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German Railcars and Multiple Units from 1946 to 1984[Inhalt]
German Federal Railway ET 56
later class 456
Germany | 1952 | 7 produced
The only 456 106 painted in ivory blue in double together with 456 107 in February 1984 at Eberbach
The only 456 106 painted in ivory blue in double together with 456 107 in February 1984 at Eberbach
Werner & Hansjörg Brutzer

Under the designation ET 56, the Bundesbahn procured a total of seven three-car multiple units in the 1950s, which were intended for fast local transport. They each consisted of two motor cars and a trailer, which was designated EM 56. From 1968 the motor cars were given the computer numbers 4561 and 4564, while the trailers became the class 846.

A special feature of these vehicles, which were created in the post-war period, was that their technology still came from pre-war railcars, but the exterior was adapted to newly developed locomotives and railcars. The transformers and nose-supended traction motors of some type ET 25, ET 31/32 and ET 55 motor cars were used, which were in the inventory of the Bundesbahn with external war damage.

Since the entire equipment was already installed under the floor, they formed a good basis for modern railcars. The outer bogie of the motor car was driven on both axles and with the gear ratio of the former ET 55 90 km/h was reached. The car bodies in modern design were constructed as load-bearing tubes, which ensured a clean external appearance. The lower part formed skirts in which the aggregates were housed. There was a capacity of 262 seats per train and for expansion, several multiple units could be coupled together and driven in multiple traction.

The first area of application was the Stuttgart area, where they ran until 1970. They then came to Heidelberg, where the gear ratio was changed for a top speed of 110 km/h. The decommissioning lasted until 1986 and today none of the seven trains are left.

Variantas builtincreased speed
General
Built1952
Manufacturermechanical part: Fuchs, Rathgeber, Esslingen, electrical part: BBC
Axle configB-2+2-2+2-B 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Seats262
Dimensions and Weights
Length262 ft 4 7/16 in
Empty weight266,759 lbs
Adhesive weight150,796 lbs
Axle load37,699 lbs
Power
Power sourceelectric - AC
Electric system15.000 V 16⅔ Hz
Hourly power1,368 hp (1,020 kW)
Top speed56 mph68 mph
Power Plant
Boiler
Calculated Values
EMU
local
regional
last changed: 02/2022
German Federal Railway ET 30
later class 430
Germany | 1956 | 24 produced
ET 30 at the anniversary parade 150 years of German railways in Nuremberg
ET 30 at the anniversary parade 150 years of German railways in Nuremberg
Manfred Kopka

ET 30 referred to 24 electric multiple units that were built in 1956 for local express trains in the Ruhr area. They were based on the ET 56, but had a significantly higher output and more modern traction electrics. There was no electric brake. At each end there was a power car with a driver's cab and between them usually one, sometimes two trailer cars with the designation EM 30.

Due to the lack of electrification, they were first used in the Munich and Nuremberg area and were later transferred to the Ruhr area. From 1968, the power cars were designated as class 430 and the trailer cars as the class 830. They were taken out of service between 1980 and 1985.

General
Built1956
ManufacturerUerdingen, MAN, Fuchs, Westwaggon, WMD Donauwörth, Wegmann, SSW, AEG, BBC
Axle configB-2+2-2+2-B 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Seats226
Dimensions and Weights
Length263 ft 7 3/4 in
Empty weight295,419 lbs
Service weight326,284 lbs
Power
Power sourceelectric - AC
Electric system15.000 V 16⅔ Hz
Hourly power2,360 hp (1,760 kW)
Continuous power2,146 hp (1,600 kW)
Top speed75 mph
Power Plant
Boiler
Calculated Values
EMU
local
regional
last changed: 04/2024
German Federal Railway VT 08
later classes 608 and 613
Germany | 1952 | ca. 20 produced
The last surviving four-car train brought the German national soccer team to Switzerland in 1954 and is now in the Meiningen steam locomotive works
The last surviving four-car train brought the German national soccer team to Switzerland in 1954 and is now in the Meiningen steam locomotive works
Silvio Ludwig

In 1951, the Waggonfabrik Wismar had built the modern VT 92 diesel railcar, which had space above one of the two bogies for a modern, high-speed diesel engine with 800 or 1,000 hp and a top speed of 120 km/h. The new, rounded head shape earned it the nickname “egghead” and characterized the diesel railcars of the Bundesbahn in the 1950s. While the single-car VT 92 still had a driver's cab at both ends and the rounded head shape, multi-car multiple units of the class VT 085 with a similar design were soon being built.

