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European Railroad Discussion > Lufthansa Bundesbahn

Date: 01/18/22 19:05
Lufthansa Bundesbahn
Author: dwatry

Here's a rare one for you - a Deutsche Bundesbahn (DB) Class 403 EMU running in dedicated Lufthansa service between the Rhein-Ruhr region and the Frankfurt Airport.   DB ran this service for Lufthansa starting in 1981, to replace some short-haul flights.  The Class 403 EMUs were built as precursors to the first IC trainsets, and were capable of speeds up to 220 km/h.   This shot was taken of a southbound at Bonn on May 12, 1982, and was, sadly, the only time I ever saw one of these.  And I never got to ride one.  BTW - these EMUs were saddled with the nickname "Donald Ducks", as you might have guessed from the paint scheme!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/18/22 19:08 by dwatry.

Date: 01/18/22 19:34
Re: Lufthansa Bundesbahn
Author: railstiesballast

Add a little green trim and you would have the National City Lines paint scheme, the bus organization that ran many networks in the US, often after taking over a failing electric transit line.

Date: 01/19/22 08:44
Re: Lufthansa Bundesbahn
Author: Lackawanna484

Thank you sharing.

The reflective switch indicator is interesting.

Date: 01/20/22 02:31
Re: Lufthansa Bundesbahn
Author: 86235

Strange looking things.

Date: 01/20/22 07:36
Re: Lufthansa Bundesbahn
Author: Steinzeit2

While they of course predated the ICE's, I don't think it's quite correct to say that the 403/404 were precursors as while they were both of the EMU species, they were from a different genus.  The 403/404's were built to a completely different concept:
-  They were built for high speed 1st cl  only service over the conventional network.  At the time of their conception in the late 1960's the DB's F- train network [ the F-Netz ] was in the evolving stages of the transformation into the original [ first class only ] IC service of 1971;  the three sets were ordered in the spring of 1970 and delivered three years later.
-  All cars were motored, and self-contained from a traction standpoint;  every car had a transformer and power logic, though pantographs were carried only on the end cars.  With the 16 motors and 3800+ kW giving 16 kW/ton a four car set could accelerate at 6m/sec/sec and reach 200 kph in about 100 seconds.
-  There  were not only automatic Scharfenberg couplers at the ends but also within the sets;  the high voltage connections at the roof ends were also coupled automatically.  [  Notice that in the photo in the first post only the trailing pan is raised.]
-  The pneumatic suspension was designed to permit a degree of tilt on curves, though this was never fully developed;  the body profile was contoured to permit tilt within the SBB's more restrictive dimensions.
-  A four car set had seating to TEE standards for 159 in a mix of compartments and open accommodation, with another 24 sets in the restaurant.

So technically they were superb -- but commercially it would be a different matter:
-  The DB suffered an unfortunate series of accidents in 1971-72;  while these were not really high speed related, they put the brakes on DB increasing its 200 kph goals in the immediate future.  The 103's would suffice.
-  In the mid-seventies the trend towards expanding IC service to carry 2nd cl seating began, which would eventually result in the full Every Hour, Every Class net.   The 403/4's, which were probably not that economic even in first class service, were certainly not feasible for mixed classes.
-  The Lufthansa Train to the Plane concept was a pet project of the Transport Minister;  the DB could not easily refuse, and it did provide a good use for the three sets, reworked internally at LH expense.  The other later Airport Express had a 103* and dedicated coaches.

Ah well -- they were just six years too late........

Best, SZ

* Edited to add:  Originally a 111;  replaced by 103 when NBS opened for LZB.  Surprised nobody reminded me of this  -- where are all the Märklin owners......

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/25/22 06:57 by Steinzeit2.

Date: 01/24/22 15:24
Re: Lufthansa Bundesbahn
Author: chakk

Sufferin' Succotash!

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