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VT877 a/b Fliegender Hamburger

In service


At the beginning of the thirties the director of the Deutsche Reichsbahn Gesellschaft Dr Dorpmöller discovers the existence of customers consisted of businessmen who were willing to change the aircraft for the train. To make sure that these people were going to use the train as a serious alternative, the DRG realised a very fast connection with fast diesel trainsets between Berlin and Hamburg. For this purpose the DRG purchased in 1932 a two car diesel trainsets with number VT 877 a/b, which became famous under the nickname: "Fliegender Hamburger". The trainset was driven by a diesel electric engine. After a couple of tests, the official service of the train started at 15 May 1933. This meant the start of a growing network of fast riding trains which connected the most important cities in Germany.


The trainset made use of Jakobsbogies. Jakobsbogies are bogies where the ends of two adjacent cars are resting on one common two-axle bogie. The engines and generators of the trainset were located at the endbogies in three points beared frames. The diesel engines generated via the generator electricity for the electric motor. The generator was from Maybach type "GO 5" with a capacity of 302 kW at 1400 rpm. Both generators were located in the endbogies. Both generators carried their power via a coupling to the main generator. This one had a capacity of 292 kW at 1400 rpm. The two electric driving motors were located in the middle bogie. Each electric motor droves one axle.

Drum brakes took care of the braking of the train, this braking system was fed by a high-pressure air system. For a very short brakeway there were induction brakes installed which were derived from the Schienenzeppelin. The induction brakes were of type Jores-Müller. A Bosch lightmachine was installed for the onboard electricity in the train. The tension was 48 volt. At the stations the onboard system was fed by a 150 Ah battery. The train was subject of windtunnel experiments to reach an optimal shape of the frontends. The seat arrangement was 1+3 and the compartment was furnished as a salon. The a-unit had besides a machine room, a luggage room and two toilets with wash facilities. In the b-unit was a restaurant with four seats and the second salon-compartment also with an 1+3 arrangement. Of course in the b-unit was a machine-room too. At one side of both units was a drivers cabin.

In service

At the beginning of October 1932, the VT 877 a/b was delivered and it was subject to a couple of test drives on the line Friedrichshafen-Ulm. Thanks to a change in the section Biberbach-Erbach, they can ran at the topspeed of 160 km/h. After moved to Berlin, in December 1932 the first runs for the press started. This runs were taken place on the line Berlin Lehrter Bf-Hamburg with speeds up to 165 km/h.

In the new timetable of May 1933 the train was running as FDt 1/2 (FD stands for Fern-Durchgangszug and the t stands for triebwagen) on the above mentioned route. This service was the first highspeed trainservice of the DRG. The travel time was 138 minutes. With the old service on this route it took you 10 minutes longer, but this train was hauled by an BR 03 locomotive and had special permission of the Reichsverkehrsministerium (RVM) to run 140 km/h. The average speed of the VT 877 on this route was 125 km/h. The timetable was based on a maximumspeed of 150 km/h. By delays the train had permission to run 160 km/h. Of course in the begintime failures didn't stay away, as a result of this, a quarter of the trains were running with a train consisted of coaches and were hauled by a locomotive.

On 28 November 1935 the trainset was exhibited at the Nürnberger "Jahrhundert-Ausstellung". From 7 June 1939 the trainset was put into service from Bw Hamburg-Altona. It runned approximately 38000 km before it went out of service in 1939 at Bludenz. Administrative the trainset was until 1 March 1940 under Bw Hamburg Altona. After the Second World War the train was located in the French occupation zone were it was used for military transportation.

Type nr: VT 877 a/b
vanaf 1947 VT 04000
Bauart: Fliegender Hamburger
Betriebsgattung: B6vT (from 1956: APw 6yk)
Skizzenblattnummer: B6üvT-32
In service: 1932
Manufacturer: WUMAG
Axle layout: 2'Bo'2'
Gauge: 1435 mm
Length: 41,906 m
Weight: 93,8 t
Traction: Dieselelektrisch


Aantal: 2
Fabrikant: Maybach
Vermogen: 302 kW
(bij 1400 tpm)
Speed: 150/160 km/h
Number of seats: 102 (1st class)