Our 485 series

Our 485 series is the oldest train type still in use. It has taken Berliners all over the city since its launch in 1987.

A child of the East

485 series train at an S-Bahn depot
There are currently four production series running on Berlin's S-Bahn rails: one of them is the 485 series.

Back in the early 1980s, today’s “vintage” S-Bahn model was absolutely state-of-the-art: our 485 series. 

Following World War Two, S-Bahn production in Berlin had more or less ground to a halt. This only changed in 1979 when Deutsche Reichsbahn (the GDR’s state railway responsible for operating all S-Bahn lines in both East and West Berlin) started engineering a brand-new S-Bahn generation. It still took until early-1990 for the first batch of production vehicles to be delivered – 22 quarter trains of which are still in use today.

Why this series was renamed

Some Berliners might remember that the 485 series used to have a different name. Back in the GDR, these trains were known as the 270s series, but this was changed shortly after reunification.

An early pioneer of sustainability

The 485 series is characterised by a lightweight aluminium construction and an electrodynamic braking system designed to feed recovered brake energy back into the electric grid. These innovations helped to cut energy consumption by a third compared to pre-war models.

Why "Coke Can"?

What earned this series its “Coke Can” moniker? The answer is simple: its unique paintwork. For quite some time, these trains sported a red finish with an anthracite-coloured window strip. While the nickname remained, the colour scheme didn’t: starting in 2002, all carriages were repainted in the traditional claret and ochre S-Bahn colours.

485 series train
After getting repainted in the traditional S-Bahn colours, little is left of the “coke can” look.
Baureihe 485 - noch im Coladosen-Look und ohne DB-Logo - auf der Strecke (1998)485 series train

Oldie, but goldie

Originally, the 485 was scheduled for gradual phasing out from the mid-2000s.  To support the S-Bahn vehicle fleet, some of these deactivated trains were reactivated from 2010, putting 22 quarter trains of this series back into service.

However, since the trains can no longer be equipped with the new train control system (ZBS), their service is expected to end in December 2023. Then, the 485 will be sent into its well-deserved retirement.

Why some trains are called 885

A closer look reveals that some carriages are labelled ‘885’. This is the production series designator for unpowered side carriages that, together with a powered railcar with operator cab, make up a whole quarter train.

Colour our S-Bahn

Paint those trains!

Our S-Bahn series trains are also available as colouring pages. Just download and get creative!

Technical specifications
Specification:powered carriage/side carriage
Quantity:22 quarter trains, each consisting of a powered car and a side carriage
Coupling length:36.200 mm
Vehicle width:3.000mm
Floor height:1.120 mm
Seats (additional standing capacity):102 (202)
Maximum speed:90 km/h
Maximum acceleration:0,68 m/s²
Bogie axle base distance:2.200 mm
Performance:4 x120 kW = 480 kW
Supply voltage:750 V DC
Empty weight:60,0 t
485 series

BR 485: then and now


quarter trains

of the 485 series entered serial production in 1987. 


quarter trains

of this series are still on active duty.

Other S-Bahn train series

480 series twin unit

480 Series

Driver’s cabs at both ends of each quarter train make our 70 series 480 quarter trains especially versatile.

481 series train at Berlin Friedrichstraße

481 Series

Most of our fleet is composed of 500 series 481 quarter trains, first used in 1996.

Introducing the new S-Bahn Berlin series look

New S-Bahn trains for Berlin

Quieter, brighter, more comfortable: our new S-Bahn has made the S47 a smoother ride since early 2021.