DB class VT 08

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The class VT 08 was a series of combustion railcars that was used by the German Federal Railroad and the US Army in Germany.

VT 08 series 5

DB series VT 08 5 , VT 12 6
DB series 608.5, 613
DB 613 607 (ex VT 08 507) 1984 in Schachtenbeck
DB 613 607 (ex VT 08 507) 1984 in Schachtenbeck
Numbering: VT 08 501-520,
VM 08 501-522,
VS 08 501-513;
after conversion:
VS 12 505–509;
from 1968:
608/908 or 613/913;
from 1971:
613 601-620,
913 001-022,
913 601-613
Number: 20 powered end cars
22 intermediate cars
13 control cars
Manufacturer: MAN (motor vehicle), Donauwörth , Rathgeber (intermediate and control vehicle)
Year of construction (s): 1952-1954
Retirement: 1985
Axis formula : B'2 '+ 2'2' + 2'2 '
Gauge : 1435 mm ( standard gauge )
Length over coupling: 79,970 mm (three-part)
Motor vehicle: 26,385 mm
Empty mass: 121.4 t (three-part)
Top speed: 140 km / h
Installed capacity: 735 kW
or 2 × 735 kW
Driving wheel diameter: 940 mm
Impeller diameter: 900 mm
Motor type: Maybach MD 650
Daimler-Benz MB 820 Bb
MAN L12 V 17.5 / 21B
Motor type: 12 cylinder diesel engine
Rated speed: 1,500 rpm
Power transmission: hydraulic
Train control : Sifa / Indusi I54
Seats: 108 (1st class, three-part)


The class VT 08 5 is a diesel express multiple unit built for the first time in 1952 by the Deutsche Bundesbahn. Together with non-powered intermediate and control cars, it was initially used as a three-part, later also a four-part multiple unit.

The first order consisted of 13 three-part multiple units and one motor car; in 1954, six motor cars and nine intermediate cars were reordered. In the four-part trains in particular, a second VT 08 5 motor car was often used instead of the control car . As planned, 14 multiple units were formed from the existing vehicle fleet, which comprised 20 motor cars, 22 intermediate cars and 13 control cars, and used in F-train traffic.

With the VT 08 5 , the TEE era began in Germany on June 2, 1957 . However, the vehicles were soon replaced by the newer TEE multiple unit VT 11 5 .

The need for control cars was reduced by the delivery of additional motor vehicles, the VS 08 509-513 were converted into VS 12 505-509 around 1957. After 1968 these cars were operated as 913 609-613. From 1962 the general conversion into the class VT 12 6 began , whereby the railcars were adapted to the outwardly almost identical local transport class VT 12 5 . The car body had to be raised by 50 millimeters so that the trains could be coupled with the VT 12. A 2nd class open-plan compartment with 44 seats was set up in the motor car, the dining rooms and telephone compartments were omitted, most of the compartments in the motor and control cars became second class without changing the compartment size.

In 1968 the remaining units of the VT 08 5 series were given the EDP number 608.5, while the railcars that had already been converted into VT 12 6 were listed as the 613 series. The class 608.5 disappeared from the DB's inventory lists on February 10, 1971 with the last conversion and redesignation to the class 613. As the 613 series, the former VT 08 5 were then mainly used from Braunschweig in regional traffic in the Harz foreland.

The railcars were initially stationed in Hamburg-Altona, Frankfurt-Griesheim and Dortmund Bbf. Cologne-Nippes were added later. Due to electrification, however, the need for high-quality long-distance transport became less and less; in 1969, high-quality express train service ended. The railcars were concentrated in Hamburg-Altona and Braunschweig, from 1982 only Braunschweig was operational depot. The last of the originally 20 railcars built were retired by 1985. Some railcars were still sold to Italy and partially refurbished, but they were no longer used there.

Technical features and equipment

The original motor car VT 08 501-514 housed a luggage and mail room, as well as a kitchen and a dining room with 24 seats, the re-ordered motor car VT 08 515-520 received normal seats instead of a kitchen and dining compartment. There were ten compartments in the middle car, the control car had six compartments and a conference room with a table. After the class reform in 1956, the multiple units only had 1st  class .

The power of a motor vehicle was 735 kW, the top speed 140 km / h. The underframe and the frame of the car bodies are made of welded, self-supporting frame and shell construction. The eye-catching head shape was determined based on experience with the test vehicle VT 92 . The railcars had a Scharfenberg coupling .

