The Rail Zeppelin was a famous German train that resembled the giant Zeppelin
air ships. It was 85 feet long and propelled by a propeller! It did not pull any
cars. On June 2, 1931, it set a new railway speed record by achieving 142.9 mph
for approximately 20 km between Hamburg and Berlin. This one of a kind train was
designed by Franz Krukenberg (1882-1965).
Krukenberg's "Schienenzeppelin" was built in 1929. The construction
of the body was similar to the then popular Zeppelin air ships. It consisted of
a framework of tubes, which was covered with aluminum on the nose and treated
fabric on the rest of the body. The interior was Spartan. This train was built
for speed, not luxury!
The Rail Zepelin was not put into production, but attracted attention
wherever it went. The failure of the Rail Zepelin has been atributed to
everything from the dangers of using an open propeller in crowded railway
stations to competition with other high-speed train designs. The "Schienenzeppelin"
was an important part of the evolution of high-speed passenger rail transport
and continues to attract the attention of railroad fans and hobyists.
This model is constructed of tin and is powered by a wind-up mechanism. It
can run on the floor or on O-gauge train track. It measures 12.5" long and
includes the wind-up key and collector box.
This great wind-up is new in the box and has not been run.