Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
High Speed Saviour by shenanigan87 High Speed Saviour by shenanigan87
As promised, the coloured version.

I have probably mentioned how the famous Uerdinger Railbus was nicknamed "Saviour of the Branchline", as it was far more cost efficient than steam or even diesel hauled trains, keeping a great many branchlines alive that would have been closed otherwise. The battle against car and plane travel became most obvious with these small, local lines, which have always operated on the fringe of profitability, and with just a slight decrease in passenger numbers, they generated huge losses over time.

However, despite fewer obviously visible consequences, this battle was also fought on the mainlines of West-Germany after WW2. Despite gradually phasing out steam engines as the most inefficient and maintenance intensive means of traction, the Bundesbahn was still facing huge losses every year, due to passenger numbers being too low. They had an electric locomotive class for just about every purpose by then, the 110 for fast passenger trains, the 141 for slower and lighter passenger trains, the 140 for medium freight, the 150 for heavy freight...

Oh, wait, they didn't! Back when the standardised electric locomotive classes were planned and produced, there was virtually no piece of track in Germany that allowed for speeds above 100mph, so a high speed locomotive was not really necessary. But by the 1960s, it became apparent that trains were not fast enough to keep up with the developments on the road and in the air.

Now I'm not saying that the 103, being the world's most powerful locomotive at that time, did it all by herself. It was a combination of a dense InterCity network with synchronized timetables, and the addition of second class coaches, for people with lower amounts of cash. The ad slogan at that time was "Jede Stunde, jede Klasse!", or "Every hour, every class!". This made rail travel in Germany much more flexible and competitive, which in some ways is one of the reasons for us having retained such a dense rail network, in contrast to many other countries. The only people who travel more by rail then Germans are the Swiss and the Japanese after all.

Still, I can't help marveling at what the engineers managed to achieve here, squeezing all that ferocious power into a compact and beautifully streamlined six axle body, with that equally beautifuly ruby & cream TEE Rheingold livery.


To my mind, the only other train with such a profoundly positive effect on rail travel is the InterCity125 from the UK.

Add a Comment:
p3rsh1ng Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2011
Behold! Old fashioned blue-white coaches :dummy: I luv those
shenanigan87 Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
I think they recently renovated some coaches and painted them blue-beige as well.
mureseanu976 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2011
Lol, another ICE replacemant train with historic rolling stock ? :lol:
shenanigan87 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
This is in fact the same one that I shot previously, rolling stock wise. However, they switched it over to a different IC line, going from Cologne to Flensburg instead of Hamburg.
aaronboydarts Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2011
wow, i'm just amazed by your depth of knowledge in this area. db should hire you for pr :-)
shenanigan87 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Well, it's more or less average railfan canon, so I don't think DB would be that interested in me. ;) Apart from the fact that there are too many things wrong with today's DB, at least for my taste.
Add a Comment:


Submitted on
January 23, 2011
Image Size
776 KB


21 (who?)

Camera Data

Canon EOS 1000D
Shutter Speed
1/500 second
Focal Length
90 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Jan 21, 2011, 2:36:18 PM
Adobe Photoshop CS3 Windows
Sensor Size