The reference for locomotives and railcars


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German Reichsbahn ET 31
originally elT 1301 to 1313, German Federal Railway ET 31/32 and German Federal Railway class 432
Germany | 1936 | 13 produced
432 122 with new head shape in April 1975 in Nuremberg
432 122 with new head shape in April 1975 in Nuremberg
Werner & Hansjörg Brutzer

The elT 1301 to 1313, which were designated as ET 31 from 1940, were one of the classes of multiple units for intercity traffic at speeds of up to 120 km/h. In contrast to other railcars of the time, the sets each consisted of three parts, each of which had its own drive. In the years 1936 and 1937 a total of 13 trains were completed and distributed to Munich, Nuremberg and Breslau. Each of the three cars had two nose-suspended motors in one bogie, each with an output of 275 kW over an hour. This enabled them to achieve an acceleration that would have been relatively good even for suburban multiple units.

Towards the end of the war only one of the Silesian train sets could be saved to Bavaria. A total of four had been destroyed in the war, four were in the western zone, two had gotten stuck trying to save them in the eastern zone and the remaining three remained in Poland. The two sets in the eastern zone and two of the three in Poland had to be handed over to the Soviet Union

At the Bundesbahn, the train sets underwent an unusual conversion. The initial situation was that there was a shortage of functional multiple units, but a number of ET 25 control cars were still available and it was also believed that two powered cars out of three would be sufficient. So the four three-car ET 31 were taken, divided into six groups of two and an ES 25 was added to each of them. Now there were six multiple units designated as ET 32, each of which had the wheel arrangement B-2+2-B+2-2 or B-2+B-2+2-2. A special feature was that there was a gangway between the control car and the adjacent motor car, but not between the two motor cars.

The latter disadvantage was corrected from 1963 with a thorough modernization. The end faces were given a new shape, which could also be found in other post-war vehicles of the Bundesbahn. Two of them were converted again, with the control car becoming the middle car and the second motor car being equipped with a driver's cab. From 1968 these vehicles became the classes 432 and 832. They were retired in 1984 and scrapped except for one example, which suffered the same fate in 2010.

VariantET 31converted ET 32
ManufacturerLHB, BBC
Axle configB-2+B-2+2-B B-2+B-2+2-2 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length263 ft 7 3/4 in
Service weight319,890 lbs282,191 lbs
Power sourceelectric - AC
Electric system15.000 V 16⅔ Hz
Continuous power2,213 hp (1,650 kW)1,475 hp (1,100 kW)
Top speed75 mph
Power Plant
Calculated Values
last changed: 02/2022

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