Germany, divided after World War II into two seperate countries, was re-unified on the 3rd October 1990. For the country's rail system the complex task of unifying two networks with very difficult rolling stock and systems had just begun. New lines & stations were build to physically unite the network & new trains were introduced to transform services.. Many rural regional lines closed as car ownership in the former East Germany increased dramatically. Amazingly, however none of the former East German narrow-gauge lines that were still steam oprerated in 1990 have shut; most still offer daily services whilst other long closed narroe-gauge lines have been rebuilt & reopened by enthusiast groups.
This book written by the Modern Railways magazine's Europe editor & illustrated with over 130 pictures, most of which have never been published before, traces the development of the unified German rail network & new national operator Deutsche Bahn (DB AG). It also looks at the wider rail industry in Germany & the introduction of market reforms leading to one od the most dynamic rail markets anywhere, with over 300 rail freight operators, open access intercity competition & more than 100 regional passenger concession contracts replacing the original two state railway companies. Looking to the future, the book examines plans for new high-speed lines & a national regular-interval timetable from 2030