DB Class 420

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420
Et420.jpg
Type and origin
Power type Electric
Builder MAN, WMD, LHB, MBB,
O&K, DUEWAG, WU
Build date 1969 - 1997
Total produced 480 units
Specifications
Configuration:
 • AAR Bo'Bo'+Bo'Bo'+Bo'Bo'
 • UIC 420/421
Gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Wheel diameter 850 mm (33.46 in)
Wheelbase 2,500 mm (98.43 in) (bogie)
Length 67.4 m (221 ft 2 in)
(23.3 m + 20.8 m + 23.3 m or 76 ft 5 in + 68 ft 3 in + 76 ft 5 in)
Width 3,080 mm (10 ft 1.26 in)
Axle load 15 to 24 t (15 to 24 long tons; 17 to 26 short tons)
depending on series
Loco weight 129 to 138 t (127 to 136 long tons; 142 to 152 short tons) depending on series
Electric system(s) Sweden: 15 kV 16 23 Hz AC
catenary
Current source Pantograph
Performance figures
Maximum speed 120 km/h (75 mph) (reachable within 40 s)
Power output 12 × 200 kW (270 hp) = 2,400 kW (3,200 hp)
Acceleration 0.9 m/s2 (3.0 ft/s2)
Deceleration 0.9 m/s2 (3.0 ft/s2) regular,
0.95 m/s2 (3.1 ft/s2)
(emergency stop)

The Baureihe 420 is a light-weight commuter electric multiple unit developed for the S-Bahn networks in Germany and was originally commissioned by the Deutsche Bundesbahn for the Munich S-Bahn, Stuttgart S-Bahn and Frankfurt S-Bahn networks. It could seat 194 second class, 17 or 33 first class, depending on series. The pivot distance was 16.5 m (54 ft) in cab cars and 14 m (46 ft) in trailer, with a floor height of about 1 m (39.37 in). It ran at 15 kV, 16⅔ Hz, with a tractive effort speed of 72 km/h (20 m/s; 45 mph) and acceleration of 0.9 m/s2 (3.0 ft/s2) or 2.0 mph/s (3.2 km/(h·s)).

History[edit]

EMU 420 306 at Bietigheim-Bissingen

It was built from 1969 onwards in several series, later changing the construction from steel to aluminium, making the cars more lightweight and able to carry a greater payload.

It has largely been replaced in said cities by its successor, the Class 423, but some units have been shipped to Stockholm and some have been transferred to the Rhine-Ruhr S-Bahn network. In Sweden the fifteen units received designation X420 serving on the Stockholm commuter rail, and were in service from 2003 until the arrival of the first new X60-series in 2005.

Fleet[edit]

Number Series Launch Retirement
420 001 – 003 Prototype 1969 2001-04
420 004 – 120 1st Series 1970–72 2000-04
420 121 – 200 2nd Series 1972–75 2000-09
420 201 – 260 3rd Series 1976–78 2003-11
420 261 – 324 4th Series 1977–79 2004-14
420 325 – 370 5th Series 1979–80 1999-14
420 371 – 390 6th Series 1980–81 2004-14
420 400 – 430 7th Series 1989–92 from 2013
420 431 – 489 8th Series 1993–97 from 2014

Today's service[edit]

ET 420 Plus EMU 420 400

Additionally, in the network of Frankfurt S-Bahn, all units of the class 420 have been retired in November 2014 and replaced by the new class 430. Remaining services are some weekday services on the S2 between Dachau and Altomünster of the Munich S-Bahn, some additional peak hour services on several lines of the Stuttgart S-Bahn. Additionally, several units are in operation on some rush-hour services of the Rhine-Ruhr S-Bahn around Düsseldorf since December 2014 and also Cologne since December 2015. Today, all trains of this class have been repainted in the DB-typical "traffic red" (verkehrsrot).

Two 420/421 units in Stuttgart were rebuilt by the ET 420 Plus project, adding air conditioning and passenger information displays to the trains among other things. The aim of this project was to demonstrate a less expensive alternative to new trains in order of keeping the S-Bahn fleet up to date. However, as the new long-term carrier contract with Stuttgart Region includes the acquisition of 83 new class 430 EMUs, all 420s will be withdrawn from service in Stuttgart by 2016.

Preserved Units[edit]

These trains were preserved at various museums.

  • 420 001 - Prototype, preserved at the DB Museum in Nuremberg. It is also the first Class 420, also the museum train for Munich S-Bahn.
  • 420 002 - Prototype, preserved at Deutschen Museum Verkehrszentrum.
  • 420 298 - This train is preserved at the Oberhessischen Eisenbahnfreunden in Gießen and was converted to museum train since 20 May 2015.
  • 420 300 - First Class 420 to run in Stuttgart, kept at SVG Eisenbahn-Erlebniswelt Horb am Neckar.
  • 420 400 - Prototype 420 Plus project, kept at SVG Eisenbahn-Erlebniswelt Horb am Neckar.
  • 420 416 - Prototype 420 Plus project, kept at DB Museum in Nuremberg.

Incidents[edit]

A 420 train collided with a freight train at Olching in 1972, causing some light injuries.[1] Two 420 trains collided in the Rüsselsheim train disaster of 1990, leading to 17 dead and 145 injured persons.[1]

External links[edit]