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  • [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    German class E69 / 169

    Possibly one of the most popular locomotive classes in Germany

    Author: John Oxlade, Salfords, Surrey, United Kingdom (email: )

    Prototype information:

    All of the E69's (there were only five) were built for the "Lokalbahn AG München" (LAG), a small railway company whose lines were mostly situated south of München. The E69's were designed to run on the line between Murnau and Oberammergau. Originally, this line was built to operate at 5.5kV AC. The Reichsbahn continued to operate this line at this voltage, although this was incompatible with the rest of their southern German electrification of 15kV. Ultimately, the DB converted the line to the standard 15kV in 1955, which now means that locos like the class 141 are usually used on the route.

    Although the E69's were specifically built to run on the Murnau-Oberammergau line, after they were converted to 15kV, they could occasionally been seen away from their original route. Unlike the E60's and E63's, the E69's were not built as shunting locomotives, although their small size might tend to suggest this. The E69's were designed from the beginning to haul normal trains, including passenger services. In their last years of services, a 'normal train' might consist of one or two E69's with one (A)Bnb Silverfish and one BDnf Silverfish coach.

    The entire class of E69's actually comprised only five locomotives. The locos '2' and '3' are the same, but the other three locos are all different. I say "are" rather than "were", as all five E69's have been preserved.


    E69 01
    Built in 1905 as LAG number 1, this was the first single-phase AC electric locomotive in Germany.
    Slightly smaller than the following E69 02 and 03, although it looks generally similar. The most obvious difference is that the 'noses' are lower.
    This loco never received a 15kV transformer, and was withdrawn in 1954, all the other E69's remained in service until the late 1970s, or early 1980s.
    During its time on the LAG, this loco was named "Katharina".
    E69 01 is preserved (in original LAG livery) in the Deutsches Museum in München.


    E69 02 and E69 03
    Locos '2' and '3' are mechanically and visually the same, although '2' was painted green by the DB, and '3' was painted red.
    These locos were built in 1909, and became LAG #2 "Pauline", and LAG #3 "Hermine".
    Both were withdrawn from normal service in 1982, but both are preserved in working order by the DBAG at Garmisch-Partenkirchen.


    E69 04
    This loco looked very different from the others when built, even though it also only had two axles. The body was one half of a 4-axle locomotive, built by Siemens, which was driven by three-phase AC (Drehstrom). The cab was at one end, not in the middle like the other four, and the pantograph was fitted on a large sheet of steel, so that it was right in the centre of the two axles. This loco was later rebuilt (as in the photo) and then looked similar to the other four locos.
    Built in 1922 as LAG #4, this loco was named "Johanna" and was withdrawn in 1977 and preserved as a static monument in Murnau.


    E69 05
    Number '5' is relatively new as it was built in 1930, and became LAG #5.
    The largest and heaviest of the E69's (it still only weighed 32 tons), it was the first of the class to be converted to 15kV.
    This loco was named "Adolphine" by the LAG.
    Withdrawn in 1982, E69 05 is preserved at Bayrisch Eisenstein.



    E69 02 passes through Ohlstadt (28th May 1989)

    Model information (H0-scale):

    For such a small class of locomotives, there have been a lot of different models of the E69's available over the years. None are currently in production, but these should still be available on the secondhand market.


    E69 01
    As far as is known, there has never been a model of E69 01.
    E69 02 and E69 03
    These two locomotives have been modelled by both Roco and Fleischmann in the past, though the "definitive" model has to be that from Brawa.
    E69 04
    As far as is known, there has never been a model of E69 04.
    E69 05
    Piko have made a model of E69 05, although it is not currently in their catalogue. The model is quite old, but the general level of detail on it is good. Although the Piko motor is not particularly sophisticated, they can run reasonably well if allowed to run in over a period of time.
    Lima did produce a model of an E69, but it was essentially a 'toy' and not a serious model.

    A model of the entire Murnau-Oberammergau line is actually a practical proposition as the stations are not too big, and a lot of suitable rolling stock is available 'off-the-shelf', especially for Epoche III and IV. You would only need the three models mentioned above, a few Lima Silverfish coaches, and a handful of wagons to be able to represent most of the rolling stock that would run on the line.


    E69 02 at Bad Kohlgrub (28th May 1989)

    Additional reading:

    There is a small book on the Murnau-Oberammergau line available from Eisenbahn Kurier-Verlag.

    [ last updated 31st Dec 2003 ]