Around 200 Psion Workabout handheld computers are being used by Deutsche Bahn AG for the supervision and quality control of cleaning contractors. Every controller checks ten trains per day, and follows many criteria. Results are uploaded to a central database once per day. (July 27th 1998)

German DBAG is installing more wind barriers along high-speed railways, including the new Berlin - Hannover (south of Hamburg) line. The wind shields will ensure that the ICE2 trains do not get blown off track when the single power unit is at the back of the train. The main difference between the ICE1 and the ICE2 is that ICE1 has a power unit at each end, ICE2 has only one power unit. (July 26th 1998)

FT.com20 000 employees will be layed off from Deutsche Bahn in 1998, and prices will be differentiated depending on when you travel. This has been the subject of much criticism. Editor's note: The problem is as much a problem of DB adapting itself to its role of profit-maker, as it is a problem of Germany adapting itself to its own view of how the railway should be run. (July 15th/23rd 1998)

The Eschede accident has cost the German state railways 85 million DM; this breaks down into 45 million in lower revenues in June and 30 million for checking all the ICE1 wheels. (July 9th 1998)

The German part of Adtranz has signed unprofitable orders and will have to slash costs by 30% in order to stop losing money, managing director Rolf Eckrodt says. Fourteen hundred of 7400 staff must go. The British and Scandinavian branches of the company are thought to be in better shape. (July 7th 1998)

The crashed ICE train made an unscheduled stop two hours before the crash on June 3rd, due to strange noises, the magazine Focus says. The driver and a conductor heard strange noises and went outside to look, but found nothing out of the ordinary. But state prosecutor Gisela Lüning says "There is no connection at all". Lünig says the stop pertained to a problem with the train crew. Meanwhile, DBAG says traffic will return to normal on July 1st and all ICEs should be back in service then. More on the ICE accident in Germany. (June 29th 1998)

37 people were injured when two local trains collided in the German city Karlsruhe on Friday the 12th. One of the trains had left the station on the single-track line too early. (June 14th 1998)

A drunk train driver drove a DBAG train from München to Ingolstadt where he was replaced by a sober collegue, on June 9th. A passenger in the train had told the conductor that the driver was seen on the platform, unable to walk straight, before the train left the station. The conductor then had the train stopped in Ingolstadt, about 50 km from München. The train carried the passengers' autos and ended up an hour late to the end station Dortmund. Nobody was injured. (June 14th 1998)

German logistics organization BVL wants the physical and timetable management of the German rail network entirely out of the hands of its Deutsche Bahn AG. BVL also wants more "neutral" intermodal terminals. (June 15th 1998)

Another case of sabotage almost derailed an ICE at 150 km/h on its way from Hamburg to Berlin on Wednesday. Rocks hade been placed on a 50-metre stretch of track. The train continued at reduced speed to Berlin and is being inspected. (June 18th 1998)

A 310 km/h test run was carried out on May 4th on the Neubaustrecke Göttingen - Hannover in Germany. The purpose was to impress a visiting Taiwanese delegation. Taiwan will be starting service on a 340 km high-speed line in 2003. The line is built with French and German technology. (May 12th 1998)

The Augsburg - München line in southern Germany is to be upgraded to the tune of 1,1 billion DM. Two new tracks will be added, which will be frequented at 230 km/h. (May 12th 1998)

Bremen, in northern Germany, is studying the possibility of introducing Karlsruhe-style trams that also operate on conventional railway lines. The first duotrams may start operations in five or ten years. And in Kassel, ridership has grown 80% since a former railway was used for a "Regio-Tram". Georg Drechsler, "father" of the Karlsruhe system, says people have allergic reactions to changing busses or trams, so direct connections are superior. However the system is only viable in cities of 200 to 500 thousand inhabitants. In small cities, busses are more economic, and in big ones, the trams don't have enough capacity. (April 30th 1998)

Satellite communications will help German DBAG to relay messages about late trains etc to its customers. (April 30th 1998)

