BY THE END of May Revisiebedrijf Haarlem will have completed renovation of 27 couchette cars for DB AutoZug GmbH, the German Railway subsidiary running motorail services. Built in 1967 by Linke-Hofmann-Busch for use in trains run by private travel agencies such as Scharnow, Touropa, Hummel and Dr Tigges, they are being rebuilt at a cost of 15m guilders to provide higher standards of service and comfort.

Each group of car passengers will generally be allocated one of 11 six-berth compartments (below), each of which has small tables for serving breakfast. A galley kitchen is fitted at the end of each car with coffee machine, refrigerator and space for 30 breakfast trays. The compartments have been reupholstered with fire-resistant material, and vacuum toilets from Semco of Denmark have been fitted (left). Better ride standards should be possible thanks to fitting of 180 km/h bogies that previously ran under postal coaches in Germany (bottom).

DB AutoZug plans to double its market within three years. Last year it carried 180000 passengers on overnight trains and a further 60000 on day services such as Hannover - Berlin. It is also modernising 21 sleeping cars and 60 car carriers at a cost of DM35m, and has an option for refurbishment of a further 23 couchettes.

In 2003 it hopes to order 60 new couchette cars and 20 sleepers. o

Revisiebedrijf HaarlemReader Enquiry Number 123