Deutsche Reichsbahn - 1924: Deutsche Reichsbahn-Gesellschaft (DRG)

1924: Deutsche Reichsbahn-Gesellschaft (DRG)

Among the provisions of the 1924 Dawes Plan was a plan to utilize the state railway completely for the payment of war reparations. Following the plan's publication, on 12 February 1924 the Reich government announced the creation of the Deutsche Reichsbahn ("German Reich Railway") as a state enterprise under the Reich Ministry of Transportation (Reichsverkehrsministerium). As this was not enough to satisfy the reparations creditors, on 30 August 1924 a law was enacted providing for the establishment of a state owned Deutsche Reichsbahn-Gesellschaft (DRG) (German Reich Railway Company) as a holding company to operate the national railways. The aim was to earn profits which, in accordance with the Dawes Plan, were to be used to contribute to Germany's war reparations. These terms were later amended in the Young Plan. In total, about 3.87 billion Goldmarks was paid in reparations to the Allied powers.

The beginning of the DRG was characterised by the acquisition of new rolling stock built to standard types, such as the standard steam locomotives (Einheitsdampflokomotiven). The stock already in use was inherited from the various state railways and comprised a great number of designs, many of them quite old. In the latter part of the 1930s, high speed trains like the "Flying Hamburger" and streamlined steam engines with matching cars were developed. The Class 05 streamlined express engine reached a speed of 200.4 km/h (124.5 mph). Before the Second World War the most important rail lines ran east and west. The most modern high speed lines were the Prussian Ostbahn which ran through the Polish corridor, the line from Berlin to Hamburg on which high speed diesel trains ran, the line from Hannover to the Ruhr, the line from Frankfurt am Main to southwest Germany, and the line from Berlin to Breslau (Wrocław).

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