Broader than Broad - DIGITAL EDITION


This book has been out of print for some time, and is now reintroduced as a digital book for viewing on a computer, iPad or the like. Not downloadable on to a 'Kindle' or similar reader.

The extraordinary story of Hitler's projected Breitspur Fernbahn, a 3 metre gauge network of railways which would unite all corners of the Third Reich, and beyond. The rolling stock and the locomotives, electric, steam, diesel, gas-turbine and fireless would have been huge, nearly 25 feet high.

Surprisingly, planning for this super-railway continued throughout the war, Reichsbahn officials and others obviously deciding it was in their own interests to play along with the Fuhrer's ideas. Technically it would have been at the limit of technology, and for financial reasons as well as availability of resources the Breitspur Fernbahn was never a serious possibility, but leaving all other implications aside, who wouldn't have wanted to see one of the 305 feet long steam locomotives thunder past at 250 kph, hauling a 1000 tonne train of double deck passenger coaches?

To give an indication of the Breitspur Fernbahn's size, if you modelled it in 4mm scale (IE 00 or HO size standard gauge) you would use 0 gauge track, and the largest steam locomotives themselves would be all but 4 feet long. This may explain why the idea is unlikely ever to be modelled!

Also covered in outline are earlier broad gauge railways, and subsequent ideas for ultra-broad gauge ones. Robin Barnes also puts the whole project in the context of Hitler's 'gigantomania', of which this was perhaps the most extreme expression.

Throughout, there are accurate colour paintings, and B&W drawings by the author based on the original proposals, showing locomotives and trains of the Breitspur Fernbahn - 38 illustrations in all, many double page spreads. 96 pages.

(NB. This Digital Edition is of the second edition of this book, the first having appeared back in 1998. This edition contains new material, and all the colour illustrations are now printed in colour, rather than B&W as previously)