China Railways DFH mainline locomotives

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DFH1 , DFH3 , DFH4
China Railways Dongfanghong3 locomotive.jpg
DFH3 0009 at Beijing Railway Museum (2010)
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-hydraulic
BuilderDFH1: Sifang
DFH3: Sifang
DFH4 Sifang, Ziyang, Qishuyan
Build dateDFH1 1959‡[1]
1964-1972 (series)
DFH3 1976-87[1]
DFH4 1969-81[2]
Total producedDFH1 109[1]
DFH3 268
DFH4 6[2]
DFH4 6 axle
Gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Wheel diameterDF1, DF3 1,050 mm (41.34 in)
DF4 ?
Minimum curveDF1, DF3 145 m (476 ft)
DF4 ?
LengthDFH1 16.550 m (54 ft 3.6 in)[1]
DFH3 17.970 m (58 ft 11.5 in)[1]
WidthDFH1 3.106 m (10 ft 2.28 in)
DFH3 3.279 m (10 ft 9.09 in)
HeightDFH1 4.516 m (14 ft 9.80 in)
DFH3 4.450 m (14 ft 7.20 in)
Loco weightDFH1 84 t (83 long tons; 93 short tons)
DFH3 92t
Prime moverDFH1 2 of 12V175Z, 12V180Z or 12V175ZL
DFH3 12V180JZ
DFH4 2 of 12V200ZL later 12V200ZJ[2]
TransmissionDFH1 hydraulic 12175Z (2 of)[3]
Performance figures
Maximum speedDFH1 140 km/h (87 mph)*,[1] 120 km/h (75 mph)†[1]
DFH3 120 km/h (75 mph)[1]
Power outputDFH1 1,060 kW (1,420 hp)*,[1] 1,220 kW (1,640 hp)†[1]
DFH3 2*730 kW (980 hp), 2*820 kW (1,100 hp)¤[1]
DFH4 3,308 kW (4,436 hp)¶[1]
Tractive effortDFH1250 kN (56,000 lbf) / 270 kN (61,000 lbf) (maximum)
DFH3 271 kN (61,000 lbf) (maximum)
OperatorsChina China Railway
North Korea Korean State Railway
  • First 73 units
    † Final 36 units
    ‡ NY1 prototype
    ¤ Two units produced in 1986 of higher power
    ¶ First units produced were of higher power[2]

The China Railways DFH1 was a type of 4-axle B'B' single-cab diesel-hydraulic locomotive used on mainline passenger services; the DFH3 was a later development of a similar design but with two driving cabs.

The China Railways DFH4 was a 6-axle high-powered freight and passenger locomotive, it did not reach mass production.

China Railways DFH1[edit]

Prototype NY1 Weixing

The first prototype unit (NY1) (neiran yeli chuandong meaning diesel-hydraulic transmission)[4] was produced in 1959 at Sifang locomotive works, and given the name 'Weixing'.

Locomotive design was similar to German diesel-hydraulic machines such as the DB Class V 200 - the machine had a pair of high-speed diesel engines, each driving a separate hydraulic torque converter based transmission resulting in low mass compared to contemporary diesel-electric machines.

DFH1-4245 (Beijing Main Station)

Series production began in 1964. The locomotive was used for passenger trains.[1] The locomotives could be worked in multiple, and were often used in this way, with a cab at each end. They operated on the Beijing Shenyang passenger trains.[5]

China Railways DFH3[edit]

내연923, ex-China Railways DFH3 in service in North Korea.

The DFH3 shares the same twin engine and twin hydraulic transmission as the DFH1 but is a two-cab design.

The production of the DFH3 follows on from the DFH1. The class were used on passenger trains in northeast China, by 2010 most had been displaced, and some are believed to being used in industrial service.[6]

North Korea[edit]

A DFH3 in standard Kukch'ŏl livery at Namyang Station on the Hambuk Line.

Between 2000 and 2002, thirty second-hand DFH3 were imported by the Korean State Railway for operation in North Korea,[7] numbered 내연901 to 내연930.[8] Many are still in their original Chinese livery of blue and white, but some have been repainted into several different liveries, including the standard North Korean light blue over dark green, along with non-standard schemes of white over green, green with a yellow stripe, and green with a white stripe.

China Railways DFH4[edit]

The Qishuyan Ziyang Diesel locomotive works manufactured six locomotives of type DFH4 between 1969 and 1981. The first unit was produced in 1969 with an overall 5,000 hp (3,700 kW) machine with twin engine and hydraulic transmission.[1] Two 4,500 hp (3,400 kW) machines were produced in 1971 and 1974. Between 1975 and 1981 the Ziyang plant investigated the manufacture of further locomotives using the 12V200ZJ engine.[2]

See also[edit]


One unit, locomotive number DFH1 4290 is an exhibit at the Beijing China Railway Museum, all other units have been destroyed[9] except DFH1 4222 which is believed to be at the locomotive museum in Shenyang.[10] The Beijing museum also stores DFH3 0009.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n 东方红型内燃机车 , DFH Diesel locomotives ,
  2. ^ a b c d e 东方红4型(DFH4)内燃机车 , Donfang Hong (DFH4) Diesel locomotive ,
  3. ^ 新闻资料:东方红型内燃机车 Archived 2011-07-23 at the Wayback Machine. , DFH locomotive ,
  4. ^ ND and NY prefixes ,
  5. ^ DFH1 Class B'-B' Diesel-Hydraulics ,
  6. ^ DFH3 Class B'-B' Diesel-Hydraulics ,
  7. ^ 朝鲜铁路机车车辆概况一览
  8. ^ Kokubu, Hayato, 将軍様の鉄道 (Shōgun-sama no Tetsudō), ISBN 978-4-10-303731-6
  9. ^ 东方红1型机车安家铁博 Archived 2013-04-07 at (information on the preservation of DFH1 4290) ,
  10. ^ a b Preserved Locomotives ,