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Epoch III

A new start
The first trains after the war
The first network of long-distance trains
Moving forward, more trains, more comfort, more regularity
Pre war rolling stock again in service
The start of an international long-distance network
The blue network of fast express trains
The modern era, the rise of electric locomotives
The modern diesel locomotive is coming
A new class of coaches
The third class is abandoned
The last new steam engine
A new prestious network, the Trans Europ Express
The Rheingold, from 1962 again exclusive
A new star on rails, the electric locomotive E 03

Moving forward, more trains, more comfort, more regularity

Until October 1946 the number of passenger trains was increasing. But after the peak in October, a decline followed, due to a shortage in coals and locomotives. The deepest point was reached with the holidays in 1946.

The very hard winter of 1946/47, and later the dryness in the fall of 1947 led to heavy repercussions in the passenger services. After January 1947 the number of trains increased again until a new peak with the new timetable of 1 May 1947. The number of trains remained constant until the end of July 1947.

On 1 April 1947 the railway company in the French zone became an independent railway company. The company got the name "Eisenbahnen des Saarlandes". On 5 June 1947 the American secretary of State, George C. Marshall, proposed the European Recovery Program (ERP). This program was meant to support Europe and the German occupation zones and to get them economical healthy. Also the growing communism was playing a role in this program.

Some conditions for this Marshallplan were, that the European countries do their best for a collective economical plan. On the Marshall conference in July 1947 in Paris 16 countries were represented. The invited Eastern European countries had canceled their participation under the pressure of the Sovjet Union.

The aid of the US consisted not only of money, but also of goods, raw materials and food. Between 1948 and 1952 there was 12,4 billion dollar available for the Marshall plan. 1,5 billion dollar went to Western Germany. Many German industries, especially the coal industry and energy industrie got an extra impulse.

On 25 June the "Betriebsvereinigung der Südwestdeutschen Eisenbahnen" was founded, with a central administration in Speyer. After the independence of the railways in the Saar area the railway administration was settled in Trier on 1 July 1947.

In the fall of 1947 the railways were striked by the dryness. Due to the dryness the elektrical train operation in the American zone stagnated and the number of steam locomotives in service decreased also. Why the electrical train operation stagnated was because the water level in the Walchensee was dropped to a level that no more electricity could be generated from this water power.

The first collective timetable for passenger trains appeared on 1 September and 5 October 1947. In the beginning each zone had separate timetables, these timetables also appeared on different dates. With the summer timetable of 9 May 1948 all timetables were again adjusted to the international system of summer and winter timetables.

On 11 December 1947 the "Hauptverwaltung der Eisenbahnen (HVE)" was founded in Offenbach/Main. This company was responsible for the railways in the Bizone.

In January 1948 the number of trains increased again. Thanks to a better distribution of coals and because there was better rolling stock available. So it was possible to start on 9 May 1948 with a strongly improved timetable with better connections.

Although the long-distance traffic had many gaps, in the stop train services one had to wait sometimes 5 to 7 hours before a trains arrived. The shortage of coaches resulted sometimes in an overcrowding of 150 to 200 %.

The conditions stated in the Marshallplan implied also reformations in the Western German zones, these reformation was also called the "Wahrungsreform". Because the old Reichsmark was nothing worth anymore the authorities decided to introduce a new Deutsche Mark on 20 and 21 June 1948. The result was that the shops could already be stocked in the night with new foods. These foods were normally only available on the black market.

Immediately after the introduction of the new monetary unit there was a strong decrease in the long-distance trains, especially in the first 14 days. People didn't had anymore need for travelling long distances for foods because they could buy it now in the shops. In this period there were 22 express train pairs with about 250 passenger coaches in service on the long-distance routes. The decrease was not shown in the commuter train traffic and regional traffic.

But within three week all orginally planned trains were back on track. The overcrowding was decreased, also because there were more trains in service and better rolling stock. With the introduction of the new monetary unit the railways got more space to repair existing rolling stock. Pre war coaches which were not confiscated by the allied forces were repaired. With these coaches the railways could offer some comfort. These coaches were also used in the first express trains with a something higher level of comfort. On 3 October 1948 the first post war FD train went into service. FD 475/476 Franfurt - Bebra - Hannover - Hamburg - Kiel was only in service in the winter until 6 December 1948. On 6 December 1948 two other FD trains went into service, namely the FD 285/286 Frankfurt - Bebra - Hannover - Hamburg Altona and FD 289/290 München - Würzburg - Bebra - Hannover - Hamburg Altona. Between Hamburg Altona and Hannover the trains traveled together, the speed was around 59,5 and 62,4 km/h.

On 6 December there were already 12 international trains, 2 domestic FD trains, 27 D-trains en 3 E (Eilzug) trains in service in the Bizone.

The continuing of express trains went on, also dining and sleeping coaches came into service. The railways offered also the possiblity to reserve a seat in some trains. On 6 December 1948 it was possible to reserve seats in 26 trains, in 30 trains were sleeping coaches and in 26 trains were dining coaches.

The improvements were also very high in the regional traffic. Also in the long-distance relations were some improvements. The commuter trains around the large metropolitan areas were improved. The extra efforts also paid off in the workshops for rolling stock. So the curve went upwards in October and November 1948, and also in the British sector the last major gaps could be closed.

As a reaction on the introduction of the "Währungsreform", the Sovjet Union introduced their own "Währungsreform" on 23 June. A part of the reaction was the blockage of Berlin on 24 June. This blockage lasted until 12 May 1949. This blockage meant a distruption of all railway, water and road traffic to the Sovjet zone and Berlin.

