The reference for locomotives and railcars
German Federal Railway E 41
later class 141
Germany | 1956 | 451 produced
141 201 with Silberling cars in July 1989 in Braunschweig
141 201 with Silberling cars in July 1989 in Braunschweig
Roger Wollstadt

The E 41 was developed as a standard locomotive for local traffic and passenger traffic on branch lines. The aim of the development was to achieve an axle load of 15 tonnes despite a maximum speed of 120 km/h. For this purpose, a significantly simplified electrical system was installed, which significantly reduced the power compared to the sister locomotives. However, multiple controls were installed throughout in order to be able to implement push-pull train operation on a large scale.

The traction motors were derived from those of the ET 30 railcars. In contrast to the high-voltage tap changer of the other standard electric locomotives, the E 41 was given a low-voltage tap changer that was cheaper to implement. While with the other locomotives a notch could be preselected and engaged automatically by the tap changer, the 28 notches on the E 41 could only be addressed by up and down control. During development, no attention was paid to the fact that this type of tab changer produces arcs with high amperage. The resulting noise earned the locomotives the nickname “firecracker”. With this equipment, the E 41 only briefly produced 3,700 kW, which was the hourly output of the E 10 and E 40. The hourly output of the E 41 was significantly lower at 2,400 kW. Although the achieved axle load of 16.6 tonnes was higher than originally planned, it did not significantly limit the area of application.

A total of 451 locomotives were manufactured up to 1971, which have been known as the class 141 since 1968. They wore a variety of different paint finishes, some of which indicated their use as an S-Bahn. As early as the late 1980s, there were plans to reduce the stock, since more and more powerful electric locomotives were either retrofitted for use in push-pull trains or were delivered directly. Thanks to the introduction of regular-interval timetables, however, there was an increased demand for push-pull locomotives, so that most of the units stayed longer in service. In the 1990s they faced competition from the large number of class 143 locomotives that came to West Germany from the former GDR Reichsbahn. Around the turn of the millennium, the stock of the series fell sharply, so that by 2005 it had almost disappeared.

Variant141 001 to 226141 227 to 451
Manufacturermechanical part: Krupp, Henschel, Krauss-Maffei, electrical part: SSW, BBC, AEG
Axle configB-B 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length51 ft 2 15/16 in
Wheelbase37 ft 0 7/8 in
Fixed wheelbase11 ft 1 7/8 in
Service weight146,387 lbs159,835 lbs
Adhesive weight146,387 lbs159,835 lbs
Axle load36,597 lbs39,904 lbs
Power sourceelectric - AC
Electric system15.000 V 16⅔ Hz
Hourly power3,218 hp (2,400 kW)
Continuous power3,098 hp (2,310 kW)
Top speed75 mph
Starting effort48,559 lbf
Power Plant
Calculated Values
electric locomotive
last changed: 02/2022

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