The VT 085 normally consisted of a power car, a trailer and a driving trailer. The technical data below refer to this composition. Four-car units were made up of one power car at each end and two trailers. A total of 20 power cars, 22 trailers and 13 driving trailers were built, which were used in varying combinations. Since the 140 km/h fast trains were intended for use in high-value long-distance traffic, the power cars included a dining room and a luggage and mail compartment. The last six power cars were primarily procured to form four-car trains and were designed as normal passenger cars on the inside.

On June 2, 1957, the Bundesbahn started TEE operations with the VT 085. In the same year, the class VT 115 multiple units began test operations, which soon replaced the VT 085 from this role. In general, the electrification of the main lines progressed so quickly that soon fewer and fewer fast diesel railcars were needed. So soon only VT 125 were built for regular intercity traffic and all cars of VT 085 were rebuilt from 1962 for use in VT 125 sets after some driving trailers that were no longer needed had already been rebuilt in 1957. For example, the dining rooms were removed from the first 14 power cars and the floor heights were adjusted to the other vehicles. The converted vehicles were classified as VT 126 and again from 1968 under the class number 613. The last trains that were rebuilt up to 1971 were given the class number 608.

The VT 088 was derived directly from the VT 085 for use by the US Army in Germany. The two-car vehicles each consisted of a power car and a driving trailer. Two units were procured as parlor trains and four as hospital trains. Since they were not used with other vehicles, they had conventional screw couplings and sleeve buffers instead of the automatic Scharfenberg couplings. Five units were retired by 1974 and the remaining parlor train was used by the respective US ambassador until 1991. It was given a beige-red TEE livery in 1973 and underwent a conversion in the 1980s, during which it received full-width windscreens similar to the class 103.

General
Built1952-1954
ManufacturerMAN, Donauwörth, Rathgeber
Axle configB-2+2-2+2-2 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Seats108
Dimensions and Weights
Length262 ft 4 7/16 in
Empty weight267,641 lbs
Service weight302,915 lbs
Adhesive weight85,980 lbs
Axle load42,990 lbs
Power
Power sourcediesel-hydraulic
Top speed87 mph
EngineMaybach MD 650, Daimler-Benz MB 820 Bb oder MAN L12 V 17,5/21N
Engine typeV12 diesel
Engine output986 hp (735 kW)
Power Plant
Boiler
Calculated Values
DMU
regional
long distance
last changed: 02/2022
German Federal Railway VT 125
later class 612
Germany | 1953 | 12 produced
“Stuttgarter Rössle” in the year 2007
“Stuttgarter Rössle” in the year 2007
Raizy

Based on the long-distance railcars of the VT 085 series, the Bundesbahn had the railcars of the VT 125 series manufactured for intercity services from 1953. Here, too, the multiple units were initially formed from a motor car, a trailer and a control car. Luggage and mail compartments were also accommodated in the motor cars, but the dining compartment was omitted. The carriages carried third and second class, which had been first and second class since the class reform in 1956. Oil-fired heating was no longer used in each individual car, but a central, heating system with water as transport medium. Some of the control cars came from VT 085 control cars that were converted in 1957.

A total of twelve motor cars, 13 trailers and four control cars were built, five more control cars were added through conversion. They were also used on ferry services to Denmark, for which the floor had to be raised by 50 mm. With increasing electrification, the vehicles were only used in regional transport. In order to improve acceleration, two motor cars and one trailer were often used. From 1968 they were designated as class 612, but were increasingly replaced by other vehicles. These were mostly either locomotive-hauled trains with the class 218 or the railcars of the classes 614 and 624. After the last trains retired in 1985, only two motor cars and two trailers remained. These were combined into one train in 1988 and have been used as the “Stuttgarter Rössle” for excursions ever since. After a lengthy shutdown since 2008 and renewed refurbishment, it has been operational again since 2020.

