DB class 110 electric from 1966 aprroaching Dinslaken with a rush hour booster train, lit by a low afternoon sun in March 2012.
I couldn't find a proper English term for "Auslaufbetrieb", which describes something that's still in use, but a complete withdrawal from service is iminent. While smaller repairs are still carried out, no major overhauls are performed any more, and if a unit breaks down, it's destined for the scrap heap. It basically means that it's in service as long as it still runs, and if it suffers a major defect, that's the end of its service life. This was the fate of the class 110 at this point in time. You could still spot them every now and then, but they are no longer the main locomotive on any line. These booster trains that run once in the morning and once in the evening on weekdays were their last field of action, as this minimized wear & tear on the aging machines, enabling them to be kept in working order until they reached their limit in terms of mileage or inspection date.
Dinslaken isn't a place I visited often, but the few times I ventured here gave me nice weather and an unobstructed view of the locomotives that would soon disappear. This particular specimen was put in storage a few months after this photo due to damaged wheelsets, but was reactivated and returned to service. In the summer of next year though, it was retired for good and cut up soon thereafter. Was able to take my traditional scrapyard shot of 427, as I did of many 110s that I photographed while still in service.
I'm glad that I chased down these old 60s ladies as often as I did. Not a new photo, I know, but I thought I should upload more shots from my archive that remained unposted this far.
Funny fact: I once photographed this locomotive being pulled by her sister in terms of serial numbers, namely 110 428,
which still lives on!