Diesel-Electric Tilting Train VT610

The VT610 tilting train with a Diesel-electric traction system was developed to enable faster journey times and attractive connections on curvy, non-electrified routes. Its main features are as follows:

  • Tilting technology for fast travel on bends
  • Use of a powerful diesel engine per coach
  • Electrical energy transfer to drive
  • Use of automatic centre couplers for operation as a multi-portion (divided) train to different destinations

The tilting technology is a hydraulically driven tilting technology system, in which the coach bodies are tilted relative to the bogie depending on the track curve the train is currently travelling through. In addition, the system has active lateral suspension. The coach bodies can be inclined up to 8° relative to the bogie. The tilting technology used is from FIAT Ferroviaria; it was introduced to Deutsche Bahn in the ETR401 test train and is used in a similar way e.g. in the ETR450 and ETR460 EMUs (electrical multiple unit trains) in Italy or the ICE T ET411 or ET415 in Germany. Trains using this system are also known as "Pendolinos". Pendolino is a registered trademark of FIAT Ferroviaria S.p.A., now ALSTOM Ferroviaria S.p.A.

The VT610 has two powerful 12-cylinder diesel engines from MTU, each with a capacity of 485 kW. The power of the diesel engines is converted to electrical energy with a generator (Diesel-electrical traction system) and rectified. Power converters then convert the electrical energy into three-phase electricity for the electrical traction motors. Three of the four bogies of the VT610 are powered. An electrical drive motor mounted in the coach body drives one wheelset axle per bogie via a cardan shaft.

The coach body is an aluminium differential design. The low weight of the coach body, powerful engine and electrical power transmission to the drive result in a rail vehicle offering short journey times on routes with several stops.

Thanks to an automatic centre coupler, the VT610 is also capable of being used as a divided train (portion working arrangement). On sections of the route that need higher transportation capacity, the VT610 can be deployed in a multiple heading arrangement with up to four units.

The passenger compartment is designed as a centre aisle coach for first and second class. For both classes a 2+2 seating arrangement is used. A two-part unit offers 16 first-class seats, 114 second-class seats and 6 fold-up seats in the multi-purpose area.

In operation the VT610 was very efficient in reducing journey times. Just a few months after the start of operations passenger numbers increased significantly. The intended strategy of upgrading minor routes was successfully realised with the V610.

Photograph of Diesel Multiple Unit VT610 with Tilting

Diesel-electrically driven Tilting train VT610; 160kmph; railcar; railmotor; engine car; 136 seats; engine MTU TU 12V 183 TD 12; multiple heading; multiple traction up to 4 2-car DMUs; Photograph: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Actuell37
Photograph: Wikimedia-User Actuell37

Technical Data of Diesel Tilting Railcar VT610

(for information only)

Download technical data of Diesel tilting railcar VT610 in PDF format


Platform heights for boarding:

350 mm ... 760 mm

Doors per side, per unit:


Door design:

single panel sliding-plug doors

Door control:

correct side door enabling by train driver

Number of first class seats per unit:


Number of second class seats per unit:


Number of fold-up seats per unit:


Layout of passenger area:

centre aisle



Type of WC:



fixed and sliding windows


in Germany

Multiple heading:

up to four

Maximum operating speed:

160 km/h


FIAT Ferroviaria S.p.A.

Wheel base in bogie:

2,450 mm

Traction wheel diameter:

890 mm

Carrying wheel diameter:

890 mm

Distance between bogie pivots:

17,500 mm

Axle arrangement:

2’ (A1)' + (1A)’(A1)’

Diesel engine:

MTU (TU 12V 183 TD 12)

Capacity diesel engine:

2x 485 kW

Fuel tank:

2x 1,000 litres

Total weight:

95.35 t

Maximum axle load:

15.5 t

Length over buffers:

51,750 mm

Coach width:

2,852 mm

Brake type:

load-dependent pneumatic disc brake with electromagnetic track brake (KE-R-A-Mg)


separate on-board electrical system batteries and starter batteries (all 24V)

Coupler:Scharfenberg automatic centre coupler