VR Class Dr16

VR Class Dr16
Class Dr16
Three Dr16s heading a freight train at Hangas, near Pikkarala, northern Finland, 2001
Power type Diesel-electric
Builder Valmet Oy, Tampere (numbers 2801-2809)
Transtech Oy, Otanmäki and Taivalkoski (numbers 2810-2823)
Oy Strömberg Ab, inverters, generator and motors
Build date 1985 - 1992
Total produced 23
UIC classification Bo′Bo′
Gauge 1,524 mm (5 ft) 
Wheel diameter 1,250 mm (4 ft 1 in)
Length 17.60 m (57 ft 9 in)
Width 3.2 m (10 ft 6 in)
Height 4.73 m (15 ft 6 in)
Axle load 20.5 t/21 t
Locomotive weight 82 t/84 t
Fuel type Diesel
Prime mover Pielstick 12PA4-V-200VG
Wärtsilä Vaasa 8V22 (2803/2804)
Transmission Inverter-driven three-phase AC induction motors
Top speed 140 km/h (87 mph)
Power output 1677 kW (1500 kW 2803/2804)
Tractive effort 270 kN (61,000 lbf)
Career VR
Class Dr16
Number in class 18
Number 2805-2813, 2815-2823
Nicknames Iso Vaalee (the Big Blonde)
Locale northern and eastern Finland
Current owner VR
Disposition In Service

The Dr16 is a class of diesel-electric locomotives used by VR (Finnish Railways). The 23 locomotives have a single, off-centre cab and are currently VR's most powerful diesel locomotives. Their nickname is "Iso Vaalee" (Big Blonde). They are presently mainly used on heavy freight services in northern Finland; their main passenger duty is the haulage of trains on the non-electrified line between Kemi and Kolari in Lapland.[1] Dr16 locomotives were also used extensively on the line between Oulu and Rovaniemi, prior to the completion of the electrification of the line in 2004.[2]



A Dr16 class locomotive at Oulu in 2009.

In the beginning of the 1980s, Valtionrautatiet needed new locomotives to replace its aging Dr12 and Dv12 class diesel locomotives.[3] The company had installed a bigger engine on a Dr12 (which became the Dr15) and modified one Dv12 to run on electricity instead of diesel.[4] However, the company wanted a totally new locomotive, and finally chose Valmet's type M in 1983, with Strömberg providing the electrical components.[5] VR originally ordered 23 locomotives[6], with an option of 20 more when the first series were delivered.[7]

Four prototypes

It was originally planned that two locomotives would be first built as prototypes[6], the first of them being fitted with a Wärtsilä engine and the second one with the Pielstick.[8] While the first prototype ran on its own on 22 April 1985 for the first time[9], the Pielstick was under its engine cover due to the Wärtsilä proving three tons too heavy.[8] When completion of the Wärtsilä engine was delayed a second time, the second prototype was also fitted with a Pielstick. [10] Due to these engine problems, the number of prototypes was extended to four on January 1986.[10] The locomotives, numbered 2801-2804, were taken into service in 1985-1987[11]: the first two had a Pielstick engine, the latter two a Wärtsilä.[10] On 13 March 1989 VR confirmed that Pielstick engines would be fitted on all the upcoming locomotives.[12] The Wärtsilä engines were kept on the two prototypes, as refitting them would have been too costly.[13]

The main series

After an extensive testing programme, the 19 series locomotives were delivered between 1990 and 1992.[14] The manufacturer had anticipated a larger series to be ordered to replace old heavy line diesels (Dr12 and Dr13); however, the rapid progress of the electrification of Finnish main lines decreased the need for new heavy diesel locomotives and thus no further orders materialized.[12] The locomotives were designed and assembled in Finland, either by Valmet Oy at Tampere (numbers 2801-2809) or by Transtech Oy at Otanmäki and Taivalkoski (numbers 2810-2823).[15]

Technical information

Originally the engines were planned to be of Finnish design (Wärtsilä Vaasa 8R22), but after tests with two prototype locos, the engine type was changed into French Pielstick 12PA4-V-200VG.[16] The Pielsticks produced originally 1660 kW, but in 1997 they were limited to an output of 1500 kW to increase durability.[17]

The locomotive was very modern at its time and it was among the first[6] to use microprocessor-controlled GTO thyristor inverter-driven three-phase asychronous AC motors.[18] The construction is modular[19], and data is transmitted via optical fiber cables between modules.[citation needed] The maximum speed is 140 km/h.[20] The maximum frequency of the inverters corresponds to 156 km/h, and the locomotive has reached that in test runs.[citation needed] The locomotive provides 400 kW 1500V electricity for heating of passenger cars.[21]


The first two prototypes were painted in a white/red livery to go with VR's recent InterCity brand, showcasing the VR logo next to the cab.[22][23] The final livery (starting from number 2803) added some grey on the side of the engine covers.[24] Two of the locomotives (numbers 2816[25] and 2819[26]) have been repainted in a new white/green livery in 2010 and 2011. These have been called Iso Kalpee (Finnish for "Big Pale") by railroad enthousiasts.[citation needed]

Fleet details

An aerial view on the scene of the level crossing accident at Ii.
Six locomotives were involved in a shunting accident in Vartius in 2006. All were returned to service.

