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 – 44 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.
- Hist. Sammlung/DB AG/Zickelbein
- David Ulrich
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 44 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 mid-April 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.
|Specification:||powered carriage/side carriage|
|Quantity:||77 quarter trains, each consisting of a powered car and a side carriage|
|Coupling length:||36.200 mm|
|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|
- Deutsche Bahn AG/Ralf Kranert
of the 485 series entered serial production in 1987.
of this series are still on active duty.