Baureihe (Class) 628 is probably the most ubiquitous vehicle on Germany's rails. When first prototypes appeared in 1974, this articulated DMU was a revolution in itself; it spelled death to the rail buses then doing most local passenger transport. Nevertheless, it took Deutsche Bundesbahn twelve more years till the first units actually took up service in 1986.

A total of about 450 628 units were built in different series, first by Waggonfabrik Uerdingen, later by Duewag, LHW, MBB and AEG, ending in 1995. Different motors by Daimler, KHD and MAN were used. In spite of the plethora of more modern lightweight DMUs available, the 628 series remains the backbone of many of Deutsche Bahn's auxiliary line services. Compared to the newcomers in the DMU scene such as the Talbot Talent, the 628's power-to-weight ratio still looks quite good.

Usually, a powered 628 half-train is joined together with a motorless half-train, which is then labeled 928 (qv. Deutsche Bahn locomotive numbering). On lines with very steep grades, sometimes two 628s are coupled to provide more power.

Technical fact sheet:

  • Concept: 2'B'+2'2' (two-part articulated diesel motor unit, two two-axled bogies per half-train, one half-train driven by a diesel engine driving the inner bogie by means of a fluid transmission) or 2'B'+B'2' (same but engines on both half-trains) for earlier models; B'2'+2'2' or B'2'+2'B' for later models where the outer, not the inner bogies are driven
  • Power: 2x204-285 kW, 375 kW, 410 kW or 485 kW depending on date built
  • Top speed: 120 km/h
  • Total weight: 60 tonnes, 62 tonnes or 64 tonnes depending on date built (i.e. 7.5 tonnes per axle or slightly more)
  • Length: 44.35 m or 45.4 m depending on date built
  • Distance between axles in bogie: 1.9 m
  • Distance between bogies: 17 m
  • Wheel diameter: 0.76 m for earlier, 0.77 m for later models
  • Seats: between 143 and 149 depending on date built