Early German Federal Railroad Flagship Train and the Wonder of Bern -
The first five sets of the VT 08 express powered rail car trains were available to the German Federal Railroad as early as the summer schedule of 1952. The thoughts given to the new development of diesel powered rail car trains with hydraulic transmissions went all the way back to the foundation of the German Federal Railroad. Thus, thirteen three-unit trains from the first production series were built by 1953 for important long distance express passenger service as part of the new construction program. Another six engine cars with dining car arrangements and seven intermediate cars were added by 1954 in the second production run. These units were used primarily to lengthen the existing trains to four and five-unit consists with powered end cars at both ends.
The modern, comfortable VT 08 represented the epitome of the new German Federal Railroad and enjoyed great popularity among the passengers. The smooth rounded form of the ends of the train quickly led to the nickname "Egg Heads". These deluxe trains provided service on long distance routings with sonorous names such as "Rheinblitz", "Münchner Kindl", "Roland", "Schauinsland" or "Saphir". These fast trains were also used on foreign routes such as the "Paris-Ruhr" (Dortmund-Paris) as well as the "Helvetia" (Hamburg-Zürich).
The prime time for the VT 08 extended well into the 1960s. After electrification of many major routes, the VT 08 trains were then still used partially in TEE service. Later, these trains were rebuilt to simpler standards for plain fast train service.
World Champion Return Trip in 1954 -
Without a doubt the most spectacular use of a VT 08 powered rail car train was the return trip in this comfortable, special powered rail car train of the German national soccer team after they won the world championship in 1954 in Bern. This train was lettered for the occasion with "FUSSBALL-WELTMEISTER 1954" ("WORLD SOCCER CHAMPIONS 1954").
On the trip from Spiez, the headquarters of the German team, to Munich hundreds of thousands of soccer enthusiasts crowded into the stations to celebrate this sensational team. Over 20,000 fans eager to see the team overwhelmed the border station of Singen. They stood on station platforms, platform roofs, tracks, anywhere they could catch a glimpse of the train. The trip had to be repeatedly interrupted due to the masses of people.