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Dm3 Locomotives of MTAB

Welcome to the Dm3 electric locomotives page of the MTAB! We have collected a picture of most of the locos that were in the roster and all of the existing loco pictures. Many are displayed here with lots of details. You might also be interested in the Swedish Electric Loco Page, Diesel Loco Page, EMU or DMU pages.

MTAB Dm3s 1216 in Abisco, Sweden
Dm3 Unit 1216-1245-1215 "Josefina" hauls the heavy iron ore freight cars in the mountain in Abisko area, Northern Sweden. The line goes at this place up hill over the nearby ridge ot the mountain range. Picture by Nick Slocombe.

Technical details of Dm3 * Closeup Pictures of Dm3 *

MTAB Dm3 roster pictures: 1206-1235-1209 "Sigrid" * 1215-1245-1216 "Josefina" * 1218 "Hermelin" * 1219-1239-1220 "Dennewitz" * 1225-1242-1226 "Allianssen" * 1227 - 1243 - 1228 "Kapten" (the Captain) * 1229 - x - x "Rektorn"(Engl: Principal) * Unknown Dm3 locomotives pictures *

Video: Dm3 throttling by with a mixed ore train...
MTAB Dm3s 1216 in Abisco, Sweden

MTAB Dm3 number 1218-xx-xx Hermelin and 1206-, Luleå, Sweden
This is a picture from Malmbana in Luleå, Sweden in May 2014. Not all the Dm3 units have disappeared, as of yet. This outside the two museum units.

Created for by John McKey and Ilkka Siissalo. Pictures by Ilkka Siissalo, Hannu Peltola, Andreas Ehnberg and John McKey.

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Also in this section:  
MTAB De3 number 1219 in Kiruna Sweden
Sweden's Main Page is a great place to start browsing on the Swedish railroading.
MTAB De3 number 1219 in Kiruna Sweden
Swedish Multiple Units Page describes most EMUs and DMUs found in Sweden. This unit also belongs to the Stockholm Area RR Page.
MTAB De3 number 1219 in Kiruna Sweden
Swedish Electric Locomotives Page brings you majority of the electric locomotives, also the new ones.

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  Beginnings of the Dm3   
Vintage D1 number 101, Gävle Railroad Museum, Sweden

Dm3 was a locomotive from the long line of step by step developments, building on the success of the previous locomotive generations. The base for these locomotives obviously comes from the steam generation, large wheels with jackshaft on the outer sides of the locos. This structure was important to cope with at the time often poorly built lines. Minimum stress was transmitted to tracks this way Other designs like the Co'Co' structure (two 3 axle turning bogies with much smaller wheels) of the German E 94 were tried, but it was yet too early for the advent of this type of more modern looking traction power.

Looking at the Early designs of the Swedish class Oa and Of electric locomotives and comparing them to early Swedish class D and Da you can see a steady development in the sturdiness of the understructures. The inside components also were perfected little by little, being hidden form the eye behind the facade of the locomotives. The development from the first Oa locomotive to first Dm double locomotive took about 50 years from 1902 to 1953.

On the left an example of the wood sided class D locomotive model seen at Gävle Railway Museum in Sweden.The basic shape and wheel arrangement is already just about finished here. The cab material and windows will continue the slow evolution to the ore hauling monsters.

Vintage D1 number 101, Gävle Railroad Museum, Sweden
Vintage SJ class Oa number 1, Norrbottens Järnvägsmuseum, Luleå, Sweden

  Class Oa locomotive is a formidable machine. These predecessors of Dm3s were used extensively (along other heavier O variants) until 1959 when these were finally retired. An interesting feature of the Oa locomotive is that the electric motor is coupled directly to the wheels. For slow mowing freight trains this must have been OK for the time until better solutions appeared.

This "O" unit is steelplated, but there were also woodsided ones, a feature typical to early Swedish electric locomotives.

Vintage D number 820, Gävle, Sweden

  On the left below a newer single version of the class Da locomotive. These were excellent work horses hauling trains on tracks with lighter rail, a task which the later locomotives with bogies under them could not have handled.

  After it became obvious double locomotives would be most suitable for the iron ore transportation NSB of Norway ordered double Dm locomotives from Motala Works and Nohab. (At this time the iron ore was still transported by the two state railways of Sweden and Norway, not the LKAB itself) These became classified as Norwegian class El12. Basically the type looks very much like an early Dm or D locomotive, but has 4 wheels and the gap between the two single cab units is much wider than it was in double locos of Sweden.

