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The "Akkublitz" in N-Scale

30.06.2020

The "Akkublitz" rolls on the N scale

Operations using an accumulator mobile unit were introduced in Germany before the First World War. The “Wittfeld” two-part accumulator mobile unit, the accumulators of which were accommodated in the striking front projections, were used until after the Second World War. After 1945, the Deutsche Bundesbahn began to focus on this drive configuration once more. The ETA 176 made quite a name for itself as the “Limburger Zigarre” (Limburger cigar), but only eight of these units were actually built. From 1953, the ETA 150, a less expensive model with approximately the same performance characteristics, was put into service in large numbers. Until 1965, a total of 232 ETA 150 (from 1968, series 515) units were built. Furthermore, another 216 ESA 150 (later series 815) control cars were put into operation.

The traction unit, which was produced in lightweight steel construction, and the accumulators of which were installed under the floor in the car body centre, was outstandingly comfortable to travel in due to its high dead weight, and it ran less noisily than the series VT 95 and 98 diesel railcars. The first series up to the classification number 33 was supplied with the seat distribution 2+3 and was designed as a third class carriage in the style common at that time. After use of the “ordinary
class” designation was ceased in 1956, the carriages were renamed second class carriages. The subsequent series from the numbers 101 and 501 then received the seat distribution 2+2 in the second class, and in addition a differently-designed first class area. The increase in accumulator capacity meant that the unit’s range extended up to 400 km. The traction units were equipped with normal draw and buffer gear, so that back-up or freight wagons could also be attached.

The traction units, which were mainly used on flatland lines, were often nicknamed the “Taschenlampen-Express”, “Steckdosen-InterCity” or “Akkublitz” (Pocket torch Express, Socket Intercity or Accumulator lightning). They were put into service in the Augsburg, Schleswig-Holstein, East Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate, South Hesse
and the Ruhr district regions. The traction units, which were originally supplied in red, were in part repainted in ocean blue-beige from 1975 onwards. Some of them were put into service on the so-called Nokia railway (Bochum-Gelsenkirchen) in a colour combination of white and mint green. In the time period between 1982 and 1995, the vehicles were gradually shut down and phased out. Today, several carriages are still preserved in railway museums and on museum railway lines.

We have already had the chance to take some shots of the newly constructed battery railcar (Art. No .: 740100740170) of the series 150, which later became ETA 515.
Even at this stage, the great attention to detail that went into the design of this model in the scale 1:160 is obvious. The side walls of the motor coach and the control car show equally fine engravings.
The real-size railcar had a lot of flaps, which were opened while the batteries were being loaded.
The model convincingly indicates them through its fine engravings. Further highlights are the unencumbered view into the passenger compartment and the compartment lighting equipped as standard, which can be turned on and off separately by means of a DIP-switch or the digital decoder. There is also a newly developed Z21 driver's cab for the battery railcar, which allows you to control this iconic railcar just like the real-size model.

Please note that the photos show pre-serial samples. Some of the moulds are not yet the final versions, and the composition of the sample does not show a concrete version of a real-size model.


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