Rail Classics Volume 5: VT08 / VT12.5 of DB

1952 young German Federal Railway DB received a batch of three-unit DMU's for high-speed long distance runs. In addition to these class VT08 vehicles similar railcars of class VT12.5 for shorter distance inter-city traffic were ordered. They differed mainly in the interior - VT08 had compartments with 6 places and VT12.5 had open areas with 2+2 seats. Also VT12.5 has additional middle doors. Both DMU's consisted originally of one engine car, one middle car and one end car with controls stand. Soon additional middle cars and engine cars were ordered to build 4 and 5 car DMU.

After only 6 to 8 years in premium duties the VT08 were put in similar service than VT12.5. They were internally rebuild to VT12.5 standards, only middle cars remained more or less untouched. From 1968 on the rebuild VT08 were called 613.6, the VT12.5 were classed to 612.5. They were used as accelerated locals up to their withdrawal in 1985. One train set survived and is preserved in operating condition.

During 1983 and 1984 I had the opportunity to travel and photograph these classy trains.

612 506-6 is coupled to one end car in July 1984. As the routes around the Harz mountains are curvy and sometimes steep either two car consists or three car consists with two motor cars were used in the last years.

The other side of 612 506-6.

613 610-5 leads this "Sandwich" of two motor cars and one middle car. The missing middle doors are obvious for the VT08.

Face of end car 913 602-9.

DMU of class 613 and 614 in Kreiensen.

A three car consist arrives in Wolfenbüttel in summer 1983.

As the middle cars of the previous VT08 were nearly unchanged over the years you could get serious 1950's feeling on the short runs. The compartments were 1st class before, they were downgraded only by replacing the plush with plastic leather. Especially in sandwich trains the middle car was the best choice - excellent and smooth running quality and no engine noise made them my favorite. The motor cars were relative noise and the commuter seating were much less stylish. Even in the aisle natural wood and brass were displaying luxury!




Even after more than 30 years these trains made an impressive sight at full speed - this three pic series was made in a summer rain somewhere between Helmstedt and Wolfenbüttel:

It seems to be an express train in 1955...

Highball expected for this set near Helmstedt.

The shot after.

In the late 1980's one set was refurbished as museum train.

More information and pics at the following links (in german language...):




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