DB Class 101 “Werbeloks”

The majority of loco-hauled Intercity trains in Germany are handled by class 101 electrics, but not all of them are in the red corporate livery. 

In the past, there have been large numbers “Werbeloks” in the 101 fleet – “advertising locos” carrying full body wraps advertising everything from early Agfa digital cameras to Mini Coopers to Zetti chocolates – indeed, only around a dozen of the 145-strong fleet have never been so-adorned.

Nowadays, however, the eye-catching liveries are generally more limited to historical commemorations or long-term formal tie-ups between DB and commercial partners, as opposed to using them simply as 200km/h billboards.

From a bashing perspective, colour obviously makes little difference (except for possibly saving you a long walk up a platform to read a number!), however as most German railway enthusiasts are predominantly interested in photography, their movements get reported – for example, on DSO Live Sightings – far more frequently than the red examples.

Here is a look at the 101 “Werbeloks” to be found across the German (and Austrian) rail networks in 2018:-

101 004 and 101 023 – BahnBKK

Above is a link to a video uploaded to YouTube by user regiosprinter-tv showing 101 004 in BahnBKK livery departing Karlsruhe Hbf in November 2017.

In August and September 2016, two previously red 101s gained a black livery advertising the railway health insurer BahnBKK, bearing the strap line “wir gehören zur Familie” (“we belong to the family”.

101 042 – CO2 / Ecophant

The above is a link to a video uploaded to YouTube by user ICE 91 Prinz Eugen showing 101 042 arriving at München shortly after it gained the livery.

Since October 2011, 101 042 has been carrying the “Ecophant” livery, trumpeting CO2 emission savings that can be made by employing DB Schenker for logistics.  An “Ecophant” – or, more accurately, an “ECO2phant” – is a unit of measurement invented by DB Schenker’s marketing partners that equates to 5 tonnes of carbon dioxide, on the reasoning that 5 tonnes is roughly what an adult elephant weighs.

101 071 – #ZeitFuerGold

The above is a link to a video uploaded to YouTube by Deutsche Bahn Konzern about 101 071’s unveiling in a gold Olympic livery.

DB AG is an official partner of “Team Deutschland” and the German Paralympic Team for Pyeongchang 2018 (the Winter Olympics) and Tokyo 2020 (the Summer Olympics).  To mark this, 101 071 emerged on 29th January 2018 – a few days before the start of the former event – in a gold livery with the hashtag #ZeitFuerGold (“time for gold”).

Indeed, Germany finished joint second in terms of gold medals (14) in the Pyeongchang Olympics (at the time of writing, the Paralympics are yet to start), so the message conveyed by 101 071 was obviously influential…possibly.

You have plenty of time to catch up with this loco, as it is intended to remain in this livery until after Tokyo 2020.

101 076 – Cewe Fotobuch

Above is a link to a video uploaded to YouTube by user BahnFan99 showing 101 076 departing Frankfurt Hbf in February 2016.

The most “red” of the true advertising liveries (as opposed to corporate-liveried 101s that simply carry a branding) is that carried by 101 076 since May 2014.  Quite simply, it advertises CEWE’s photo books.

101 112 – Rheingold

The “Rheingold” was a famous premium express train that ran from the Netherlands, into Germany and along the course of the Rhein river into Switzerland.  Discontinued in 1987, it had first run almost 90 years ago, on 15th May 1928.

Unveiled in Dessau Works on 27th April 2017 was an interesting new livery for a 101 – a variation on the beige and cobalt blue colours worn by the “Rheingold”‘s dedicated class 110s when delivered in the early 1960s.  The machine in question was 101 112.  This was a sponsored livery by the model railway dealer association w13plus and, indeed, H0 and N-gauge versions from Märklin, Piko, Tillig and Minitrix followed swiftly!

Amusingly, this was not the first locomotive to emerge in the Rheingold colours in April 2017, as w13plus had also engineered an April Fool by repainting prototype class 103 no.E03 001 in the colours on the first of the month!

The Rheingold colours are expected to be worn by 101 112 for a three-year period.

101 144 – Hertha BSC

Hertha BSC, the football club from Berlin, have been in partnership with DB since 2006 as its official carrier and shirt sponsor.  Since April 2009, 101 144 has carried a series of advertising liveries in their blue and white colours.

The newest of these was unveiled at Dessau Works by Paul Keuter of the Hertha executive board on 24th November 2017 and proclaims “die Zukunft ist am Zug!” (“the future is on the train”).

Recently Reliveried

There are a few other 101s that have lost their unique liveries only within the last few months.  Here are a couple:-

101 055 – Schauinsland Reisen

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101 055 at Hamburg Hbf, 07/04/17 (JW)

From September 2015 to December 2017, 101 055 advertised Schauinsland Reisen, a German tour operator predominantly engaged in package holidays from Germany to “sunny” destinations.

Presumably, the December 2017 timetable change marked the end of the contract, as this loco has now reverted to the corporate red livery.

101 119 – 500 Jahre Reformation

The above is a link to a video uploaded to YouTube by Deutsche Bahn Konzern regarding the wrapping of 101 119 in the “500 Jahre Reformation” design.

For the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, DB held a competition for young people to design a commemorative livery to be carried by a 101 (the loco in question was 101 119).  The winner was 18-year-old Ileana Berning, from Nordhorn in Niedersachsen.  The loco was wrapped in the fetching design at Berlin Rummelsberg and then presented to the public at Berlin Hbf on 5th April 2017.

Ileana’s design featured Martin Luther, Johann (Jan) Hus and Johannes (John) Calvin, three of the leading Protestant Reformers in Europe in the 16th century; German, Czech and French respectively.  The 101 was not the only recipient of a Reformation-related embellishment; an ICE4 was also named “Martin Luther”.

101 119 carried the livery for eight months – until 5th December 2017 – and is also now once again an anonymous red member of the fleet.  However, 185 589 of RheinCargo still carries a “500 Jahre Reformation” livery.

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