Of a total of 23 built locomotives, five Dr16:s have been withdrawn from service and/or scrapped. This includes all of the prototype locomotives (numbers 2801–2804), which were withdrawn between 2004 and 2009.[27][28]

In addition to the prototypes, one series locomotive, number 2814, was scrapped in 2000 after sustaining serious damage in a level crossing accident near the municipality of Ii.[27][29] After the accident, the obstruction clearing device of the Dr16 was redesigned and strengthened according to the recommendation of the accident investigation board.[27][29]

Prototype locomotives
Built First test runs Official delivery Withdrawn Notes
2801 22 April 1985 25 June 1986 28 June 1989 20 January 2004 Pielstick engine.
2802 16 February 1986 16 March 1987 28 June 1989 July 2009 Pielstick engine. Closest to the series locomotives.
2803 31 October 1986 30 December 1986 28 June 1989 20 January 2004 Wärtsilä engine.
2804 23 January 1987 30 September 1987 28 June 1989 30 November 2004 Wärtsilä engine.
Series locomotives
Delivered Withdrawn
2805 28 December 1990
2806 28 December 1990
2807 28 December 1990
2808 28 December 1990
2809 11 February 1991
2810 4 March 1991
2811 10 April 1991
2812 20 May 1991
2813 25 June 1991
2814 30 August 1991 9 February 2000
2815 27 September 1991
2816 25 October 1991
2817 22 November 1991
2818 20 December 1991
2819 23 January 1992
2820 21 February 1992
2821 26 March 1992
2822 24 April 1992
2823 30 June 1992

Sources: Pentikäinen 2006, pp. 40, 50, 60, 100, 128; Isovaalee.info



The Ttm1 at Valtimo.

Also known as type N locomotive (Finnish: N-veturi) or Dv13. It is a smaller work locomotive that implements some of the components of the Dr16.[30] The two locomotives share also the same computer system.[30] It is owned nowadays by Maansiirto Veli Hyyryläinen Oy (part of Destia group).[citation needed]

Sx prototype

Valmet originally prepared the Dr12 to be modified as a full electric locomotive while building it, designing it for speeds up to 180 km/h (110 mph).[31] It was estimated that the electric and diesel variants would share 80% of their parts.[32] However, VR finally ordered the Sr2 locomotives from SLM and ABB.


  1. ^ Pentikäinen 2006, pp. 115–134.
  2. ^ Pentikäinen 2006, pp. 130–131.
  3. ^ Eonsuu, Honkanen & Pölhö 1995.
  4. ^ Pentikäinen 2006, p. 16.
  5. ^ Pentikäinen 2006, p. 19.
  6. ^ a b c Pentikäinen 2006, p. 20.
  7. ^ Pentikäinen 2006, p. 54.
  8. ^ a b Pentikäinen 2006, p. 30.
  9. ^ Pentikäinen 2006, p. 40.
  10. ^ a b c Pentikäinen 2006, p. 50.
  11. ^ Pentikäinen 2006, pp. 49–80.
  12. ^ a b Pentikäinen 2006, p. 74.
  13. ^ Pentikäinen 2006, pp. 74–75.
  14. ^ Pentikäinen 2006, p. 100.
  15. ^ Pentikäinen 2006, p. 99.
  16. ^ Pentikäinen 2006, pp. 30–31, 74.
  17. ^ Pentikäinen 2006, p. 127.
  18. ^ Pentikäinen 2006, pp. 104, 111.
  19. ^ Pentikäinen 2006, p. 106.
  20. ^ Pentikäinen 2006, p. 108.
  21. ^ "Dr16-veturi maailman huipulta" (in Finnish). Resiina: 67–71. February 1989. 
  22. ^ Maasalo, Esko (12 June 1986). "Vaunut.org - Kuva". http://vaunut.org/kuva/55588. Retrieved 15 June 2011. 
  23. ^ Muurinen, Tapio (April 1988). "Vaunut.org - Kuva". http://vaunut.org/kuva/21839. Retrieved 15 June 2011. 
  24. ^ Pentikäinen 2006, p. 59.
  25. ^ Pentikäinen, Petri P (28 February 2011). "2816 vihrein kuvioin liikenteessä" (in Finnish). Petrin Viestintä. http://www.isovaalee.info/. Retrieved 10 May 2011. 
  26. ^ Pentikäinen, Petri P (22 August 2010). "2819 valmis" (in Finnish). Petrin Viestintä. http://www.isovaalee.info/. Retrieved 10 May 2011. 
  27. ^ a b c Pentikäinen 2006, p. 128.
  28. ^ Pentikäinen, Petri P. "2802" (in Finnish). Petrin Viestintä. http://www.isovaalee.info/veturi2802.html. Retrieved 10 May 2011. 
  29. ^ a b "B1/2000R Onnettomuus Iissä Akolan vartioimattomassa tasoristeyksessä 9.2.2000". Accident investigation board of Finland. 11 September 2000. http://www.onnettomuustutkinta.fi/Etusivu/Tutkintaselostukset/Raideliikenne/Raideliikenne2000/1210772744729. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  30. ^ a b Pentikäinen 2006, p. 112.
  31. ^ Pentikäinen 2006, p. 27.
  32. ^ Pentikäinen 2006, p. 29.


  • Eonsuu, Tapio; Honkanen, Pekka; Pölhö, Eljas (1995). Suomen veturit osa 2. Moottorikalusto. Elokuvan Maailma. pp. 38–39. ISBN 952-5060-02-0. 
  • Pentikäinen, Petri P. (2006). Iso Vaalee. Petrin Viestintä. ISBN 952-92-0413-2. http://www.isovaalee.info. 

External links

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