Two El12 units are easy to spot by Malmbana:
  One is in the center of Narvik near the LKAB unloading facility. Search for this and the supermarket next to it and you will find the loco too.
  the other can be found at the Norrbottens Järnvägsmuseum in Karlsvik, Luleå, Sweden.
Both units can be seen and observed nearby with every detail but for both the interiors are inaccessible.

Vintage NSB El12 at Norrbottens Järnvägsmuseum, Luleå, Sweden


EL12 vintage loco in Narvik, Norway



Background and technical information

  Class Dm3 of MTAB    

MTAB De3 number 1219 in Kiruna Sweden

The Dm3 has become one of the icons for the Malmbana railway. It was built to the tradition of the Swedish locomotive industry with a quite typical modular construction with a long line of predecessors to iron out all design flaws. In the end the double locomotives received an additional module inbetween the front sections, thus the name Dm3.

Dm3s have hauled heavy iron ore and supply trains on Malmbana lines for decades and some of the units were rebuilt for two times to match the growing needs of the operators. The Dm3 fleet was withdrawn from the traffic no sooner than in 2012, several decades after similar other locomotives with similar outward appearances. Some of this was due to the rebuilding programs and the power of the locos, some because they worked well and were quite at home even here at the harshest of conditions that nature can throw at them.

Today you can still find one of the three surviving reserve production locomotives scattered around the Malmbana, either parked in case a need might rise to use them or waiting for museum use. Two of the survivors were sent to the museum, so that later generations could still admire these "wondermachines". one locomotive is currently at the Norrbotten Järnvägsmuseum in Luleå and another one in the collections of the National Railway Museum in Gävle.

The Dm3 was an exceptional production electric locomotive in many respects. It was extremely strong for its time with 940 kilonewtons (211'320 lbf) pulling power. The power in this design is transmitted from the three module Dm loco to the huge wheels driven by jackshaft drive, much the way steram locomotives operated. This makes the machine very interesting to see when it passes you. So the Dm3 locomotive is loved by railfans, but not just fans but professionals too!

Technical details for Vintage class Dm3
(3 Dm locomotives connected together)
-> Type: Dm3
-> Builder: ASEA
-> Operator: MTAB (Malmtrafik AB) owned by LKAB mining company
-> Usage: heavy iron transport in the Sweden's north

-> Production dates: 1953 - 1971
-> Numbers built: 76 end modules and 19 middle modules
-> Numbers in use: none (source LKAB), 3 in reserve ready for use

-> Seen: LKAB ore transportation in the Swedens north
-> Energy Source: overhead electricity, AC 15kV 16,7 Hz
-> Power output: 7200 kW (9790 Hp), 6 x 1200 KW
-> Electric Motors: ASEA KJD 137

-> Transmission: jackshaft (look at the picture on the left)
-> Tractive Effort: 940 kN !
-> Braking effort on traction motors (dynamic braking): not available

-> Wheel arrangement: 1'D+D+D'1
-> Wheel diameter: 1540 mm as new
-> Maximum operational speed: 75 km/h (47 mph)

-> Length: 35,25 m
-> Weight: 273 metric tons (602'000 lbs)
-> Max. axelweight: 20 metric tons

-> Train control systems: for Sweden
-> Multiple operations capacity with: within type
-> Couplers: SA3
-> Train weight: up top 5000 tons / double unit

-> Specials: The locomotives are named after mineshafts
-- Dm3 1201-1231-1202 "Kunigunda"
-- Dm3 1205-1235-1206 "Sigrid"
-- Dm3 1207-1232-1208 "Sofia"
-- Dm3 1209-1234-1210 "Victor"
-- Dm3 1211-1236-1212 "Konsuln"
-- Dm3 1213-1237-1214 "Johan"
-- Dm3 1215-1245-1216 "Josefina"
-- Dm3 1217-1238-1218 "Hermelin"
-- Dm3 1219-1239-1220 "Dennewitz"
-- Dm3 1223-1241-1224 "Baron"
-- Dm3 1225-1242-1226 "Alliansen"
-- Dm3 1227-1243-1228 "Kapten"
-- Dm3 1229-1244-1230 "Rektorn"
-- Dm3 1246-1247-1248 "Oskar"

     The very first Dm3 picture for the! "Dennewitz" was pictured while waiting for the next assignment on thepoint of the ore train from Kiruna, Sweden. Picture by Ilkka Siissalo.

