Germany - small private cargo train operators

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Augsburger Lokalbahn


An old ex-DDR type V100.1 diesel, the Augsburger Lokalbahn no.42 is crossing a street close to the headquarters of AL. This locomotive was built in the old communist DDr as the Deutsche Reichsbahn 110 884-4 in 1978. It was renamed after the German reunification in 1992 as 201 884-4 and became part of the Deutsche Bahn AG DB 1.1.1994, but it was "z-gestellt", put out of use already in October 1994. In the summer of 1995 DB took it off its books, but it wasn't immediately scrapped, but renovated by Regental Fahrzeugwerkstätten GmbH, Reichenbach (Vogtland) and finally sold to Augsburger Lokalbahn AG in April 1998 as their no.42. AL has five of these ex-DDR V100 locomotives in use. Picture close to the headquaters of AL in Augsburg 19.7.2007 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Another picture of the same AL no.42 ex-DDR V100, ex-DB 201 884. Picture in Augsburg 19.7.2007 by Ilkka Siissalo.

Bahnlogistik 24 GmbH


The locomotive 221.134, formerly V200 134, was built for DB in 1965. It was sold to the Greek state railways OSE in 1989 and bought back to Germany in 2002. Since then it has been serving at least four different private rail operators. The orange and grey livery is from the company RTS (Rail Transport Service Germany GmbH, München), but since the summer of 2020 the machine has belonged to Bahnlogistik 24 GmbH of Dresden.
Picture from Dresden Friedrichstadt 25.11.2020 by Michal Makalouš.


221 135-7 is a former DB V200 locomotive. It was delivered in 1965 to DB and served as V200 135 until 1968 and then as 221 135-7 until 1992. It was bought in 1992 by Mrs Barbara Pirch, who is a famous lady who has privately owned many old DB locomotives. The machine was owned by Mrs Pirch until 2008, when Bocholter Eisenbahn bought it and kept until 2017. Since then it is owned by Bahnlogistik 24, a company from Dresden.
Picture from Dinslaken station 9.5.2009 by Ilkka Siissalo.


The same 221 135-7 seen from behind.
Picture from Dinslaken station 9.5.2009 by Ilkka Siissalo.

de-boxexpress-br193-hamburg_suederelbe-010719-full.jpg is a small operator which specialises on container train traffic from the North Sea harbours to inland destinations. boxXpress operates in 2019 with 24 locomotives. This one is a Siemens Vectron AC, class Br193, rented from the locomotive rental company MRCE Dispolok.
Picture from Hamburg harbour Hamburg-Süderelbe 1.7.2019 by Ilkka Siissalo.

Hamburger Rail Service hrs


A multiple electric system, second generation Bombardier TRAXX of Hamburger Rail Service hrs. This is a former SBB Cargo International machine. It still carries the designation as class Re482 according to the Swiss naming system. SBB has sold several of its TRAXX machines as they have had much less Freight to deliver especially in the German market lately. hrs is a small German operator based in Ahrensburg.
Picture from Hamburg harbour Hamburg-Süderelbe 1.7.2019 by Ilkka Siissalo.

Hector Rail


Hector Rail is a private Swedish train operator which has lately grown rapidly. Among other things, Hector Rail bought from DB old, used electric cargo locomotives of the class Br151 and also used large diesel machines of the Siemens tye ME2600 (former Norwegian Di6). This is an ex-DB Br151 machine, which Hector internally calls class 162. 16 indicates that this is an electric machine with six axles and the last "2" indicates that this is the second six axle electric locomotive type of Hector Rail. Hector runs heavy trains for Shell running between Nossen and Schwedt. Between Nossen and Coswig heavy diesels of the type ME2600 are used and then these Br151 machines take the trains forward to Schwedt.
Picture from Coswig 16.7.2018 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Three former DB class Br151 cargo locomotives, now in Hector Rails' colours.
Picture from Coswig 16.7.2018 by Ilkka Siissalo.

Hessische Güterbahn AG


Germany is a country full of small private rail operators which keep leasing, loaning and returning locomotives and wagons often without bothering to change the tapings by the sides of the trains. This is an example of a small operator. This is a Siemens ER20 "Hercules" heavy diesel engine, owned by the locomotive leasing company Beacon rail and according to the stickers leased by Hessische Güterbahn AG. Picture at Mainz Hauptbahnhof 18.12.2016 by Ilkka Siissalo.

Leipziger Dampf KulTour


This Br151 cargo locomotive was built by Henschel in 1975. In 2017 DB sold all of its Br 151 machines in western parts of Germany to Railpool and leased back most of them. Railpool put also this machine in a thorough revision and repainted it in the current blue and creme colours but in 2020 this machine was sidetracked "because of lack of need". Since October 2020 it has now belonged to Leipziger Dampf KulTour LDK which rents it to whoever needs a locomotive.
Picture from Dresden Friedrichstadt 25.11.2020 by Michal Makalouš.

MRCE Dispolok / Siemens Dispolok


MRCE Dispolok, former Siemens Dispolok, is a locomotive leasing company leasing a large number of machines to both big and small rail operators. Often - like here - especially when the lease agreement period is short, the locomotives do not at all receive any markings identifying the rail operator in question. This is a Siemens ES64 U2, also known as the German Br 182 or in Austria the first generation Taurus locomotive. In Austria these same machines are called Br1016.
Picture from Augsburg Hauptbahnhof 10.10.2015 by Ilkka Siissalo.

