Motor coaches are locomotives


Guerbetaler
 

I know that there are a few British rail fans that still don't understand that a motor coach is like a locomotive but a bit better, as it offers also seats. However, the seats are not always needed, but the motive power is. The best in this field is very recent:
<https://www.flickr.com/photos/frank_wilhelm/31332645838/in/photostream/>
Sugar beet train from Germany to Frauenfeld behind
Re 420 134-9 + RBe 540 074-2 + Re 420 154-7
(photo by Frank Wilhelm)

Markus, Gürbetal


Martin Baumann
 

That comment would start a riot on a British railway forum I am on.

Vehicles such as the RBe 4/4 or the MGB Deh 4/4 are not locomotives and are not classified as such in Switzerland.

Swiss railways, especially smaller narrow gauge ones often used railcars ("Triebwagen") to haul freight with or without passengers but that does not suddenly reclassify them as locos.

In Great Britain diesel or electric units tended not to be used to haul freight vehicles but could often be seen hauling one or two parcels vans. There were some diesel and electric units built without passenger accommodation specifically for this traffic.

In Northern Ireland until about 1980 passenger railcars were used for overnight freight working before returning to passenger service in the morning.

None of the examples above are/were regarded as locomotives.

The only case I can think of where a railcar was considered a locomotive was in Austria where ÖBB reclassified 4061 Motor Luggage Vans (Gepäcktriebwagen) as 1046 locomotives


Andrew Moglestue
 

Sorry for drifting off topic, but in Britain motzor units such as the Class 121 and 122 were initially designed to haul light freight on branch lines, either in between passenger turns or as mixed freight / passenger trains.. Hence theiy were fitted with traditional buffing gear rather than automatic couplers. But if this option was ever used, it certainly did not last long as things like mlik traffic were lost to the railways not long after.

In places like the Manx Electric it was quite normal for passenger cars to pull freight.

But the concept was definietly never as widespread as it was in Switzerland. And from today's perspective, it's actuallöy quite difficult to even imagine.

.


Max Wyss
 

I do fully understand Markus' comment.

In fact, when you look at the specifications of the RBe4/4, power and
tractive-force-wise, it does compare with locomotives (at the time), such
as the Re4/4'. And considering the trains which were hauled with the RBe4/4
during the famous Expo (the national exhibition, taking place every 25 or
so years), it is understandable that they are not "just railcars".

The SBB did have a few light railcars, for example the "Red Arrows" (plus
similar types). The BDe4/4 was already more powerful than the "typical"
railcar elsewhere.

I can see some similarity to the ÖBB Class 4061/1046, but the vehicles have
been declared "locomotive" to begin with. If you look at the Re 450 class,
they were delivered with a baggage compartment, which was used as such in
the beginning. The reason why it is no longer the case has nothing to do
with the vehicles, but with the changed services at SBB.

Another example, I would like to bring up are the ABe8/12 "Allegra"
railcars of the RhB. Their continuous power is only a little bit less
(roughly 5%) than the one of the Ge4/4'" locomotive, and the tractive force
is (because of the 8 driven axles) about 30% higher. So, locomotive or
railcar?

In my small exposure to the British railfan scene, modern railcars are
often called "plastic" in a rather derogatory way. This is definitely not
the case with some of the Swiss railcars.

Max Wyss.


Keith Hookham
 

Trust me when I say this but all new units to an English rail fan are known
as plastic. It is just they way the look compared to older units that
looked to have been made with sturdier materials.
As an aside, it is each to their own. Some people say this and some say
that. There are no actual written rules for the hobby. There is no gold
medal at the end of the hobby. It is how you want to do your own thing with
the hobby. Just because one person says it a lok and one say it is a motor
coach and one says it is a unit. Who cares as long as you get the same
enjoyment out of it?

Cheers Keith


Don
 

'I know that there are a few British rail fans that still don't understand that a motor coach is like a locomotive but a bit better, as it offers also seats.'

I see the diary card for this old contentious subject has come out again. Lack of understanding? Where I ask and if so, who cares? It's a hobby as Keith correctly points out.

Basically, a motor coach or a unit can be used to provide traction for a train other than to carry passengers, making them more adaptable to the wider traffic requirements of any railway operation. In the image provided, the motor coach is providing additional motive power to support the two locomotives and the trio is providing traction to haul the train. The fact that the motor coach has seats in this instance is somewhat irrelevant as the motor coach is not being used for its prime purpose, that of moving passengers. It is required for its traction motors not its seats. Sorted.


OL.Guerbetal
 

I fully agree with Keith's remark, that in a hobby everyone can take out of it what she or he likes. In this respect my remark was unnecessary. But only as unnecessary as the occasional motor coach bashing seen also in this group. It would be nice if the locohaulics could accept that motor coaches are very useful members of the fleet of many Swiss railway companies.

And yes, many parts of modern railway vehicles are nowadays made of some sort of plastic. However, this is also true for locomotives!

Markus, Gürbetal


Martin Baumann
 
Edited

I agree that motor coaches are useful members of the fleet and personally have no objection to them, indeed in their later years I sometimes went out of my way to travel on RBe 4/4 worked trains and I only missed 1402 and 1419, the latter destroyed in 1972.

I disagree with the classification of motor coaches as locomotives but as Keith said each enthusiast can regard motive power as they see fit.

By "bashing" I assume you mean criticism/dislike. In an English railway context this normally means to travel with a specific loco or unit or on a specific line


Guerbetaler
 

Am 18.10.2018 um 23:59 schrieb Martin Baumann:
By "bashing" I assume you mean criticism/dislike.
Yes, which is, as far as I know, the normal use in English.

I disagree with the classification of motor coaches as locomotives.
Now, my statement wasn't meant as a classification but rather
as a titel for the photo linked, which shows a motor coach
working *as* a locomotive.

For the rest, I would be glad if there would be a clear classification, what a locomotive is. There are too many motor coaches numbered as locomotives and too many locomotives numbered as motor coaches.
- DB ICE-1 and ICE-2 locomotives
- DB 91 80 0 445 ...
- ÖBB 4061/1016
- SBB Re 450, first planned as RDe 4/4
- MOB GDe 4/4
- MGB HGe 4/4' with luggage compartment
- MAKI BDe 4/4 (now in fact an Aem 4/4)
etc.

Markus, Gürbetal


Rob V
 

On 17/10/2018 17:00, Martin Baumann wrote:

That comment would start a riot on a British railway forum I am on.
Vehicles such as the RBe 4/4 or the MGB Deh 4/4 are not locomotives
and are not classified as such in Switzerland.
Even the Swiss think they are EMUs, hence the '94' exchange code ;-)

Slightly off-topic, the DB Regio Class 445 power cars are registered as locomotives by the EBA and consequently have a '91' exchange code...

Cheers,
--
Rob
"I have never understood why it should be necessary to become irrational in order to prove that you care, or, indeed, why it should be necessary to prove it at all." - Avon, Blake's 7


Guerbetaler
 

Am 17.10.2018 um 18:22 schrieb Rob V:
Even the Swiss think they are EMUs, hence the '94' exchange code
This is only true for electric standard gauge EMUs, motor coaches and railcars. All narrow gauge or rack motive power has '90' independent from the fact if the company classifies the vehicle as a locomotive or as a motor coach. So we still don't know if the MOB GDe 4/4 is a locomotive or a motor coach (or a motor luggage van).

Markus, Gürbetal