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03/2024 by Klaus Kosack

New Ghlmmss [14.051] from Fleischmann's DR

Factory picture

A problem for the Reichsbahn (DR) in the GDR was the lack of large-capacity covered freight wagons, as most of the Gl came from the imperial era, along with a few Gl of the exchange type. They were old and worn out and repairs had become too expensive. From the 1930s to the 1950s, no new GLs were put into service.

Added to this was the emergence of express freight transport. In contrast to general cargo transport, express goods were loaded into baggage wagons or suitable freight wagons. The special feature was that this took place on passenger trains. General cargo wagons were normal freight wagons that were approved for speeds of up to 120 km/h. If necessary, they could also be used for the postal parcel service when postal vans were not sufficiently available, for example during Christmas traffic. The freight train mail cars were painted green.


Unlike the DB, the DR had no large-capacity boxcars until the 1960s. So they played “Mäuschen” at the DB and, like the DB, began to renovate old Glms, the former Dresden district. At the same time, they also wanted to meet the UIC requirements for such a freight wagon. The result was type Gbs (1500) freight wagons, almost all of which were manufactured by RAW “Unit” in Leipzig from 1968 onwards. At first the cars were assigned to the type Glmms 14, later Gbs (1500) and renamed again to Gbs 258 at DB AG. The first cars still had wooden panels as external cladding, then corrugated metal sheets were used to cover all subsequent cars. These cars had wooden paneling inside. The cars were all 14.02 m long; those with a brakeman's stand of 14.52 m.

1,000 of the express freight wagons were built by the Gotha wagon factory in 1969/70, 700 of which had handbrakes.  The cars had a load limit of 25 t and were approved for 120 km/h. Initially the wagons were known as Ghlmmss 14.051, later as Gbqrss [1742]. The DB AG had now said goodbye to express freight transport and these DR boxcars were no longer needed. In 1994, 236 cars were added to DB AG, which they designated as Gbqss-z 266. Most cars retained their old DR designation. Only 44 cars were given the new designation Gbqss-z 266. All cars were decommissioned by 1996. It was a trend at DB AG: They wanted to say goodbye to DR vehicles as quickly as possible.

All cars had a brakeman's stand and heating lines for steam and electrical operation. The express freight wagons ran in passenger trains, so the timetables were fixed - in contrast to the general freight wagons, which were used in freight trains.

Prototype sketch (Source: Archive of German passenger trains and freight cars)
Prototype photo (Source: St. Carstens, DB AG freight car, Fürstenfeldbruck 2014)

All cars had a handbrake stand. What do the code letters Ghlmmss mean?

h= with heating cable

l = >70 m³ and loading length of the cargo space between 12 and 14 m

mm = loading weight > 20 t

ss = suitable for trains up to 120 km/h

The number ranges of the cars are: 1742 000 to 1742 695 and the design corresponded to the UIC guidelines.



It is not the first time that a large-capacity DR boxcar has appeared in N. As early as 1987, Minitrix brought out the first model of the Gbs 258, as a DB AG version in era V. Since then, 12 variants of the car have appeared, two each of the DB-AG and DR, three of the NS and two of the DSB, a private car and now two mail vans, the first of which saw the light of day in 1997 (2nd edition 2003). This postal van was sold exclusively through the Post-Museum Shop in Ettlingen. The final set #18901, announced in summer 2020, went on sale at the end of August 2020. Absolutely record-breaking for Minitrix.

The original of the model is one of the older Gl, recognizable by the 7 beads on the side wall and door. The younger ones, on the other hand, had 10 beads.

Side view of GBS 258 from the Minitrix set

Due to their design, the cars tended to rust, especially on the inside. Due to inadequate sealing on the top belt, rainwater penetrated into the interior of the car, which led to massive rust formation. Therefore, almost half of the GBS wagons had already been decommissioned when DB AG was founded.

Let's come to the 2023 innovation from Fleischmann: Fleischmann announced the DR-Gbs [1500] at the 2021 trade fair. The first model comes from Era IV. The car is a new design by Fleischmann and was delivered in June 2022. The freight car discussed here went on sale in December 2023.

