Car class

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Doppelstockwagen the tösstal railway line from 1875 with three car classes
First class in the ICE 3
For comparison: second class in the ICE 3

In the case of railways, the wagon class refers to carriage in wagons with a certain level of comfort. The car classes are usually numbered; 1st class designates the class with the highest level of comfort.

The designation “car class” comes from the fact that whole cars were originally equipped with the same equipment. Today there are seats of different classes in one carriage on many trains; in this case, the term “ first class” or “ second class ” is often used for short .


The differences in the car classes include the composition of the seats (upholstered, leather, face-to-face or row seats), the legroom (distance between the individual seats), compartment or open- plan cars , heated and air-conditioned cars , amplifiers for cell phones , Quiet areas, sockets , tables, sun blinds, etc. In addition, other services can be associated with a car class, both before the journey (special waiting areas in train stations ) and on the train (free drinks, meals or newspapers ). The punctuality and speed of the train, the routing, the nature of the stations and the route do not depend on the carriage class (in mixed trains) or only to a limited extent . Depending on the type of train (e.g. when comparing ICE with regional trains ), the price, comfort and service of the car class vary considerably.

First class cars have a smaller capacity than second class cars because they offer more space for each passenger . In addition, the space available in the first class is often too large compared to the demand - partly deliberately in order to offer a more attractive offer with the less occupied first class.

From the point of view of business administration , the division into car classes is an approach both for price differentiation and for product differentiation .

Situation in Europe

Example of the old 3rd class of the Régional des Brenets RdB from 1890 in Switzerland
Example of the old 2nd class of the Régional des Brenets from 1890 in Switzerland

As a result of the resolutions at the UIC Conference in Naples (1953), the two-tier system that is now the standard in Europe was introduced on June 3, 1956 with the start of the summer timetable . The old first class was abolished, the second class was renamed “first class” and the old third class was renamed “second class”. Only in Portugal , Spain , Italy , Greece and Turkey did the old three-class system last for a few years. The old first class was already being offered in fewer and fewer trains before 1956, usually only in international connections.

With the introduction of the Trans-Europ-Express trains in 1957, the space available in the “new” first class in long-distance traffic was roughly equalized to that of the “old” first class and supplemented by modern achievements such as air conditioning . The default some outstanding luxury trains such as the Rheingold of 1928 or the Pullman trains of CIWL was not achieved again, and the newly acquired first-class carriage for ordinary express trains corresponded rather the old second grade. The second class was also upgraded in many countries (upholstered seats instead of wooden seats in new or modernized cars, sometimes six instead of eight seats per compartment). However, the older cars were not modernized. Some railways in the Eastern Bloc , but also in France , initially retained eight-seater compartments in the interests of greater transport capacity.

High speed traffic

In the course of high-speed traffic , the three-class system was partially reintroduced, and the Italian State Railways even introduced a four-class system in Frecciarossa .

In Spain in 1992 the three classes in the high-speed trains S-100 ( AVE ), S-102 (Talgo 350) and S-103 ( Siemens Velaro ) were named "Club", "Preferente" and "Turista" based on the model of air traffic . A surcharge of 50% is required for the “Preferente” class and 80% for the “Club” class compared to the fare for the “Turista” class.

The Eurostar trains through the Channel Tunnel between Great Britain and France have also been offering a three-class system since September 2005. In the “Standard” class there is a bar and buffet service, in the “Leisure Select” class, champagne and a three-course menu are served at the seat, and in the “Business Premier” class, among other things In addition, express check-in and access to the business lounges with wireless Internet access are granted.

Also in 2008 introduced ÖBB - Railjet -Zug three car classes are available. These are called Business, First and Economy, whereby the classes named “Business” and “First” have the same tariff as the first class and a special surcharge is levied for the business class (this is different from “Business” in air travel “The highest class). The “Economy” tariff corresponds to the second-class tariff.



