Control car (rail)

A control car is an unpowered railway or tramway car with a driver's cab, from which a not running at the Zugspitze train can be controlled. Control cars have all the necessary vehicle equipment of train control. Control car found at turning trains use, so that the locomotive terminal stations no longer needs to be implemented (from a pull end to the other ). The use of control car makes for a rationalization of the railway, as no infrastructure for converting a claim is made and additional staff in the form of a shunter is saved: The engineer simply enters the cab. Is the controlling car itself a locomotive, one speaks of a multiple unit.

Control cars are named after the type designation system for passenger cars in Germany by the generic letter " f" ( cab ). In Switzerland, the letter " t" in use as indicator.


In addition to classic passenger trains where a change of locomotive for direction changes had to be carried out, there were already people without trains locomotives, the trainsets. The drive and the cabs could be installed in the cars, so space and weight were reduced. The pioneer of the locomotive-hauled trains with Wendezugbeförderung was already 1936, the Lübeck- Büchener Railroad, was fitted in the back of the train, the last double-decker cars with a driver's cab. The two-piece double-decker trains were equipped with a direct shuttle train, the steam control the locomotive was moved here by an electric motor. Experiments with control cars and for reversible working steam locomotives were converted by the former Deutsche Reichsbahn (DR ) performed after 1936 had also shown that the performance of a pushed train of the one drawn is virtually indistinguishable. The widespread distribution of control car began with the traction change from steam to electric traction traction, since the remote control of electric locomotives practical and uncomplicated could proceed. Initially only used in mass transit, allow modern control systems and improvements to the running properties today also a long-distance haulage.




The German Federal Railroad ordered when ordering the n- wagon also a large number of control car. This first control type cars BDnf738 differed from the standard car only by the installation of two windows, a luggage compartment and a Behelfsführerstands on the front side of the car. These cars were like ordinary cars are also placed between two other cars and had transitions for passengers. Since the Behelfsführerstand ready put up little space and comfort, these control cars were only partially suitable for a consistent use before turning trains; from Lokomotivpersonal they received the nickname Rabbit Hutch. For procurements pure control cars were soon elected without transition possibility that were equipped with a regular cab; the old control cars were either rebuilt or scrapped. There are two different variants of this control car, the Wittenberg control cars and the Karlsruhe control car, named after the location of the authorities responsible for the remodeling repair shop. Both control cars are also still used today in consisting of n- car trains.

The system introduced by the Federal Railroad in the 1970s S-Bahn operation opened new opportunities for push-pull trains. In the S - Bahn Rhein -Ruhr testweise railcar class 420 were first used. For a series order, however, they decided on the use of locomotive-hauled trains, which should operate as a fixed unit in push-pull operation in conjunction with control car. Result was the x - carriage, which were first used in connection with locomotives of the series 111, after the turn with locomotives of the series 143. The associated control car is called Bxf796. The first three prototypes of this control car were completed in 1978 and 1979, from 1981 to 1990 followed by 102 control car for the S- Bahn Rhein - Ruhr S-Bahn Nürnberg. The control car of the x - car was the first car equipped with time- multiplex type push-pull train. The signals for controlling the locomotive are unlike previous control car transferred digitally instead of analog. In addition, for the first time the DB unit cab was used.

Around the turn of the millennium fundamental alterations found in addition to the ongoing modernization of Halberstadt center entrance cars, which also control car came with " Wittenberg head," instead, from which emerged the mode car. In the bottom frame and bogies Bmh car new car bodies were placed in aluminum construction, which also approved for 45 140 km / h control car emerged. These received a new, dynamic head shape, a continuous band of windows and modern toilets. The phasing out of the car, however, has already begun.

Also multiple units sometimes have control car. The two -car diesel multiple units of the 628 series with only a powered bogie; one half of the drive train is designed as a control cars and notwithstanding designated 928. Particularly interesting are the multiple units of class 646, which have two control cars, between which is a short drive car is located. The control car at the ends of the train are also referred to by the German course deviation with 946.

The German Reichsbahn used in regular operation initially only control car at railcar units. The first series- control cars were after long trials and the mode with individual pieces of the tags from E5- center entry control car for the S -Bahn Leipzig. The following are the five-part double-decker articulated trains DGBgqe the design in 1970, the four-part double-deck units DBvqe the design in 1971 and finally in 1974 the double-decker single-car DBmqe. These were delivered until 1990 and thereby changed several times in detail. As a consequence, existing four-part double-deck units of series in 1952 and 1961 fitted with cabs. Used was a 34-pin push-pull train with different driving switch tables for diesel and electric locomotives. Comes standard with push-pull train locomotives of the series 211, 242, 243, 110 and 118 as well as conversions from these were fitted. By 1990, however, the routes had to be individually approved for push-pull operation. After the reunification of three generations were developed on the basis of the Görlitz double-deck driving trailer whose control cars differ from each other mainly in the head shape. Double-deck control cars are found mainly in urban areas on regional express lines; while all control cars are equipped with low entries and feature a large-scale bicycle compartment. On the upper deck seating arrangement of the intermediate car deviates, some seats are arranged for reasons of space orthogonal to the direction of travel. The cars of delivery 1992 ( DABgbuzf 760) were delivered with conventional 34-pin and additional time multiplexer push-pull train, all the following only with time multiplexer.

