High speed rail development began in Germany in 1899 when the Prussian state railway joined with ten electrical and engineering firms and electrified 72 kilometres (45 mi) of military owned railway between Marienfelde and Zossen. The line used three phase current at 10 kilovolts and 45 Hz.
The Van der Zypen & Charlier company of Deutz, Cologne built two railcars, one fitted with electrical equipment from Siemens Halske, the second with equipment from Allgemeine Elektricitats Gesellschaft (AEG), that were tested on the Marienfelde Zossen line during 1902 and 1903.On 23 October 1903, the S&H equipped railcar achieved a speed of 206.7 km/h (128.4 mph) and on 27 October the AEG equipped railcar achieved 210.2 km/h (130.6 mph).These trains demonstrated the feasibility of electric high speed rail however regularly scheduled electric high speed rail travel was still more than 30 years away.
Early German high speed network
On May 15, 1933, the Deutsche Reichsbahn Gesellschaft company introduced the diesel powered Fliegender Hamburger in regular service between Hamburg and Berlin (286 km), thereby establishing the fastest regular service in the world, with a regular top speed of 160 km/h (99 mph). This train was a streamlined multi powered unit, albeit diesel, and used Jakobs bogies some 47 years before the advent of the TGV.Following the success of the Hamburg line, the steam-powered Henschel Wegmann Train was developed and introduced in June 1936 for service from Berlin to Dresden, with a regular top speed of 160 km/h (100 mph).Further development allowed the usage of these Fliegenden Z