General
Built1953-1957
ManufacturerDonauwörth, Rathgeber
Axle configB-2+2-2+2-2 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Seats214
Dimensions and Weights
Length255 ft 3 3/8 in
Wheelbase72 ft 4 1/8 in
Fixed wheelbase11 ft 9 3/4 in
Empty weight246,917 lbs
Adhesive weight79,366 lbs
Axle load39,683 lbs
Power
Power sourcediesel-hydraulic
Top speed87 mph
EngineMaybach MD 650, Daimler-Benz MB 820 Bb oder MAN L12 V 17,5/21N
Engine typeV12 diesel
Engine output986 hp (735 kW)
Power Plant
Boiler
Calculated Values
DMU
regional
long distance
last changed: 02/2022
German Federal Railway VT 105
Germany | 1953 | 2 produced
VT 10 501
VT 10 501
VariantVT 10 501upgraded engineVT 10 551upgraded engine
General
Built1953
ManufacturerLHB, Wegmann
Axle configB-1-1-1-1-1-1-B B-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-B 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Seats13581
Dimensions and Weights
Length317 ft 3 1/16 in357 ft 3 3/8 in
Wheelbase46 ft 11 in
Fixed wheelbase7 ft 2 5/8 in
Service weight229,280 lbs264,554 lbs
Adhesive weight114,640 lbs
Axle load28,660 lbs
Power
Power sourcediesel-mechanic
Top speed75 mph99 mph75 mph99 mph
EngineMAN D 1548 G
Engine type4x V8 diesel
Engine output633 hp (472 kW)837 hp (624 kW)633 hp (472 kW)837 hp (624 kW)
Power Plant
Boiler
Calculated Values
DMU
long distance
power cars
last changed: 08 2023
German Federal Railway VT 115
later classes 601 and 602
Germany | 1957 | 10 produced
601 009 in September 1978 in Asperg
601 009 in September 1978 in Asperg
Werner & Hansjörg Brutzer

The VT 115 was developed in the 1950s as a trainset for the high-quality connections of the Trans Europe Express. It was the flagship of the German Federal Railways until it gradually became less important due to progressive electrification and the introduction of new train types. The trains consisted of one power car at each end, between which five trailers were usually running. These consisted of two compartment cars, an open seating car, a dining car with a bar and a kitchen car with an additional dining room. The TEE only carried first class, like the Intercity that was introduced later.

The power cars used the same drive train technology as in the locomotives of the V 100 and V 200 classes. These were diesel engines from MTU or Maybach with 760 or 810 kW and hydraulic power transmission. Only the two axles of the front bogies were powered.

A special type was the class 602, from which four power cars were created in 1972 from converted 601s. Gas turbines with 1,617 kW each were used for power. A train with two trailers set a record of 217 km/h, but usually up to ten cars formed a trail running at 160 km/h.

From 1957 the trains were used as TEE and switched to the IC in 1971 when this type of train was created. Since the technical equipment allowed more than the previous 140 km/h, the certified top speed was changed to 160 km/h at this time. In 1979, the Bundesbahn also introduced the second class of coaches for the IC, which meant that the multiple units with their special design and low passenger capacity were no longer suitable for these trains. They were therefore used in tourist traffic with ten cars, with significantly poorer performance than with five cars. In 1987 and 1988 all remaining units were sold to Italy. A ten-car train, which the Reichsbahn had borrowed from Italy in 1990 and used between Berlin and Hamburg for a few months, had a last short scheduled use in Germany.

Variantas builtenhanced top speed602
General
Built19571972
ManufacturerMAN, LHB, Wegmann
Axle configB-2+2-2+2-2+2-2+2-2+2-2+2-B 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Seats168
Dimensions and Weights
Length428 ft 10 7/16 in
Fixed wheelbase11 ft 1 7/8 in
Service weight471,789 lbs
Adhesive weight158,733 lbs
Axle load39,683 lbs
Power
Power sourcediesel-hydraulicgas turbine-hydraulic
Top speed87 mph99 mph
EngineMaybach MD 12V 538 TA10AVCO-Lycoming TF35
Engine type2x V12 diesel2x gas turbine
Fuel1,136 us gal (diesel)2,642 us gal (diesel)
Engine output2,172 hp (1,620 kW)4,337 hp (3,234 kW)
Power Plant
Boiler
Calculated Values
DMU
turbine railcar
long distance
last changed: 02/2022
German Federal Railway VT 24
later classes 624 and 634
Germany | 1964 | 40 produced
634 659 in Braunschweig station
634 659 in Braunschweig station
Ralf Roletschek

The VT 24 is a diesel-hydraulic multiple unit consisting of two to four cars, which gained notoriety by testing the tilting technology on a few examples. It emerged from the VT 23, of which four prototypes were built in 1961. The production model was finally built in series between 1964 and 1968 in a total of 80 motor cars and 55 trailers and designated as the VT 24 or class 624/634.