Märklin logo, 2kbTimes are good for Märklin, the venerable maker of toy trains and model railways. The past decade has seen an increase in revenues of 100 million DM, to 260 million now. Good relationships with retailers lets Märklin charge higher prices than the competition, and the Digital line of controling devices continues to be expanded. (April 30th 1998)

A tilting ICE has been rolled out. The German "InterCity-Triebzug" or InterCityTilt will start service in 1999. Forty-three trains are on order. Photo (mock-up) Siemens. (April 20th 1998)

German DBAG is jipping other operators on rail rates, the German parliament fears. Parliament has ordered DBAG to make new calculations of German rail access charges. Other companies often say DBAG's track access charges are the continent's highest. (April 20th 1998)

Transrapid International is the name of a new company formed to take over the duties of the Transrapid consortium, formed by Thyssen, Siemens and Adtranz. The European Commission gave the joint operation between the three firms the go-ahead last month. Transrapid is building a maglev from Berlin ot Hamburg; the route was finalized in November. (April 5th 1998)

A German train carrying nuclear waste has completed its 17 hour trip to a storage dump without incident. Environmentalists have demonstrated against the shipment. (March 22nd, 1998, more here)

German rail fares are set to rise by almost 2% on April 1st. In the East, they will rise by 6%. (March 18th 1998, more here)

Post AG logoUPS and Deutsche Post have started a jointly controlled company to run trains between their distribution centres. The jointly controlled company, Express, is partnered with German company Kep-Log which has a licence for rail transport. State railway DBAG a few years ago lost Deutsche Post's business for mail trains when DP reorganized its mail handling. (March 14th 1998, more here and here)

The first Talent EMU for Rheinland in Germany was rolled out on March 13th. The Bombardier-made EMUs are called VT 644 in Germany. (March 14th 1998, more here)

German DBAG rolled out it's latest commuter train last month. As is fashionable in Germany, the wall to the driver's cab is made of glass, so passengers can see over the driver's shoulder. (March 9th 1998, more here)

Siemens will build 18 low-floor trams for Düsseldorf for about DM 300 million. The trams will be delivered by 2000. Bavarian Augsburg has ordered 16 low-floor "Combino" trams from Siemens, for about DM 60 million. (March 9th 1998, more here)

The Cargosprinter, the innovative German freight train, is to be produced as a model in HO scale by Märklin. The fullscale train has five cars and borrows parts from road trucks, making it cheaper to make. It is intended to give economy to smaller consignments. (February 25th 1998, more here)

More competition, meaning more open access, is needed in Germany and Europe, the German minister of transport Matthias Wissmann says. German regulations allow other companies than DBAG to bid for provincially financed regional services, writes Die Welt, but real open access is not yet a reality. There seems thus to be a conflict between EU and German regulations. (February 17th 1998, more here)

German DBAG has ordered 13 more three-car Talent EMUs, built by Bombardier-owned Talbot in Aachen. 360 two-car Talents were ordered in June 1996. Photo by Eike M. Belgardt / The European Railway Server. (January 8th 1998, more here)

Three tank cars with diesel oil exploded east of Hannover in Germany in the evening rush hour on Monday. A passenger train collided with a freight, and ninety people were injured, from the fire or from the collision. The engine and the first three cars of the train derailed. The cause of the accident is not clear, nor how the accident affects traffic. (December 10th 1997, more here)

Latest news is offered to German DBAG's first-class passengers -- at 1600, news compiled by Der Spiegel is printed in colour on the train and distributed to passengers. Daily newspapers are still offered for sale to all passengers. (December 3rd 1997, more here)

Half the station building blew up in German Elsterwerda in Brandenburg when tank cars derailed on November 20th. Twenty-two cars derailed and 15 caught fire. A fireman lost his life trying to evacuate the building. (December 3rd 1997, more here)

