Stadtbahnwagen B

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Stadtbahnwagen B
KVB2043 SWB7752 Thielenbruch.jpg
First-generation vehicles from Cologne and Bonn
Type and origin
Power type electric
Builder DUEWAG, Siemens, Kiepe, Waggon Union
Build date 1973 – 1996
Total produced 470
UIC classification B'2'B'
Bo'2'Bo' (B80D)
Gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Length 28.0 meters (91 ft 10.4 in)
Width 2.65 meters (8 ft 8.3 in)
Locomotive weight 39 t
Electric system(s) 750 V DC
Performance figures
Maximum speed 100 km/h (B100 models)
80 km/h (B80 models)
Power output 2×235 kW = 470 kW
Locale Germany

The Stadtbahnwagen Typ B (translation Type "B" Light Rail Vehicle, short form B-Wagen) is a light rail vehicle used by several Stadtbahn networks in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It was mainly developed by Düsseldorf-based DUEWAG, who also built the majoritiy of vehicles in a consortium with Siemens and Kiepe. A small series of ten units was built by Waggon Union in Berlin. As the type evolved over two decades of production, some vehicles have little more in common than their outer dimensions and the basic configuration of a two-part multiple unit on three bogies with both outer ones powered. For the Dortmund Stadbahn, some cars were modified with a central section and a fourth bogie. These vehicles are referred to a B8 (eight axles).


When the Rhine-Ruhr Stadtbahn network was planned in the early 1970s, standardised rolling stock was planned as well. At the same time, a second Stadtbahn network was planned for Cologne and Bonn. Because the future Cologne Stadtbahn already had one finished tunnel, that was built with the city's own money with streetcars in mind, the Stadtbahnwagen designed for the Rhine-Ruhr network was not suitable. So, another vehicle was designed for the Cologne/Bonn network, that was capable of driving though tighter curves. This vehicle, now referred to as Stadtbahnwagen Typ B was immediately ordered by transport authorities in Cologne and Bonn, while Rhine-Ruhr authorities remained hesitant about "their" vehicle, now renamed Stadtbahnwagen Typ A. Eventually it was decided that the type "A" LRV was too unwieldy and type "B" LRVs were ordered by Essen, Mülheim, Düsseldorf, Duisburg and Dortmund. The type "A" concept, which consists of close coupled two car sets, was shelved and later revived for the Stuttgart Stadtbahn.

The Typ B formed the basis for the British-built Metrocars on the Tyne and Wear Metro, which opened in 1980.


Different variants are usually referred to by a combination of their top speed and a letter denoting the engine type.

B100S 100 km/h, Schützensteuerung (contactor control)
B80C 80 km/h, Chopper control
B80D 80 km/h, Drehstrommotoren (three-phase motors)
B100T 100 km/h, Thyristor control