From the stagecoach to the railroad
Comfort level in 1862
Example of the old 1st class of the Chiemsee-Bahn from 1887 in Germany
3rd class (by Honoré Daumier )

Railway operations in Germany usually began in the 19th century with first, second and third class seats.

The division into classes was a matter of course in the class society of the 19th century. The furnishings of the first and second class corresponded to the interior seats, while the third class - initially still open - the exterior seats of the previous stagecoach . The tariffs of the train were, however, because they offered a lot more seats than any stagecoach, even in first class far below what a place in the stagecoach cost. This led to the relatively quick displacement of the older by the younger means of transport wherever the number of passengers economically justified the construction of a railway.

Further development

With the advent of the car and the dwindling importance of class differentiation at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, the demand for the first class dwindled, so that it was initially abandoned in the lower classes of trains , which were mainly used for local and regional traffic .

The third class pointed to 1935 in Germany exclusively on wooden benches, which is why they also called wood class was called, a term which colloquially for other offers with simple standards was used.

With the beginning of the summer timetable section on June 3, 1956, the first class, which was only offered in a few trains, was abolished on all UIC member railways. The previous second car class became the first, the previous third the second.

Technical innovations, which serve the comfort of the passengers, were first introduced in the higher classes, from 1956 in the first class; for example lighting, heating and later air conditioning.

The Introduction of the Fourth Grade (1852)

In Prussia , passenger trains with fourth class wagons ran for the first time in 1852 to enable low-wage earners to travel by train. These railroad cars were spartan: there were only benches on the side walls, across the direction of travel, otherwise there was only standing room. Later, simple slatted benches were also installed to sit on. Initially, many fourth-class cars were still summer cars without windows and sometimes without a roof.

The fourth car class slowly gained acceptance with all Prussian railway companies:

Especially after the introduction of the ticket tax on August 1, 1906, the number of passengers in the fourth carriage class rose by eight percent, while significantly fewer tickets were sold in the "upholstered classes".

With the timetable change on May 1, 1907, fourth class was also introduced in southern Germany ( Alsace-Lorraine , Palatinate and Württemberg ) at pressure from Prussia.

Interwar period
3rd class (1952)

The standard at that time was that four seats were offered in a first class compartment, six in a second class and eight in a third class.

The luxury trains only consisted of first and - since 1931 - second class cars as well as sleeping and dining cars . As a rule, express trains carried the three upper classes, passenger trains and express trains all classes except the first after the end of the First World War. The accelerated passenger trains (BP) of the Deutsche Reichsbahn made it possible to travel across Germany in the second, third and fourth class of cars between 1922 and 1928.

In view of the economic hardship, the majority of passengers traveled in the inexpensive fourth car class until this was abolished with the timetable change on October 7, 1928. The abolition of the fourth class was not facilitated by the social advancement of the less well-off or a falling demand for fourth class tickets. Rather, the “standing class” had become socially acceptable. People who only used upholstery classes for work no longer found it offensive to choose fourth class for journeys that they had to pay privately. The abolition of the fourth class should serve to improve the income of the railway. For this purpose, the fourth class was put on a par with the third class and a number of former fourth class cars were offered as third class load compartments . As the prices for the cheapest train journey doubled, the inspectors at the platform barrier were portrayed as robbers by contemporary caricatures who pulled the money out of the passengers' wallets. In the former parts of Prussia that became Polish after World War I , the fourth class was retained until 1934. (Transition to the two-class system in 1956: see above). The travelers, primarily in the wood class, had the opportunity to rent a siesta pillow (or a travel pillow after Mitropa took over the Siesta company in 1928) for the price of one Reichsmark .

Characteristics of the car classes today

First class of an n-car , partially modernized
First class of an n-car, fully modernized in OFV design
For comparison, the second class of the same type of car
Long-distance transport

Today, the DB generally uses first and second carriage classes for long-distance transport. IC trains ran until 1979 and TEE trains only operated with the first class of car until 1987 . Advantages of first class in long-distance transport with Deutsche Bahn AG in Germany are, in addition to more comfortable seats with greater seat spacing than in second class, free use of the DB lounge at large train stations, on-site service, free newspapers, and special first- Class counter in the train station. In addition, there were free drinks and snacks or breakfast in the ICE Sprinter until June 15, 2014. The proportion of first class seats averages 20 percent of the total seating capacity, which is still generous.

