meiningen. This locomotive made its first test run there exactly five months later. On July 4, 2009 the "New Construction" road number 54 was officially taken into service at Radebeul. It has been used since then on the Preßnitz Valley Railroad, but is also run on other Saxon narrow gauge lines.