DB Class 420

Shall we continue with the retro theme of the recent weeks? The DB Class 420 EMU screamed 1970s the very first time I laid eyes on it (not in a bad way). It's not bad looking by any means. In fact, it is actually refreshing to see something relatively old among all the shiny modern passenger equipment around me in the NRW.

DB 420 (14.09.1985).jpg
By Manfred Kopka - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Like the Class 111 locomotive featured last week, the Class 420 was developed by the Deutsche Bundesbahn for the S-Bahn service. It, however, was assigned to the S-Bahn networks of Munich, Stuttgart, and Frankfurt am Main instead. Each trainset consists of 3 cars. As usual, they can doubled up and work in multiple units. Like older subway cars, these mass-transit mainline trainsets do not have through gangways between cars. If you were unlucky, you'd be stuck in a very packed car, while the next one could be nearly empty.

Bahnhof Wuppertal HBF.jpg
By Michael Bienick - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

420 464-0 Köln-Kalk Nord 2015-11-03-02.JPG
By Rolf Heinrich, Köln, CC BY 3.0, Link

The technical details of the Class 420 are fairly standard, and you can find them on its Wikipedia page. They are not very powerful either (relatively speaking, in passenger equipment terms), pumping out about 3,200 hp per 3-car set (that's still more than a single F40PH, for example). Their maximum speed in service is 75 mph.

Today, they no longer work in any of the three cities mentioned above. Instead, they pop their heads up wherever they are needed. Some of the Class 420 units later even had a retirement gig in Stockholm on the SL (their suburban network), but have since been replaced by the (relatively) new X60.


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