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The BR151 Electric Locomotive
The Six Axle All-Rounder of the DB

We take a look at this 1970s German Electric Locomotive, which is still in use today.


At the end of the 1960s, the Deutsche Bundesbahn (German Federal Railways) required a new six-axle freight locomotive to improve its competitive situation compared to the increase in road traffic. The solution was the BR151 Electric Locomotive.

BR151 Locomotive image PK51300 Prototype.

The original Deutsche Bundesbahn livery

The locomotive was supposed to be an addition and advancement to the BR150 Electric Locomotive of the 1950s, with the task to speed-up the heavy freight train service to a speed of 120kph (75mph), from the previous 100kph (62 mph) that the BR150 was capable of reaching.

BR151 Locomotive image PK51302.

The Class 151 in DBAG blue and beige livery

Between 1972 and 1978, 170 of the locomotives were stationed in Nuremberg and Hagen. The electrical parts were developed by AEG, with the locomotives themselves being built by Krupp - with the first locomotive, 151001, being delivered on 21st November 1972.

The developers could fall back on experiences they gained from developing the BR103 Electric Locomotive. To make maintenance easier, they screwed three removable engine room covers to the frame.

When the BR151 was built it was suitable for passenger services, but changes in regulations meant that it can now only pull freight.

BR151 Locomotive image 04.

Get out the weathering kit... Double-headed 151s in Railion livery

In 1994 the vehicles were assigned as series 151 to DB Cargo. In the medium term, the DB wants to part with the locomotives and is taking them out of service during overhaul processes. Numerous locosmotives of the series 151 are sold to private railway companies and there they are still used for freight traffic.

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Piko's Model of the DB Class 151

There is a model of the first BR151 locomotive in HO Scale! The PIKO model of the electric locomotive 151 001 shows all the relevant details of its original and is characterized by its fine painting and printing, the accurate form of the body, separately attached handrails, a replica of the start-up light, a see-through engine room, sharply engraved bogies, and delicate metal pantographs.

BR151 Locomotive image PK51300.

The model is fitted with directional lighting, as well as driver’s cabin and engine room lighting. The lighting can be digitally switched with a suiting PluX22 decoder. The 5-pole motor with two oscillating weights ensures excellent driving characteristics. The heavy model with its high traction is equipped with a digital PluX22 interface according to NEM 658 standards for an easy upgrade with sound function and a large loudspeaker. Brake hoses are enclosed for retrofitting.

BR151 Locomotive image PK51303.

CAD image

With the replica of the blue-beige heavy freight locomotive of the series 151, PIKO offers a typical locomotive of the German Federal Railways from the early era V.

BR151 Locomotive image PK51300 Lights.

The design of the model is mostly identical to PK51300/1. The factory fitted PIKO SmartDecoder 4.1 Sound of the newest generation masters the data formats DCC with RailComPlus, Motorola, Selectrix and is also mfx-capable. The built-in loudspeaker is especially designed for this locomotive type. Many typical sounds like motor sound, horns, brake squeals and many more functions are individually retrievable. The mapping with 44 functions can be individually configurated. The rear lights can be switched separately. Motor sounds are also available during analogue operation.

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