Side view of the Gbs 1500 from Fleischmann (2021)

If you look at the new Fleischmann model with the Minitrix model, which is almost the same age, differences are noticeable: The Fleischmann car has brake handles on two corners, which are missing from the Minitrix. In addition, the trusses on Minitrix are thicker.

Structurally, the model car has a standard structure: Unlike Minitrix, where the roof and housing was an injection-molded part and the chassis was weighted, the Fleischmanns provided a separate roof and doors for opening the car. The weight is installed between the housing and the chassis.

Here is some basic information about the dimensional accuracy of the car (in mm):





















Höhe (SoK)





You can see that the Fleischmann designers have done a good job here; most of the main dimensions are correct. The differences are probably due to the thickness of the material.

The car does not have a reinforcement strip on the door, as almost all cars later had - a reference to an earlier delivery series.

A look into the interior of the car shows how cleverly the doors were constructed: They have an invisible clip on the back that prevents the door from coming off during assembly and so the door can be inserted onto the pre-assembled housing and the roof can be clipped on. And the car with an opening door is ready.

Gbqss-z 266 (new 2022)
Side view of the Ghlmmss from Fleischmann (novel 2023)
new GBs from Fleischmann
Ghlmmss the DR from below
Ghlmmss the DR from the front

There is nothing wrong with the printed car numbers: the car has the number 174 2011-2 and it belongs to the number range mentioned above. The car still has transitional lettering Ep. III/IV. Car type still Ep III, all others already Ep. IV. Why the document number [14.051] is missing is probably a secret from Fleischmann.

To produce this variant, the housing of the Gbs [1500] was taken and a new chassis was given where there was still space for the brakeman's stand. During the DR era, the wagons still had an Expressgut logo, which disappeared with DB AG.

A final look was at the coupling distance of the cars from the factory. As you can see, Fleischmann solved this properly and the model railroader can be satisfied. If you like it even tighter, we recommend the professional coupling from Fleischmann (which is now available from Modellbahn Union in various lengths), the PEHO clip coupling or coupling rods.

Dome distance ex works

The cars drove very easily on the club facility and mastered all track combinations without derailing.

Use on model railways

As already mentioned, the wagons are ideal for all types of passenger and freight trains. Thanks to the wide doors, all types of express goods could be transported.

The wagons were used from the handover to the transit freight train. On passenger trains (from passenger trains to express trains) the cars were set at the front or rear. But then mostly together with the van. You can also admire this in photos from the DR era and later. At the time of the DB AG, the Gbqss 266 were among the last large-capacity boxcars with DR origins. Since the doors can be opened, you still have the opportunity to re-enact a loading scene on the loading line or on the platform. Another option is to use the wagons to transport parcels on mail trains.


For the first time, Fleischmann implemented a DR standard freight wagon as a novelty, which was not exactly rare for the prototype. They have selected a variant from the large Gl family that stands out due to its brakeman's platform. It would also be worth considering as a kitchen car with the three extractor hoods on the roof, which were set up for troop transport trains. The carts are delivered in a plastic box. It's good that the car is available separately. This means that model railroaders can put together their own needs depending on their mood.

The car is sold by Fleischmann under the order number #666022 and the price of a good €35 for a car is reasonable.


Klaus Kosack



St. Carstens/ P. Scheller freight wagons, Vol. 1.2, Fürstenfeldbruck 2019
St. Carstens et al- Freight wagons Vol. 6- Stocks and components, Fürstenfeldbruck 2011
St. Carstens et al. DB AG freight wagon, Fürstenfeldbruck 2014
Behrends/Hensel/Wiedau, freight wagons of German railways = vehicle archive, vol. 7.2, Berlin 1989
M. Dahlbeck, freight cars of the GDR 1949-1990, Stuttgart 2023
K. Kosack, New Gbqss-z 266 from DB AG from Fleischmann - DM-Toys (blog article), 2022)

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Fleischmann_6660022: Covered freight wagon DR Ep.IV

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