DRG locomotive classification

The series scheme of the Deutsche Reichsbahn was developed after summarizing the state railways Deutsche Reichsbahn (DR ) in 1920, to rank the four hundred undertaken by the various regional railways Steam Locomotive types as well as new vehicles. This process, which was mainly organized on the railways by Gustav Hammer, President of the Reichsbahn Central Office, lasted until 1926. Only then the final renumbering was made.

For electric and diesel locomotives and railcars corresponding schemes have only been developed in the 30s, when the stock of these types of traction was getting bigger and the previous schemes were no longer sufficient.

This series or numbering scheme has been adapted several times. It was continued by the German Federal Railroad until 1968 and at the Deutsche Reichsbahn until 1970. Thereafter, at two tracks computer-readable vehicle numbers were introduced. The new series of DB schemes and the DR but both are based on the series scheme of the Reichsbahn. In addition to the series numbers of operating system type has been developed characters containing the key to the operation information.

  • 4.1 steam railcar
  • 4.2 EMUs
  • 4.3 Akkumulatortriebwagen
  • 4.4 combustion railcars

Steam locomotives

The basic scheme consists of a root number and an order number. The root number was two digits, the serial number was at least three digits, more than four digits.

The series designation of a locomotive is obtained by omitting the last two digits of the serial number ( with root number 99, the Schmalspurloks, only the last digit ), and if necessary the hundreds blocks ( at master number 99 the ten blocks) summarizes ( in two blocks with comma, otherwise with hyphen). Example: 03 123 031 results in series, by combining results 030-2. When in 1925 procured unit locomotives accounted for the index for the series with serial numbers from 001, so that the locomotive 03 123 belongs to the class 03. In the three-cylinder variant 0310, the index must be specified.

The DR procured by the newly designed vehicles were each assigned a unique root number. Whereas the establishment of the DR taken over by the state railways locomotives were summarized by wheel arrangement and use to strain numbers, each type thus its own series number has been assigned its own range of order numbers and.

It was established a scheme with 99 strain numbers, which was divided into groups:

  • 01-19: Express locomotives
  • 20-39: Passenger locomotives
  • 40-59: freight locomotives
  • 60-79: passenger tank locomotives
  • 80-96: freight tank locomotive
  • 97: cog railway locomotives
  • 98: local railway locomotives
  • 99: Narrow gauge locomotives (also referred to as a narrow-gauge railway locomotives)

In each case, the first strain numbers of the first five areas listed above were reserved for the newly constructed unit locomotives, the rear numbers were issued to adopted countries locomotives. There was aimed to summarize locomotives of the same wheel arrangement under a master number. For example, all received express locomotives of the regional railways with the wheel arrangement 2'C the master number 17, with the wheel arrangement 2'C1 ' the master number 18 All freight locomotives with the wheel arrangement regional railways 1'D got the master number 56 assigned. The breakdown in series with a root number was done by assigning each successive sequence numbers with the last two digits of the serial number then, in turn, designated the single vehicle, while the figure (or two digits ) previously described the sub- series.

Locomotives, which were close to the retirement, received order numbers from 7,001th Were there several series under a master number, these were identified by stating the first digits of the order number as the exponent. The simple notation because in many cases the exponent was separated by a point and adds in the same font size as the series number later. The series number was independent of the Tender, which received no own vehicle number, but carried the vehicle number of the locomotive at the rear. The German Federal Railways and the German Reichsbahn have later queued newly built vehicles in the series scheme and reclassified many vehicles after conversions.

Electric locomotives

The redrawing of the electric locomotives took place in the years 1926 / 1927. For the electric locomotives and schema used in the steam locomotives with root number (series ) and serial numbers was used. The distinction was made by attaching the letter "E" in the first place. The locomotives were ordered according to their speed, number of driving axles or drive shafts.

  • E 00-29: about 90 km / h E 00: two driving axles
  • E 01-09: three driving axles
  • E 10-29: four driving axles E 10-19: two synchronized axes
  • E 20-29: more than two synchronized axes
  • E 30-39: three driving axles
  • E 40-59: four driving axles E 40-49: two synchronized axes
  • E 50-59: more than two synchronized axes
  • E 60-69: three driving axles
  • E 70-89: four driving axles E 70-79: two synchronized axes
  • E 80-89: more than two synchronized axes

In Code Correlation and design locomotives were given with rod drive smaller strain numbers as locomotives with Einzelachsantrieb.

Due to technical progress, the system was later extended and adapted again. Thus, the following scheme was:

  • E 01-99: AC locomotives ( 16.7 Hz)
  • E 101-199: DC locomotives
  • E 201-299: AC locomotives (50 Hz)
  • E 301-399: Two frequency AC locomotives
  • E 401-499: four-system locomotives
  • .01 - .19: Top speed over 120 km / h
  • .20 - .59: Maximum speed of 90 km/h-120 km / h
  • .60 - .99: Maximum speed under 90 km / h

Locomotives with internal combustion engines

The renumbering of locomotives with internal combustion engines was 1930/1931. Until then, the DR of a temporary operated.

Similar to the prefix E for electric locomotives was the identification of locomotives with the code letter "V" ( for internal combustion engine ). Then followed a four-digit operating number, where the first two digits for the series and the last two were for the order number.

  • From V01 ..: express train locomotives
  • From V30 ..: passenger locomotives
  • From V60 ..: Locomotives for the move and freight service

The locomotives were sequentially numbered directly, without referring to different types of consideration.

