DB Class E 50

The Class E 50 is an electric heavy freight locomotive built for German Federal Railways between 1957 and 1973. It belongs to the Einheits-Elektrolokomotiven (standardised electric locomotives) program and was built as heavy freight mover to be used on the increasingly electrified main lines of the DB, where they were set to replace the steam traction. In 1968 the series was redesignated as class 150 (E50). Originally the Class 150 was also suitable for passenger service, however it did not have any steam or electric heating capability for the passenger coaches.

Deutsche Bundesbahn Baureihe E 50
E50 089
Type and origin
Power typeElectric
BuilderKrupp, AEG, BBC, Henschel, Krauss-Maffei, SSW
Build date1957–73
Total produced194
Gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Length19.49 m (63.9 ft)
Axle load21.4 t (21.1 long tons; 23.6 short tons)
Loco weight128 t (126 long tons; 141 short tons)
Electric system/s15 kV 16.7 Hz Catenary
Current pickup(s)Pantograph
Safety systemsInduSi, SiFa, PZB
Performance figures
Maximum speed100 km/h (62 mph)
Power output4,500 kW (6,000 hp)
Tractive effortContinuous: 210 kN (47,000 lbf),
Starting: 450 kN (100,000 lbf)


In 1957 the first locomotive, 150 001, was delivered by AEG and Krupp. Altogether 194 locomotives were ordered and delivered.


To date, the Class 150's starting tractive effort of 450 kN (100,000 lbf) remains unparalleled on German rails—in fact it was very close to the breaking force of the chain couplings used at the time of its production. Some engines were therefore fitted with automatic coupling (type unicupler AK69e) to haul heavy ore-trains.


By 2004 all class 150 locomotives except 150 091 and 150 186 were scrapped.

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