    This picture shows one intersting specialty that always turns heads: the jackshafts on the sides of the units coupled together as Dm3! Just imagine these going round-up-down! MTAB Dm3 number 1220-1239-1219 in Kiruna was pictured by Ilkka Siissalo.

   Jan Långström shows the driving style guiding the Dm3 of the Norrbottens Järnvägsmuseum in Luleå, Sweden.

  It does not have to be blue, the base color was earlier mineral red. The unit of Norrbottens Järnvägsmuseum also wears an interesting oldish logo of the owner LKAB!

   One of the last times ofr Dm3 locos to be in traffic with the older type ore carriers was in 2011. Here the Dm3 1227-1243-1228 "Kapten"is preparing to pull the now empty ore cars back to Kiruna and possibly to Svappavaara branch line.



MTAB Dm3 number 1220-1239-1219 in Kiruna Sweden
Driving the vintage Dm3 number 978 at Norrbotten Järvägsmuseet, Luleå, Sweden
Vintage Dm3 number 978 LKAB logo at Norrbotten Järvägsmuseet, Luleå, Sweden
MTAB Dm3s 1228-1243-12xx, Luleå, Sweden  

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Dm3 Closeups

  Class Dm3 Close Ups  

MTAB Dm3 number 1218-xx-xx Hermelin, Luleå, Sweden

In 2012 many of the remaining Dm3 locomotives out of use were collected to Notviken, where using them for spare parts source was started. Some of the locomotives had just one module in place, obviously other already scrapped while others looked almost intact. By spring 2014 all from the Notviken track were gone, probably as a victim of the wreckers torch.

This finally ended the long era of the Dm3 locomotives which were used in production for several decades and in the end went through two times of rebuilding and improvements.


MTAB Dm3 number 1218-xx-xx Hermelin, Luleå, Sweden
MTAB Dm3 number 1218-xx-xx Hermelin wheels, Luleå, Sweden  
MTAB Dm3 number 1218-xx-xx Hermelin wheels, Luleå, Sweden MTAB Dm3 number 1218-xx-xx Hermelin plate, Luleå, Sweden
MTAB Dm3 number 1218-xx-xx Hermelin interconnection, Luleå, Sweden  

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Dm3 Roster Pictures of the MTAB

 Dm3 number 1206-1235-1205 "Sigrid" of MTAB
MTAB Dm3s 1206-1235-1209 Sigfrid, Luleå, Sweden

  MTAB Dm3 "Sigrid" unit 1206-1235-1205 waiting for assignments at the Luleå depot, northern Sweden in 2012. This locomotive was parked next to fence for years as a reserve unit.

Picture by John McKey.

  Dm3 Sigrid 1206-1235-1205 parked by the Kiruna loco depot during the Malmbana upgrade in 2009. All traffic was stopped for several weeks during the upgrade to 30 ton axle loads. While this caused immediate losses due to too little shipments (you can ship ore to south and north from Kiruna), this upgrade has paid itself back already many times.

Picture by Ilkka Siissalo.


MTAB Dm3s at Depot in Kiruna, Sweden

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 Dm3 number 1216-1245-1215 "Josefina" of MTAB
MTAB Dm3s 1216 in Abisco, Sweden

MTAB Dm3 unit 1215-1245-1216 "Josefina" seen at work with filled iron ore cars climbing the hill in Abisko, already in the demanding mountain slope

Picture by Nick Slocombe.




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version of it!
MTAB Dms 1215-Kiruna as a reserve, Sweden The same "Josefina" parked in Kiruna May sunshine year 2012 waiting for more work that might never come. Still this and two other sister locomotives have been kept in reserve for now. Behind the locomotive can be seen one of the sisters and very Malmbana like electricity tower at the corner of Kiruna locomotive works.

MTAB Dm3 number 1215-1245-1216 in Narvik, Norway
  Another great Picture of "Josefina" Dm3 number 1215-1245-1216 while the loco was changing ore trains end during unloading of it.

Picture by David Gubler.

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 Dm3 number 1217-1238-1218 "Hermelin" of MTAB
MTAB Dm3 number 1217-1238-1218 in Narvik, Norway

  Here "Hermelin" 1217-1238-1218 is arriving to Narvik in a "typical weather". In front of the Narvik station waiting for a switcher to take over is also seen a Green Cargo freight. Both locomnotive types still use / used scissor type pantographs!

Picture by David Gubler.