German DBAG's trains often run late, for two main reasons -- too optimistic timings and too few employees in maintenance and service. The exact statistics have not been released by DBAG, but will be "shortly". (November 12th 1997, more here)

The Thalys service Köln-Paris is starting December 14th. Seven pairs of trains will run daily, the trip takes four hours and the cheapest round trip ticket costs 128 DM. Photo: Eike M. Belgardt / The European Rail Server. More pix here. (October 30th 1997, more here)

The duo-tramway in Saarbrücken was opened on Friday and there were free rides for the public. The tram type used can run on railways as well as tramways, and visited Sweden a few weeks ago. (October 30th 1997, more here)

German DBAG Cargo and logistics firm Fiege have announced a co-operation agreement which will see Fiege use the railway as part of its logistics solutions. (October 26th 1997, more here)

A German series 103 loco was in an accident on October 2nd in Frankfurt. 103 118 will probably be put out of commission. In a separate development, 120 141 has been made inte a rolling advertizement for Dresdner Bank. (October 15th 1997, source: LOK Report)

The German railway recovers half its costs related to infrastructure, the Deutsche Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (German Institute of Business Research) says. Intercity passenger rail covers almost 90% of its costs, but freight rail covers only 20%. Commuter services were the only rail service to cover all infrastructure costs through revenues. The DIW puts rail infrastructure costs for 1996 at 13,5 billion D-marks. The DBAG, proud of its profits, says that the DIW's calculations are based on incorrect figures. (September 18th 1997, source Bahnreport)

The start of Thalys high-speed service Cologne -Aachen -Brussels -Paris, originally scheduled for September, has been delayed to December 14th. There will be a train every two hours, and total travel time will be about 4½ hours. (September 18th 1997, source Bahnreport, Thalys photos here)

All of German DBAG's new high-speed engines of type 101 will get a new traction control system from Adtranz. The original one caused problems with remote control switching engines. (September 15th 1997, source LOK-Report, Photo: Eike M. Belgardt / European Rail Server. More pictures here.)

25% of European jobs at manufacturer Adtranz are in danger as a British-inspired restructuring program takes shape. "We have just transferred the UK restructuring team to Germany to do the same in Germany as in England," says Kaare Vagner, Adtranz CEO, to the Financial Times. Almost half of Adtranz' British employees were let go in the 1990s. FT does not mention Adtranz' Swiss operations, which recently swallowed Schindler Waggon. (September 11th 1997, more here)

German DBAG will borrow 80 billion D-marks by 2001. The money will go partly to new trains and modernization of stations; this swallows 34 billion DM to be raised on capital markets. Another 47 billion for tracks will be provided by government loans and grants. DBAG had a pre-tax profit of 191 million DM for the six months ending June 30th on revenues of 14,9 billion. (September 6th 1997, more here)

Two LRT lines will open by Christmas in east German Jena, and by the spring another line connecting the first two will be opened. The project is 80% finaced by the federal government. (September 6th 1997, more here)

German DBAG is testing two natural-gas powered trains on the resort island Usedom. The 40-year-old trains have been refitted with new, quieter and cleaner motors. If the trains perform well, DBAG will order 14 commuter trains for over 40 million DM by 1999. (August 30th 1997, more here)

Passengers may borrow books on certain ICE-trains in Germany. Thirteen titles are available in car 9 against the deposit of your ID card. (August 17th 1997, more here)

Siemens' test track in Wildenrath in northwestern Germany was opened on June 16th. It can test trains with different power systems, at up to 160 km/h, up steep hills, in tight curves (15 m radius) and in s-curves to test tilt mechanisms. The development of new trains is increasingly becoming the responsibility of manufacturers and not railway companies; therefore manufacturers need their own test tracks. They are expensive, which is why Siemens' track is for hire. Photo: Siemens Verkehrstechnik.