The multiple units each consisted of two motor cars and usually one trailer, but could also be used without a trailer or with two of them. For optimal use of space, the entire propulsion technology was installed under the floor. The engine was a boxer from MAN, which was ideally suited for this design due to its flat design. As already mentioned, some vehicles were equipped with tilting technology, for which they received air suspension. However, since the car body did not taper towards the top, the maximum angle of inclination had to remain within a very limited range with regard to the loading gauge. The vehicles converted in this way were designated as class 634 and certified for a top speed of 140 km/h. However, since the benefit of the tilting technology was too small compared to the high effort, all of them were later reverted. A special feature of the classes 624, 634 and the 614 with the same engine is that all vehicles could be used together in multiple. A total of up to six power cars could be used at the same time.

They were used in various areas of Germany for a long time, but from the late 1990s they were replaced with newer vehicles. As a result, some of them were retired, but they were also used as a substitute for vehicles that were not available at the time. Others were also sold to Poland and Romania. Their use ended in Poland in 2012, but they will be used in Romania for longer. The last ones were retired by the DB in 2005.

VariantVT 24634
General
Built1964-1968
ManufacturerMAN, Uerdingen
Axle configB-2+2-2+2-B 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Seats224
Dimensions and Weights
Length260 ft 8 3/8 in
Service weight313,056 lbs
Adhesive weight139,332 lbs
Axle load34,833 lbs
Power
Power sourcediesel-hydraulic
Top speed75 mph87 mph
EngineMAN D 3650 HM 1 U-B
Engine type2x 12-cyl. boxer diesel
Engine output888 hp (662 kW)
Power Plant
Boiler
Calculated Values
DMU
local
regional
tilting
last changed: 02/2022
German Federal Railway VT 95
later class 795
Germany | 1950 | 582 produced
VT 95 240 at the “150 Years of German Railways” vehicle show in 1985 in Bochum-Dahlhausen
VT 95 240 at the “150 Years of German Railways” vehicle show in 1985 in Bochum-Dahlhausen
Manfred Kopka

In 1948, the requirements for a railbus were formulated, which should use components from the construction of road buses. Because of the lightweight construction, there was no intention to couple conventional cars. Instead, suitable trailers were developed, which were to be attached using light-weight Scharfenberg couplings. The capacity of each vehicle should be 40 people and there should be a toilet in each vehicle. The winner of the tender was the Uerdingen car factory, which had already gained experience in the construction of railbuses in the 1930s.

In 1950, the first ten motor cars and six trailers were built as prototypes. These were 10.5 m long and had large overhangs because of the then permissible fixed wheelbase of 4.5 m. Thanks to a special permit, only the eleventh prototype could have a wheelbase of 6.0 m and was 12.75 m long, which was also adopted for series production. A Büssing U 9 with 110 hp was used as the engine, which was connected to an electromagnetically switched six-speed gearbox. The gas and brake were operated with pedals, as in road vehicles. Since the brake turned out to be undersized, a magnetic rail brake was installed in later vehicles and retrofitted to all existing vehicles.

A version of the same engine with 130 hp and later the Büssing U 10 with 150 hp were used in series production. The Bundesbahn received a total of 557 motor cars and 564 trailers. Most of the time, a combination of one motor car and one trailer was used, but the motor cars also ran on their own on hilly routes. Three railbuses were each given two engines in order to be able to use them on the steep Erlau–Wegscheid route with an incline of 6.89 percent. While the trailers were designated VB 142, 60 single-axle VB 141 trailers were built to transport luggage and bicycles.

Since there were no control cars, the motor car had to drive to the other side of the trailer at the terminus and then be operated from the second driver's cab. Later, a total of 185 motor cars were equipped with a so-called small control gear in order to be able to use two motor cars with up to two trailers in the middle. From 1964, some motor cars were equipped with equipment to use them without a conductor.

In addition to the Bundesbahn, the CFL and the JŽ each received ten motor cars and trailers. The Saarland also received 15 motor cars and 12 trailers. However, these were built under license in Saarland and had different engines in order to be able to save on customs costs. Likewise, seven motor cars and four trailers were manufactured under license in Italy. Some private railways had received vehicles with side buffers and a more powerful engine, which already represented an intermediate stage towards the successor VT 98. The VT 95, which was classified as class 795 from 1969, was retired from the Bundesbahn by 1980.

