German operator DB withdraws classic regional trains

THE last of the distinctive ‘Karlsruher Kopf’ (Karlsruhe Head) driving trailers were withdrawn by German national operator DB during December 2016.

‘Karlsruher Kopf’ and n-Wagen coaches wait to depart Duisburg Hbf for Wesel on December 7, days before withdrawal. KEITH FENDER

The vehicles were designed by the former DB carriage works in Karlsruhe during the 1960s and built at several locations.

Thousands of similar, originally silver, single-deck coaches (known as n-Wagen or Silberling – local transport coach or Silverfish/piece of silver) were built during the 1960s and 70s. Most have already been withdrawn and all are scheduled for withdrawal within the next year or two, being replaced by new trains or cascaded air-conditioned, double-deck coaches.

DB withdrew almost all of the ‘Karlsruher Kopf’ coaches in the southern state of Baden-Württemberg in September 2016, but a few remained in use until December, with a farewell special train operated in December.

One of the few other places they remained in use until December was the route
between Duisburg and Wesel, in north-west Germany.

Abellio took over the service from December 11 using brand new ‘Flirt’ EMUs.

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