Fast and No Competition -
In the 1920s the German State Railroad Company recognized the increasing competition from automobiles and airplanes. As far back as then business people in particularly and the wealthy appreciated fast day trips - mornings out, evenings back. The railroad did not want to lose these demanding customers. It therefore had to become faster with attractive offerings. The railroad awarded a contract for a two-unit combustion powered rail car after the success of promising high speed experiments with the propeller-driven Rail Zeppelin, which had reached a sensational 230 km/h / 144 mph on its world record run in June of 1931 as a "technology front runner". The powered rail car was placed into service in May of 1932 and linked the two urban areas of Berlin and Hamburg. This powered express rail car raced over the 228 km / 143 mile long route in 132 minutes. At an average speed of almost 128 km/h / 80 mph it was the fastest, regularly scheduled train in the world and entered history as the "Flying Hamburger". The success of this new express train service was overwhelming. The German State Railroad therefore awarded a contract for additional powered rail car trains. This Hamburg design is the prototype for the Märklin model. Improvements in design were made to the regular production VT 137 from the experience assembled with the "Flying Hamburger". In addition, these powered rail car trains were given particularly elegant, streamlined ends and multiple unit control for running two trains together. A power plant consisting of a 12 cylinder diesel motor and a generator was located over the two end trucks for the diesel-electric propulsion of the train. These power plants generated the current for the two electric axle-suspended traction motors on the axles of the center Jakobs truck.
The DRG quickly expanded its express service network operated wit the SVT. These Hamburg design powered rail car trains ran from and to Berlin to Cologne, Frankfurt, Leipzig, Stuttgart, and Munich. There was also a direction connection between Hamburg and Cologne. The German State Railroad held class 03 streamlined locomotives in reserve to protect these routes. In the event of an SVT out of service these locomotives could jump into service with a three-car Schürzenwagen consist. The multiple unit control built into the regular production powered rail cars enabled the railroad to run a large part of the route from Berlin to Southern Germany initially with two powered rail cars coupled together. After being separated in Nürnberg the two powered rail car trains ran further individually to Stuttgart and Munich. Specially schooled train and station personnel performed the necessary uncoupling and coupling procedures very rapidly. After a one minute stop the first powered rail car could go on, followed by the second powered rail car a minute later. Both sets were coupled together again in Nürnberg on the return trip. This type of multiple unit operation can also be seen today - seven decades later - with the ICE 2.