From 1931 a much better system has been introduced. This difference between larger locomotives with more than 150 horsepower and the so-called small locomotives.

The index letter "V" was retained. There were two or three-digit class numbers and three-digit serial numbers formed.

The series number was derived from it by the locomotive power. The number representing about one -tenth the power in horsepower.

The order numbers of digits range was 001-899 provided for standard gauge locomotives and the range 901-999 for narrow gauge locomotives.


The term small locomotive was introduced in 1931 by the Deutsche Reichsbahn on locomotives that were used in the shunting of railway stations and depots. However requirement was also an authorization for distance trips in order to determine, for example, freight cars at junctions outside stations can. Below this requirement profile, there were vehicles called the Shunting, worked exclusively in stations and depots. As the limit was an engine power of less than 150 hp and a maximum speed of 30 km / h

For the marking of small locomotives of ordinary letter "K " was introduced as a design type designation.

The root letter was supplemented by one or two letters for technical details:

  • B = drive by petrol engine (benzene )
  • D = driven by steam engine
  • ö = Drive by diesel engine ( oil)
  • S = drive by battery storage this Code letter in 1960, changed only at the German Federal Railroad in "a"
  • E = electric power transmission (by generator )
  • F = hydraulic transmission ( transmission fluid )

In addition, a subdivision was made according to ability groups for the award of Number:

  • Performance group I = motor power below 40 hp ( road numbers 0001-3999 )
  • Performance group II = engine power 40 hp ( road numbers 4000-9999 )


The railcars were classified by the DRG -free number spaces on passenger trains. Specific labeling by letters was not made. As number spaces were available 1-10 199 and from 133 000

Steam railcar

For steam railcar of the number range 1-200 was provided. The car numbers was complemented only by the name of the home management.

Two-axle motor cars were from the numbers from 1, the four-axle numbers 51

A marking with the letters "DT" was never officially used.


EMUs of Rbd Altona, Breslau and Munich were given from 1924 the first number ranges from 501 for railcars and from 5001 for sidecar. Then there was the name of the home management. Since each railway administration began to number 501, it was found that several vehicles had the same number and can only be distinguished on the basis of the Directorate designation were. Subsequent procurements further RBd were also classified in this system.

The vehicles of the Berlin S-Bahn were classified in the number ranges from 2051 for railcars and 5051 for sidecar.

In 1930 by the DRG renumbering of vehicles meant that each of the four digit car numbers was only once. Catenary railcars were classified in the number range from 1000 to 1999. The accompanying sidecar received the number range from 2001. Locomotives of the Berlin S -Bahn were sorted from 3001, the control car received the numbers from 5001 and the sidecar from No 6001.

1940 by the RZA Munich new names has. The designation system consisted of a combination of characteristic letter two - or three-digit root number (series ) and double-digit order number.

Code letters:

  • ET: Electric Railcar
  • ES: control car
  • EB: sidecar
  • EM: middle car in multipart electric trains

Strain numbers:

  • ET 01-99: Vehicles for single-phase 16.7 Hz or 25 Hz
  • ET 101-199: Vehicles for DC
  • ET 201-299: Vehicles for other power systems

According to the use of railcars these number ranges were further divided into:

  • 01-09: Remote express railcar
  • 10-39: Fast Railcars
  • 40-59: Hasten railcars
  • 60-79: transport railcars
  • 80-89: In addition to rail railcar
  • 90-99: Special railcars


The DRG ordered the Akkumulatortriebwagen from 1924 in the number range 201-700. Here, analogous to the electric railcars each directorate began to be numbered their vehicles from 201. Due to the Nachteiligkeit this system ( several vehicles had the same number and could be distinguished only on the basis of home Directorate ) led the DRG system used by the Prussian state railways since 1910 again.

All vehicles were numbered starting with 201. Means cars were prefixed with 0. The term " AT" was used only informally.

By RZA Munich 1940 new requirements for the identification of Akkumulatortriebwagen had been adopted. A renumbering took place, however, until 1948 when the German Federal Railroad. The system provided for the introduction of the electric railcar analog system with letters root number and order number.

Code letters:

  • ETA: railcar
  • EBA: sidecar
  • ESA: control car

Since all railcars were viewed as a direct current vehicles, they received the master number range 100-199 and were sorted as follows:

Combustion railcars

The Railcars with combustion engines were filed from 1924 in the number range 701-899. Even with the combustion railcars the company number to quote the home directorate has been added.

To distinguish the different types following system was introduced:

  • 701-750: two-axle railcar with carburetor engine
  • 751-799: four-axle rail cars with petrol engine
  • 801-850: two-axle railcar with diesel engine
  • 851-899: four - and multi-axis drive cars with diesel engine

With the acquisition of railcars BBÖ also the number range from 900 had to be occupied. For freight railcars in the area was used from 10 001.

Due to the increased purchase of new railcars the number ranges were no longer sufficient. Therefore, starting in 1932 for the newly purchased vehicles, lightweight ( " light railcars ") of the number range were used from 133 000. The classification of the vehicles was carried out according to the following scheme:

The classification of the vehicles took place in the order of their delivery, so that vehicles of the same type cover not contiguous number range.

The terms " VT" and " SVT " were never officially used.

An electric railcar similar labeling system was introduced by the German Federal Railroad until 1948.

Pictures of DRG locomotive classification