The reference for locomotives and railcars
German Reichsbahn class 119
DB AG class 229
Germany | 1976 | 200 produced
119 130 in December 1991 with a regional train made up of Rekowagen in Aue
119 130 in December 1991 with a regional train made up of Rekowagen in Aue
Werner & Hansjörg Brutzer

At the beginning of the 1970s, the Reichsbahn was looking for a new, powerful diesel locomotive that, however, should have a lower axle load than the class 130 procured from the Soviet Union, so that it could also be used without restrictions on branch lines. As part of the Comecon (Council for Mutual Economic Aid) agreements, Romania was given the task of developing a successor class for the V 180 or BR 118. Contrary to the wishes of the Reichsbahn, however, no engines from GDR production were installed, but licensed engines from the West German manufacturer MTU.

Similar to its German predecessor class, the new locomotive had an axle load of only 16 tonnes thanks to its six axles and was powered by two engines, initially with 900 kW each. The power was transmitted separately to both bogies by hydraulic transmissions. However, there was a heating generator between the engines, which in principle coupled the two with each other and was therefore supposed to lead to problems later in operation. In addition, many quality defects were soon identified, which led to disproportionately high failure rates, especially in the early days. The propulsion units of two defective locomotives were often combined in one locomotive body in order to obtain at least a small number of functional vehicles at short notice. Over the years, these problems have been increasingly eliminated, including the installation of 12KVD engines of indigenous production. Since these proved themselves, all locomotives were re-equipped at the beginning of the 1990s with a more powerful version, each with 1,100 kW.

In the years that followed, the cooperation between the two German railway administrations resulted in a total of 20 examples of the type now known as the class 219 being converted into the class 229. After a further increase in power and an increase in maximum speed to 140 km/h, these were increasingly used again in passenger transport and in some cases even replaced ICEs on non-electrified sections. Nevertheless, the life of the locomotives, also dubbed “submarines”, was coming to an end at the turn of the millennium. A locomotive with two 1,500 kW Caterpillar engines and a modern standard driver's cab thus remained a one-off. In the meantime, most of the 200 locomotives have been scrapped, with a few exceptions for construction trains and the Mitteldeutsche Eisenbahn GmbH.

Axle configC-C 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length63 ft 11 11/16 in
Wheelbase47 ft 7 1/4 in
Fixed wheelbase11 ft 9 3/4 in
Service weight218,257 lbs
Adhesive weight218,257 lbs
Axle load36,376 lbs
Power sourcediesel-hydraulic
Top speed75 mph
Starting effort49,458 lbf
EngineJohannisthal 12KVD21-AL4
Engine type2x V12 diesel
Fuel1,057 us gal (diesel)
Engine output2,414 hp (1,800 kW)
Power Plant
Calculated Values
diesel locomotive
secondary line
last changed: 03/2022

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