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trains - rail travel in germany austria europe - the german way an excerpt from the german way by hyde flippo passport books (a division of ntc/contemporary publishing) isbn 0-8442-2513-4 see train links below traveling by train is the most common way of getting around in europe (other than by car). deutsche bahn ag, the german railway, inc., known as german rail in the english-speaking world, is one of europe's most advanced rail systems. on a typical day, 350,000 passengers travel the long-distance routes of deutsche bahn, more than 64,000 of those in the popular new high-speed ice trains. frankfurt's main train station ("hauptbahnhof") is germany's busiest. (a larger view of this photo.) germany's very first train line, the ludwigsbahn, was already running between fürth and nürnberg in 1835. however, deutsche bahn has only been in existence since january 1994. until that time, german trains had been run by two separate state-owned, deficit-ridden operations. the deutsche bundesbahn (db) or german federal railway was the old west german railway that had been running things there since germany's division in 1949. the deutsche reichsbahn (dr) or german imperial railway in former east germany kept the pre-war name of the railroad that hitler and those before him had known. the 1994 privatization was a merger of the two german state railroads that had tried to act as one since german reunification in 1990. however, the privatization was also an effort to get the government out from under billions of marks of mounting debt. germany's fast ice trains, like this one in munich's main station, have cut hours off the previous rail travel time between hamburg in the north and munich in the south, as well as many other german rail links. since june 1991 the new ice trains (intercity express) have been operating on several high-speed lines between major german cities like berlin, hamburg, munich, stuttgart, and frankfurt. these sleek, white trains travel at 250-280 km/h (155-174 mph), whisking passengers along in quiet, comfortable cars equipped with video screens (in first class), stereo headsets, fax machines, and telephones. like jet airplanes ice cars are pressurized, sparing passengers any ear discomfort in the tunnels required to keep the roadbeds straight and level for high speed... austria's state-owned österreichische bundesbahnen (öbb, austrian federal railways) and switzerland's schweizerische bundesbahnen (sbb, swiss federal railways) have vast networks of rail lines in those countries. switzerland also has several private railways, most of them in mountainous regions. copyright © 1997 ntc publishing group related links on this site train travel tips with links and photos! more train travel tips with train vocabulary! travel page - travel in germany and europe other sites deutsche bahn ag - the german rail site öbb - the austrian rail site (in german) sbb online - the swiss rail site more rail travel tips and rail links top of page | previous | home | contents | next search this site order when in germany and the german way directly from amazon.com books web site copyright © 1997-2004 hyde flippo. graphic design by erik flippo. hyde flippo is solely responsible for the content of this site and, other than permission granted to publish copyrighted material, mcgraw-hill/ntc publishing has no direct involvement, financial or otherwise, with this site.
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