Friday is 103 day, so have a fresh pic from my new photo spot! A bloke by the name of Markus Tigges showed me this neat position not far from the S-Bahn station Düsseldorf Oberbilk, providing a great view into the curve, with a cantilever signal bridge as an added bonus! Getting here requires you to squeeze your way through closely spaced fences, but the view more than makes up for that. Drivers didn't seem to mind, as I kept a safe distance from the tracks, and was standing behind a catenary pole as well, so I don't think anyone would call it trespassing.
I wanted to use this spot because the curve allows you to see the entire lenght of the train, which you have probably not seen in my closeups that usually focus on the locomotive. Most of you probably know the story of this being a regular weekly InterCity train from Cologne to Flensburg, with the rolling stock consisting almost exclusively of historic museum pieces. This was a necessity at first, due to a general shortage of locomotives and carriages. Basically, they just increased the train's lenght with a few TEE cars that belong to the DB Museum Nürnberg, but as time passed, they also started to use the matching locomotive, namely the DB class 103. By now, the previously unfitting cars have been repainted or replaced, making the train 100% historically accurate, with the entire project being referred to as IC`79.
What makes all of this very interesting is the significance that these trains had back in the day. The InterCity concept was introduced in the 1970s, but the major breakthrough came in 1979, when trains started running on a dense hourly schedule. Furthermore, the second class was introduced, whereas previous IC trains had only first class seating. The resulting slogan Jede Stunde - Jede Klasse
aka Every hour - Every class
is still present in the mind of the old generation. The InterCity system may seem perfectly normal and mundane today, but back then, Germany was among the first countries in Europe to completely reform its long distance train network. It was trains like this one that caught the imagination of the public, hauled by DB's flagship, the mighty 103. The success of this concept, namely a dense network of fast trains, culminated in the development of the ICE, for increased speed and increased passenger comfort.
As you can see, the 103 isn't only fabled because of its beauty, its power and speed, but also because it was a saviour in times of crisis. With lines closing as cars and planes decreased passenger numbers, the 103 allowed the Bundesbahn to strike back, enabling them to regain a foothold in those difficult times. Not just in terms of being a high speed locomotive, but in terms of an advertising vehicle, something you can put on a billboard to impress people.
And that, fellow railfans, is why Germans are so in love with this machine.
Title was ~acela
's idea, as the train almost looks as if it were climbing up a hill. I think it also goes quite well with the background story, seeing how the 103 was built in the 70s, rising to fame as the IC network was expanded.