With the class 245 a very modern diesel locomotive is introduced to model train layouts almost at the same time as the first prototype locomotives. As you have become accustomed with ESU products, our model with metal housing offers many visual and technical highlights. Let us first do a walk around the locomotive. The typical shape of a Traxx diesel locomotive with its crash optimised body is perfectly well modelled. The slightly tinted cab windows allow a clear view of the furnished cab interior decorated in several colours. Of course, you may switch the cab lighting and the illuminated driver’s cab-control panel separately.
The separately applied perforated fan grills set into the side walls correspond to the latest design modifications applied to the original in November 2013. The fans on the roof are powered by two separate motors. The chassis is quite impressive due to a large number of separately applied pipes and armatures.
Besides the attractive design the 245 also inspires with its comprehensive technical package: the locomotive is equipped with two load dependent smoke generators that can be separately switched, sensors for triggering situational sounds in curves, a LokSound V4.0M4 decoder with two speakers and a power storage unit assuring trouble-free uninterrupted running on dirty tracks or longer sets of points. Thanks to RailCom Plus® the locomotive automatically registers with suitable command stations (e.g.: ESU ECoS). Complete lighting including cab interior lights, illuminated driver’s consol, interior lighting in the engine compartment as well as shunting headlights round off the technical features.
The chassis and the housing of the model are made of metal and due to the considerable weight of about 500 g facilitate prototypical driving power. A powerful ESU skew-wound precision motor with noise optimised commutator sits in the metal chassis. Power is tamed by two flywheels and transferred to the three axles via a combined worm gear and helical gear box. The class 245 is also equipped with the universal electronics with clip-on centre pick-up and universal wheel sets already proven on other ESU models. The LokSound decoder delivers original sounds of the Caterpillar CAT C18 ACERT diesel engine. The sounds of the 6-cylinder engines are particularly accentuated due to the perforated fan grills in the chamfered roof part.
- Metal housing and chassis
- Separately applied brass and plastic detail parts
- Separate handle bars
- Perforated fan grills on the roof and the sides
- Sprung buffers
- Coupler shaft mounted onto close coupler kinematics as per NEM 362
- High performance skew-wound motor with sound optimised commutator and with two flywheels
- 3 axles powered by combined worm gear and helical gear box
- Two traction tires
- Universal electronics for usage on both DC and AC layouts
- Headlights, cab lighting, illuminated driver’s cab-control panel with maintenance-free warm white LEDs
- Controlled with an ESU LokSound V4.0 M4 decoder with two large speakers
- Curve sensors
- “PowerPack” storage capacitor for uninterrupted power supply
- Two load dependent, fan driven smoke generators with temperature control
- Length over buffers: 217.2 mm
- Minimum radius 360 mm
This locomotive known as DB class 245 is actually an electric locomotive with integral power plant. The portion of parts that are identical to the Traxx electric locomotives of the DB classes 145/146 and 185 is about 75%. Traxx is an artificial name given by the manufacturer, Bombardier, for Europe’s most successful locomotive family. DE stands for diesel electric power transmission. ME indicates multi engine, in other words a vehicle with several train traction systems. The latter characteristic is in fact the actual innovation for the Deutsche Bahn. Of course, there have been locomotives with several train traction systems in the past. After all the DB class V200 and V200.1 respectively the DR V180 had two engines providing tractive effort. At the time the reason for having two engines was simply the fact that it was technically not possible to make an engine powerful enough to generate the required performance data. Today the industry offers engines that can easily generate 2200 kW as is required for the class 245.
The DB requires new more powerful locomotives for the dieselised network of lines around Frankfurt/Main and also for the Allgäu region heading passenger trains that have been hauled by the class 218 run pretty much to their limits for almost four decades. The positive operating experience gained with the almost 1360 Traxx electric locomotives class 145/146 and class 185 encouraged the DB to lodge an enquiry with Bombardier. The excellent operating experience of Metronom (a DB subsidiary for a certain period due to the shareholding in the OHE, the Osthannoverschen Eisenbahnen) with the single engine class 246 diesel locomotive, which is also part of the Traxx family, speeded up the signing of the supply contract. Unfortunately the continued manufacture of the class 246 was hampered by new regulations regarding exhaust emissions questioned by many experts. Instead of modifying a single diesel engine in cooperation with the engine manufacturer in order to meet the regulations Bombardier proposed a different approach. The people in Kassel decided to split the electric power generation over four diesel engines. The Traxx DE ME concept is also expected to result in lower fuel consumption. Except when accelerating and on gradients the engines of conventional diesel locomotives work in the part load range. The specification, however, asks for a diesel locomotive suitable for mainline service hauling medium weight regional passenger trains and also freight trains. The contract between the DB and Bombardier comprises supply and delivery of a total of 200 locomotives for DB Regio and DB Schenker. After successful test runs with the prototype locomotive 245 001 DB Regio immediately ordered 20 locomotives destined for the regions Frankfurt/Main (six units), Mühldorf (seven units) and Kempten (seven units). The locomotives weighing 83 tons with a maximum speed of 160 km/h are powered by a six cylinder Caterpillar CAT C18 engine with a total power of 2252 kW. The electronics decide without any action by the engineer when engine power may be turned off and it also decides, which engine will actually be turned off. That way it is assured that all engines complete their maintenance cycle more or less at the same time. Clearly visible design changes of the fan grills on the sides were implemented as early as during the production of 245 004. Thus the ESU model represents the design of the original type.