Deutsche Bundesbahn

The German Federal Railroad ( DB) was the state railway of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany - see also: History of the Federal Republic) and operated from September 1949 until the end of 1993 she was declared without legal capacity special Federal funds, but did not sue or be sued. .

On 1 January 1994, the German Federal Railroad was combined with the Deutsche Reichsbahn of the former GDR to the commercial law corporation organized German Bahn AG, which is located to this day (2014) in sole possession of the German state.


After the Second World War in 1945, the occupying powers took over the business remaining in the zones occupied by parts of the German Reichsbahn.

Under the name of top management United States zone in Frankfurt am Main, located in the American occupation zone Reichsbahn divisions ( RBD) Augsburg, Frankfurt am Main, Kassel, Munich, Regensburg and Stuttgart were summarized ( for the railways in Württemberg- Baden). For the British zone of occupation, the Reichsbahn - General Münster (Westfalen) and Wuppertal was General Max Leibbrand in Bielefeld for the areas of the Directorates Essen, Hamburg, Hannover, Cologne, formed. With the formation of the United Economic Area, Bizonia, it was 1946, the headquarters of the railways of the American and British occupation zone, the 1947 its headquarters in Offenbach am Main relocated and was renamed " German Reichsbahn in the United Economic Area ". After the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany on May 24, In 1949, with effect from September 7, 1949 renamed the " German Federal Railroad ".

The railways of the French occupation zone were summarized in the Amalgamation of the Southwest German Railways ( SWDE ) based in Speyer. The SWDE included the Reichsbahn divisions of Karlsruhe ( in the U.S. zone located ), Mainz and Saarbrücken. After 1947 the Saarland was (see Saarland 1947-1956 ) from the French zone dissolved and its own state railway - the railways of the Saar ( EdS ) - got the net out-of Saarland the Reichsbahndirektion Saarbrücken went over to the new RBD Trier. With the adoption of the Federal Railway Act on July 1, 1952, this organizational structure has been legitimized and thus to the unitary state trajectory of the Federal Republic of Germany.

After the Treaty of Luxembourg were carried out with the January 1, 1957 for inclusion of the Saarland in the Federal Republic and the EdS part of the German Federal Railroad.

In 1991, the federal government long-term debt of the Federal Railroad in the amount of 6.4 billion euros.

Transport performance

Characteristic of the DB was a result of the mass motorization that are becoming increasingly competitive with road transport to the shares in the transport market. In order to avoid the cost pressure, put the state railway -assessed as unprofitable branch lines silently on a large scale.

The following transport services have been registered:

On the other hand, there were also attempts to make the operation on branch lines more attractive in order to prevent more line closures can. An example of this was the introduction of City-Bahn (CB).

Only since the 1990s, some of the newly established transport associations seek to reactivation of railways in rural areas. Additional new buildings, however, were created up on some long-distance, high-speed and commuter rail routes to a relatively small extent.

On secondary roads route changes have been made sporadically. Examples include the relocation of the Bigge Valley Railway and the Innerstetal web due to the construction of dams. As Bewirtschafterin the dining and sleeping cars and catering the German Sleeping Car and Dining Car Company ( DSG) was established.

Structural change

Instead, a structural change was carried out at the traction species no longer needed at the end of the steam locomotives and were replaced by modern electric and diesel locomotives ( termination of the last steam locomotive in December 1977). At the same time almost all main lines were electrified in the former Federal Republic of Germany. For the passenger in the passenger of the structural change was the introduction of new types of trains such as the InterCity ( IC ) and the Trans Europ Express ( TEE) result. The concept and development of rail vehicles for the Intercity Express ( ICE) also go back to planning the DB.

In freight transport, the shipping of general cargo has been fully set after the competition against the forwarding industry was no longer endure. As a result of this development, a large number of marshalling yards were shut down. In the same period, the transport of bulk goods such as coal and iron ore also fell.

Due to the poor competitiveness (high cost, long recharging times of wagons on dollies or trolleys etc. ) were also closed down all federal railway-owned narrow-gauge railways (except Wangerooger Island Railway ) in turn.

