Grand Ducal Mecklenburg Friedrich-Franz Railway
The Großherzoglich Mecklenburgische Friedrich-Franz-Eisenbahn (MFFE) was the state railway company in Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz . From its second nationalization in 1890 until the transition of the state railways to the German Reich in 1920, it was under the direction of the Grand Ducal General Railway Directorate in Schwerin .
Way to the state railway
First railways in Mecklenburg
The first railway line in Mecklenburg was the Prussian Berlin-Hamburg Railway , which opened in 1846. Railway stations were built in Ludwigslust and Hagenow , among others . On March 10, 1846, the " Mecklenburg Railway Company " received the concession to build a line from Hagenow to Schwerin and Wismar and via Bützow to Rostock with a branch line to Güstrow . The line was completed on May 13, 1850.
After the Mecklenburg Railway Company had built its line, a west-east connection was missing, which should also open up the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz .
Since there was a lack of financially strong investors, the Güstrow - Teterow - Malchin - Neubrandenburg route was built as a sovereign property on the initiative of Grand Duke Friedrich Franz II of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. The line was opened on November 11, 1864 at Teterow train station in the presence of both Mecklenburg Grand Dukes. In 1867, the railway was connected across the Prussian border to Strasburg (Uckermark) . The management established its headquarters in Malchin. To continue the route to Lübeck , the " Lübeck-Kleinener Eisenbahngesellschaft " was founded, which was granted a building license on December 20, 1865. After construction had to be stopped in 1868 due to lack of money, the state took over the railway on April 24, 1870 and started operations on July 1, 1870 from Kleinen via Bobitz , Grevesmühlen , Schönberg to Lübeck. In Lübeck the Friedrich-Franz-Bahn built its own freight yard, called Lübeck Mecklenburgischer Rangi (e) rbahnhof . The Lübeck-Büchener Railway station was also used for passenger transport .
The desire for state control of railway construction and operation led to the nationalization of the railways in Mecklenburg in 1873. The Mecklenburg government also wanted to forestall a purchase of the railways by the Reichseisenbahnen planned by Bismarck. The operating surpluses of the Mecklenburg Railway Company were also a reason for the takeover.
On April 20, 1873, the state government acquired the Mecklenburg Railway Company and combined it with the Friedrich-Franz Railway to form the "Grand Ducal Friedrich-Franz Railway". The head office was relocated from Malchin to the state capital Schwerin.
Again private railway
In 1875 the Grand Ducal Mecklenburg Friedrich-Franz Railway was reprivatised. The reason was a dispute between the former railroad shareholders and the government, as they could not repay their debts of around 10 million thalers (30 million marks) from the train purchase. The result of the dispute was the formation of the "Mecklenburgische Friedrich-Franz-Eisenbahngesellschaft" (MFFE) as a joint stock company on April 2, 1875. This private railway company existed until the second nationalization on February 1, 1890. The MFFE built a branch line from Malchin according to goods.
Between 1875 and 1890, a large number of new railway lines were created by private railway companies.
The Parchim-Ludwigsluster Railway built a line between the namesake places. The Güstrow-Plauer Railway built a line from Plaaz via Güstrow to Meyenburg on the Prussian border. The Wismar-Rostock Railway established the direct connection between the two port cities. The Gnoien-Teterow Railway connected the city of Gnoien to the rail network. The connection between Parchim, Lübz , Waren (Müritz) , Penzlin and Neubrandenburg was built by the Mecklenburg Southern Railway . The German-Nordic Lloyd established a connection from Neustrelitz goods found to Rostock and Warnemünde. The Wismar-Karower Railway established a connection to the railway junction in Karow, where the Southern Railway and the Güstrow-Plauer Railway crossed. Finally, the narrow-gauge Doberan-Heiligendamm Railway was built .
Grand Ducal Mecklenburg-Friedrich-Franz Railway
With the second nationalization in 1889/1890, the administration of the state railway was transferred to the Grand Ducal General Railway Direction (GGED). Since then the railway has been known as the "Grand Ducal Mecklenburgische Friedrich-Franz-Eisenbahn (MFFE)"
As a result, all nine existing private railways were acquired by the state, with the acquisition of the larger, more profitable, companies taking a little longer. The Lloydbahn, the Parchim-Ludwigsluster Eisenbahn and the Mecklenburgische Südbahn were not incorporated until 1894.
The Grand Ducal Mecklenburg Friedrich-Franz Railway built a number of new lines at the turn of the 20th century. The MFFE route network in Mecklenburg grew from 1013.2 to 1050.9 kilometers from 1890 to 1908, and the entire MFFE network, including its routes in neighboring countries, comprised 1,148.55 kilometers in 1908.
