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03/2024 by Klaus Kosack

Arnold's new train “The Berliner” RTC

Factory photo set RTC

Recently there has been an increasing number of vehicles from various manufacturers that date back to the times of the Cold War between West and East. A more recent example was the US Army's Minitrix tank cars, which were built in Germany. The latest example is the occupier train of the British Army of the Rhine (Royal Transportation Corps = RTC), which Arnold brought onto the market in autumn 2023.


As late as 1945, the three victorious powers agreed with the Soviets on privileged special train services between their occupied zones and their occupied part in Berlin. Most trains went to Berlin via Helmstedt-Magdeburg. Many trains ended in Berlin-Charlottenburg. Except for the Berlin Blockade in 1948/49, the trains ran regularly until 1991.   The traffic route was operated by the respective state railways - DB in the west - from Helmstedt to Berlin and in Berlin the DR took over. Therefore, the locomotive and the German train crew will be replaced. The trains were generally only permitted for occupying soldiers and, if necessary, their relatives. However, there was one special feature: so that no passenger could leave the train or board it (unauthorized), all doors on the train were locked with a chain and lock when it departed. This problem was solved - probably at the request of the GDR. It couldn't be entirely ruled out that the train would have to make an unscheduled stop at a GDR station. The train usually ran once or twice a week and initially had the train name DB. It was later changed to Dm. On GDR public holidays (e.g. May 1st or October 7th) all trains should be decorated with the hammer and sickle flag of the GDR. However, the Allies opposed this. The solution was that the train was taken out at the Helmstedt border station and had to wait for the next day. Then he was able to continue driving without the GDR flag.

What did these military trains look like? Which cars were carried?  The Arnold train takes place around 1985. It runs the route Braunschweig-Berlin-Charlottenburg (or back). On the DB side, locomotives from the V 160 family can be used as train locomotives (BR 216, 215 or 218) or the BR 220, and after the electrification of the Braunschweig-Helmstedt line, also the BR 110 or 140. On the DR On this side, only diesel locomotives were in use, namely BR 130 or 132 (Ludmillas) or 118 (formerly V 180). All locomotives are/were available from specialist retailers.


About the train cars:

The contents of the train set (Arnold #HN4297) consist of four cars.

  • Bm 239 of the DB
  • Bcm of the RTC
  • WRSm of the RTC
  • On 203 the DB

So the set includes two DB seated cars, one a couchette car and a dining car with a special compartment. This special compartment was reserved for the British train attendants. In my opinion, the 2nd class seating cars are too few. You can easily choose from your collection of cars from Ep. IV, whether ocean blue/beige or green. Or - if you have one - take the 2nd class RTC car from Roco. Additional DSG couchette cars and/or sleeping cars are not a problem either, as the train mainly ran at night. On certain days (e.g. Christmas traffic) a baggage car Dm 903 is not allowed. A train with 8 or 9 cars can quickly come together. The wagons had to be provided by the DB, and the rent for the wagons was paid by the federal government as subsequent reparation costs. One car had to have radio equipment, just in case. The RTC's dining car with a special compartment, where the warrant officer also had his reserved seat, meets this criterion.

“The Berliner” as a model

At first glance, the four cars all look very similar. But if you take a closer look, the cars do have certain differences. Here's a look at the four cars in detail.

Car 1- Bm 238 DB
Car 2- Bcm RTC
Car 3- WRSm RTC
Car 4- Am 203 DB

All cars bear the Union Jack (British national flag) (probably as a sticker) so that everyone can see that a British military train is traveling here. Two cars belong to the Royal Corps of Transport and are used as private cars by the DB. Here is a detailed shot of the owner's logo.

Labeling (couch)

Car 3 (WRSm) carries the radio equipment on the roof.

The package also includes a ticket and a description of military traffic in English.  Among other things, the administrative responsibilities for the train in Berlin are also described here.

The cars themselves roll easily and unwanted disconnections on the club system were rare. The cars themselves have a very short coupling. However, you should make sure that the rubber beads of the wagon transitions are firmly inserted, otherwise unwanted derailments can occur in curves of the system.

Dome spacing

My conclusion

The train is an interesting historical compilation – from the “Cold War” era. The train represents an example of late military traffic in Germany in the mid-1980s. Unfortunately there are no additional cars for the train. This can be remedied with “normal” DB express train cars, ideally with a “Union Jack” decal. You can make one yourself if you scan the flag of a car and print it out in color on carrier material. The flag can also be removed if the car is to be used again for civilian purposes. The train set is very inexpensive at just under €120 for the four cars.


Klaus Kosack

Produkte aus diesem Beitrag im Shop

Arnold_HN4297: Passenger car set The Berliner RCT Ep.IV 4-piece

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