  • Bombardier double-deck driving trailer

Control car, 2nd generation

Control car, 3rd generation

Control cars 4th generation

Bicycle compartment

Long-distance traffic

Only since 1995, in Germany there are also long-distance trains with control car that can be up to 14 cars long and 200 km / h. The IC / IR control car caused by conversions of regular passenger cars of the 1970s, by they had been equipped with a driving cab and the necessary control equipment. On the basis of this concept in 1999, the control car of the Metropolitan Express Train have been completed and approved. This seven-part Hochgeschwindigkeitswagenzuggarnituren allowed up to 220 km / h fast.

Also, some features of the InterCity Express have control car: Since the first generation of the ICE could not be split and could not be operated efficiently enough in off-peak periods, therefore, increasing the length of the successor ICE 2 was reduced and a power head replaced by a control car.


In Austria control cars were common only as components of multi-piece train set up in the early 1990s. With the conversion of busy regional connections to pull trains, the necessary control car emerged: first for the " City Shuttle" double-decker cars, then even those that matched the widespread ( storey ) Bmpz cars. In addition to the newly built electric locomotives of the series in 1014, 1016/1116/1216 and 2016, which were wendezugfähig already in the delivery state, the ranks were in 1042 and 1044 subsequently adapted for push-pull operation and redrawn in 1142 or 1144. In long-distance trains come in a few German IC / IR control cars are used, which have received authorization for independent tax for the route network of ÖBB in 2007. Remote control car traffic ÖBB come from December 2008 in the form of Railjet trains first runs regularly publicly used in Austria.


Classic Country the control car is Switzerland. In connection with the early electrification came very soon at the thought trains to be controlled by a designated first as Zugführungswagen railway carriage, in order to eliminate the terminal stations, the time-consuming maneuvers such as changing the locomotive to the other end of the train. Unlike the rest of the German language area such traits are referred to as commuter trains in Switzerland. The controller is referred to as multiple-unit control.


Control cars were so prevalent in the mid 60s in the suburbs of Budapest, Hungary, that a nearly pure push-pull operation was possible. When steam locomotives operating with (mainly the number 424) was used an indirect control, where the locomotives were occupied in pusher service with personnel who have been asked by the from command car with signaling lamps and warning bells for acceleration or deceleration. The externally visible difference between this command car to the standard used in the electric car was push-pull operation of the circulating red stripe below the windows. With the setting of steam operation the command cars were also equipped with a full push-pull train. The trains usually with locomotives of the series V43, sometimes with locomotives of the series V42 (Ward -Leonard ).

Made the cars were suitable for car series Bhv in a very simple design with two square front discs on the vertical bulkhead and also an attached three headlights. Behind the cab there is a heavy load compartment and a small seat compartment. From the central entry space the cars are the other Bhv cars the same. From the late 90s, the cars were gradually modernized and renovated, so today hardly any control car can be seen in its original state. The rebuilt cars have received their basic layout, but they were equipped with new, modern interior design, sliding doors, insulated windows and elegant facade. However, the absence of air conditioning was a mistake.


The length of pushed trains was originally restricted for the sake of cornering dynamics on 10 cars, with a maximum speed 120 km / h, after 1980 140 km / h, could not be exceeded. First, this fact has hardly represents a limitation because control cars were primarily used before local trains that reached low speeds and rarely consisted of more than 6 cars. Meanwhile speeds of 160 km / h for running in double-deck construction and thus windempfindlichere control cars are safe. A special position is occupied by the ICE 2, the advance may be up to 250 km / h thanks to a special permit from the Federal Railway Authority on the new lines with control car. Here one also had significant problems with side wind, which normally does not cause problems on slower pull trains or is controlled at least by increasing the axle load, at high speeds, however, can lead to dangerous vibrations of the car body. For this reason the route between Hanover and Berlin had to, for example, with wind warning systems that automatically in gusty cross-wind to brake down the ICE 2 at 200 km / h wind protection walls and windbreak walls are equipped.

Only when the wagon train on a " Wire Train Bus" has an access to the diagnostic features of modern locomotives is possible from the control car from. This facilitates the control of locomotives, especially in the case of failure.

Control cars in freight transport

In rail freight transport are in some cases control cars in use. Due to the necessary continuous control line this only applies to special applications. For example, the Sprinter Cargo for the construction of the Zurich diameter line was converted into a control cars for the cargo shuttle. This cab control car has a diesel engine, which is used only in the construction area and thus ensures the locomotion without catenary.

Control car at the tram

Comparatively rare are driving car in trams. One of the few exceptions was the tram Idar -Oberstein, which began in 1956 push-pull trains from 1928 to its closure. Today is the Tramway Alexandria in Egypt which.