Germany - Germany - diesel multiple units and railbuses of DB AG

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There are still quite a lot of unelectrified rail lines in Germany where diesel traction is needed. This section of our archive shows DB's diesel railbuses and diesel multiple units.

Our first picture shows one of the very newest DMUs, a class 620 three coach train of the "Vareo" service. Class 620 comes from the French company Alstom and it is Alstom's type Coradia LINT 81. Picture at Trier main station 18.12.2016 by Ilkka Siissalo.

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This is a class 628 diesel railbus, but not painted red as usual, but instead in the "long distance train colours" and named "Sylt Shuttle Plus". There is only a train connection between the mainland and the island Sylt. Cars are transported by train and DB runs there a service called Sylt Shuttle between Niebüll on the mainland and Westerland on the island. But in 2015 it was announced that there would be a new competitor for DB in this profitable traffic. To block the competitor from gaining access to the rail slots, DB added to its Sylt Shuttle trains these two coach old railbuses, which would run combined with the car shuttle trains between Niebüll and Westerland, but which are detached at Niebüll and continue as "long distance trains" further inland to the town of Bredstedt. This is a slow and useless service and almost nobody needs to use it, but it allowed DB to classify its Sylt Shuttle trains as valuable long distance passenger trains, which have priority over a potential competitors car shuttle trains. A dirty trick - but it seems to have worked. The competitor has by the end of 2016 been able to run only a few car shuttle trains. Picture at Niebüll station 9.7.2016 by Ilkka Siissalo.

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A car shuttle train has just arrived from the island of Sylt to Niebüll station and at the end of it hangs the old Br 628 railbus as "Sylt Shuttle Plus". Soon it will be detached, then it will run to the passenger platform and finally continue further inland to Bredstedt. DB has masses of these old Br 628 railbuses doing nothing as they have been replaced by more modern trains, so it doesn't cost them much to waste a couple of them in this way to cause harm to a competitor. Picture at Niebüll station 9.7.2016 by Ilkka Siissalo.

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Here the Sylt Shuttle Plus railbus has come to the passenger platform at Niebüll and is soon ready to continue towards Bredstedt. There were only two passengers onboard. Picture at Niebüll station 9.7.2016 by Ilkka Siissalo.

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This picture shows a real rarity. These are Alstom made French railbuses nicknamed Baleine, blue whale. Officially the type is called Alstom Coradia A TER and DB calls in in Germany Br 641. But these two are French trains running here in Germany and one of them is in DB's red paintings but with French SNCF's stickers and the other one is in SNCF's blue and grey paintings. The explanation lies in an agreemnet between the German state of Saarland and the French administrative region of Lorraine regarding regional train traffic across the border. Saarland bought some of the railbuses and they were painted DB's red and SNCF bought other one painting them in their own way. The red ones are officially DB's class 641 railbuses, but they all are operated and maintained by the French SNCF. Picture at the small station of Nittel by the river Mosel 17.12.2016 by Ilkka Siissalo.

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This is a three coach long diesel railbus made by the company Bombardier. It is a Bombardier Talent (1st generation), class 643. Picture at Pirmasens station 8.7.2015 by Ilkka Siissalo.

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Compare with the picture above. This was a competing product. This is a Siemens Desiro two coach long diesel railbus of the class 642. These two types are easy to mix up, but the opening at the front where the Scharfenberg coupling comes out is broader in the Siemens Desiro train, which makes it look more like "broadly smiling". Picture at Pirmasens station 8.7.2015 by Ilkka Siissalo.

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Two RegioShuttle RS1 railbuses of the DB subsidiary RAB (DB ZugBus Regionalverkehr Alb-Bodensee) at Ulm station. The RegioShuttle was developed by the company ADtranz, but after its insolvency the rights were transferred to the Swiss company Stadler. Stadler has developed this model into a real success, especially within the market segment of small private rail companies. It's rare though to see an RS1 in DB red. Picture in Ulm 13.9.2016 by Ilkka Siissalo.

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The class 611 was not a success. First DB bought actively tilting diesel trains, so called RegioPendolinos from the Italian Fiat. They became the DB class 610. When DB wanted more of them, a public tendering was arranged and it was won not by Fiat, but by an East German factory LEW Hennigsdorf. It was the time right after German reunification and for the politicians it was important to get more work for the people in the east, so a contract was signed. But the Br 611 has become famous for its constant defects and noisiness and even when it is working, some people complain that one becomes seasick because of its too active active tilting. But they still exist. The Fiat class 610 is already out of service. Picture in Ulm 13.9.2016 by Ilkka Siissalo.

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Same train as above. The actively tilting Br 611 is a typical product of the early 1990s. Picture in Ulm 13.9.2016 by Ilkka Siissalo.

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Still the same Br 611 train seen from the other side. Picture in Ulm 13.9.2016 by Ilkka Siissalo.

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This is a UBB, Usedomer Bäderbahn railbus of the DB class 646, which is a Swiss Stadler built GTW 2/6. The UBB is a daughter company of DB and it operates the Bäderbahn or "railway for the bathers" along the sandy shorelines of the famous holiday island of Usedom on the Baltic sea coast of eastern Germany. Picture at Seebad Ahlbeck station 2.7.2013 by Ilkka Siissalo.
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