This Summer: 150 Years of German Rail History; Excursion, Exhibits, Parades, Mainly around Nurnberg

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This summer: 150 years of German rail history Huffing and puffing down the tracks on December 7, 1835, Der Adler became the first steam train to operate on German soil, traveling from Nurnberg to the village of Furth, only 6 kilometers away.

FRom this modest beginning, one of the world's great rail systems emerged. To celebrate its 150th birthday, the German Federal Railroad is presenting a grand exposition, with museum exhibits, rides aboard vintage steam trains, and parades.

Action centers on the splendid medieval city of Nurnberg, worth a visit any time. But make reservations immediately: parts of the anniversary celebration end as early as August 18, although some events may be repeated next summer (see page 56).

Celebrating 15 decades The major exhibition, called "Trains of the Times--Time of the Trains" (Zug der Zeit--Zeit der Zuge), explores the impact of railroads on society and culture and reviews technical change.

The keynote display re-creates 15 decades of German trains with full-size replicas and traces events from the dawn of steam through the eras of Bismarck, the world wars and Holocaust, and postwar recovery. Elsewhere, you'll find model trains, photographs, films and books, replicas of train depots and kiosks, and memorabilia like original signs, signals, uniforms, lamps, and engine parts.

You'll see full-size copies of early steam engines and carriages (including an operating version of Der Adler) and scores of restored coaches from recent decades.

Most impressive is the collection of a dozen historical and modern locomotives on loan from rail societies, museums, and private collections all over West Germany.

The exposition occupies the rambling, century-old Tafel Ironworks at 60 Sulzbacher Strasse, a few minutes by train or tram east of Nurnberg city center, the main train station, and downtown hotels. (At hotels, expect to pay around $50 for a double room with bath.)

From the satation, take streetcar $8, or board any train stopping at East Station (Bahnhof Ost), adjacent to the exhibition.

Hours are 10 to 6 daily through August 18. Admission costs about $3 for adults, with reductions for groups, families, and children. One-hour English-language tour cost $18 for groups up to 30; book through the Nurnberg Tourist Office (see page 56).

Jubilee parades in September. If you miss the exhibit, you'll have a chance to see its oldest antique equipment during parades Saturday (1 P.M.) and Sunday (noon) on the first three weekends in September.

Sixty rail vehicles will pass in review through the Nurnberg-Langwasser station, southeast of the city center. …