DB Class 111

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Deutsche Bundesbahn Baureihe 111
111 214-3 Nürnberg Hbf, 2013.jpg
DB 111 214-3 at Nürnberg Hbf, 2013.
Type and origin
Power type Electric
Builder Krauss-Maffei, Henschel, Krupp, Siemens, AEG and BBC
Build date 1974–1984
Total produced 227
 • UIC Bo'Bo'
Gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Length 16.75 m (54 ft 11 in)
Loco weight 83 tonnes (82 long tons; 91 short tons)
Electric system(s) 15 kV 16 23 Hz AC Catenary
Current source Pantograph
Traction motors Four
Loco brake Knorr airbrake, electric brake
Train brakes Air
Safety systems Sifa, PZB90
Performance figures
Maximum speed 160 km/h (99 mph)
Power output 3,720 kW (4,990 hp)
Tractive effort 274 kN (62,000 lbf)
Operators Deutsche Bundesbahn
Deutsche Bahn AG
Class 111
Disposition One each scrapped in 1981 and 2008, remainder in service

The Baureihe 111 is a class of electric locomotives built for the Deutsche Bundesbahn, and now owned by Deutsche Bahn AG.


Class 111 is the successor of the Class 110 express Einheitslokomotive. Since demand for fast electric locomotives was high even after production of the 110 ended, the Deutsche Bundesbahn decided to commission a new batch in the 1970s. The bogies were replaced with a different type, significantly improving the locomotive's behaviour at higher speeds. The driver's cab also was significantly improved by the DB-Einheitsführerstand (jointly developed by the Bundesbahn-Zentralamt München and Krauss-Maffei and designed under ergonomic aspects) that was first used for Class 111 locos and whose basic layout nowadays still forms part of the cab design found in many of DB's locomotives and control cars. For the first time, a digital cab car interface in addition to the then-standard conventional interface was used in new Deutsche Bundesbahn locomotives.

The first locomotive, 111 001, left the Krauss-Maffei workshop in December 1974. Up to 1984, 226 more engines were produced, not only at Krauss-Maffei but also including parts from Henschel, Krupp, Siemens, AEG and BBC.

111 227 originally was supposed to be the last newly built conventional AC locomotive of the Bundesbahn, as the Baureihe 120, using three-phase AC motors, was already being produced.). However, after the German reunification it was decided to commission another batch of the Class 112, which had been developed by the East German railways. This decision was made mainly for political purposes.

In 1979 it was decided to use the Class 111 for the S-Bahn trains of the Rhein-Ruhr S-Bahn. Hence, the engines 111 111 to 111 188 were delivered in S-Bahn colours and equipped with S-Bahn gear (destination displays, e.g.). In the same year, the Intercity was reformed under the InterCity '79 scheme and the network was enlarged. As it was foreseeable that the Class 103 engines would be stressed with that workload, the 111's licence was extended to a speed of 160 kilometres per hour (99 mph), and from May 1980 onwards, the units could be found doing InterCity services.


  • 111 109 was involved in an accident in the station of Wels, Austria, crashing with the ÖBB 1042 560. The driver suffered only slight bruises, however 111 109 was dismantled on-site on August 29, 1981 and not rebuilt later.
  • On November 24, 2006, 111 004 crashed into a truck which unlawfully turned back on a railway crossing and was scrapped in May 2008 after reconstruction was rejected due to economical reasons. Nine people were injured in this incident.


  • The locomotive 111 111 carries the checksum 1. This is widely believed to be for cosmetic purposes (leading to a smooth looking 111 111-1 inscription) only, however the checksum is correct.
  • 111 030 was the first of the series featuring an advertising livery, advertising the musical Tanz der Vampire (Dance of the Vampires) in 2002.
  • A drawing of a Class 111 locomotive appeared on the cover of the Thomas Cook Continental Timetable[1] for 12 years, starting in 1976 and continuing through 1987.



  1. ^ "On the Cover". Thomas Cook Continental Timetable (September 27–October 31, 1981 edition), p. 485. Peterborough, UK: Thomas Cook Publishing.


  • Streil, Werner (2014). Baureihe 111: Die Entwicklung der elektrischen Drehgestell-Lokomotiven von der bayerischen EG 4 x 1/1 bis zur BR 111 [Class 111: The development of the electric bogie locomotives from the Bavarian EG 4 x 1/1 up to the class 111] (in German). München: GeraMond. ISBN 9783956130021. 

External links[edit]

Media related to DB Class 111 at Wikimedia Commons