Our 485 series

The recently retired 485 series is our most recent historic S-Bahn.

Vier Züge der Baureihe 485 stehen nebeneinander auf vier Gleisen am Bahnhof Schöneweide
Goodbye, 485 series!

Now it's final: The 485 series of our S-Bahn fleet has been taken out of service. On it's last day of service, 12 November 2023, returned one last time to its long-time regular lines S8 and S47.

For these so-called rallies ("Sternfahrt"), four trains of the 485 from all four directions stood next to each other at Schöneweide station for two minutes almost simultaneously - once every hour at 09:57 - 09:59, 10:57 - 10:59; 11:57 - 11:59, 12:57 - 12:59 and 13:57 - 13:59 on tracks 3, 4, 5 and 6.

After five of these "rendezvous", the first farewell took place: two trains left the S-Bahn network and the other two started their very last journey: As special trains, they travelled in the opposite direction on the S41 and S42 Ringbahn lines. They narrowly missed their planned penultimate "rendezvous point" at Beusselstraße station (the so-called zero point of the Ringbahn), as the rush for the last journey was enormous and the carriages were packed. Instead, the trains then met at Wedding station before ending their journey and the operation with a final stop in Schöneweide.

485 series train

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.

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.

Baureihe 485 - noch im Coladosen-Look und ohne DB-Logo - auf der Strecke (1998)485 series train at an S-Bahn depot

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 retrofitted in our Fleet Maintenance Depot in Schöneweide from 2010. The first retrofitted 485 carried passengers again on 4 March 2011. 22 quarter-length trains of this series are currently still in service.

However, since the trains can no longer be equipped with the new train control system (ZBS), their service will end this year: On 12 November 2023, the 485 will be used for the last time as scheduled, but will still be provided as a reserve until the timetable change on 10 December. 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.

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.

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.