The Führersonderzug was the special train used by Adolf Hitler for his travels accross Germany and Europe. In 1937, Hitler ordered a special train to the Deutsche Reichsbahn which he would use for his travels. After 2 years of conception, the train was ready in August 1939. It was first named Führersonderzug “Amerika”, and later renamed “Brandenburg”. During the war, the train served as a Führerhauptquartier (mobile headquarters), up until the Balkans campaign, however Hitler continued to travel on it throughout the war between Berlin, Berchtesgaden (Berghof), Munich and other headquarters. The train was always followed by Hitler’s Mercedes and plane.
The train weighted 1200 tons, and its maximum length could reach 430 meters. The train could travel at a speed between 80 and 120 km/hour.
The wagons were not armoured, these were standard travel wagons that were adapted to the Führer’s needs (for example, Hitler’s private coach included a marble bathroom which needed to be reinforced with a concrete lid). The wagons were build in the 1930s by 3 German companies: Henschel & Sohn, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Credé. The interior was designed by a well-known Munich company, in a simple art deco style. Each coach was equipped with heating system and air conditioning, which was quite rare at the time.
The configuration of the train varied according to the needs and the number of people needed on board: 10 to 16 wagons, and a length between 300 and 430 meters. The train could host more than 200 persons on board. The layout of the head wagons however never changed, as they included the defense and communication cars, as well as Hitler’s personal wagon.