The rise of the long-distance railroad traffic
A new era, a new generation of coaches
Standard design locomotives
Service on a high level, the Mitropa
The rise of a trainlegend
A new numbering scheme for passenger cars
Beginning of the modern age, electric locomotives
A new idea, the SVT
The competitor of the SVT, the Henschel-Wegmann-Zug
Result of renewal: the Schürzenwagen
The temporarily ending
Service on a high level, the Mitropa
Before the first world war (in epoch I), the dining cars and sleeping cars were operated by a subsidiary of the CIWL. This subsidiary was the DSEG, the Deutsche Eisenbahn Speisewagen Gesellschaft. The CIWL had established this company in Germany to be able to compete better with the competitors. These competitors were a number of companies which were established by the former state railways to operate dining and sleeping cars.
At the beginning of the first world war the DSEG was taken over by the German autorities. A new company was established in 1916 to operate dining and sleeping cars, this company was the Mitropa (Mitteleuropäische Schlaf- und Spiesewagengesellschaft). Mitropa took over 116 dining cars of the DSEG and 64 dining cars and 35 sleeping cars of the CIWL. These coaches were mainly the CIWL coaches who were standing in Germany when the first world war broke out. Almost all coaches of the CIWL were returned to the CIWL after the first world war. A couple of dining cars was destroyed during the war. Mitropa took over also some sleeping cars from a number of former state railways in Germany, especially from the Prussian railways.
After the first world war, the CIWL tried to take over Mitropa because they had no subsidiary anymore in Germany. On the other hand Mitropa could not exploit services in Austria, Hungaria and a number of Balkan countries, so the DRG started negotiations with the CIWL. The DRG offered the CIWL 20% stocks of Mitropa, but the CIWL only wanted 51% of the Mitropa stock. To avoid a hostile takeover from the CIWL, Mitopa sought for other partners and found them in the "Great Eastern Railway of England" and "The Canadian Pacific Railway". These companies established an organisation, Transcontinent SA which was settled in Switserland. Mitropa gave Transcontinent 40% stocks of Mitropa in exchange for 20% stocks of Transcontinent. With this step, Mitropa was transformed to an international company with partners from the allied countries. In 1925 the DRG had 80% stock of Transcontinent.
As mentioned before, Mitropa took over sleeping cars of various former state railways in Germany. The large part of sleeping cars was orginated of the Prussian railways. The Reichsbahn took over 89 sleeping cars of the KPEV and sold them to Mitropa between 1921 and 1925. The rest of the sleeping cars was rented by Mitropa, and remained the property of the Reichsbahn. The coaches of the former state railways were mainly six axle wooden coaches.
In 1921 new sleeping cars were ordered, until 1923 they were ordered by the Reichsbahn and were rented by Mitropa. After 1923 Mitropa ordered their coaches on their own account. The following types of sleeping cars were built between 1921 and 1941 (Sleepingcoaches built between 1921 and 1941). More information about the sleeping cars of Mitropa can be found at the Mitropa sleeping cars.
Until 1925 the sleeping cars got a serial number that started with a number that depended on the number of beds in the coach. So a sleeping car with 16 beds got number 1601, and a coach with 18 beds got number 1801 and a coach with 20 beds got number 2001. The sleeping cars 2001-2049 had walls between the compartments which were at right angles to the sidewalls, and the coaches 2051-2072 had walls between the compartments which were placed in an angle with the sidewalls. New sleeping cars which were built after the first world war started with number 21.
In 1926 Mitropa introduced a new number scheme. They used now five instead of four numbers. The first two numbers indicated the number of beds, the third number indicated the type of brakes used (0-5 automatic brakes, 6-7 automatic and half-automatic airbrakes, 8-9 Hardy brakes in combination with airbrakes). The fourth number indicated the number of axles (0-4 four axles, 5-9 six axles) and the fifth number indicated if the compartments had a straight wall in between (even number) or a wall which was in an angle with the sidewall (odd number).
Besides sleeping cars, Mitropa had also dining cars at their disposal. In the beginning Mitropa used dining cars from the former state railways. But in 1928 the first new dining cars were ordered by Mitropa. The following types of dining cars were built between 1928 and 1939 (Diningcoaches build between 1928 and 1939). More information about these coaches can be found at the Mitropa dining cars.
In Germany Mitropa operated the dining cars and sleeping car services in most of the FD and D trains. Also the dinings in the FDt trainsets was operated by Mitropa. In comparison with the FD and D trains, the L-trains were operated by the CIWL, and of course also the dining, salon and sleeping cars in the L-trains. After the first world war the DRG had to gave passage to CIWL trains, and these trains must achieve the same speed as domestic trains of the DRG. Mitropa operated also the dining cars in international FD and D trains, like the FD 111/112 Hook of Holland-Berlin, and of course the famous Rheingold which ran from Hook of Holland to Basel. This train consisted of salon coaches where the catering was operated by Mitropa.
To compete with the L-trains of the CIWL, Mitropa operated by themselves a couple of L-trains. The following L-trains were operated by Mitropa. See also the routes of epoch II.
- L 92/91 Saßnitz/Stralsund-Basel SBB "Skandinavien-Schweiz-Expreß" (period: 04-02-1922 until summer 1926)
- L 198/191 London Liverpool-München "London-Holland-München-Expreßzug" (period: 30-06-1922 until 05-09-1922)
- L 111/112 London-Berlin "London-Berlin-Expreß" (period: 02-12-1922 until summer 1925)
Mitropa had also several salon coaches. After the first world war Mitropa took over seven former imperial salon coaches from the Reichsbahn. One coach was converted to a salon/sleeper coach, one coach was converted to a salon/dining coach and the remaining five coaches were converted to salon coaches. The following types of salon coaches were used by Mitropa (Mitropa saloncoaches between 1925-1936). More information about these salon cars can be found at the Mitropa salon cars.
The salon cars were used in the following trains from the summer of 1925: FD 111/112 Hook of Holland-Berlin, FD 164/163 Hook of Holland-Basel (until 1927/28). From June 1927 in FD 24/23 Berlin-Altona and from the summer of 1928 on the same route in train FD 26/25. The salon cars L1 up to L6 were used in these trains and in FD 111/112 until the winter of 1933/34 and FD 24/23 until the summer of 1930. Salon/dining car L51 was used in train D 8/7 between Berlin and Kassel.