The obligation to show a pass between the French zone and the Bizone was abandoned on 20 August 1948. On 12 September 1948 an act was introduced for the rebuilt and administration of the traffic in the united economical area (the American and British zones), and the HVE was changed in: "Hauptverwaltung der Deutschen Reichsbahn im Vereinigten Wirtschaftsgebiet (HVR)".

On 1 July 1948 the French, American and Britsh forces and the presidents of the German states (Bundesländer) in the Western zones came together to form a new constitution for a new West-German federal state. Also a parliamentary counsel was formed which came together on 1 September 1948 in Bonn. In the meantime the French zone had joined the Bizone on 8 April 1948 and was now forming the Trizone. After the approval of the military governors and after the permission of the state parliaments - with the exception of the Bavarian parliaments - the new constitution come into effect on 24 May 1949. The forming of the Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Federal Rebublic of Germany) was officially.

With the turn of the year of 1948/49 a part of the confiscated rolling stock was given back for the use in passenger trains. A part of the coaches was repaired. This was mainly done in the EAW Nürberg. The old pre war class system of three classes remained the same, the coaches which were originally meant for use in long-distance trains were as much as possible used in the long-distance trains on routes between the three western zones. Also trainsets were in service on these relations.

As one of the first long-distance relations with trainsets, DT 49/50 between Frankfurt - Mainz - Köln - Essen - Dortmund went on 6 December 1948 in service. Because of a shortage of SVT trainsets this trains was a trainset of type VT 33.2. The train went in the morning from Dortmund to Frankfurt (64,8 km/h) and in the evening back to Dortmund (63,8 km/h), the journey lasted 6 hours. With these speeds this train was one of the fastest trains at that time in Germany. The trainsets offered the pre war second class.

With the summer timetable of 1949 the FD trains FD 263/264 München - Frankfurt - Köln - Dortmund, FD 107/108 München - Holland and FD 507/508 Duisburg - Dortmund came into service.

On 7 September 1949 the Deutsche Reichsbahn, which was officially called "Hauptverwaltung der Deutschen Reichsbahn im Vereinigten Wirtschaftsgebiet (HVR)" in Western Germany got the name Deutsche Bundesbahn (DB).

With the winter timetable which started on 2 October 1949 the first pre war SVT trainsets came into service. These trainsets were released by the allied forces from their "Dienst-D-Züge" network. This network had it's last services in the summer of 1949. The trainsets were repaired and offered some comfort. SVT trainset 877 a/b went as first trainset into service. Now it had number VT 04 000 and was in service as "Schnelltriebwagen Rhein-Main" FDt 77/78 between Basel Bad Bf and Frankfurt. The trainset had only second and third class compartments and had also as first trainset a dining. With 69,9 km/h FDt 78 was the fastest train of the new Deutsche Bundesbahn. With a trainset SVT 06 the DB setup a new connection as FDt 55/56 München - Hamburg Altona. Theoretical this train had a speed of 90,5 km/h but normally this trains had lot's of delays during the journey. That was the reason why this service was abandoned. Besides the DT 49/50, also DT 41/42 between Frankfurt - Koblenz - Köln came into service.

Travelling in the post-war time in Germany, Cologne Hbf | Foto: Kenner/DB
Travelling in the post-war time in Germany, Cologne Hbf | Foto: Kenner/DB
With the summer timetable of 1950 train FD 285/286 was extended to Basel SBB and was now in service between Basel SBB and Hamburg Altona. It gave in Basel good connections with trains to the rest of Switzerland and Italy. A couple of extra SVT trainsets went also in service. These trainsets came into service as FDt 17/18 Köln - Hamburg Altona, DT 43/45 Frankfurt - Köln, DT 44 Dortmund - Frankfurt, DT 46 Köln - Frankfurt, DT 41 was via Essen extended to Dortmund. Between Frankfurt and Köln four trainpairs were now in service, and between Frankfurt and Dortmund were two pairs in service, all with old pre war second class. Also DT 251/252 Trier - Koblenz went into service, as well FDt 71/72 Franfurt - Bebra - Hannover - Hamburg Altona. This trains was a SVT trainset of type "Köln", with FDt 72 with a speed of 80,1 km/h. The speeds of the trains were slowly risen during the builtup of a new post war express train network.

A couple of new long-distance trains went into service with the winter timetable of 8 October 1950. Trains DT 25/26 Köln - Hannover - Braunschweig and FDt 19/20 Frankfurt - Köln - Hamburg Altona went into service. DT 42 started now in Dortmund instead of Köln, and DT 45/46 was only in service between Frankfurt and Bonn. Because of a shortage of trainsets in the winter of 1950, trains FDt 17/18 and DT 45/46 were pulled trains.

The winter timetable of 1950/51 was the last timetable before the start of the new F-train network, here you can see schematically all FD, FDt and high graded DT trains in the winter timetable of 1950/51.

With the Bundesbahngesetz (Bundesbahn act) of 13 December 1951 the DB was on 1 June 1952 officially carried over to the new management of the DB. The new Deutsche Bundesbahn was now officially a fact.

At this point you could close the first chapter about the rebuilt of a new post war high graded network of express trains. With the summer timetable of 1951 a new high graded network of domestic express trains started. Also the DB had succeeded in an increase of train speeds in the first years after the war. The speeds were increased from 64,8 km/h in 1948 to 91,9 km/h in 1950 (FDt 72).

On 1 January 1957 the Saarland was incorporated by the Western German Republic. The company "Eisenbahnen des Saarlandes" was carried over to the DB with all rolling stock and staff. The Bundesbahndirektion Saarbrücken was again established.