In 1985, the DB was nevertheless still the third largest employer in the Federal Republic of Germany and employed 322 383 employees, while she was mid-1970 still the largest employer (before the German Post Office ). As part of the "DB 90 " program, the company should be more competitive in the 1980s.

On 25 October 1993, the DB moved in Frankfurt a new building complex with 1,059 offices. He then served until 2000 as the headquarters of Deutsche Bahn and then the passenger transport division as seat

Serious accidents

In the history of the German Federal Railways have been a series of serious accidents. In particular, the 1971 went, among others with the train accidents Aitrang and Dahlerau, in the history of the Federal Railways.

Road Transport and Shipping

For the transport of goods, in particular the delivery of goods off their tracks, the DB had its own truck In addition, drove many trucking companies are also in the play area for the company. The DB was in the 1960s and 1970s as one of the largest truck owners in Germany. In addition to conventional trucks were found in the fleet also various special vehicles.

The rural areas, partly as a replacement for passenger uneconomic railway lines, the DB had often up by trains buses and linked to major train stations. Like most diesel locomotives in rail transport had the rail buses a red finish. This line of business was already incurred at the time of the DR.

The DB operation in cooperation with the ÖBB and SBB Passenger services on Lake Constance and from 1951 together with the DSB railway ferry Großenbrode Online Magazine between the Großenbrode Kai Station and Gedser, which was later replaced by the bird's flight line. It was also operated a Inselfährdienst Wangerooge Island. The DB had this own ships.


The Federal Railroad was divided into four stages:

  • Central instance: head office of the German Federal Railways, was the seat from October 1, 1953 in Frankfurt am Main, previously Offenbach am Main. The head office was located in several large buildings of the post-war period at the Friedrich -Ebert-Anlage in Gallusviertel district, between the main railway station and the exhibition grounds.
  • On appeal directorates
  • Central Transport line ( CTL ), sitting Mainz (since January 1, 1971, originated from the two upper operating lines, the main carriage Office and the Central Office for operating power supply)
  • Federal Railroad central offices, sitting Minden and München
  • Federal Railroad Social Welfare Office, Office Frankfurt am Main
  • Central Sales Manager ( train controllers ), sitting Mainz ( to 31 December 1977 Frankfurt / Main, created on February 1, 1970 has the Tariff Official )
  • Advertising office, sitting Nuremberg
  • Video and photo site of the German Federal Railways, seat Nuremberg
  • Central Office for service workshops (ZW ), sitting Mainz ( July 4, 1973 in front of Frankfurt / Main)
  • Central Office for Data Processing and Business Administration, Office Frankfurt / Main ( department of a department of BD Frankfurt on February 1, was created in 1970 )
  • Central clearinghouse for passenger, baggage and Expreßgutverkehr (CAM ), sitting Kassel, since 1 January 1975 combining the tasks of traffic controls I ( people within the city) in Kempten, Lübeck and Ludwigshafen / Rhein
  • Central fare need for further site
  • Research Institutes
  • Decrease offices
  • Repair works
  • Operating Technical Center
  • Transport Technical Center
  • Structural engineering office
  • Mechanical engineering services

The services of the sales force were equal, the general agencies.

The Federal Railroad was attached to the railway police.

For communication BASA was used.

Board of Directors

The Federal Railroad was governed by a board, consisting of five persons. The board members were equal, the chairman of the board carried the official title " First President of the German Federal Railroad ", the other board members, the official title of " President of the German Federal Railroad ." They were all graded as Grade B 11. Colloquially, the First President was also called " Federal Railroad President ".

First presidents were

Railway Reform

The remaining in the Soviet zone and West Berlin portion of the old Deutsche Reichsbahn took over in the GDR status for legal reasons unchanged under the name German Reichsbahn.

Both German state railways were at the railway reform, together with the West Berlin administration of former Reichsbahn assets at 1 January 1994 Bundeseisenbahnvermögen on. The entrepreneurial part to provide rail transport services and for the operation of the railway infrastructure was outsourced which was founded for German Bahn Aktiengesellschaft on 5 January 1994. The sovereign functions were transferred to the Federal Railway Authority on the same day.