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Post by LVG1 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:23 am

Christtking wrote:I've seen the same mistake was made by former Zeuke (later BTTB). They used the inside piece that imitates the individual seats (intended for the 1st class) and the benches (intended for 2nd class) on all their passenger coaches. They are suitable only for 1st class and 2nd class combined coaches and never to be used inside 1st class only or 2nd class only coaches.
When Zeuke made these models in the 1970's, model railroaders were proud getting a good model at all. For economy reasons they made only one version of the Y-type cars. Because the mixed 1st and 2nd class coach would fit the needs best, they decided on this version.
Initially, almost all color variants were lettered as mixed 1st and 2nd class coaches. Only Tillig widened their assortment by adding lettering variations of single class cars.
Christtking wrote:I am not sure if these coaches in real life had individual seats provided in both 1st and 2nd class like the ones provided in the Kuehn's models. For some reason I think only the 1st class coaches should have individual seats and the 2nd class coaches should be adapted with benches.
Your reservations are legitimate concerning almost all East German compartment cars.
But there's an exception—the orange and ivory "Städte-Expreß" cars of the Y/B70 type.

Once upon a time, there were 110 new passenger cars—103 1st class coaches and 7 combined 2nd class coaches with baggage compartment. They were made in Bautzen to order of Czechoslovakian National Railroads (ČSD). But when the cars were finished, ČSD lacked the money to pay for them and cancelled the whole order.
Because they couldn't find another buyer and resources shouldn't be wasted, German Imperial Railroad (DR) bought the cars.
The cars were made according to Czechoslovakian specifications. So for instance, they were equipped with Czechoslovakian Dako brakes while DR otherwise used Knorr standard brakes.
The combines kept their green color and were quickly put in service in regular inter city trains (mainly international). They stayed DR's only combines with a length of 24.5 meters.
But what to do with so many 1st class coaches? So DR revived an old plan. Already in the early 1970's they had planned to instal a high-quality train network connecting Berlin with the other major cities of the GDR non-stop. The plan had been to obtain DMU's for this purpose—an improved version of VT18.16. Because of financial problems this plan had been postponed again and again. 103 coaches was the ideal size of a fleet which could be used to realize this old plan with locomotive hauled trains.
So these 103 coaches got recolored in a new orange and ivory livery. But actually DR intended to offer both 1st and 2nd class in these trains called "Städte-Expreß". How to alter a part of the cars into 2nd class coaches without spending lots of money? So they de-fined 60 of these 1st class cars. They simply removed the carpets and headrest pillows and used them in other 1st class cars. So the 2nd class coaches of the "Städte-Expreß" came to be.
These 60 cars were DR's only 2nd class coaches with 1st class seating. And it's not only about the seats, it's also about the length of the compartments. 2nd class coaches and couchette coaches of the 24.5 meters long types (types B, Y and Y/B70) had 10 compartments each while 1st class and mixed 1st and 2nd class coaches had 9. These 60 cars were DR's only 2nd class coaches of this size with only 9 compartments.

So these cars were exceptional. All cars obtained later for the "Städte-Expreß" network (the "long Halberstadt cars", 26.4 meters long) had regular interiors again.

By the way:
Besides workers which were delegated from all over the GDR to the politically motivated Berlin modernization program, mainly politicians used the "Städte-Expreß" trains. That's why these trains quickly got their nickname "Bonzenschleuder" (Bigwig Catapult).
Christtking wrote:Were the real life coaches provided with compartments for smoking and non-smoking?
That time all passenger cars were divided in smoking and non-smoking areas.
Christtking wrote:I know for a fact that the smoking sections (compartments) had brown coloured seats (1st class)/ benches (2nd class). The non-smoking sections had red coloured seats/ benches.
For the 2nd class the standard colors of the seats were initially dark brown for the smoking and dark green for the non-smoking areas. Later red seats were used in non-smoking areas, but I think that doesn't affect 24.5 meters cars because this change started with their successors.

I've never travelled 1st class nor in "Städte-Expreß" trains. So I can't tell you what the correct colors are there.
But I think because of their history the 2nd class' colors in the Y/B70 type "Städte-Expreß" cars should be the same like 1st class ones—except for the lack of headrest pillows which were white as far as I know (but I'm not sure).
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