Broader than Broad

Whistling cheerily past on the standard gauge is one of two small Krauss 2-6-0T, delivered in 1892 to the LAG-owned Isartalbahn. In 1938 it passed to DRG as 98 7201 and for a short period towards the close of WW 2 substituted for electric power on München's street tramway system. Withdrawal came in August 1950. Fig 9 shows us one of the varieties of diesel multiple unit, the DRG München drawing office's Diagram 1 of May 1943, having electrical transmission on to three axles of the 12-axle end units.

The driver of 18 521, looking up from below, no doubt is heartily thankful he still has his beloved Bavarian Pacific, a truly classic product of the steam age.This example in fact was completed under DRG auspices, by Maffei in 1927, works number 5689: later, in March 1953, it became the first of thirty to be given a completely new boiler, running thereafter as 18 601 until withdrawal in June 1962. Fig 10, by contrast, takes us away from industrial Germany, far to the east, where a long train of sleeping and day cars is headed by Brown Boveri's Diagram 78 25800 hp 3-Fo-3+3-Fo-3 gas turbine mechanical twin-unit locomotive (there were no fewer than sixteen proposals for turbine locomotives, steam and gas, but this type, which shows best efficiency when run at maximum power for extended periods, would have been ideal for the non-electrified outer reaches of the Breitspur network). The peasant saying goodbye to his wife, setting out for the day's toil in the freezing pre-dawn light, would know little of, and care less about, the world inhabited by the passengers on that thundering giant of a train.

Even had Hitler succeeded in his ambitions, despite the considerable amount of planning done, the Breitspur project surely ultimately would have come to nought. Apart from the difficulty of getting so many innovations to function on such a large scale, and the railway environment is especially demanding, requiring extremely robust construction, the resources to put the infrastructure in place simply would not have been available. Bear in mind that just one single line of 3 metre gauge rail would have required a strip of land at least 12 metres in width, then look at Fig 11 and consider the enormity of the project in relation to München alone, for here there would have been at the very least two lines of rail side by side.

Robin Barnes, Railway Art and History  Robin Barnes, Railway Art and History