1903: An experimental 3-phase EMU built by AEG reaches 210.2 km/h on the line Marienfelde - Zossen, reaching world record and demonstrating the potential of electric traction for high speed.
1930: The Schienenzeppelin of Franz Kruckenberg's Flugbahn-Gesellschaft, powered by an air propeller, reaches 230 km/h (world record).
1933: Regular 160 km/h DMU service starts with the Fliegender Hamburger (Hamburg - Berlin). It is soon extended to numerous lines from Berlin to other big cities.
1936: The three 160 km/h EMUs elT 1900, 1901 and 1902 (later renumbered to ET 11) go into service on the line Berchtesgaden - München - Stuttgart. Longer distances are not yet possible as not many lines are electrified.
1939: Beginning of second world war, cancellation of all high speed DMU/EMU services.
1953: The DB and DSG present two revolutionary lightweight articulated DMUs to the public, the daytime train VT 10 501 "Senator" and the night train VT 10 551 "Komet".
1957: The DB participates in the Trans-Europ- Express network with the VT 11 (later renumbered to class 601). Top speed is 160 km/h, but on regular services it only reaches 140 km/h. As TEE, IC and charter trains, they continue operating into the eighties.
1960: Due to technical problems, both VT 10 are retired.
1964: The DR takes its DMU of class VT 18.16 into service on fast national and international lines (later renumbered to class 175).
1972: Four class 601 power cars are rebuilt to class 602 with gas turbine.
1973: Three four-car EMUs of class 403/404 for 200 km/h are built and enter Intercity service. As they are more expensive than locomotive-hauled trains for the same speed, these prototypes remain the only of their kind.
1978: The gas turbine power cars class 602 are retired.
1981: The first TGV line is opened (Paris - Lyon). The success of this line causes the DB to take a closer look at high speed as well (the high speed lines Hannover - Würzburg and Mannheim - Stuttgart, under construction at that time, were not originally intended as high speed lines).
1982: Class 403/404 repainted white/yellow and operating as Lufthansa Airport Express between Düsseldorf and Frankfurt Airport. ICE-V ordered (first experimental train).
1985: Regular service of DR class 175 ends. ICE-V delivered to DB.
1988 (May): ICE-V reaches world record (406.9 km/h).
1988: (end of May): High speed line Fulda - Würzburg opened (airtight InterCity trains with class 120.1 at first).
1991: ICE 1 delivered to DB. First ICE line opened (Hamburg - Frankfurt - München). High speed lines Hannover - Würzburg and Mannheim - Stuttgart start full operation.
1992: Second ICE line opened (Hamburg - Würzburg - München).
1993: All ICE 1 delivered. Third ICE line opened (Hamburg - Frankfurt - Basel).
1994: ICE demonstration tour in the USA for Amtrak. First international ICE to Luzern.
1996: First ICE 2 delivered to DBAG, operating between Bremen and Frankfurt as long trains.
1997: ICE 2 reconfigured to half trains with cab cars and dining-cars, operation on the line Köln - Berlin begins, one train Hamburg - Berlin.
1998: Testing of ICT (electric tilting trains) begins.On 3rd June, a defective wheel tyre on an ICE 1 causes a bad accident near Eschede (between Hannover and Hamburg). All ICE 1 are temporarily taken out of service. High speed line Hannover - Berlin opens (mostly operated with ICE 2 of the line Dusseldorf / Bonn - Berlin).
1999: Testing of ICE 3 for DBAG and NS begins. First ICT line opens (Stuttgart - Zürich). First vehicles of ICT-VT (diesel-electric tilting trains) completed for testing.
2000: First ICE 3 services started (Amsterdam - Köln and special trains to Expo 2000). ICT lines Berlin - München and Dresden - Frankfurt opened.
2001: Renfe orders 16 ICE 3 and 16 Talgo 350 for Madrid - Barcelona. First ICT-VT line (Dresden - Nürnberg) starts operation in June.
2002: High speed line Köln - Frankfurt opens with ICE 3 trains. High speed line Madrid - Zaragoza - Lleida opens with gauge-changing Talgo 200 trains.
2004: High speed line extended from Lleida to Barcelona. New ICE 3 and Talgo 350 trains go into service. Additional ICT sets delivered.
2005: Tilting trains for TEE Rail Alliance delivered to DB AG, SBB CFF FFS and ÖBB.
I love trains, fasssssssssst trains even more.
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