The reference for locomotives and railcars
German Federal Railway ETA 150
later class 515
Germany | 1954 | 232 produced
515 577 without a control car in April 1979 in Jülich
515 577 without a control car in April 1979 in Jülich

Since the eight prototypes of the ETA 176 series proved themselves, their development as the ETA 150 was built in series from 1954. Externally, the production vehicles not only differed from the ETA 176 in terms of the revised front end, but also in terms of their conventional buffers and screw couplings. This meant that conventional passenger or freight cars could also be carried, while the predecessors could only be coupled to the specially made control cars.

Since the ETA 150 only had a driver's cab on one side, 216 control cars were built to go with the 232 motor cars. With 23.40 m, they were shorter than their predecessors and were delivered with different layouts of the passenger compartment, which had a different number of seats in first and second class. The traction motors now each had 150 instead of 100 kW. In the course of production, larger and larger batteries were installed, which were exchanged for the largest available model every four years. Depending on the route, the range was between 250 and 400 km. Since the high weight of the battery hung between the bogies, the car bodies sagged over time, which led to the nickname “Hängebauchschwein” (pot-bellied pig).

Over time, the vehicles deployed in significant numbers received several nicknames, such as “Whistle Buoy” or “Maya the Bee” referring to the running noise. Otherwise, they were also called “Battery Flash”, “Acid Bucket”, “Socket Intercity” and “Flashlight Express”. They were used almost exclusively on flat land to prevent the batteries from draining too quickly. From 1968 the motor cars were redesignated as the class 515 and the control cars as the class 815. From the 1980s onwards, they were mainly replaced by class 628 diesel railcars and were completely phased out by 1995.

Variantfirst battery serieslast battery series
Manufacturermechanical part: Wegmann, WMD Donauwörth, Rathgeber, O&K, MAN, electrical part: SSW
Axle configB-2 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length76 ft 9 1/4 in
Wheelbase58 ft 0 7/8 in
Fixed wheelbase8 ft 2 7/16 in
Service weight108,026 lbs123,459 lbs
Adhesive weight57,320 lbs66,139 lbs
Axle load28,660 lbs33,069 lbs
Power sourceelectric - battery
Top speed62 mph
Engine output402 hp (300 kW)
Power Plant
Calculated Values
battery railcar
last changed: 02/2022

We use cookies to save the following settings:

  • selected navigation structure
  • selected language
  • preferred units
  • spelling of railway company names

If you refuse the use of cookies, the settings will only be retained for the current session and will be reset to the default values the next time you visit the site.

Display of units

Here you can set the desired unit system for the technical data.

  • Metric: Lengths in meters, weights in tonnes, and volumes in cubic meters
  • Imperial (UK): Lengths in feet/inches, weights in long tons and volumes in imperial gallons
  • Imperial (US): Lengths in feet/inches, weights in pounds, and volumes in US gallons
  • Individual: Depends on the country of origin of each locomotive
Operator names

Here you can set the display of railway company names.

  • Short: Abbreviation or short form of the name
  • Standard: commonly used name, partially translated to English
  • Complete: full name in local language