Germany is one of the most interesting railroading countries in modern history. Not only while it has such a wide variety of private railroad companies in addition to the still huge state owned Deutsche Bahn AG (DB), but also while its many rail operators constantly buy and change their trains, keep renting them for short periods and giving them thereafter to even new operators. Many of the private locomotives change their looks several times a year - a fact that also makes it very difficult for the occasional photographer to figure out what the train is. Often the stickers by the sides of the trains are from some previous owner or renter.

But also Germany's state railways Deutsche Bahn AG is interesting - and huge. The multitude of trains is vast, and what is also typical of Germany is, that even to be able to understand their railroad related magazines (of which there is a wonderful multitude) you need to understand not only the language, but you also need to know by heart which Baureihe (class) is which. This - of course - does not have to be explained to anyone (!!). It's taken for granted :-)
In this collection of German trains we try to show as many of the different classes as we can. This is your lession one: Baureihe or Br = class.

Our title picture shows the first ICE-L trainset. ICE stands for Intercity Express and L means low-floor. DB has ordered these new ICE-L wagonsets from the Spanish company Talgo. Talgo is famous for its proprietary trainsets where coaches are permanentltly fixed with each other, coaches are also shorter than standard passenger wagons and they lack normal bogies. Instead there is just one individual axle located between the wagons.
Here we see this first ICE-L wagonset still without DB's logos, parked at Talgo's own depot in Berlin. The first trials have only now started.
Picture from Talgo's depot in Berlin 25.11.2023 by Matti Heino.

FUNET railway pictures archive - Germany

Picture categories

This is a German speciality, a Transrapid magnetic levitation (Maglev) train. For quite some time, Germany had a trial track with several wagons close to the Dutch border, where magnetic levitation train technology was tried out. The trials ended in a tragic collision where several people lost their lives. A Maglev train floats in the air carried by a very strong magnetic field, which means that there is no friction whatsoever between the train wagon and the track, so that huge speeds can be reached. But the technology also has its limitations: the Maglev coaches cannot be very long and several coaches cannot be run very close to one another, so that the actual capacity counted in passing passengers per hour is not very large despite the huge speed. For a while one of the Transrapid maglev train wagons was set on display together with a very short piece of the track that it needs at the Frankfurt airport. This is a picture from that display, taken in 2007 by Ilkka Siissalo.

Back to main page.