Local transport
First class of a current Bombardier double-decker car
First-class area "Cloud 7" in the RE160 double-decker
coach .

In local transport today, there is hardly any difference between first and second class. On some local trains, the only difference between the first class and the second class is the color of the upholstery. This is especially true for multiple units of the DB Class 423 / 424 / 425 / 426th The first class is only separated from the second class by a glass door. However, there are more differences in the details. For example, the new double-decker coaches in first class have “2 + 1” seating, adjustable seats, folding tables and footrests, while the older models do not have these features. In some cases, real leather seats are even installed in first class in new trains, if this is requested by the customer (e.g. Talent 2 of the Franken-Thuringia Express). In one-story local transport cars, the first class is designed with individual seats, while the second class here in open-plan compartments is usually equipped with bench seats. In some cases, there are still local vehicles with compartments in the first class. In addition, trim parts often have other colors, which usually harmonize well with the respective upholstery colors. There are also local trains that are only second class. For a long time , the S-Bahn Hamburg had a lot of space in the comfort class, because season tickets and the Hamburg Card enabled first class to be used and this was frequented accordingly. In the meantime, however, the first class has been abolished there. Another example are the RegioShuttles from Stadler, which do not offer 1st class due to the limited space available.

If wagons are replaced unexpectedly or additional trains are run, they are sometimes provisionally reassigned to second class with paper signs. Since in the past there was often a note "only 2nd class" in the timetable in local transport, the provisional redrawing was no longer necessary. A notable example can be found in some German ICE-1 sets, where first-class cars of the 801 series are renamed and used as second-class cars because too few second-class cars were procured. The opposite case, where cars of the lower comfort level are upgraded to first class, is extremely rare when there is an acute shortage of cars.

Railway tariffs in Germany

Approx. 1880 to 1928
  • 1st class: 8.0 Rpf / km
  • 2nd class: 6.0 Rpf / km
  • 3rd class: 4.0 Rpf / km
  • 4th class: 2.0 Rpf / km
From 1935
  • 1st class: 8.7 Rpf / km
  • 2nd class: 5.8 Rpf / km
  • 3rd class: 4.0 Rpf / km
From 1964 ( Deutsche Bundesbahn )
  • 1st class: 12 Pf / km
  • 2nd class: 8 Pf / km

This price was only valid in 2nd class on the Deutsche Reichsbahn until 1990. In 1st class the fare was only 11.6 pfennigs / km.

From 1994 (Deutsche Bahn AG)

With the timetable change in December 2007, Deutsche Bahn AG increased the first-class surcharge to 60 percent of the fare. Before that, the surcharge was 55 percent in long-distance transport and 50 percent in local transport . In addition, a surcharge of one euro for a first-class reservation was introduced.


In France , first class is marked on the outside of the car by pink doors instead of the yellow stripes that are usual in most countries in Europe; the second class is marked in turquoise. For some years now, modernized TGVs have had a green and yellow marking for first class instead; the marking for the second class is purple. This corresponds to the new colors of the seat cushions in the interior.

Great Britain

First and Third Class Cars: The British System
Historical first class markings in Great Britain on the windows of the respective compartments
First class in a British Mark 1 passenger wagon in an open-plan design

In Great Britain , Parliament set minimum standards for passenger trains in 1844; these “ parliamentary trains ” had to be offered by all third-class railway companies at a fixed (low) price. After the Midland Railway introduced a two-class system in 1875, competition followed suit in the 1910s. There was still the "1st class" and "3rd class" (the use of the term "3rd class" was provided by law). Second-class cars were only available on the Southern Railway's "boat trains", which offered passengers who arrived by ferry from the mainland and were in possession of a second-class ticket, seats in what were often quite old second-class cars. The first offered the comfort of the second class on the continent (compartments with six seats), the third, as it was already equipped as an upholstered class, was much more comfortable than across the canal. In 1956, as part of the continental class reform (see above), the third class was renamed "2nd class", although the tickets, traditionally printed in large quantities, continued to be used several years later with the inscription "3rd Class". Since 1987, the two wagon classes have been renamed “First Class” and “Standard” at different times, due to British Rail's sectorization of the individual sectors (InterCity, Network SouthEast, Regional Railways) at different times.


