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"Training" in Germany

Sharon and I spent a week last month in Munich. While I was there for business travel. we were impressed with the rail transportation there and managed to find time to check out a museum that had some surprising and interesting railroad exhibits.

I was amazed at the efficiency and pervasiveness of the train systems there. There seemed to be train stations everywhere with clean fast and frequent trains to many destinations. We started out on the MVV S-Bahn train from the airport changing seamlessly to the MVG U-Bah to a station within a block of our hotel.

While we did not get to ride on one, we were treated to see an ICE high speed train pass us by. I had to be quick to catch it even while our train was at speed.

At the Deutsches Museum in Munich there is a transportation exhibit that has everything from helicopters and airplanes to trains. they have an operating TT (HO) scale layout. The entire layout is done in white to accentuate the train operations, but it is still amazing. Signal operations and lighting are all computer controlled. Automobiles and trucks follow magnetically controlled pathways in the roads and adhere to traffic and crossing signals.

Night view

Control Room

Informational displays on the history of railroading in Germany were interesting. It seems that Germany imported its initial steam locomotives from England. They later developed their own steam engines based on the imported prototypes.

The museum also has a life-size exhibit of tunnel construction from the early years of railroading in Europe. The display includes stone and timber from the original tunnel.

The timber falsework is impressive.

All in all, it was a great trip and we managed to squeeze in a little railroading into an otherwise dry business trip.

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