Robert Garbe

Robert Hermann Garbe ( born January 9, 1847 in Opole, † May 23, 1932 in Berlin) was from 1895 locomotive procurement Councillor of the Royal Prussian Railway Office in Berlin and became known mainly through proven locomotive designs for the Prussian state railways.

Youth and Education

Garbe was born the eldest son of Ferdinand locksmith sheaf in the Upper Silesian provincial capital Opole, went there on the elementary school and learned his father's business in the locksmith trade. The desire for education led him to the school of architecture to Wroclaw. He also worked in the main workshops of the Upper Silesian Railway and made in the spring of 1867 the exam as an engine driver. He went on the provincial vocational school in Brieg, was the leaving examination with distinction and went in 1869 to the Royal Prussian Commercial Academy in Berlin (later the Technische Hochschule Berlin -Charlottenburg and current Technical University of Berlin). He finished his studies in 1872 with the highest grades in all subjects. The Upper Silesian Railways took it as a designer.

Prussian railway management

In 1873 he joined the Directorate of Niederschlesisch - Märkischen railway in Berlin. Then sheaf head of the Central Railway workshop was in Frankfurt ( Oder). In 1877, he, the Ministry transferred the management of the main workshop in Berlin- Rummelsburg. In 1879, he became the Royal. Railroad machinist and 1882 Royal. Railroad equipment inspector appointed. In 1890, he eventually became the Royal. Railway manager appointed. 1895 sheaf was Deputy for constructions and procurement of locomotives with simultaneous appointment as a board member of the Prussian railway administration Berlin. In this capacity, he also fell to the chair of the Committee Lokomotiv, who had the ministry of public works propose the new locomotives to be procured.

In 1907 the Prussian Railway Central Office was founded in Berlin. Here Garbe took over the " construction of the steam locomotive and tender ". On 1 April 1912 he was retired.


Inspired by the work of Wilhelm Schmidt from Kassel sheaf was already reached in 1893 to the conclusion that an increase in performance for steam locomotives was made possible by the use of superheated steam. He was a leader in the introduction of the hot steam locomotives in Prussia. 1898 Prussian S 3 was provided with a fire tube superheater, followed by further tests with a smoke chamber superheater. In 1902 sheaf constructed his first steam train locomotive, the Type G 8 From this Machine with four coupled axles approximately 1000 copies were built. 1913 was built on this basis, the first as a " normal Reinforced construction" designated G 8.1, from about 5000 to 1921 were built.

Developed by the other members of sheaf framework directives locomotives were characterized primarily by good performance in a simple design. Excellence were deliberately not sought priority in Garbe's designs had contrast, reliability and ease of maintenance. According to this scheme arose until retirement Garbe in 1912 alongside some trial versions of 13 steam locomotive types for all important uses. Garbe's principles of construction were so far become the common property of Prussian locomotive design that they have been applied even after his retirement on.

To a great extent the Prussian P 8 symbolizes the principles of construction Garbe. It was built in a number of pieces of a total of 3948 specimens (including replicas in Romania) and until the end of the steam era to 1972-1974 on German tracks in operation.

With the development of 2'C2' passenger train tank locomotive for 100 km / h, the T series 18 in 1912 for a " shuttle over shorter distances " and the later very common turn of trains by Garbe was initiated in principle.

While as a primary business Garbe with regard to the technical development of the steam locomotive, the introduction of the hot steam may apply, Garbe was the composite principle locomotives opposed to, he saw the superheated steam as a complete replacement for the complicated and maintenance- consuming composite technology to, not as a supplement to it to improve performance.

The most significant recognition was cooking after leaving government service received, the Technical University Berlin -Charlottenburg awarded him because of his merits in the development of the steam locomotive, the dignity of a doctor - engineer honor sake.


  • The steam locomotives of the present. Reflections on the construction and operation, with special reference to experiences in the built with the Schmidt superheater directions superheated steam locomotives of the Prussian State Railway Administration; a manual for engine builders, railway operating officials and students of engineering craft.. Springer, Berlin 1907/1920 facsimile printing: Steiger, Moers 1981.
  • The modern steam locomotive. Complement the work: the steam locomotives of the present.. Springer, Berlin, 1924 facsimile printing: Steiger, Moers 1981, ISBN 978-3-921564-34-9 ..
  • Hot steam locomotives of the present. Abridged edition of the works compiled The steam locomotives of the present ( 2nd edition 1920) and the contemporary hot steam locomotive (1924 ) and published by Karl Rainer Repetzki, Moers, Steiger 1982