Our third installment about fantastic Nazi war technologies in Captain America: The First Avenger takes a look at the Hydra Schnellzug or “fast train” that our heroes attack to capture the scientist Arnim Zola.
I couldn’t find a good picture of the train that appears in the film, unfortunately, but did stumble upon a wonderful concept artwork by Jim Carson. (More on his website.) The train was designed by Daniel Simon who created all the vehicles in the film.
Although there isn’t exactly an historical precedent for the armored Hydra train, the Nazi Government did plan to construct a broad gauge railway or Breitspurbahn across the third German empire. Huge double decker trains were to connect the major cities of Hitler’s Grossdeutschland on three meter wide tracks.
The line was never built but plans were drafted to expand the service into Italy, Russia and the Caucuses, possibly reaching Iran.
The trains would have featured luxurious quarters and facilities, some artworks of which are on display on this website. It says trains would have carried up to three hundred passengers and the service was supposed to start operating in 1950.