Identification markings on DB wagons
Issue: 1952

The wagons of the DB were classified by letter markings. These markings were composed of group letters (upper case) and optional additional letters (lower case). The group letters describe the basic characteristics of a wagon while the additional letters describe further features or characterics that deviate from the basic characteristics. Furthermore, there was a two-digit type number attached to the letter markings. This was used to distinguish technical details of the wagons.

Meaning of the group letters

Group Group
letters
payload
t
Number of
axles

Special remarks

covered wagons

G group

G

15 (1)

2 or 3

flat or arched roof

GG

at least 30 (1)

4

arched roof
T group

T

15 (1)

2 or 3 refrigerated vans

TT

at least 30

4

refrigerated vans
K group

K

15 (1)

2

sliding roof, can be tipped or hinged covers

KK

at least 30

4

hinged covers
V group

V

15 (1)

2

slatted sides

open wagons

O group

O

15 (1)

2

tippable(1) sides at least 80 cm high

OO

at least 30 (1)

4

not be tippable
R group

R

15 (1)

2

with stanchions (1), ends and sides removable or foldable, load length at least 9.9 m
S group

S

15 (1)

2

iron stanchions, removable ends, up to 40 cm high, load length 13 m (1)

SS

35 (1)

4
or more

iron stanchions, load length 15 m (1)
H group

H

15 (1)

2

iron side stanchions, swivel bolsters
X group

X

15 (1)

2

sides/ends less than 80 cm high

XX

at least 25

4

sides/ends less than 80 cm high

container carriers

BT group

BT

18

2

carrier wagons with 3 removable covered or open tippable containers

Meaning of the additional letters

Additional
letter

in connection
with group
letters

Meaning

a SS brake platform, railing foldable
b G, R and T ferry wagon
c O wooden sides and ends, of 130 to 190 cm height, wagons with a payload of up to 15 t
e general wired for electrical heating
f T for sea fish only
X and XX flat wagons (wagons without sides and ends)
g G bottom flaps to unload loose goods
T only for frozen products
V 4 floors (geese van)
gg T only for dry ice and frozen products
h general steam pipe
hh G, GG and T steam pipe and steam heating
k T and TT low insulation, unsuitable for frozen products
K loadable/unloadable by crane (sliding roof)
O and OO tub wagon (with 2 or 3, OO with 4 or 5 detachable tubs)
S usable length less than 13 m
SS usable length less than 15 m
l G loading area at least 26 m2 and arched roof
O usable length at least 10 m
SS usable length at least 18 m (not for SSyl)
X usable length at least 8 m
ll G 2 wagon unit for express parcel traffic
m G, K, O, R, S and X payload 20 t
SS payload more than 35 t
mm G, K, O, R and X payload more than 20 t
n T unsuitable for frozen goods
o T and TT without meat hooks
R without stanchions (temporarily)
X and XX fixed sides and ends, higher than 40 cm
p O not tippable
r G, T, K, V, O, R and S wagons with alterable wheel sets for wider gauge
s G, GG, T, TT, K, R and BT suitable for national traffic for trains with a top speed of 100 km/h, if the last technical check took place less than 18 months ago (temporarily)
t G and GG end doors
KK hopper wagons
O gravity unloading wagons, sloping floors ("donkey back"), floor flaps, some are hoppers, not tippable
OO gravity unloading wagons, floor flaps or sloping floors ("donkey back") and side flaps
X floor flaps, some are hoppers, folding sides removable ends
S and SS low loading wagons; usable length is not expressed by additional letters, payload only expressed for St-wagons
trieb GG freight railcar
v G and GG horse box with groom department
T with electric ventilation
O wooden sides and ends, higher than 190 cm
w G, T, V, O, S, H and X payload less than 15 t
GG and OO payload less than als 30 t
SS payload less than 35 t
y SS payload 50 t with a load width of at least 2.83 m, usable length 8.8 m (9.5 m with folded brake platform railing), brake platform, platform railing foldable, wagon with alterable wheel sets for wider gauge
yl SS same as above, but usable length more than 8.8 m (9.5 m)
ym SS wagons for heavy loads, payload 80 t, usable length 11.2 m (11.9 m), brake platform, foldable railing, wagon with alterable wheel sets for wider gauge
z OO wagons for ore traffic

Meaning of the type numbers


Remarks

Tank wagons for public traffic are tempoarily included in the rolling stock. They carry the marking "EKW" (Einheitskesselwagen).

(1) Deviation from the basic characteristic are indicated by additional letters.

(2) Wagen of special type are:


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7. 3. 1998 Viktor Schiffer, e-mail: vschiffer (at) gmx.de