Rheingold (continued)

The first Rheingold Express began service on May 15 in 1928 and was an instant success.

Perhaps more popular with the British than with any other nationality. After sleeping on the boat, in which berths were far less costly than sleeping cars, the train stood on the Quai immediately beside the gangway.Custom inspection took place on the train.

Unlike the French Wagons-Lits staff, whose English language was halting and poorly pronounced, the Germans asked in perfect English what the passenger wished for breakfast.

Each Rheingold,  consisting of 2 couplages and one or sometimes two bagage,  had 26 to 28 staff, among which 4 Chefs, to cater for a maximum of 96 Passengers !
In 1927 Dr Kieschke bought the wine cellars of Franz Klein Hock offering Mitopa diners something that Wagons-Lits could not match, and where better than to savour Mitropa hock wine than along the Rhine.

The success of the Rheingold caused Wagons-Lits to initiate a Pullman service from Amsterdam to Basel via Antwerp, Brussels, Luxembourg and Strassbourg. The "Edelweiss" started its service one month after the Rheingold on the 15th of June and in the Summer ran through to Luzern.

As the Rheingold went to Milano ( -the first year only to Luzern) both the Edelweiss and the Rheingold met in Basel at the same time and to the great annoyance of both Mitropa and Wagons-Lits and in the true spirit of Swiss neutrality, both trains were hauled to Luzern together, usually by the trusted Ae 4/7.

The parcours Amsterdam-Luxembourg-Basel being one of the most important and frequently travelled in Europe, the fierce competition beween the Edelweiss and the Rheingold gave birth to yet another Pullman express, the “Pullman Express Ostende – Koln”. It had the character of a fast Intercity from London to Koln as a 12 hour only journey. London to Koln by Rheingold involved one overnight stay at the Ferry from Harwich to Hook of Holland.

In the Netherlands the Rheingold was pulled by the 3700-3800-3900 steam locomotive series, in Germany by the Baureihen 183 (Badic IV h, between Mannheim and Basel) and BR 184-5 (Bavarian S 3/6, between Emmerich and Mannheim) and in Switzerland by Ae 4/7 electric locomotives.
In 1930, the BR 01 (01 077-181) was used between Mannheim and Basel and permanently from 1935 on, and the NS 3900 in Holland.The luxurious Pullman type salon coaches had a distinct cream/violet livery in 1st and 2nd class each measuring 23.5 m. At one end there was a violet bagage wagon. Mitropa waiters served the passengers.
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