German ‘Rabbits’ days numbered

GERMAN Railways (DB) had hundreds of diesel-hydraulic locos introduced in the 1960s and 1970s to replace steam, but their days working passenger trains are now coming to an end.

Of the several hundred ‘V160’ B-B design locos built, only the final variant – Class 218 – remains in use with DB for passenger services. They are nicknamed ‘Rabbits’ – mainly by British enthusiasts – as they have two protruding exhaust stacks that stick up like rabbits’ ears.

DB No. 218420 approaching Füssen on September 27 with a Regional Express service from Munich. From December 9, privately operated DMUs will replace DB trains (and the Class 218s) on this route. KEITH FENDER

Most remaining Class 218s can be found in either the extreme north or south of Germany.

In the north the locos are based at Niebüll and Kiel, wherelong-distance operator DB Fernverkehr uses them for Intercity trains north of Hamburg, mainly to Westerland (Sylt), but also in summer to Puttgarden.

Read more in the December issue of The RM – on sale now!

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