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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

The blue network of fast express trains

From 20 May 1951 the high graded passengers traffic in Western Germany got a new impulse. The newly Deutsche Bundesbahn was offering high graded connections between the big German cities starting with the summer timetable of 1951. They aimed at business travelers and offered good quality connections between the new Western German metropolises and several international connections. The new trains were indicated as F-trains (with the F of Fernverbindung). Here you can find an overview of all domestic and international F and Ft trains which were in service with the summertimetable of 1951 (F/FT trains in the summer timetable of 1951.)

The F-trains were more or less a continuation of the pre war FD-trains network. In the F-trains network the trains consisted of coaches (indicated as F-trains) and trainsets (indicated as Ft-trains with the t of triebwagen). The coaches and trainsets were painted in a blue livery to distinguish them from other trains. Because of that the F-train network was also called "Blaues F-zug-Netz".

In the beginning the F-trains consisted of second class trainsets or trains with 3,4 or 5 coaches pulled by a steam engine. The pulled trains had second and third class coaches. Only international F-trains (for example the "Rheingold Express") had also 1st class coaches besides the 2nd and 3nd class coaches. From 1956 when the 1st and 2nd class were merged together in the new 1st class, and the 3nd class was changed in the new 2nd class, the F-trains consisted of both classes, the trainsets were only offering the 1st class. The trains were provided with dining cars and compartments were people could work. Some trains had also sleeping cars. Important trains had names, for example the "Rheingold Express", "Blauer Enzian" and "Merkur". The journey from for example Hannover to Köln lasted 3 hour and 42 minutes.

The F-train network was in that time an incredible big logistic operation for the DB. Connections and service schedules of coaches and locomotives were very tight and were carried out on a network which still showed the remains of the war. The coaches which the DB used for the F-trains were pre war express train coaches, mainly Bauart 35 and skirted coaches were used. But also pre war Rheingold coaches and coaches of the Henschel Wegmann Zug were used. The coaches were painted in a blue color (RAL 5011) and were provided with the inscription "DB" on both sides of the coaches. Coaches for international F-train services were provided with the inscription "Deutsche Bundesbahn" on both sides. Here you can find an overview of all pre war coaches which were modified for service in F-trains (F-train coaches in 1951). New coaches were available from 1953. These were the new 26,4 meter express train coaches.

As locomotives the DB used mainly steam engines of the classes BR 01, BR 01.10, BR 03, BR 03.10 and BR 05 as well electric locomotives of class E 17 and class E 18. Also the new diesel locomotive V 200 was used in the F-train network.

The pre war SVT trainsets VT 04, VT 06.1/VT 06.5 and VT 07.5 were used together with the new diesel hydraulic trainsets of class VT 08.5 in the F-train network. Less good experenciences had the DB with the trainsets of class VT 10.5. They had service as Ft 41/42 "Senator" and Ft 49/50 "Komet".