Flying Hamburger train (Marklin TW12970)

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Flying Hamburger train (Marklin TW12970)

Flying Hamburger Diesel-Electric Railcar, Märklin TW12970 TW12971 (MarklinCat 1936).jpg (i)

BTMM map 032.gif
Arch Three , Area 32
Märklin Model Railways (display)


A streamlined, articulated gauge 0 20 Volt electric "Flying Hamburger" train, made by Märklin in 1937, catalogue number TW 12970). These models were produced between 1932 and 1938.

Märklin Flying Hamburger model, detail


Marklin produced three main versions of the violet-and-cream Hamburger, a clockwork version without lights (TW 970), a gauge 0 electric version with a single headlight and red tail-light (TW 12970), and a larger Gauge 1 electric version with a pair of headlights and a pair of red tail-lights (TW 12971) – the museum's version is the electric gauge 0 version with the single electric light front and back.

Märklin Flying Hamburger model, in gauge 0 and gauge 1, TW 12970 and TW 12971
1936: The clockwork version of the model (without lights), TW 970

Märklin also produced a red-and-cream diesel-electric train model based on their Hamburger design, but in red-and-cream, and with an additional central section.

1936: A derivative model of a three-car diesel-electric train by Märklin, based on the Hamburger model, TW 12970/3

The "Flying Hamburger" train

The diesel-electric Flying Hamburger (a.k.a. Fliegender Hamburger, or Hamburg Flier) -- officially the Baureihe SVT, and then the Deutsche Bundesbahn Baureihe VT -- came into service in 1933 as the basis of a high-speed inter-city rail link between Hamburg and Berlin, which was then reckoned to be the world's fastest scheduled train service.

For a while, the Hamburger was one of the most advanced and influential trains on the planet, with locomotive designers from all around the world visiting Germany to ride the new streamlined train, before going back home and experimenting with streamlining themselves. The fact that the Hamburger design worked and worked well, and was a high-profile success, was arguably the trigger for the rash of streamlined steam locomotive designs that then appeared in the UK, mainland Europe and the US in the early to mid 1930s.


The "Hamburger" consisted of a "pushme-pullyou" coupling of two strongly streamlined units, each of which had a rounded driver's cab at one end, followed by the engine section and an integrated carriage. A pair of these units butted together by their flat "carriage" ends produced a small, streamlined, double-ended, high-speed train that could shuttle passengers the 178 miles between the two city stations in fractionally over two and a quarter hours, and could then pick up a new batch of passengers and head straight back the other way.

See also:


  • Christian Väterlein and Botho G. Wagner, Märklin Eisenbahnen (Battenberg Verlag Augsburg, 1996), p. 164, ISBN 389441233X

External links