Class 103
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DB's Class 103s were fast and powerful. They powered the InterCity revolution of the '70s and '80s but were becoming expensive to operate by the late '90s. All were withdrawn by late 2002. Remarkably, four returned to front line use in 2013 when problems with ICE sets caused a locomotive shortage.
With an hourly raiting in excess of 10400kW/13900hp and a maximum speed of 200km/h, the Class 103 15kV AC Co-Co electrics had no equals, or even close competitors, when they were introduced in 1970. They were as revolutionary in Germany as the Deltics had been in Britain a decade earlier but weren't limited to a small fleet on a single route. In total 145 series locos were built between 1970 and 1973, in addition to the 4 less powerful prototypes dating from 1965.

The class worked most Trans Europ Express and InterCity services across the West German system from the early 1970s until the late 1980s, when the newly introduced Class 120s joined them. The introduction of the first ICEs in the early 1990s, together with new high-speed lines where even higher speeds were permitted, robbed the 103s of much of their prestige work. They weren't well suited to services with frequent stops and became expensive to maintain. The introduction of the Class 101s in the late 1990s allowed the 103s to be replaced and all were withdrawn by late 2002. The return to service in 2013 only lasted a couple of years and the 4 locos involved have been retired again.
page : 1009
WK000 : 2024-04-29
CS000 : 2022-08-25
CK000 : 2022-12-03
GS000 : 2022-08-28
GK000 : 2022-09-05


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