Variantprototypesfirst serieslater series
General
Built1950-195119521952-1958
ManufacturerUerdingenUerdingen, MAN, Lüttgens
Axle configA1 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Seats416360
Dimensions and Weights
Length35 ft 5 1/8 in43 ft 6 1/4 in43 ft 7 7/16 in
Wheelbase14 ft 9 3/16 in19 ft 8 1/4 in
Fixed wheelbase14 ft 9 3/16 in19 ft 8 1/4 in
Empty weight23,149 lbs29,101 lbs30,644 lbs
Adhesive weight13,448 lbs15,432 lbs
Axle load13,448 lbs15,432 lbs
Power
Power sourcediesel-mechanic
Top speed56 mph
EngineBüssing U 9Büssing U 9ABüssing U10
Engine type6-cyl. diesel
Engine output109 hp (81 kW)129 hp (96 kW)148 hp (110 kW)
Power Plant
Boiler
Calculated Values
DMU
secondary line
local
railbus
last changed: 01/2023
German Federal Railway VT 98
later class 798 and Austrian Federal Railways class 5081
Germany | 1953 | 329 produced
VT 98 9796 (later 798 796) in June 2011 in Bochum-Dahlhausen
VT 98 9796 (later 798 796) in June 2011 in Bochum-Dahlhausen
Hugh Llewelyn

In addition to the VT 95, the family of Uerdingen rail buses also consisted of the VT 98. This was developed because the VT 95, with its single engine, was too weak for many routes and could not carry normal carriages. For this it received a second engine, which was of the same type as the later VT 95 and drove the second axle. A pedal was no longer used to control engine power, but a hand throttle.

In addition to the motor cars, not only the VT 98 trailers were procured, as was the case with the predecessor, but also the VT 98 control cars. Usually, a combination of a motor car, a trailer and a control car was used. However, they often ran without a trailer or as a motor car only. Thanks to the multiple controls, which could control up to two motor cars, trains with six cars could also be put together if necessary. The vehicles had been given buffer beams and screw couplings so that they could carry normal cars. In practice, sometimes covered freight cars for express parcels or passenger cars were attached as reinforcement.

Production included 329 motor cars, 320 trailers (220 of which had luggage compartments) and 310 control cars. From 1968 the motor cars ran as class 698 and the trailers and control cars as class 998. Only a few later got the new color scheme of mint turquoise, pastel turquoise and light gray instead of their red paintwork. Also in 1988, 47 motor cars, 23 trailers and 45 control cars were converted to one-man operation. In 1989, the Turkish State Railways bought 25 motor cars, 25 control cars and 15 trailers from the Bundesbahn. A few vehicles still made it to the DB AG, but in 2000 the last ones were retired.

General
Built1953-1967
ManufacturerUerdingen, MAN, Donauwörth, SGP, Jenbacher
Axle configAA 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Seats58
Dimensions and Weights
Length45 ft 9 3/16 in
Wheelbase19 ft 8 1/4 in
Fixed wheelbase19 ft 8 1/4 in
Empty weight41,667 lbs
Adhesive weight41,667 lbs
Axle load21,385 lbs
Power
Power sourcediesel-mechanic
Top speed56 mph
EngineBüssing U 10
Engine type2x 6-cyl. diese1
Engine output295 hp (220 kW)
Power Plant
Boiler
Calculated Values
DMU
secondary line
local
railbus
last changed: 01/2023
German Federal Railway class 403
Germany | 1973 | 3 produced
Lufthansa Airport Express in July 1983 in Bonn
Lufthansa Airport Express in July 1983 in Bonn
Manfred Kopka

In 1973, the Bundesbahn procured only three sets of a four-car high-speed train, which reached 200 km/h and was used as Intercity. The technology was based on the S-Bahn trains of the class 420 and here too all axles were powered. The problematic tilting mechanism soon had to be deactivated and their use as an Intercity ended in 1979. Between 1982 and 1993 they were used as the “Lufthansa Airport Express” between the Düsseldorf and Frankfurt airports in order to reduce domestic flights.

General
Built1973
ManufacturerLHB, MBB, AEG, BBC, Siemens
Axle configB-B+B-B+B-B+B-B 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Seats138
Dimensions and Weights
Length358 ft 4 in
Fixed wheelbase8 ft 6 3/8 in
Service weight519,629 lbs
Adhesive weight519,629 lbs
Power
Power sourceelectric - AC
Electric system15.000 V 16⅔ Hz
Continuous power5,150 hp (3,840 kW)
Top speed124 mph
Power Plant
Boiler
Calculated Values
EMU
long distance
tilting
last changed: 02/2023
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