25 Years of the Lufthansa Airport Express Frankfurt – Stuttgart
In May of 1990, flying at "elevation zero" grew with the route Stuttgart – Frankfurt Airport. Since no more "redundant" class 403 powered rail cars were available as eight years previously, a conventional solution had to be found with a locomotive and cars. Four type Avm 207 Eurofima compartment cars were removed from the DB roster to realize the project more quickly, and they were adapted to the needs of Lufthansa. During the rebuilding work, the two outer six-seat compartments of the nine existing units were removed and the space was converted to galley space or to a baggage area so that each car then had 42 seats. The cars were painted and decorated externally and inside to the Lufthansa design. The standard electric locomotive, road number 111 049 was chosen as motive power. It was repainted for this purpose and was transferred from Munich to Frankfurt. Initially, two daily pairs of trains were offered. The travel time between Stuttgart and Frankfurt was 2 hours. There were no intermediate stops on the route to the south. The Airport Express was planned to run on the new construction route Stuttgart - Mannheim when the latter went into operation on June 2, 1991.
Everything had begun on March 27, 1982. Planned use of the Lufthansa Airport Express with the class 403 powered rail cars on the Rhine route between Düsseldorf Main Station and the Frankfurt Airport started at the initiative of the German Transportation Ministry. What had initially begun as a twelve-month experiment developed with time into a demonstration of integrated transportation: For eleven years, Lufthansa was the only airline company to operate its own trains in addition to its fleet of airplanes. The Lufthansa Airport Express was halted on May 23, 1993 despite low operating costs and relatively high passenger numbers. Since this time, special seating in regular ICE trains between Cologne, Frankfurt, and Stuttgart is reserved by Lufthansa.