VT 08 5 as FDt "Roland" 1953 in Oberscheden ( Dransfelder ramp )

The color scheme was purple on delivery, with a gray roof and black apron, above the apron there was a wide yellow decorative stripe. The front windows were framed in black. On the front they carried the impeller with the letters "DB" in yellow. With the introduction of the new DB logo in 1955, this was attached to the front face, the black of the front window was pulled down in a wedge shape to the Scharfenberg coupling. They kept the red color until they were retired.

"World championship train" VT 08 5 in Altenbeken


The last surviving VT 08 5 became known as the “world championship move” from the feature film The Miracle of Bern . For the film, it was labeled “ FOOTBALL WORLD CHAMPION 1954 ” in keeping with the historical model . The train with the motor cars 613 603 and 620, the intermediate cars 913 510 and 512 and the control car 913 603 is now owned by the DB Museum and was looked after by the Braunschweig BSW Group . The train could either be coupled with the second powered end car or the control car. This multiple unit is run internally as the class 688.

Since Deutsche Bahn decided against investing again in a general inspection that was due in August 2007 for cost reasons, it was decided in April 2008 to hand over the train as a permanent loan to the locomotive park on Borsigstrasse in Braunschweig. Open-air museum Braunschweiger ZeitSchiene , which opened in April 2008, was exhibited. The VT 08 has been in the Meiningen steam locomotive works on the open-air site since 2011, awaiting renovation. The cost of a restoration is estimated at two to three million euros, the financing of which is not secured.

VT 08 series 8

DB class VT 08 8
DB class 608.8
608 801 on the Paris Grande Ceinture Ringbahn, 1990
608 801 on the Paris Grande Ceinture Ringbahn , 1990
Numbering: VT 08 801-806;
VS 08 801-806
Number: 6 railcars
6 control cars
Year of construction (s): 1956
Retirement: 1973–1974, 1991
Axis formula : B'2 '+ 2'B'dh
Top speed: 140 km / h
Installed capacity: 736 kW
Motor type: Diesel engine
Power transmission: hydraulic

The two-part diesel railcar VT 08 8 is based on the VT 08 5 . It was procured by the United States Army as a two-part railcar in six copies and used in Germany. The cars were set up as luxurious saloon railcars (VT 08 801-802) and hospital railcars (VT 08 803-806).

The first year of construction was 1956, the output was 736 kW and the top speed 140 km / h. In place of the Scharfenberg couplings of the VT 08 5 , the railcar received clad buffers and screw couplings . The paint was green, since 1973 it was painted in the TEE colors beige and red. During a renovation at the end of the 1980s, the formerly split front window was replaced by a continuous window similar to that of the 103 series .

Five of the railcars (608 802-806) were decommissioned by 1974, the 608 801 (nickname: "The General") was used until 1990 as a travel and representation train for the respective American ambassador and was not retired until 1991. The last remaining railcar was parked in the apron of Heidelberg Central Station for years . It was then bought by Georg Verkehrsorganisation GmbH (GVG) . In 2007 the vehicle received a general inspection by Regental Fahrzeugwerkstätten GmbH and was repainted in blue / beige. The vehicle is parked in Karlsruhe today.


  • Fritz Engbarth: The general before returning . in: Railway courier. No. 395 / Volume 39/2005 (August issue). EK-Verlag GmbH, pp. 34-35.
  • LOK Report issue 01/2006
  • LokMagazin, December 2007, p. 21
  • Martin Weltner: Heroes of the economic miracle . In: Eisenbahn Magazin . No. 4/2016 . Alba Publication GmbH & Co KG, April 2016, ISSN  0342-1902 , p. 42-50 .
  • Oliver Strüber: Eggheads ” for long-distance and local transport . In: Eisenbahn Magazin . No. 4/2020 . Alba Publication GmbH & Co KG, April 2016, ISSN  0342-1902 , p. 10-19 .

Web links

Commons : DB Class VT 08  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Braunschweiger Zeitung: "World championship train remains in Braunschweig"
  2. This is where the world championship train from 1954 is bogging down , accessed on September 5, 2018
  3. Maik Großekathöfer: siding . In: Der Spiegel . No. 44 , 2019, pp. 61 ( online - October 26, 2019 ).
  4. Volkhard Stern: A saloon train was ready at the station - official traffic to the American Embassy in Mehlem . In: Godesberger Heimatblätter 47, 2009, pp. 84–99