The former Mülheimer Verkehrsgesellschaft


Mülheimer Verkehrsgesellschaft MVG (Not to be confused with the Münchner Verkehrsgesellschaft, also MVG) was a communal bus and tram operator company owned by the city of Mülheim. Today it is a part of the company Ruhrbahn. From 15.08.2003 to 31.12.2012 MVG rented this old V100 locomotive. The machine had been delivered to what then was Deutsche Bundesbahn as V100 2309 in 1966. DB scrapped the machine in August 2002, but it wasn't broken up, but instead renovated and made to look exactly as it had been when it was new. Since 2002 Alstom Lokomotiven Service has rented it to a number of different companies and the last known renter has been (as of 2018) UTL Umwelt- und Transportlogistik GmbH from Singen. Note the small sign of MVG at the side of the locomotive. It's only a magnetic sticker which can be removed in seconds.
Picture from Düsseldorf 18.9.2011 by Ilkka Siissalo.



A tank train of chemical wagons being pulled by a third generation Bombardier TRAXX locomotive of class Br187 has also three other locomotives in tow. The second and third locomotive with their pantographs down are second generation TRAXX machines, Br 185 or Br 186, and judging by the grey livery with a blue band, they also belong to Railpool. The fourth black locomotive is a Siemens ER20 Hercules diesel and the black painting is typical of the locomotive leasing company MRCE Dispolok. It's difficult to guess which railway operator these machines are working for. Railpool as well as MRCE Dispolok are both locomotive leasing companies and their machines change from operator to operator quite often. What we do know for sure is that this TRAXX 3 machine, Br187 313, is one of the newest locomotives of Railpool. It has also one of the so called "last mile" auxiliary diesel engines, so it can operate even without overhead wires. It is a multiple electric system machine accepted for use in DE-AT-HU-RO and it was received by Railpool in 2017. It is further known that at least in 3/2017 Railpool rented it to the Hamburg based operator HSL, Hamburg Schienen Logistik and that HSL used it then for hauling similar chemical wagons as here. This may well be an HSL train.
Picture from Braunschweig main station 17.7.2018 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Same train as shown above as it was rolling past the Braunschweig main station. From this side it is possible to read some of the texts of the black Siemens ER20 diesel locomotive and now it is obvious that also it is registered to Railpool, although it carries the black livery of Railpool's competitor MRCE Dispolok.
Picture from Braunschweig main station 17.7.2018 by Ilkka Siissalo.


A Siemens Vectron of class Br193 (=Br6193) owned by Railpool but rented to SETG, Salzburger Eisenbahntransportlogistik AG of Austria. SETG has painted or taped it in its own colours.
Picture from Hamburger Süderelbe harbour 1.7.2019 by Ilkka Siissalo.


One of Railpool's Br 185 TRAXX locomotives, this time one that was rented to Rurtalbahn.
Picture from Weil am Rhein 11.7.2010 by Ilkka Siissalo.


The same TRAXX locomotive as above, here seen more from its side.
Picture from Weil am Rhein 11.7.2010 by Ilkka Siissalo.



Rheincargo is a fairly new company, founded in 2012. It has its headquarters in Neuss. It is 50:50 owned by Häfen und Güterverkehr Köln AG, HGK and Neuss-Düsseldorfer Häfen GmbH & Co. KG, NDH. Rheincargo is not exactly a very small cargo operator, since they have about 100 locomotives.
This one is a new third generation Bombardier TRAXX of Br187.
Picture from Ulm 3.7.2019 by Ilkka Siissalo.



The train driver of this Sunrail shunter engine is happily wawing his hand at the photographer as he is passing by with his container train. Sunrail is a very small rail operator based in Bruchhausen-Vilsen, south of Bremen. Here this old Br291 diesel named "Der Grüne Engel" (the green angel) is doing shunting of behalf of the company Metrans. Metrans on the other hand is mostly owned by the Hamburg harbour.
Picture from Hamburg harbour Süderelbe 1.7.2019 by Ilkka Siissalo.


The same Sunrail Br291 "green angel" as above, but seen from the other side.
Picture from Hamburg harbour Süderelbe 1.7.2019 by Ilkka Siissalo.

Spitzke Spoorbouw BV


Renovated ex-DDR diesel machines have been popular especially among small private rail companies involved in rail maintenance works. This one is an ex-DDR V100 machine of the DB class 203 owned by the Dutch Spitzke Spoorbouw BV. Picture by the Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof 26.2.2010 by Ilkka Siissalo.


A quick shot from the window of a passing train. This is an old ex-DDR locomotive of the class V22 owned by Spitzke. Nowadays an absolute rarity. Picture close to Eidelstedt station in Hamburg 9.7.2013 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Another shot of the same V22, again through a window of a moving train. Picture close to Eidelstedt station in Hamburg, this time on 8.7.2013, by Ilkka Siissalo.

TX Logistik


A container train and a foggy night in Augsburg. From the picture it is almost - but not quite - impossible to recognise the locomotive amongst the darkness and fog, but it is a Br185 TRAXX AC1 machine of the company TX Logistik. When one knows what the TXL logo looks like it is possible to see it on the locomotive front from the full size picture (click to enlarge !)
Picture from Augsburg Hauptbahnhof at late night of 10.10.2015 by Ilkka Siissalo.

Westfälische Landes-Eisenbahn WLE


WLE is an old and traditional company already, founded in 1881 as Warstein-Lippstadter Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft. The present name Westfälische Landes-Eisenbahn is from the year 1896. It has 119 km of its own rail network, but today it operates mostly outside its own net. As of 2019 WLE has 19 locomotives. Passenger traffic was given up in the 1970s. Their main customers are some concrete works and the Warstein brewery. This locomotive no.82 is their newest machine. It is a Bombardier TRAXX 3rd generation machine which DB calls Br187, but WLE prefers to call it Br6187.
Picture from Hamburg Süderelbe harbour 1.7.2019 by Ilkka Siissalo.
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