Trans Europ Express domes
In 1962 five dome cars were built for the new TEE trains "Rheingold" and "Rheinpfeil" by DBAG (Deutsche Bahn AG) in Germany. They were assigned class ADm and numbers 61 80 81-80 001 thru 005. Due to restricted tunnel clearances throughout europe, the "domes" were very low profile, hardly higher than the standard roofline, but nonetheless affording a view unobtainable in regular cars.
length (over buffers) 26.4 m
body length 26.1 m
height 3.850 m
truck wheelbase 2.5m
kingpin dist 19 m
weight 50 ton (metric)
top speed 160 km/h (100 mph)
The TEE trains were international "first class only" operations running thru various central european countries ("Rheingold" ran Basel, Switzerland to Hoek van Holland). The domes were removed from service with the beginning of the summer timetable of 1976, mostly because of high maintenance costs.
In december 1976 all five cars were sold to the private "Apfelpfeil"(apple-arrow) company for tourist train service. The numbers changed to 51 80 09-42 911 to 915, type "WGm".
After Apfelpfeil went bankrupt in 1979, the cars were sold to a Swiss charter car company "Reisebüro Mittelthurgau" with new numbers 51 80 09-80 201 thru 205 (the "80" for Germany is correct, the cars were based in Konstanz at the frontier to Switzerland) and got their famous "TEE" colors back. (This company owned and operated the USA "American Orient Express" until that operation was sold to Oregon Rail Corp in 1997). Two of the cars (203 & 204) got new trucks for running in 200 km/h (125 mph) trains and so changed their numbers to 51 80 09-90 003 and 004.
In late 1999 all five cars were bought by the Swedish operator "Tågkompaniet" who put them in regular service on a number of night trains.
The current (5/2000) utilization of the cars is as follows:
Two cars are used daily on the late evening departures Luleå-Stockholm and Stockholm-Luleå. A third car runs Luleå-Narvik (in Norway)-Luleå, also daily. The fourth car is available for charter and the fifth is used as a backup.
The Swedish operator uses a light/dark green paint scheme, and each car has its own "theme" patterned after the five big wild animals in northern Sweden.
Class (Swedish standard) / number (TK number series) / name of animal
AFS1 / 201 / Järven (Wolverine)
AFS1 / 202 / Fjällräven (Arctic fox)
AFS2 / 203 / Älgen (Moose)
AFS2 / 204 / Lodjuret (Lynx)
AFS1 / 205 / Björnen (Bear)
Thanks to/photos: Kenny S Ericson, Martin Oscarsson, Sven Ullrich, John McIvor, Jan Lindahl, Tågkompaniet, Trains/George Drury/John Curtis, Achim Althausen, Tobias Koehler, Jan Nilsson