In Norway , the traditional first class was abolished at the NSB , instead the NSB comfort area is offered on six lines in long-distance trains . The seating comfort does not differ significantly from the standard class, the seats in the BM73 tilting trains are upholstered in leather, daily newspapers and drinks are offered at no additional cost and every seat is equipped with a socket. The surcharge for this is 90 Norwegian kroner regardless of the distance traveled .

Business class compartment in the railjet


In Austria , the federal railways only offer first class in long-distance trains and rarely in international regional trains. In contrast to the Railjet , the difference in comfort compared to 2nd class in InterCity and EuroCity traffic is slight; in general, however, the cars are significantly less full. First-class long-distance passengers are offered free magazines. In the past, seat reservation was also included in the first-class fare, which had to be paid extra in the second class; Since the last tariff reform, reservations have to be paid for in first class (exception: car train). Leather armchairs are installed in modernized first-class cars.

In the Railjet there is Business Class , which can be used in Austria for the 1st class fare with a surcharge of 15 € (including seat reservation) (abroad this area is considered normal first class in the ÖBB coaches). In the Railjet, the business class consists of a large room with room dividers, the reclining chairs are similar to the business class in airplanes. Until the introduction of the Railjet, there were also business class compartments in the IC, which were downgraded to normal 1st class compartments when they were abolished. The fare includes a daily newspaper and a welcome drink that is brought to the seat. Business Class in the railjet was originally called Premium ; a meal was included for a higher surcharge, but this was abolished due to insufficient use.

In the trains of Western Railway , a trolley is known for offering Western Railway plus reserved; For a surcharge of 10 to 15 €, depending on the route, each passenger has two seats, a newspaper and a free drink; in this car, passengers are served drinks and snacks at their seat. The interior of this area is otherwise no different from the rest of the train.


The proportion of first class passengers is higher in Switzerland than internationally . This can be explained, among other things, by the preferential class change. There is a classless customer card, a relationship-related class change and several time-related class changes.

This is why most regional trains also have first class cars. In S-Bahn areas, the difference in comfort is small (4 seats per row in both classes), otherwise there is generally noticeably more space per passenger in first class (seating arrangement 2 + 1, more legroom, in international traffic also compartment cars and panorama cars ). A special case were the panorama coaches of the Panoramic Express of the Montreux-Berner Oberland-Bahn (MOB) and the derived coaches of the Glacier Express , in which a first class ticket was originally required with four seats per row despite the narrow seating arrangement. In the current generation of the corresponding rolling stock, however, the first class has been upgraded with a seating arrangement of 2 + 1 and the older panorama cars have been downgraded to second class or have new seats.

Like many other railways, the SBB initially had three classes. Before 1955, the traffic revenue of 1st class passengers was only 1.5% for the SBB, and only 0.6% for the private railways. When, after the UIC Conference in Naples (1953), it was decided to introduce two classes, 1st class was abolished and both 2nd and 3rd class were renamed as the new 1st and 2nd class. Since VIP passengers were already about to switch to automobiles, this step was manageable.

Non-European countries

Outside Europe - especially in developing countries - there are still three or even more car classes. The railways of Israel , New Zealand , Albania and Turkey , on the other hand, only offer one unit class.

