Stamp Day 2013 – 175 Years of Steam Locomotive Saxonia

Stamp Day 2013 – 175 Years of Steam Locomotive Saxonia

The new stamp by German post celebrating the 175th anniversary of Saxonia steam locomotive was introduced by the Federal Ministry of Finance of Germany as charity stamp. Five dots forming a plus indicate an additional value of the stamp collecting for charity purpose.  The action's motto is "Do good with help of stamps".

The Saxonia was built by Johann Andreas Schubert. Schubert had been inspired by the English-built locomotive, Comet, procured for the LDE, and he analyzed and improved on what he saw. He used the same dimensions but, unlike Comet, two coupled axles were driven, therefore providing increased tractive force, and a carrying axle was added at the back to improve ride qualities.

The development and construction of the locomotive was carried out in the Maschinenbauanstalt Ubigau at Dresden, an engineering works that had been founded on 1 January 1837. From the beginning Schubert was the head of the company. The construction of the engine was a technical and economic risk for the firm. For a start, it had no technical experience at all; furthermore there were no orders for a locomotive.

The Saxonia was intended to open the Leipzig-Dresden Railway, the first long-distance railway line in Germany, on 8 April 1839. But the English, who until then had a monopoly within the railway industry, begrudged success to Schubert and his locomotive. The first train to run on the railway was hauled by the two English locomotives Robert Stephenson and Elephant. The Saxonia – driven by its creator, Johann Andreas Schubert – followed on behind.

The Saxonia clearly continued to be used successfully, however, because in 1843 it had clocked up 8,666 kilometres. There is no definite information about its wheareabouts, however, it must have remained in the LDE's fleet until 1856 because its name was not reassigned until then.

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