  The last journey for Hermelin's module 1218 has been finished here, jackshafts have been torn away and the other two parts of the locomotive coupled off. Hermelin is sitting in Notviken, Luleå waiting for scrappers torch. it had to wait for long almost two years before this actually happened and the Dm3 numbers were reduced to obly five intact units.

  Even the number plate shows interesting wear and tear somewhere in the life span of a loco rebuilt twice.






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MTAB Dm3 number 1218-xx-xx Hermelin, Luleå, Sweden

MTAB Dm3 number 1218-xx-xx Hermelin wheels, Luleå, Sweden
MTAB Dm3 number 1218-xx-xx Hermelin wheels, Luleå, Sweden MTAB Dm3 number 1218-xx-xx Hermelin plate, Luleå, Sweden
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 Dm3 number 1219-1239-1220 "Dennewitz" of MTAB
MTAB Dm3 "Dennewitz" in the Norwegian mountains

  MTAB Dm3 Dennewitz #1219-1239-1220 seen dashing in the snow through the high mountain area of Katterat, Norway. Here the Malmbana traverses through several tunnels while trains navigate through the most mountaineous section of the Malmbana line.

Although this tunnel is built of concrete, many wooden tunnel portals and snow shed in remain in Norway too, adding to the spell of the line.

Picture by David Gubler.

MTAB Dm3 named Dennewitz, Narvik, Norway

  Here Dennewitz Dm3 triple electric locomotive sits parked at LKAB's Narvik ore unloading terminal. Line's terminals always seem to have spare locomotives available, should need arise for their usage.

This is one of the busiest spot on rail line as the emptying can't be done by running through as would be sensible (there would be room to tunnel this kind of tunnel under Narvik) but some switching is always necessary.

In the distance can be seen one of the huge bulk carriers rerady to ship pellets somewhere to great European steel mills through ports in Germany, Holland, UK or France. Some of the ships even take the northernly route near Arctic ice to Asia. This can today be done from late July to November most years. In 2013 over 400 ships used this route that saves considerable amount of time ands precious fuel.

MTAB De3 number 1219 in Kiruna Sweden
  Dennewitz seen next to the MTAB depot in Kiruna, northern Sweden.

Picture by Ilkka Siissalo.
MTAB Dm3s at Depot in Kiruna, Sweden

  Another picture of the Dennewitz at the Kiruna depot area. This is one of the fenced off areas today.

Picture by Ilkka Siissalo.


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  Dm3 "Allianssen" number 1225-1242-1226 of MTAB
MTAB Dm3s 1225 in Abisko, Sweden

  Dm3 unit 1225-1242-1226 "Allianssen" is seen with empties returning from Narvik in Abisko Östra, Sweden.

Pictures by Nick Slocombe.




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  Dm3 "Kapten" (Captain) number 1227-1243-1228 of MTAB
MTAB Dm3s 1228-1243-12xx, Luleå, Sweden

  Dm3 unit 1227-1243-1228 "Kapten" (the Captain) was busy starting empties uphill from Luleå to the northern mines.

Pictures by John McKey.




MTAB Dm3s 1228-1243-12xx, Luleå, Sweden
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 Dm3 "Rektorn" number 1229-1244-1230 of MTAB
MTAB Dm3s at Depot in Kiruna, Sweden

  Dm3 1229-1244-1230 "Principal" (Rektorn) is seen here behind the Dennewitz in the foreground.

Picture by Ilkka Siissalo.





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 Unknown Dm3
MTAB Dm3s 12xx in Abisko, Sweden

  Unknown Dm3 with loaded older type ore cars seen hauling back limestone to Kiruna, Sweden. Limestone is needed to peeletizing process.

Picture by Nick Slocombe.





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  Other Interesting Pages Near this Subject in
HectorRail class 141 in Hallsberg, Sweden
Swedish Electric Locomotives Page brings you majority of the electric locomotives, both old and new.
LKAB IORE units 121 and 125 behind the stables, Kiruna, Sweden
IORE electric locomotives are heaviest in Europe, see IORE theme page for pictures and video...   See also our popular Visions series "Running with IORE" article!
MTAB IORE units at Torneträsk in northern Sweden
Malmbana in the Norways north is a major ore railroad with heaviest equipment in Europe.
CargoNet El 16 number 2213 in Oslo, Norway
There is an interesting selection of electric locomotives in Norway!


Main > Reference > Sweden > Electric Locomotives > Dm3 Locomotives
© Railroad Reference 2004 - 2015   -   Created 18.12.2011 John McKey, Ilkka Siissalo, Nick Slocombe, Updated 7.1.2015 John McKey