Long-distance transport in North America

The American long-distance transport company Amtrak now knows three car classes for seated cars: First Class (only on the Acela Express ), Business Class (available on almost all long-distance trains) and the normal Coach Class (not on the Acela Express). There are also comfortable sleeping cars with high surcharges on overnight trains . The most important compartment categories are Roomette (small two-bed compartment with lengthways beds ) and Bedroom (large two-bed compartment with transverse beds, private bathroom, two compartments can be connected to form a suite). Each car also has an accessible bedroom , and some trains also have a family bedroom for two adults and two children. There is no middle-priced class comparable to the Western European couchette car or simpler sleeping car in Eastern Europe and Asia.

The business class costs an average of 20 percent surcharge, the first class double the variable coach class price. Until the mid-1990s, Coach and First Class were available in the Northeast Corridor in the Metroliner trains and in the Washington - Boston (NE direct) service with a 50 percent surcharge. The sleeping car surcharges - on which there are practically no discounts and which may also have to be paid in full for holders of Railpasses - are between 80 and over 500 percent compared to the Coach Class, depending on the category and route, but always include full board in the train restaurant .

In the trains outside the east coast, from the beginning of the 1990s, but also in the corridor, a custom class was offered, which later became part of the business class. The NE direct train type has been replaced by the “Acela Regional” or “Regional”, which only knows the coach and business class.

The privately operated Brightline in Florida offers the Select (corresponds to the first class, snacks and drinks on the train as well as use of the Premium Select Lounge in the stations included) and Smart (corresponds to the second class).

Also, Canada knows a first class next to the Coach Class.


The following car classes are common in China :

  • 软卧 车Ruan week = soft sleeping car (only on long-distance trains); Four-bed compartments (some long-distance trains also have luxury compartments with two beds)
  • 硬卧 车Ying week = hard sleeping car (only on long-distance trains); Large couchette similar to that in the CIS
  • 软座 车Ruanzuoche = soft seated carriage; Open seating car with four seats per row (1st class)
  • 硬 坐车Yingzuoche = hard seated carriage; Open seating car with five seats per row (2nd class)

The passengers benefit from the fact that the clearance space of the Chinese railways is slightly wider than the (continental) European standard.

The high-speed trains ( China Railway High-speed ) have their own class system with first and second class, in Gaosu trains there is also a particularly comfortable business class at around twice the price of first class. The open seating cars of the first class have four, those of the second class five seats per row. Since the fare in the second class is at least as high as the soft seat class in conventional trains, the term Yingzuoche is not used here.

The KCR S-Bahn trains in Hong Kong offer, in addition to the standard class (with aluminum seats arranged lengthways, mostly standing room), also a first class carriage, with upholstered seats in a 2 + 2 arrangement and generous seat spacing; double the fare has to be paid for this.


In India there is a confusing number of car classes in long-distance transport, with the car classes for night trains differing from those for day trains. In the night trains, First Class AC is the highest carriage class, where the traveler has the most space with only 18 passengers in a carriage. Unreserved is the lowest class of car in which sometimes up to 300 passengers share a car. Most passengers with a seat reservation travel in Sleeper Class .

The high-quality long-distance trains of the train types Rajdhani Express , Shatabdi Express and Duronto Express only carry air-conditioned cars. Most of the other long-distance trains mainly run the unair-conditioned sleeper class with some sleeper cars with six-bed compartments in the AC 3-tier sleeper class and four-bed compartments in the AC 2-tier sleeper class , as well as unreserved seated cars in the unreserved class . Sometimes a single car of the highest class First Class AC is also carried. All car classes can also be used in pure daytime traffic. Long-distance trains can only be used with a reservation of seats, with the exception of some of the cheapest class coaches.

In recent years, fast trains at cheaper tariffs have been introduced to the existing train types, which are offered under the name Jan Shatabdi in daytime traffic and Garib Rath in nighttime traffic. In these, the wagons were designed for the highest possible capacity and assigned to the wagon classes that contain the term high capacity in their names.

On narrow-gauge railways, there are also first class passenger cars without air conditioning, in which the first class car class is offered.

In transport, there are next to the General Compartment the First Class and special Ladies compartements for women.


