Penultimate DB Class 103 retired from service

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103 113 at Stuttgart Hbf, 30/05/14 (JW)

Tomorrow, Thursday 30th March 2017, will see the retirement from front-line passenger service of the penultimate DB Class 103, the iconic class of 9,980hp 200km/h electric locomotives synonymous with the golden age of the Deutsche Bundesbahn.

103113 will take ECS at 11:45 from München-Pasing to Ulm Hbf.  It will then enter service as IC2518, departing at 13:56 to Stuttgart Hbf, arriving in Platform 9 at 15:00.

Another loco will then back onto the train and take it forward to its destination at Münster (Westf), departing at 15:12.  103113 will then follow light engine, running via Mannheim and Mainz directly into the DB Museum at Koblenz-Lützel, its new home.

103113 is in fact returning home, having been a previous exhibit at the museum at Koblenz.  It was returned to the main line effectively as working museum piece in early 2013 as a replacement for 103184, which was retired from traffic due to defective wheelsets.  It’s one of a total of four 103s which have enjoyed an often-unpredictable “Indian summer” of front-line passenger work over the last 8 or 9 years, covering a variety of short-term self-contained diagrams, spread literally from the Danish border all the way to Austria.  All of this despite initial withdrawal of the entire class as “life-expired” at the end of Summer 2003!

Since early 2015, just two have remained, and 103113’s retirement leaves just the youngest member of the class, 103245, to fly the flag for DB – based out of München but with no specific booked work.  Additionally, 103222 can still be seen on the main line, privately owned by Railadventure, and can often be seen on ad-hoc stock moves across Germany.

It is one of 17 survivors of this class of 149 machines.

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