Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Milestones in German Railway History

Epoch I (1835 - 1919)
This is generally referred to as the Länderbahn era when many of the German States had their own railroads of which the major ones were the:
  • Königlich Preußische und Großherzoglich Hessische Staatseisenbahn (K.P.u.G.H.St.E.) which later became the Königlich Preußische Eisenbahn-Verwaltung (K.P.E.V.)
  • Königlich Bayerische Staatseisenbahn (K.Bay.Sts.B.)
  • Königlich Sächsische Staatseisenbahnen (K.Sächs.Sts.E.B.)
  • Königlich Württembergische Staatseisenbahn (K.W.St.E.)
  • Großherzoglich Badische Staatseisenbahn (Baden)
  • Großherzoglich Mecklenburgische Friedrich-Franz-Eisenbahn (Meckl. or M.F.F.E)
  • Großherzoglich Oldenburgische Staatseisenbahn (Oldenburg)
  • Pfalzbahn der Königlich Bayerische Staatseisenbahn (PfalzB)
One December 7th the first German train runs between Nürnberg and Fürth. Powered by the Alder (Eagle) this locomotive was built by Stephenson and Co. in Newcastle upon Tyne and followed along the lines of a Patentee 2-2-2. The locomotive would stay in service until 1857. 
In 1828, the King of Saxony founded a Technical School in Dresden (since 1890: Dresden Technical College). Johann Andreas Schubert, a universal engineer and professor at the Technical School designed the first "German" steam locomotive based upon what he had learned while traveling in England. The locomotive was built by the Übigauer Maschinebauanstalt in Dresden from his plans.
  1838 Joseph Anton Ritter von Maffei (1790-1870), the son of a businessman from Verona (Italy) who moved to Munich establishes the first locomotive factory in Bavaria, Eisenwerk Hirschau
  1840 On October 4th the last section of the München Augsburg Eisenbahn Gesellschaft railway was completed as designed by Paul Camille von Denis who also laid out the Nürnberg and Fürth line.
Edmund Heusinger von Waldegg invented what became know as the Heusinger valve gear which is similar to the Walschaert gear but was closer to the form generally adopted by most locomotives.
  1850 Principal dimensions of rolling stock are agreed by the German railway companies allowing interchange of stock.
  1853 First working rules for Prussian and North German railways.
  1854 First steam railcar - Berlin-Hamburg Railway.
  1857 First International through coach working - Frankfurt am Main - Basel.
  1866 Krauss & Comp. is founded by Dr.-Ing. e. h. Georg von Krauss (1826-1906) with a factory on the Marsfeld in Munich.
  1875 Unified signaling for all of Germany.
  1878 First Prussian 'standards' for locomotives, coaches and wagons.
Werner von Siemens demonstrated the first practical electric locomotive at the Berlin Industrial Exhibition. The  miniature locomotive produced 3 HP and carried passengers over a 300 meter long rail line. Current was drawn from a third rail between the track allowing the locomotive to haul a maximum of some thirty passengers at a speed of about four miles an hour.
90 000 people would ride Siemens' train in the four months it was on display from May 31st to August 30th.
  1880 Four years after Jules Anatole Mallet's successful demonstration of his compound system, August von Borries and the Schichau Works introduced their two-cylinder compound system to Germany. Mallet's two-cylinder compound system involved a single high-pressure cylinder passing its exhaust steam into a second, larger, low-pressure cylinder. One of the drawbacks to this system was that they to be unsteady at high speed, because one cylinder exerted more thrust than the other. Borries improved upon Mallet's work by using his own design of starting valve and his conjugated valve gear. His system kept the cut-off of the low-pressure cylinder always a little behind that of the high-pressure, thereby alleviating the unequal thrust problem.
  1881 Siemens' demonstration led to other exhibitions at Brussels, Düsseldorf, and Frankfurt. Siemens and Halske built a line to Lichterfelde, near Berlin, one and a half miles long. This line, which was opened for traffic with one electric car in 1881 and was the first public electric railway in the world. The motor was carried on a frame below the body of the car between the axles. Power was transmitted from the armature of the motor to drums on the driving axles by means of steel cables. The car carried twenty-six passengers, and could reach a speed of thirty mph on a current supply of 100 volts.
  1882 First German owned restaurant coach.
First corridor train between Berlin and Köln.
  1894 Electrical signaling block system introduced in Prussia.
  1897 Wilhelm Schmidt designed the first superheaters, equipment provided in a locomotive boiler for producing superheated steam.  Early superheaters were fitted in the smokebox and were little more than steam dryers.  Later superheaters used enlarged boiler tubes to dry the steam and raise the temperature to a higher level. His firetube superheater of 1901, rapidly fitted to thousands of locomotives throughout the world, raised thermal efficiency by up to 30%
  1899 The Royal Bavarian Railway Museum—the first museum dealing with the railways, their technology and history opened on October 1st, making it Germany's oldest museum of transport history.
One February 15th the Berlin underground opened. It ran between Warschauer Straße and Zoologischer Garten, and had a short spur to Potsdamer Platz.
The Bay.StsB. S 3/6 is considered by many as one of the finest steam locomotives ever built, J.A. Maffei built a total of 141, the first in 1908 and the last in 1930. S3/6 locomotives pulled the prestigious Rheingold Express. The last S3/6, the the "Grazie" was decommissioned in 1965.
  1909 Pfalzbahn incorporated into the Bavarian State Railway.
Formation of the Deutschen Staatsbahnwagen-Verband (German Railway Wagon Assoc.) by the eight Länderbahnen.
  1910 First Verbandsbauart wagon (freight car design standardized by the Deutschen Staatsbahnwagen-Verband) was built.
  1911 First long distance electrification in Germany - Bitterfeld-Dessau (15kv, 162/3Hz).
  1912 The K.P.E.V. introduces the first diesel-electric locomotive.
The K.P.E.V. introduces the first all steel through-corridor express passenger coaches.
  1916 The Mitropa company was founded during World War I on November 24, 1916, as Mitteleuropäische Schlafwagen- und Speisewagen Aktiengesellschaft. Its founders included different railroad companies in Germany and Austria-Hungary as an alternative to the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits (CIWL). After the war, CIWL was able to take over most routes in Central Europe outside of Germany, while MITROPA maintained most of its routes within Germany as well as routes to the Netherlands and Scandinavia.

