Increasing trainloads in Prussian freight service required more powerful steam locomotives starting in 1908. This resulted in the further development of the successful class G 8 in 1913, the class G 8.1. Its boiler was basically the same as that of the G 8, but the use of thicker sheet metal and a larger diameter made it heavier than its predecessor. Thicker sheet metal was also used on the frame thus increasing the unit's adhesion weight. The new tender, the Prussian type 3T16,5, was developed just for the G 8.1, which clearly expanded the locomotive's operating range. The G 8.1 (DRG class 55.20-56) had become one of the German steam locomotives built in the largest numbers. In only eight years, the Prussian-Hessian State Railways placed 4,958 units in service. In view of its quantity, it is no wonder that this 55 km/h / 34 mph fast and around 1,260 horsepower unit with four driving axles was at home on all of the rail lines. The three-unit freight car set stands as a symbol for the "good old days". It consists of typical cars: a coal gas car (for car and station lighting), an Association design boxcar transporting any kind of "packaged" load as well as a beer refrigerator car for the replenishment of this generally popular "liquid gold". With the G 8.1 pulling it, you have a very prototypical freight train that leaves nothing to be desired.
Prototype: Royal Prussian Railroad Administration (KPEV) class G 8.1 with a type 3T16,5 tender. The locomotive looks as it did in Era I.