The V 160 Diesel Locomotive Family

The V 160 Diesel Locomotive Family

By Roger Heid

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This type of Diesel locomotive encompasses a whole string of subsequent variants, referred to as the V 160 Family. Here is a brief overview.

In the beginning, there was a Diesel Locomotive called V 80. Her relative success prompted the West German DB to develop a new more powerful locomotive for both, passenger and freight service on non-electrified main lines. The planning stage stretched from 1953 until 1956.

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DB  Class V 80

The pilot of this locomotive series was the V 160, the first one being delivered in 1960. From there on in, one thing led to another. During the years to come, the V 160 spawned several variants, all of them very similar in appearance, some a little longer than others. These variants were designated V 210, V 215, V 217 and V 218. After 1968, the original V 160 was re-designated V 216.

Varying needs resulted in changes of power and on board equipment such as steam generators for steam heated passenger cars vs. electric generators for electrically heated passenger cars, or none of the above for freight purposes. All this led to multiple designations for essentially the same basic loco design. Their typical top speed was about 75 mph.

They all came in several different paint schemes. Because of the shape of the front end of the newer versions, these locos earned the nickname ‘Lollo’, referring to the Italian movie actress Gina Lollobrigida.

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During the latter years, a number of the already existing locomotives were re-built and re-designated V 226 and DH 1504. Both were relatively short lived. By 2004, the DBAG had phased out the entire fleet, but a number of these locomotives are still in use today, operated by privately owned companies.

Right from the start, the V 160 family progressively replaced steam engines such as the BR 03, BR 23, BR 38-08, BR 39, BR 50, BR 57 and BR 78.

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Maerklin, Trix and Roco are currently featuring several model representatives of the V160 Family.

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