The reference for locomotives and railcars


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Prussian ET 831 to 842
German Reichsbahn ET 87
Germany | 1914 | 6 produced
One of the trainsets in Waldenburg (today Walbrzych)
One of the trainsets in Waldenburg (today Walbrzych)

After the procurement of the first battery railcars, the Prussian State Railways also developed nultiple units connected to overhead lines, with Gustav Wittfeld once again being in charge. The construction of the three-part unit was based on modern aspects. The middle car was shorter than the driving trailers and contained the power train. Part of this car was designed as an engine room, but the two traction motors were in a bogie and drove the two axles via a common jackshaft and rod drive. At the other end of the center car was a single axle.

The separation of the passenger compartment and propulsion technology reduced the noise to a lower level than was usual with other vehicles at the time. Since the vehicles were to be used primarily on the Silesian mountain railways, the cooling of the engines was designed accordingly. The two driving trailers were also three-axle and each had a bogie at the outer ends and a single axle at the inner end. Overall, these multiple units offered second, third and fourth class and a fourth-class luggage compartment. However, since the latter was located near the main switch, it was not used later on. The reason for this was that the main switch was designed as an oil kettle, which would have exploded in the event of a short circuit.

Six units were built, all of which were initially used as planned on the Silesian mountain railways. After a while, however, they had to be relocated to less topographically demanding areas, since the engines often overheated despite the generously designed cooling system. There was also excessive wear on the carbon brushes, which is why the 183 kW motors were replaced in 1925/1926 with differently designed 250 kW motors.

In 1940 the vehicles were renumbered ET 87 01 to ET 87 05 after one example had already been retired after an accident in 1937. After the war, the vehicles were in Czechoslovakia and only ET 87 03 to 05 could be rescued from the border area to West Germany in 1949. There they were used in suburban traffic in Nuremberg until 1959.

Manufacturermechanical part: LHW, electrical part: AEG
Axle config2-1+B-1+1-2 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length139 ft 6 in
Service weight218,478 lbs
Adhesive weight75,398 lbs
Axle load37,699 lbs
Power sourceelectric - DC
Electric system15.000 V 16⅔ Hz
Hourly power671 hp (500 kW)
Continuous power504 hp (376 kW)
Top speed43 mph
Starting effort16,861 lbf
Power Plant
Calculated Values
last changed: 02/2022

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