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"A x i s"   a n d   A f t e r m a t h

An attempt at prestige – DR class 06 (H. Maey, coll. Carl Bellingrodt, EK)

Riviera-Express Cannes- and Rome – Berlin, exceptionally with class 39 at Leipzig (Carl Bellingrodt, EK)

Mussolini, Hitler and the Italian dictator's special after arrival at Hitler's headquarters "Wolfschanze" near Rastenburg, East Prussia, an unpublished photograph taken in 1941 by Guenter Loose (coll. Richard Weisheit)

FD79 Berlin - Munich with a FS car for Rome, hauled by the E19 02, near Unterloquitz in the 30's (Carl Bellingrodt/ Eisenbahn-Kurier)

Italian diesel unit ATR100, which never reached Germany (coll. Dr. Claudio Pedrazzini)

Italian class 691 (coll. Wilhelm Tausche)

The pompous travel of il Duce to Hitler became legendary, last not least by Charlie Chaplin’s comedy. A really great train Berlin - Rome however did not exist. The Riviera-Napoli-Express of 1931 has become a Riviera-Express, only with a single sleeping car from Berlin to Rome and it ran through neutral Switzerland. The prestigious FD Berlin-Munich, on the electrified section hauled by the dark-red E19, built for 180 km/h, had only a single Italian through car to Rome. On the other line from Berlin southward, via Frankfurt, the streamlined Niagara 06 series during test runs proved useless due to its long-boiler, a Nazis’ design principle. The dream in Mussolini’s Italy of a fast diesel railcar (the ATR 100) Milan-Brenner-Munich had not materialized, neither Hitler’s mad ideas of a north-to-south axis railway, for which some tunnels in Northern Norway had been built and electric twin-locomotives were planned, a sort of two E94 freight engines (no twin-E19!). German soldiers had special trains through Sweden. Between Germany and Italy for a short time sleeping-cars Munich - Reggio and Taranto appeared, confiscated CIWL “Carozze Letti - Servizio Italo-Germanico”.

Unofficial Danish army on the way from Sweden (source unknown)

War-damaged streamlined CIWL sleeper 3809, at Villeneuve 1950 (Roger Commault)

French 241A, a war booty, used as class 08 between Berlin and Dresden (DB Museum)

German railcar as 4-44-444 of US Army, the later VT06 109, at Hof 1950 (P. Buettner, MEC Hof)

After the war came the Medloc, carrying British Mediterranean forces home (see chapter Orient-Express). U.S. Army expresses from Germany to Bremerhaven and to Mediterranean ports were the trains of the victorious forces. And there had been other British specials. One of them was a commander’s train of the British Transport Commission (BTC) with streamlined saloons (built for the nazi bosses), which once in 1947 appeared on the Tegernsee-Bahn in the Bavarian Alps, hauled by the beautiful 2-6-4 tank engine no.8 of this private railway (designed by Krauss-Maffei’s chief engineer Lotter, who had dreamt of a Bavarian Niagara). From 1948 until 1951 (or 1952) there was a once-weekly regular express from Bad Oeynhausen headquarters or Hannover to Tegernsee with a branch detached at Augsburg for Ehrwald in Tyrol, including grey ex-Mitropa sleepers and diners. For us schoolboys in Tegernsee it was “Der Englische Zug”.

Tegernsee-Bahn no.8 (Peter Letule)

"Der englische Zug" Tegernsee - Hannover, Tegernsee-Bahn 2-8-2T type engine no.7, DR van, 2 Mitropa sleepers, Mitropa diner, 3 DR coaches, 1 refrigerator van and a 0-8-0T engine banking on the Gmunder Berg c.1949 (Hermann Ott)