West German Steam in Colour 1955-1975
Following World War 2 and the partition of Germany into zones controlled by the four Allied powers – Britain, France, the Soviet Union and the United States – the westernmost provinces, the British, French and US zones, were eventually to form a separate state – West Germany – from 1949. The railways of Germany were also split, with the railways in the west being known as Deutsche Bundesbahn (DB).
In the aftermath of the destruction wrought during World War 2, the most pressing problems faced by the newly-created DB was the restoration of services and the repair of the locomotives and rolling stock. Unlike East Germany, West Germany was to be a beneficiary of Marshall Aid; this helped fund much of the post-war repair work as well as the investment in new locomotives. The last new steam locomotives were constructed in 1956 but, unlike Britain, the locomotives constructed post-war were to have a full life, with main-line steam in West Germany surviving through until 1977. From the late 1950s onwards, as disappeared rapidly from Britain, railway enthusiasts started to travel abroad in ever-greater numbers to record steam. One of the most popular destinations was West Germany, with its hugely powerful Pacific and 2-10-0 classes, and the enthusiasts who ventured there came back with a fascinating selection of photographs and film recording DB in transition.
This collection of images, largely unpublished, is drawn from the extensive collection held by the Online Transport Archive and follows on from the successful volume on German trams published, to much critical acclaim, in the autumn of 2017.
Hardback, 160 pages, 220 colour photographs
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