The accumulator railcars (Item Nr.: 72080
) were already introduced in Germany before the First World War. The 2-part accumulator railcars of the type „Wittfeld“, whose accumulators were housed in the prominent stems, operated until after the Second World War. After 1945, the German Federal Railways began again to deal with this type of power drive. The ETA 176 has made a name for itself as the „Limburg cigar“, but only eight of them were built. From 1953, the more cost-effective ETA 150, which had approximately the same features as the ETA 176, was put into service in large numbers.
From the ETA 150 (from 1968 designated series 515) a total of 232 units were built until 1965. Furthermore, 216 driving trailers of the type ESA 150 (later designated series 815) were put into operation.
The lightweight steel design of the railcar, whose accumulators were installed under the floor in the center of the car, had an excellent driving comfort due to their high dead weight and compared to the diesel railcar VT 95 and the 98 series, a low noise level. The first series up to the serial number 33 was delivered with the seat division 2 + 3 and were, according to the epoch, designed as 3rd class cars. After the discontinuation of the „wood class“ in 1956, they were redrawn and used as 2nd class cars. The subsequent series with the numbers 101 and 501 had then in the 2nd
class, the seat layout 2 + 2 and also a differently designed 1st class area. By increasing the accumulator capacity, the range has been increased to 400 km. The railcars were equipped with normal train and shock devices so reserve cars or freight cars could be coupled on as well.
The railcars were designated „Flashlight Express“ or „Akkublitz“ and were preferably used on flat land railway lines. They preferred to operate in the commuter belt around Augsburg, Schleswig-Holstein, eastern Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate, southern Hesse and the Ruhr area. The railcar formations were delivered from factory in red livery but later after 1975, were partially repainted in ocean blue / beige colour. Some operated on the so-called “Nokia line” in white / mint green colour scheme. In the period from 1982 to 1995, the vehicles were gradually decommissioned and scrapped. Some cars are now preserved in railway museums or operate for museum railways.