Locomotives for branch line service were not initially included in the DRG's standardized type program because the acquisition of new main line locomotives enjoyed a priority. New construction of the classes 24 (with a tender), 64, and 86 branch line units was not decided until later. The first 17 units of the class 24 were delivered in 1928 by Schichau (24 001-010) and Linke-Hofmann (24 031-037). A year later 69 units of these 90 km/h / 56 mph fast and 900 horsepower locomotives were already running in the districts of Stuttgart, Stettin, Schwerin, Regensburg, and Münster. The class 24 was in many ways similar in construction to the class 64 2-6-2T tank locomotive. The boiler placed well to the front due to the more favorable weight distribution was striking. This caused the smokestack to be offset from the cylinders compared to the other standard design locomotives. The last of the 95 units of the class 24 were not taken until 1940. At the end of the Thirties most of these locomotives went to East Prussia and ran there on long branch lines. This resulted in their nickname "Prairie Pony". It was thus no wonder that after World War II almost half of the class 24 remained outside of the two German states. In addition to war losses, at least eight locomotives were collected by the Soviet Union. By 1950, 31 units were back in operation on the Polish State Railroad (PKP), now rostered as Oi2. The German Federal Railroad (DB) had 42 units overhauled. There their use was concentrated in the north and chiefly in the west of West Germany. As early as 1965 and 1966 the last five units were put into storage at the railroad maintenance facilities in Rahden and Rheydt.
In the GDR area, only four locomotives remained after the end of the war (road numbers 24 002, 004, 009, and 021). The all went back into operation on the GDR's German State Railroad (DR). Planned use ended here in 1968 at the maintenance facility in Jerichow, since three units had to be put into storage in 1967/68. The Transportation Museum in Dresden then took road number 24 004 under its wing as a non-operational display piece. Only road number 24 009 survived another four years under steam. As a rescue train in reserve in Güsten and Stendal, it was even given the computer-generated but somewhat strange road number 37 1009 on July 1, 1970. Since the DR units were only provided with the digits "0" and "3-9" as the first number for steam locomotives during the computer-generated new rostering, the last class 24 units had to be given a new class designation (in this case class 37). In 1972, it was allowed to go to West Germany after being sold to the magazine Eisenbahn-Kurier, where it has remained down to the present. As early as September 24, 1972, this locomotive now designated again as road number 24 009 was used to pull special trains all over West Germany. After the DB prohibition of steam locomotives in 1977, road number 24 009 could only run on privately owned railroads in West Germany. However, it was still the first privately owned steam locomotive back on German Railroad track starting in 1993. After additional overhauls, it ran until 2007 all over Germany pulling special trains. Since then, it has been in the care of the "Steam Locomotive 24 009 Foundation" in the former maintenance facility at Gelsenkirchen-Bismarck and is waiting for better times.