Train Simulator – German Brake Weight Guide

This guide is to help scenario builders make use of putting consists together that make use of the PZB modes.


This guide is to help show you how to use the brake weight used on the German rail system in the scenario builder and which PZB mode the consist applies to. You may have noticed that PZB has three modes: O, M and U. Each mode imposes various speed restrictions that you’re train must follow for safe travel. Due to limitations in TS20xx the subject will be more simplified.

In a general view the braking weight is the braking capacity and to what speed the train will stop effectively depending on it’s weight and speed. The higher the number the faster the train can go safely while the slower the number the slower the train can go safely.

Brake Weight Markers on Locomotives and Coaches

When looking at the brake weight on the side of the loco and coaches we’ll find one of three letters: R, P, G with numbers next to each as these are the brake weight values we’ll be using. Different loco’s and coaches having different values. Here’s a few examples.

DB BR 185

DB BR 101

DB BR 294

BR 146 DABpbzkfa and DABpba

  • R: High performance brake or rapid brake has the heaviest brake weight and used for slow passenger trains that make frequent stops.
  • P: The P-brake is a fast acting brake and used for passenger trains that don’t fall into mode R like light to medium duty passenger trains.
  • G: This mode is used for freight trains.

Putting the Train Together

In this section we’ll have a look at what limitations there are in train length for the German rail system as we don’t want to make consists too long and accidentally block junctions at stations, yards and passing loops on the route being used. Trains up to 740 meters can be used and the heaviest trains on the system being the iron ore trains between Rotterdam to the Dillingen steel works weighing in at 6,000 tonnes.

With the route and starting location picked we can now build the train. Something to write down the details is a good idea as things can be a bit tricky as German wagons have a empty brake weight and loaded brake weight while some have “Automatic load deceleration”. These wagons will have a empty brake weight very similar to the wagons empty weight but when loaded the brakes will match the wagons loaded weight up to it’s maximum. For TS and TSW though there’s no partially loaded wagons as they are simply loaded or empty.

The train we’ll use for this will be a single ES 64 U2 and 25 empty Falns wagons.

Adding It All Up

Now we’ve reached the fun part of adding it all together.

This can be a little tedious as finding the correct figures for the weight of loco’s and wagons provided by DTG aren’t always accurate or implemented well in either TS20xx or TSW2. Finding more accurate figures can be time consuming so depending on how accurate you want the train to be is up to you. Rollingstock packs by 3rd party developers usually provide empty and loaded weights separately and you’ll see the difference when making custom consists in Quick Drive. For this I’ll be using figures outside of TS and links will provided further in the guide.

First we’ll add the add the loco’s brake weight mode G then the number of wagons followed by the wagons brake weight so it’ll look like this: 67 loco brake weight + 25 number of wagons x 25 brake weight = 692t.

As for the trains weight: 86 loco weight + 25 number of wagons x 25 wagon weight = 711

Now we put it together:

  • 692 x 100 / 711 = 97.32

Now what do we do with this number? Well each mode of PZB has a value to it and depending on what you ended up with is the mode you’ll use:

  • Above 111: O
  • Between 66 – 110: M
  • Under 66: U

This means our train will use PZB mode M and follow the speed limits imposed by it. Since this also a empty train we can run up to 120 km/h, however if the train was loaded then it would be restricted to 100 km/h.

Now you can enjoy the results.

R-P-G: The Brake Modes

All three PZB modes act different for the brakes. R let the brakes apply faster while G let the brakes apply more sensitive. To make the differences a bit more clear, here’s a demo video of the three different brake modes for the purpose to showcase just the differences between them it was all recorded with the same train in the same PZB mode. Of course as mentioned earlier in the guide you have to use the right PZB modes for your type of train, here in this video it’s just to showcase the differences between the brake modes without any other influences:

Setting PZB in the Editor

Now we have the brake weight of the train and know which PZB mode we need the next step is setting the train priority in the scenario editor. This will effect the older add-on’s more than newer ones. The newer add-on’s can have PZB modes fully cycled regardless of the train priority chosen but older add-on’s can only use the mode that corresponds to that priority for the whole scenario.

Here’s a list of train priorities and the corresponding PZB mode.

  • Special: Mode O
  • International: Mode O
  • Empty Stock: Mode O
  • Express Passenger: Mode O
  • Stopping Passenger: Mode O
  • Light Engine: Mode: O
  • High Speed Freight: Mode M
  • Express Freight: Mode M
  • Standard Freight: Mode U
  • Low Speed Freight: Mode U
  • Other Freight: Mode U
Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 3011 Articles
I love two things in life, games and sports. Although sports were my earliest interest, it was video games that got me completely addicted (in a good way). My first game was Crash Bandicoot (PS1) from the legendary studio Naughty Dog back in 1996. I turned my passion for gaming into a job back in 2019 when I transformed my geek blog (Re-actor) into the gaming website it is today.

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