The following routes were created during this time:
- Rostock - (Bad) Sülze –Tribsees (with connection to the " Franzburger Südbahn " and the Tribsees – Grimmen – Greifswald line ) (1895)
- Schwerin – Rehna (1897)
- Ganzlin-Röbel (1899)
- Crivitz – Parchim (1899)
- Grevesmühlen – Klütz (1905)
- Schönberg - Dassow (1905)
- Malchin– Dargun (1907)
- Heiligendamm – Arendsee (today: Ostseebad Kühlungsborn West) (1910)
- Parchim – Suckow railway line (1912)
Mecklenburg railway ferries on the Baltic Sea
In 1903, the mail steamer connection between Warnemünde and Nykøbing / Falster , which had existed since 1886, was replaced by a train ferry from Warnemünde to Gedser . The MFFE built a new train station in Warnemünde and a port with two ferry beds. The two ferries Friedrich Franz IV and Mecklenburg were purchased for ferry traffic . The ferry line was operated jointly with the Danish State Railways. The ferry connection made direct, through trains from Berlin to Copenhagen possible.
War, November Revolution, Reich Railroad
The last chapter of the MFFE began with the First World War. The train traffic was adapted to the demands of the war and railroad employees were called up for military service on an unprecedented scale. Railway material had to be handed over to other railway administrations and the railway operations were coordinated under the supervision of the military across countries and thus across all railways.
After the November Revolution and the abdication of the Grand Duke on 13 November 1918, the car in "Mecklenburg country railway" was renamed and went under the provisions of the Weimar Constitution , 1920 in the Imperial Railways on. The Reichsbahndirektion Schwerin became the administrative authority for the Reichseisenbahnen in Mecklenburg .
The long running times of the Mecklenburg locomotives are striking. In 1903, for example, locomotives were still running that were procured in the early years of the railroad between 1864 and 1873 and had thus completed more than 30 years of service. By the turn of the century, comparatively few locomotives were put into service, so that the average age of the locomotive fleet between 1898 and 1903 rose from 13 years to 15 years. In 1903 the railway company had a total of 176 locomotives and by 1914 the number had increased to 239 locomotives.
When it came to the procurement of locomotives, Mecklenburg oriented itself towards its large neighbor Prussia and adopted Prussian models as far as possible. The classes T 3 , G 3 , G 4 and G 5 were among the first newly acquired locomotives after the formation of the MFFE . After the turn of the century, class G 8 locomotives were added for freight train service.
The T 4, on the other hand, was a real Mecklenburg proprietary development . This tank locomotive was lighter than the Prussian model and was put into service by the MFFE for branch line operations.
In contrast to other German railway administrations, the MFFE did not procure any express locomotives. The transport of the international express trains Berlin - Warnemünde - Gedser - Copenhagen and the Rostock - Hamburg express trains were carried out by class P 8 locomotives , which reached a sufficiently high speed at 100 km / h.
As of December 31, 1915, the Mecklenburg route network of the MFFE comprised a total of 1,177.5 kilometers and consisted of the following route lengths:
- 134.2 km double-track main line
- 318.6 km single-track main line
- 641.5 km of single-track branch line
- 67.8 km of standard gauge small railroad
- 15.4 km narrow-gauge small train
Remembering the MFFE today
Today there is very little reminiscent of Mecklenburg's former railway: In Schwerin the building of the “Grand Ducal General Railway Direction”, which housed the Reich Railway Directorate in Schwerin until its dissolution, some inclination indicators with the characteristic MFFE in the middle and the functional and but attractive old station buildings from the early days of the railway, for example in Teterow, Malchin and Stavenhagen. The Molli Museum of the Mecklenburg Spa Railway “Molli” at the Kühlungsborn- West train station also houses souvenirs of the Grand Ducal Mecklenburg Friedrich-Franz Railway .
- Karl Julius Harder: Memories of Mecklenburg . In: Lok-Magazin . No. 74 . Franckh'sche Verlagshandlung, W. Keller & Co. , 1975, ISSN 0458-1822 , p. 354-361 .
- Lothar Schultz: The railways in Mecklenburg . 1st edition. transpress, Berlin 1986, ISBN 3-344-00068-3 .
- Mecklenburg Railways . In: Brockhaus Konversations-Lexikon 1894–1896, Volume 11, p. 710.
- Statistical handbook for the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin . 2nd increased edition, 1910, p. 220, digitized
- Lothar Schultz: The time of the steam locomotives in Mecklenburg . Ostseedruck Rostock, 1988, pages 3-4.
- Lothar Schultz: The time of the steam locomotives in Mecklenburg . Ostseedruck Rostock, 1988, pages 5-7.
- Lothar Schultz: The time of the steam locomotives in Mecklenburg . Ostseedruck Rostock, 1988, page 61.
- Lothar Schultz: The time of the steam locomotives in Mecklenburg . Ostseedruck Rostock, 1988, page 4.