FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Run Rabbit Run

Posted in Füssen, Germany, Munich by folkestonejack on June 5, 2015

Although my trip to Bavaria was not designed with railway photography in mind, it would have been remiss to have passed up the opportunities that arose on our travels.

Class 218 diesel 467-9 approaches Füssen on 5th June 2015

Class 218 diesel 467-9 approaches Füssen on 5th June 2015

The trips we made to Burghausen and to Füssen just happened to be some of the last places in Germany with a concentration of turns by class 218 diesels, better known as ‘rabbits’ on account of the appearance of their two exhaust funnels. The class was easily spotted at its peak, with 398 built in the main production run between 1971 and 1979, but their use across the network has steadily decreased in recent years. Electrification plans scheduled for the next five years will inevitably reduce this further.

I didn’t come armed with the necessary diagrams which centre around Kempten (taking in Füssen, Munich, Memmingen and Augsburg) and Mühldorf (taking in Munich and Lindau) so I was delighted to see so many on our travels. I was particularly surprised when 218 467-9 turned up at Füssen to propel our service towards Munich, not least because this example has been painted in an attractive livery to promote the Bayern ticket with illustrations of Lindau, Neuchwanstein and the Königssee (whereas most of the class are painted in red).

The rabbits of Bavaria are not yet an endangered species, but it’s marvellous to see and hear these noisy beasts whilst they’re still around.