In a Limited Stop Train on the Branch Line
Once there was a quite different, contemplative travel experience without constant worries about failed connections, with working restrooms, and with windows that could be opened. We're talking about the "Heckeneilzügen" / "Backwoods Limited Stop Passenger Trains" that enabled connections free of transfers for many years via branch lines between regions not on the main lines and the large metropolitan areas. On the branch lines, they stood out with comparatively comfortable cars as exotic bright spots among the usual rail busses and rebuild cars. These trains formed the backbone of passenger service in the country in the northern part of Germany into the Eighties and occasionally they even warranted through cars.
Prototype: So-called DB "Heckeneilzug" / "Backwoods Limited Stop Passenger Train as it looked in Era IV, consisting of a type Byg 514 rebuild car, 2nd class, in chrome oxide green, a type Bnb 719 commuter car, 2nd class, silver / ocean blue, and a type Bym 421 center entry car, 2nd class, in ocean blue / ivory.
This set goes with the 88202 locomotive.
The "Heckeneilzug" / "Backwoods Limited Stop Train" – a designation that has long since disappeared in the course of regularly scheduled service – conjures up the image of a whole world of railroading with connections free of transfers from the country to the commuter belts of large metropolitan areas. In the second half of the Thirties, the DRG had already increasingly begun to integrate branch lines into the long distance network. Running long-distance passenger trains on branch lines thus...
The "Heckeneilzug" / "Backwoods Limited Stop Train" – a designation that has long since disappeared in the course of regularly scheduled service – conjures up the image of a whole world of railroading with connections free of transfers from the country to the commuter belts of large metropolitan areas. In the second half of the Thirties, the DRG had already increasingly begun to integrate branch lines into the long distance network. Running long-distance passenger trains on branch lines thus enabled shortcuts and connections free of transfers between regions located off the main lines and the metropolitan areas. The new German Federal Railroad continued these services after cleaning up the worst of the war damage. One striking connection was originated starting in January of 1950 by the limited stop pair of trains Frankfurt – Bremen via Marburg – Korbach – Büren – Paderborn – Bielefeld – Rahden – Bassum with a 443 kilometer / 277 mile long run, of it 278 kilometers / 174 miles or 63% on branch lines. In addition to a daily connection free of transfers for the first time between Frankfurt and Bremen, this new pair of trains offered a new direct connection with the comfort of a long-distance train to numerous additional locations. This concept worked out well and numerous other connections were added in the following years. Focal points were chiefly Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein, and North Rhine Westphalia with their long branch lines. The local expression with its somewhat lightly mocking tone soon came into being as "Heckeneilzug", loosely translated as "Backwoods Limited Stop Train" for these long-distance services. The German name for these trains referred to the many hedgerows found in the Northern German landscape where many of these trains ran. Individual backwoods limited stop passenger trains stood out particularly due to the inclusion of through cars. Of interest here, are chiefly the trains in East Lower Saxony that ran through cars for decades between the Harz region and Hamburg as well as between the Rhine-Main area and Flensburg. With regard to rolling stock, the backwoods limited stop trains did not fundamentally differ from the other long distance limited stop trains with quite high quality car features. In the beginning, limited stop passenger cars from prewar designs and occasionally older express train passenger cars were available, but in the Sixties, the "Silberlinge" / "Silver Coins" cars frequently running at that time in express trains quickly found new activity in the backwoods limited stop trains. Even modern express train passenger cars occasionally enhanced the looks of the trains. In the beginning only steam locomotives were available as motive power, but in the mid-Sixties diesel locomotives of the classes V 100, V 160, and V 200 came on line, and of course electric locomotives under catenary. The increasing abandonment of branch lines in large numbers in the Seventies as well as the buildup of regularly scheduled services on rationalized lines soon left no room for the backwoods limited stop passenger trains. With the discontinuance of the famous "Kleber Express" (Munich – Buchloe – Memmingen – Kisslegg – Aulendorf – Sigmaringen – Tuttlingen – Donaueschingen – Neustadt/Schwarzwald – Freiburg/Breisgau) in December of 2003 the chapter about the "Heckeneilzüge" / "Backwoods Limited Stop Passenger Trains" was finally closed.more