The term "first class" was abolished in Japan in May 1969 by the Japanese National Railways and replaced by "green cars". They can be identified by the green four-leaf clover logo on the doors. The journey with it is more expensive than that of the normal class by the green surcharge. First class sleeping cars were newly called A sleeping cars, the second class B sleeping cars. Until the 1990s, most regional trains did not have green cars. In recent years, there has been a gradual trend towards renovating green commuter commuter cars in the Tokyo area. There, female “Green Attendants” are available for the refreshment service and for checking tickets.

Shinkansen high-speed trains usually have a “normal class” (2nd class) and a “green class” (1st class). In addition, trains of the E5 series have a premium class, the “Gran class”.

Commonwealth of Independent States

The successor states of the Soviet Union use the following class system:

  • Spalny = two-bed sleeping car compartments (only in long-distance trains), 8 compartments per car
  • Kupeiny = four-bed sleeping car compartments (only on long-distance trains), 9 compartments per car
  • Platskartny = couchette car with lengthways and transverse beds (only on long-distance trains), 54 seats per car in open compartments
  • Obschtschi = seating car, open seating car with 81 seats, in local transport also more.

The RIC sleeping cars used in international traffic have three-bed compartments that can only be occupied by one or two people for first-class passengers. Since 2014, they have been replaced on RZD trains by new sleeping cars with four-bed compartments, which are also operated as first-class sleeping cars in two-bed occupancy. In addition, in selected connections (e.g. Berlin - Moscow), there are luxury category sleeping cars in which the compartment is occupied by one or two passengers, with a private bathroom in each compartment. These vehicles have the RIC identification “WLSR” (in contrast to the conventional sleeping cars, which have the designation “WLAB”). Some domestic trains also offer compartments of various luxury categories (Ljuks) .

The railways in the successor states of the former Soviet Union are only slowly diverging. In the daytime traffic of the Belarusian railways ( Belaruskaja Tschyhunka ) there are vehicles with passenger compartments of second and third class. In the Ukraine and Uzbekistan , day trains run with an interior similar to European InterCity trains. In Kazakhstan , two-bed compartments with and without a private bathroom as well as four-bed compartments are offered on the fastest night connections operated by Talgo wagons.


The Syrian Railways (CFS) has first and second class as well as a separate, superior class of sleeping cars. The first class cars were built in the GDR and were obviously delivered with the yellow stripe over the windows that they still have today.


The Tanzanian state railway has three car classes. The first class is only offered as a sleeping car, the third class only as a seating car. The second class is available as both a seated and a sleeping car.

The TAZARA , the Tanzania Zambia combines, in the first (four-bed compartments) provides and second class (six-berth compartments) sleeping car, in the third class passenger coaches on.


The State Railway of Thailand offers three car classes. The first class is only offered as a sleeping car, the third class only as a seating car. The second class is available as both a seated and a sleeping car. Express trains carry all three car classes. As a rule, ordinary trains and diesel rail car trains only have third class cars, rapid trains second and third class cars and express special diesel rail car trains only second class cars. Express special trains are available in various versions: some only with second, some with first and second class and some with all three carriage classes.


In Turkey there is basically only one class of car called " Pullman ". In addition, sleeping cars (two- bed compartments, WL A) and couchette cars (four-bed compartments, Ac) are offered in the night connections . Most long-distance trains use modern wagons with a 1 + 2 seating arrangement. Older, high-comfort wagons continue to be used in regional transport. However, they are not redrawn, so that trains are on the way that are made up purely of first-class cars or second-class couchette cars. But the “Pullman” price applies to everyone.

In high-speed traffic (between Ankara , Eskişehir and Konya ), however, the two-class system was reintroduced.


The Vietnamese trains have the following car classes:

  • Nằm mềm (điều hòa) = soft sleeping space (four-bed compartment, air-conditioned, only on long-distance trains)
  • Nằm cứng (điều hòa) = hard sleeping space (six-bed compartment, air-conditioned, only on long-distance trains)
  • Ngồi mềm (điều hòa) = soft seat (open plan , air-conditioned)
  • Ngồi cứng = hard seat (open plan , not air-conditioned)

In the sleeping compartments, different prices are charged for the lower, possibly middle and upper beds.

