DSB MY 1201 and 1202
The most beautiful danish diesel engines

In Denmark we have succesfully built steam engines, the beautiful types K,O,D and P of Otte Busse are all well known. A/S Frichs built diesel engines of less than 750 HP in the 1920's and 30's for danish private railways. In 1934 the first of 47 type MO's were built, before that there had been built 10 MP's, that worked satisfactory.

These two types of engines became models for the well-known "red high-speed trains", that were inaugurated in connection with the opening of the bridge across the Little Belt in 1935. The MO was so succesful, that DSB ordered another 90 in the 1950's. It was common to see the MO everywhere in Denmark. However a couple of failures had also occured. Type MW and MV from B&W. The larger MX from A/S Frichs was often at the repair shop, and only 2 were built. MX 132 can be seen at the Railway Museum in Odense.
As the purchase of the swedish-american MY's had become a great success, it was the opinion in danish industry circles, that it was time to build a danish dieselelectric engine. Especially Hans Rasmussen - the chairman of a danish trade union was a strong advocate of the building of such engines in Denmark. It was expected that such an engine could be exported, as railways all over the world were about to scrap steam engines and buy new diesel engines. A/S Frichs was to be in charge of development , B&W of the diesel engine itself, and Thrige-Titan the electric equipment. In 1958 the first was finished and was named MY 1201. Soon after it was given the nickname " Marilyn Monroe" To years later came MY 1202, immediately named "MY fair lady"(The famous musical had at the same time been postponed several times)

Both engines were constantly dogged, by ill-luck. If it wasn't a broken connecting rod or crank, then there were problems with the transmisssion. Why couldn't B&W build a diesel engine? They were famous for their engines for ships. It might have been caused by the fact, that the engines had to be smaller and lighter. At times metal fatigue was also a problem GM engines had to be used instead.
MY 1201 og 1202 were mainly used in the western parts of Denmark, so that they were not far from the repair shop in Århus. Only certain engine drivers drove them. However on one point, 1201 and 1202 were better than the swedish MY's; They were much more quiet. In 1969 DSB finally lost their patience with 1201 and 1202 and they were taken as far away as possible, namely to Frederikshavn. Here they remained for a couple of years, until they were suddenly taken to Odense in 1971 and scraped. An era had come to an end. Why wasn't one of these danish engines displayed at the Railway Museum?

I myself never got to take photos of these two magnificent engines, but I got these photos from Arne Kirkeby. I was about to build a model of MY 1202 ( 1:45) ,however it was never completed.

New photos of MY 1201 and 1202. Taken by Arne Kirkeby, used with kind permission from Odense Modeljernbane Klub's photo archive.

Odense Model Railway Club (OMJK) has produced a CD-ROM containing 100 of the very best slides from the collection of Arne Kirkeby. The CD can be purchased from OMJK for the price of 149,- D.kr. postage not included.
                                                                           Link to OMJK click here
With permission from OMJK some new photos of MY 1201 and MY 1202 are now available. Photos by Arne Kirkeby, they can also be found on the CD from OMJK.

Contact Webmaster

Back to index