After World War II and the division of Germany, MITROPA AG became the catering company for the Deutsche Reichsbahn, the national railroad of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). The Western part of MITROPA split off and was re-named the Deutsche Schlafwagen- und Speisewagengesellschaft (DSG) to manage the sleeping and dining cars of the Deutsche Bundesbahn in the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany).

Today MITROPA is part of the Compass Group and its division MITROPA GmbH operates stationary food services at railroad stations and highways.
Epoch II (1920 - 1945)
  1920 On April 1st the Deutsche Reichsbahn was formed from from 11 provincial railways. Two administrative regions were set up, Prussia and Bavaria.
  1924 On August 30th an act of parliament converted the Reichsbahn to a state owned enterprise or Gesellschaft. One of its first tasks was to introduce a numbering scheme that allowed to integrate the existing various classes of locomotives. For steam locomotives a numeric system or Braureihe. Class numbers of 01 to 19 indicated express train tender locomotives, numbers 20 to 39 passenger train tender locomotives, 40 to 59 freight train tender locomotives, 60 to 79 passenger train tank locomotives, 80 to 96 freight train tank locomotives (including switchers), 97 rack locomotives, 98 Lokalbahn (local railway) locomotives and 99 for narrow gauge locomotives. For example, class 01 was the first class of unified express train locomotive, and the first unit of this class received the number 01 001.

Similar numbering schemes were introduced for electric and diesel locomotives, but with prefix letters E for electrics and V (from German Verbrennungsmotor for internal combustion engine) for diesels. Electric and diesel railcars and multiple units were designated by prefix letters ET and VT, respectively (from German Elektrischer Triebwagen and Verbrennungsmotortriebwagen)
  1925 The Deutsche Reichspost was formed.
  1928 The first run of the Rheingold from Hook van Holland to Basel.
  1931 Maffei and Krauss merge to form Krauss & Comp.-J. A. Maffei AG in Allach, Germany. Locomotives are still the core product.
The Flying Hamburger (high speed diesel railcar) enters service. The "Flying Hamburger“ was the prototype of an entire fleet of two to three-car express multiple units. Following the successful completion of trials with this new train type on the Hamburg–Berlin line and on the hilly Saalfeld–Bamberg line, the Reichsbahn decided in 1933 to operate these trains on their future national express rail network. Top speed for these rail cars was 160 km/h.
On May 11th the steam locomotive 05 002 sets a world record of 200.4 kmh (125.25 mph).
  1937 The DRG becomes plain DR, and the Hoheits Adler (winged eagle + hakenkreuz (swastika)) is introduced.
  1938 Germany takes control of the countries (and railways) of Austria, the Sudetenland, Bohemia and Moravia.
  1939 Germany takes control of the countries (and railways) of Czechoslovakia, Danzig and Poland.
  1940 The DR takes over control of the railways of Luxembourg.
  1945 The 3rd Reich is defeated, and the DR is split into zones operated by the occupying forces of Britain, France, America and Russia.
Epoch III (1945 - 1970)
  1949 The German Federal (west) and Democratic (east) Republics are formed.
  1952 The DB and DR are formed.
Epoch IV (1970 - 1985)
  1973 On September 12th the electric locomotive 103 118 reaches 252.9 kmh (165.6 mph) during tests.
  1977 Last steam locomotive in regular operation retired.
  1984 On October 7th The electric locomotive 120 001 reaches 265 kmh (158 mph) during tests.
Epoch V (1985 - Present)
  1986 The first section of the Neubaustrecke (new high speed lines) from Mannheim to Graben Neudorf is completed.
  1988 The prototype Intercity Experimental sets a new German railway speed record of 406.9 kph (254.3 mph) on the newly completed high speed line between Fulda and Würzburg.
  1994 The DB and DR are merged to form the DB AG.