In addition, on some routes (especially Hà Nội - Lào Cai) there are wagons from various private operators with two- and four-bed compartments at their own (higher) prices, which are primarily aimed at tourists.


Prussian compartment car 1./2. Class: The first class compartment is marked with a sign and a yellow frame

Most railway administrations mark the respective areas of their vehicles more or less conspicuously from the outside so that passengers can get into the correct carriage class from the platform without having to search for it in the train or rely solely on car status indicators and announcements .

As a rule, this is done using the appropriate numbers - previously on the entrance door, today mostly next to it on the next window divider. In Germany, until shortly after the turn of the century before last, mostly Roman numerals were used. The classes have always been color-coded, and on some railways entire cars have been color-coded. Initially, the guiding colors were established for the coaches - and until the 1970s also for the corresponding tickets, especially the Edmondson ticket : the first class was yellow, the second class green, the third class brown and the fourth class gray. Yellow first-class cars were too sensitive to dirt at steam times, and so the color scheme was reduced to yellow decorative lines on the dark, mostly green, background of the second class. This color scheme was particularly common in Prussia , otherwise a uniform car color was used. Only in Saxony did 4th class cars stand out from the rest of the fleet with their gray color. However, even before the First World War, efforts were made to introduce a uniform green as the car color in Germany. The Deutsche Bundesbahn began another attempt to differentiate from the outside in 1971 as part of the experimental pop paint scheme . First class cars and mixed-class cars had the code color blood orange, while second class cars were painted cobalt blue.

The best-known example of marking a car class is the horizontally executed light-colored stripe below the roof edge, which was introduced across Europe for first-class cars with the class reform of 1956. The stripe is common to this day in most European countries and is usually yellow or orange. It was derived from the decorative lines of the old first class and is usually located above the windows, in the case of double-deck cars it is different between the two rows of windows. The position of the stripe can vary depending on the year and type of car. It is used in Belgium , Bulgaria , Denmark , Finland (except IC ), Greece , Luxembourg , Austria (except for the Railjet ), the Netherlands (but: blue area on Regio wagons or additional accompanying stripes below the window), Norway , Portugal , Romania , Sweden , Switzerland (yellow marking there often only in the area of ​​the entrance doors), Slovakia , Slovenia , the Czech Republic and Hungary .

This marking is no longer used in France and Italy . In Germany, it is no longer used in long-distance transport ( IC and ICE ) and by many private railway companies for design reasons, while it is still used by Deutsche Bahn in regional transport.

Another variant is painting the doors in contrasting colors. On the other hand, the Swiss Eurofima wagons in orange-light gray C1 paintwork had the class number "1" in yellow instead of white.

International abbreviations

The following letters are used in the wagon type symbols used purely for operational purposes:

  • A = 1st carriage class
  • B = 2nd carriage class
  • C = 3rd carriage class
  • D = 4th carriage class, when it existed - today a symbol for luggage or (in conjunction with A or B) double-decker car
  • WL = sleeping car (French: W agon L it )
  • WR = dining car (French: W agon R estaurant )
  • WS = saloon / special car
  • c = couchette car

city ​​traffic

In city ​​traffic , the division into different car classes, apart from S-Bahn , is largely unknown due to the mostly short travel times. Nevertheless, there were also a few two-class underground , tram , trolleybus and omnibus systems.

The Paris Métro , for example, managed its first class off until August 1 1991st The middle car of a five-car train had a different color than the rest of the train and could only be used with an additional ticket or with certain time tickets. The interior was no different; the only benefit was less overcrowding at peak times. The class distinction was abolished in the interest of better space utilization.

