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DRG Class ET 91 Gläserner Zug

Image of Stuart JordanSTUART JORDAN looks at this German observation train.


In 1935 Waggonfabrik Fuchs in Heidelberg, in collaboration with AEG, built two railcars for the Deutsche Reichsbahn-Gesellshaft (DRG). They were designed to give the passengers the maximum possible view of the surrounding countryside, with the top-half and almost entirely made up of windows, as much as the strength of the body could take. This gave rise to the nickname Gläserner Zug (Glass Train).

DRG Class ET 91 image glasernerzug.

The two units were given the running numbers ET 91 01 and ET 91 02, and entered service in 1936 running recreational trips in Southern Germany and Austria. Power came from two pantographs, driving only the front motor bogie, although the ET 91 had cabs at both ends – and also reversible seats so that the passengers could always face forwards.

ET 91 02 was destroyed in an Allied bombing raid on Munich on March 9th, 1943 at Munich Hbf. After the war, more lines were electrified so the range of the remaining ET 91 was extended, running on trips into Switzerland, Italy, France, and Yugoslavia.

On 12th December, 1995 ET 91 01 was involved in a collision with another train at Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria in which one person was killed and forty-six were injured. The motor bogie was damaged almost beyond repair, and three-quarters of the chassis was warped. The ET 91 has been restored as much as possible, but will probably never run again. At the time of writing, it is housed in the Bahnpark Augsburg museum in Augsburg, Bavaria.

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Model of the Gläserner Zug

N Gauge

  • Fleischmann - Electric railcar ET 91 01 "Gläserner Zug" "Glass train" of the Deutsche Bundesbahn.

G Gauge

  • Piko - Electric railcar ET 91 "Gläserner Zug" / "Glass train" of the Deutsche Bundesbahn.