"Mitropa dining car on display" Top 5 Page for this destination Frankfurt am Main Off The Beaten Path Tip by Nemorino

Frankfurt am Main Off The Beaten Path: 148 reviews and 217 photos

  German rail, Frankfurt headquarters
by Nemorino

Every morning when I cycled to work I used to go past the Frankfurt headquarters of DB, the German rail system. For a while this was their national headquarters, but now all the really big bosses have moved to Berlin, where they have a huge new building on Potsdamer Platz.

Out front of their Frankfurt building they have built a very short section of track and have put an old electric locomotive and an old Mitropa dining car on display. Since this bit of track is not connected to any other tracks, the locomotive and dining car were transported here by large cranes from the nearest rail yard which is several hundred meters away.

It might seem ironic that they set up this display just at the time they were trying to abolish all the dining cars from the real trains, but I think that was intentional. They wanted us all to think that dining cars were a thing of the past and therefore suited to museum-type displays only.

From what little I know of Marketing, based mainly on a hasty weekend seminar I took once, it seems to me that in any marketing campaign the first step should be to decide what your USPs are, your Unique Selling Points. For a rail system, dining cars are definitely a USP, since no automobile and no airplane will ever have a dining car. But the DB leadership, consisting mainly of ex-Lufthansa managers who had no idea how to run a railroad, didn't realize this until they were confronted with a massive public protest which forced them to reinstate the dining cars.

This outdoor exhibit is in the Gallus district of Frankfurt am Main, corner of Idsteiner Strasse and Stephensonstrasse, which by the way is named after the English inventor and railway pioneer George Stephenson, 1781-1848.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Mar 5, 2006
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