Dr. Johannes Ludewig is the new boss for German DBAG. He takes over from Dr. Heinz Dürr. Ludewig is an economist close to chancellor Helmut Kohl. (July 13th, 1997)

German DBAG won the contract for driving commuter trains on three lines around Cologne and Bonn for 15 years for 1 billion DM. Forty-five "Talent" DMUs will be bought for the service. (July 10th, 1997)

One tonne, 15-metre iron pipes fell off a train in Germany about 70 km north of Frankfurt a M on Saturday. One of them hit an oncoming passenger train Frankfurt -Kassel and six people were killed. Some of the pipes, one metre in diameter, rolled down onto a highway. A nylon rope used to fasten the pipes to the car had broken. (July 7th, 1997)

Magnetic levitation trains are more environmentally friendly than the German high-speed train InterCityExpress at speeds over 350 km/h, researchers at the university in Kassel say. The maglev uses less energy, both in manufacturing and use. However, the ICE, built for 280 km/h, is unusually heavy for being a high-speed train. The next generation, ICE3, will be lighter and built for 330 km/h. (June 14th, 1997)

The German CargoSprinter will transport 5000 trucks per year after an agreement between DBAG and the forwarding firms Johann Birkart and Gebr. Hellmann. Late this summer, the trains will run between northern Germany and Frankfurt. They will also be used for "air freight" to and from Frankfurt's airport. (June 11th, 1997)

Over 100 InterCity cab cars will run on German tracks next spring. Today there are 32 which run in InterCity and InterRegio service. On the IC-line Hamburg -Berlin -München, half an hour will be saved on changing locos. This also saves on capacity on the tracks at stations. (But then why haven't cab cars been introduced earlier?) The cars can easily be fitted with a bicycle compartment in the summer. You can find several pictures of the cab cars here. (June 11th, 1997)

The Frankfurt central station's southern wing will re-open on July 23rd after a renovation. Later this summer, the Leipzig station in the former GDR will also reopen. (June 11th, 1997)

Certain freight services in Germany will be expanded when the new time table comes into effect the end of May. 172 against currently 116 overnight "InterCargo" trains will run factory to factory, and nine of the 36 InterKombiExpress bi-modal trains will run at 140 km/h, gaining one hour on the direct truck timings. (May 28th, 1997)

Ground-breaking on the Köln-Frankfurt high speed railway started on Wednesday. In the year 2001, trains running at 300 km/h will take 75 minutes between the cities, against 135 minutes now. DBAG expects 70% more customers on the new line. (May 17th, 1997)

The German Railways can save 40% of infrastrucure costs by separation of traffic, they say. Dedicating tracks to either fast passenger service, freight service or commuter service reduces the number of sidings for slow trains. The line Fulda-Bebra-Göttingen will lose 60% of it's turnouts with the new plan, reducing costs by 40%. In a first step, the lines Hannover - Würzburg, Hamburg - Ruhr - Rhein/Neckar and Ruhr - Hannover - Berlin, will be separated. (April 30th, 1997)

The Port of Hamburg is expanding, with among other things dredging works in the river Elbe and a bigger container pier. Duetsche Bahn AG therefore hopes to increase the number of containers shipped from 640 000 per year. DBAG claims that almost half of all freight leaving the harbour does so in their trains. (April 30th, 1997)

Magnetic levitation trains will run Berlin-Hamburg by the year 2005. The German Ministry of Transport isn't worried about the bill of about 10 billion DM; who can resist the "Transrapid" which covers the 292 kms in 60 minutes? Three construction companies have abandoned the project, but Thyssen, Siemens och Adtranz are still hanging in there and will together pay 40% of the bill. This will be the worlds first commercial "Schwebebahn". (April 27th, 1997)

Automatic cash dispensers are available on certain German ICE trains since February. The charges are not higher than in ordinary dispensers. These trains are called "Ideen-Züge" and also offer loan of laptop computers, printouts, and sale of empty floppy disks and telephone cards. CD-interactive players will be offered for loan soon. (March 11th, 1997)

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