Identification markings on DB wagons
Issue: 1959

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
Load limit for track class B
Number of

Special remarks

covered wagons

G group


15.5 to 24.5


flat or arched roof




arched roof
T group


15.0 to 21


refrigerated vans


32 to 38


refrigerated vans
K group


15.5 to 24


roof with hinged covers, sliding or swivelling roof; some wagons with sliding walls


31 to 50

4 or 5

equipped with gravity or air discharge
V group


15,5 to 21,0


slatted sides, two or four floors

open wagons

O group

O (1)

15.5 to 27.5


tippable or with gravity discharge
sides at least 80 cm high


34 to 52

4 or 5

not tippable; some wagons with gravity discharge
R group


15.5 to 25.5


stanchions (2), end and side walls removable or foldable, load length at least 10.1 m
S group


15.5 bis 21.0


iron stanchions, removable end walls, up to 40 cm high, load length 13 m (2)


36.5 (2)

or more

iron stanchions, load length 15 m (2)
H group


15.5 bis 17.5


iron side stanchions, swivel bolsters
X group


15.5 to 27.5


sides and ends lower than 80 cm


25.0 to 50.0


sides and ends lower than 80 cm

container carriers

BT group


20.0 to 40.0

2 or 4

carrier wagons with removable tippable containers (pa-containers)

Meaning of the additional letters


in connection
with group

(statements on load limits refer to track class B)

a SS brake platform, railing foldable
b G, R and T ferry wagon
d K and KK pressurized air discharged
e general wired for electrical heating
f K end doors
T for sea fish only
X and XX flat wagons (wagons without sides and ends)
ff O dual level wagon
g K sliding walls
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 und T steam pipe and steam heating
i O wagons with tippable non-removable tubs
k T und TT low insulation, unsuitable for frozen products
K loadable/unloadable by crane (sliding roof)
O tub wagon (2 or 3 detachable tubs)
S usable length less than 13 m
SS usable length less than 15 m
kk T insulated tank for liquids, low insulation
l G loading area at least 26 m2 and arched roof
R usable length at least 12 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, T, K, O, R, S und X payload 21 t
BT payload 26,5 t
SS payload more than 35 t (not for SSym)
mm G, K, O, R und X payload more than 21 t
BT payload more than 26,5 t
n T unsuitable for frozen goods
o T und TT without meat hooks
R without stanchions (temporarily)
X und XX fixed sides and ends, higher than 40 cm
p O not tippable
r G, T, O und R wagons with alterable wheel sets for Russian wide gauge
s general suitable for trains with a top speed of 100 km/h, if the load limit inscriptions contain the letter "S" or "SS"
t G und GG end doors
K, KK, O und OO gravity unloading wagons, floor or side flaps, not tippable
S und SS low loading wagons; usable length and payload is not expressed by additional letters
X und XX floor flaps (some are hoppers) or folding sides (full length or middle part only)
u O with electro-hydraulic tipping apparatus
v K with internal coating for foods
T with electric ventilation
y SS payload 52 t with a load width of at least 3.14 m (2.735 m between stanchions), usable length 8.80 m (9.50 m with folded brake platform railing), brake platform, platform railing foldable, wagon with alterable wheel sets for Russian wide gauge
yl SS payload 50 t with a load width of 2.83 m , usable length 12.30 m (13.00 m with folded brake platform railing)
ym SS payload 82 t with a load width of at least 3.15 m (2.735 m between stanchions), usable length 11.20 m (11.90 m with folded brake platform railing), brake platform, platform railing foldable, wagon with alterable wheel sets for Russian wide gauge
z O und OO wagons for ore traffic

Meaning of the type numbers


(1) The specifications of payload, number of achsles and special features do not apply to Off wagons.

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

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7. 3. 1997 Viktor Schiffer, e-mail: vschiffer (at)