In the Berlin subway this step was taken, however, in 1927 and in the Hamburg subway even 1920. The 1898 opened Viennese light rail - the predecessor of the Vienna underground - abolished the class discrimination in the course of further development of the Vienna electric light rail in 1925 from. The Wuppertal suspension railway - which, however, was still licensed as a railway until 1943 - abandoned its distinction according to car classes in 1962. In recent times, the distinction between car classes has gained a certain popularity in the Arab world. For example, the Dubai Metro , which opened in 2009, offers a so-called gold class and an economy class; there is also a women's compartment , and the same applies to the Dubai tram, which opened in 2014 . The subway Riyadh , which is currently under construction, is also to be divided into three parts, with a first class , a family class and a single / worker class being planned.

In the tram sector, for example, the Timișoara tram, which opened in 1869, offered a first and a second class during horse-drawn tram times , but this distinction was abolished in 1875. The same applied to the Mannheim tram , which opened in 1878 and which gave up its two car classes soon after opening in favor of a division into smoking and non-smoking compartments. In addition, the Stansstad – Stans regional tram , which ran from 1898 to 1903, offered its passengers a second and third class of car. Likewise, the Dubrovnik tram , which opened in 1912, had a first and a second class in its early years, separated by a partition. The Krakow tram operated two-class railcars until the 1920s , with the first class having leather seats and the second class only having wooden seats.

The Bucharest tram , on the other hand, was still subdivided into car classes in the mid-1960s, with a section in the second class costing 25 bani and the first 30 bani at that time, while 35 and 40 bani were to be paid for several sections. The railcar was considered the first class and was equipped with upholstered seats across the direction of travel, while the sidecar or cars were assigned to the second class and had wooden longitudinal bench seats. With the Hong Kong tram it was exactly the opposite. There the double-decker railcars were considered to be second class, while the single-decker sidecars, which have since been abolished, were the first class.

In the Hamburger Verkehrsverbund (HVV), a 1st class surcharge card is required for the use of express buses - formerly also including the two minibus routes 48 and 49 at the time , which is otherwise only required for regional trains in the network area. The cars used in express bus services used to be painted pink instead of red in order to be clearly recognizable from afar.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c , accessed on July 31, 2015.
  2. mr: "Frecciarossa" ne with four comfort classes. In: Eisenbahn-Revue International 1/2012, p. 32.
  3. UIC news. No. 27, October 2005, p. 7.
  4. ^ "The train is picking up speed in Europe" ,, January 18, 2009.
  5. See: Railway Directorate Mainz (ed.): Official Journal of the Royal Prussian and Grand Ducal Hessian Railway Directorate in Mainz. dated September 26, 1908, No. 58. Announcement No. 776, p. 647.
  6. Axel Enderlein: The DB in the 1950s . In: Bahn-Extra. 02/1992, pp. 78-80, GeraNova Zeitschriften-Verlag, Munich
  7. ^ Reichsbahndirektion in Mainz (ed.): Official Gazette of the Reichsbahndirektion in Mainz of June 12, 1926, No. 27. Announcement No. 463, p. 254.
  9. Business Class on
  10. Westbahn FAQ Service on the train at
  11. Brightline trains
  12. ^ Train travel in Vietnam , Seat 61
  13. 50 years ago the first articulated suspension railway ran on, accessed on August 21, 2017
  14. Siemens is building three-class subway for Riyadh in Austria , article on from February 23, 2016, accessed on September 17, 2017
  15. 60 de ani de la înființarea tramvaiului în Timișoara, monograph 1869–1929 . Timișoara 1929.
  17. Strassenbahn Stansstad - Stans (StSt) In: by Jürg Ehrbar, accessed on June 13, 2020
  18. ^ Brigitte Breth (Vienna): Ragusa. Impressions from a hike. In: IDM Info. published by the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe (IDM), issue 4/2004, p. 26.
  19. ^ Special print from the specialist journal Der Stadtverkehr - Issue 11 / 12-1966 and 3/1967.
  20. Amintirile mele între Bonaparte şi Domeniilor anii 1929–1948, 1957 on, accessed on August 21, 2017