26928 - 1928 Rheingold Train Set - 3 Rail HO Gauge
The German State Railroad Company (DRG) placed its new "Rheingold Luxury Express" into operation as FFD 101/102 with the summer schedule of 1928 in order to ensure itself a piece of the lucrative pie for the traffic between Great Britain and Switzerland. It was intended to compete with foreign railroads for the wealthy passengers desiring fast and comfortable travel from the North Sea ferry ports and Amsterdam to Switzerland. The scenically attractive Rhine route represented a unique backdrop here and the legendary Middle Rhine Valley provided the train with its euphonious name. The newly designed, heavy parlor cars offered the passengers of considerable means an incomparable travel experience with the highest level of comfort and luxury. This elegant train with its route from Switzerland via Basle, Karlsruhe, Mannheim, Mainz, Cologne, and Duisburg to the Dutch canal port of Hook of Holland generally consisted of four violet/cream painted cars, of them two 1st class and two 2nd class cars as well as one or two completely violet baggage cars. Every second car had a galley that was used to serve two cars. For that reason, there were no special dining cars because all of the passengers were served at their seats and they could thus enjoy the entire trip. The parlor cars featured an extremely elegant and spacious interior with extremely comfortable upholstered seating and small tables. The extra wide windows were also noteworthy with 1.4 meters / 55 inches in 1st class and 1.2 meters / 47 inches in 2nd class. The "Rheingold's" exceptional status was immediately conveyed in a study of the official timetable with the note: "Only 1st/2nd class, including a special surcharge and special fee." The class 18.5 (Bavarian S 3/6) was responsible for the motive power for the train for ten years between Mannheim and the Dutch border in a remarkable long run. Since the DRG's renowned train with its attractive running time always had to be on time, its stops had to be short and its motive power should be changed only so often as absolutely necessary due to the loss in time associated with stops. Even the change in direction in Mannheim was allowed no more than six minutes including the brake test. Then came about 400 kilometers / 250 miles up to the Dutch border with exactly six hours running time and only four intermediate stops each of only a few minutes. Taking on water at the platform in the Cologne main station required a fine touch from the locomotive engineer because he had to stop his train exactly at the specified spot so that the standpipe could be swung immediately over the filler opening on the tender. In no time at all the fresh water filled the water tank and the coal in the back of the tender was pulled forward with a hook to make the fireman's work easier on the next section. This was how this classy Bavarian runner handled a brilliant long run through the years.