History of rail transport in Germany
This article is part of the history of rail transport by country seriesThe history of rail transport in Germany can be traced back to the 16th century. The earliest form of railways, were developed in Germany in the 16th century. Modern rail history began with the opening of the steam-powered Bavarian Ludwig Railway between Nuremberg and Fürth on 7 December 1835; this had been preceded by the opening of the horse-drawn Prince William Railway on 20 September 1831. The first long-distance railway was the Leipzig-Dresden railway, completed on 7 April 1839; the forerunner of the railway in Germany, as in England, was to be found in association with the mining industry. Mine carts were used below ground for transportation using wooden rails, were steered either by a guide pin between the rails or by flanges on the wheels. A wagonway operation was illustrated in Germany in 1556 by Georgius Agricola in his work De re metallica; this line used "Hund" carts with unflanged wheels running on wooden planks and a vertical pin on the truck fitting into the gap between the planks to keep it going the right way.
The miners called the wagons Hunde from the noise. Such wagonways soon became popular in Europe. From 1787, a network of wagonways, about 30 kilometres long, was built above ground for the coal mines of the Ruhr in order to streamline the daily transportation of coal to loading quays on the River Ruhr; as elsewhere the railway network in the Ruhr was horse-drawn, was not available to the public as transport. Some of these tracks were using iron rails - hence the German term for railway, which means "iron way"; the Rauendahl Incline in Bochum and the Schlebusch-Harkort Coal Railway are examples of railways from those early days that can still be seen today. From 1827-1836, a wagonway was built in Austria and Bohemia from Budweis to Gmunden via Linz; the railways in Germany were given a significant impetus by the development of the first working locomotives in England and the opening of the first public railway, the Stockton and Darlington Railway, in 1825. In Germany before the first real railways opened, there were attempts to use locomotives for railway operations.
For example, in 1815, Johann Friedrich Krigar built a copy of the Blenkinsop steam engine at the Royal Iron Foundry, for Königshütte in Upper Silesia. This engine failed to meet expectations due to its poor performance. In the first half of the 19th century, opinions about the emerging railways in Germany varied widely. While business-minded people like Friedrich Harkort and Friedrich List saw in the railway the possibility of stimulating the economy and overcoming the patronization of little states, were starting railway construction in the 1820s and early 1830s, others feared the fumes and smoke generated by locomotives or saw their own livelihoods threatened by them; the political disunity of three dozen states and a pervasive conservatism made it difficult to build railways in the 1830s but the growing importance of the Zollverein made the construction of a coherent infrastructure a necessity. The initial impetus to build was hampered by complicated negotiations on land ownership. However, by the 1840s, trunk lines did link the major cities.
During the 1820s, the nobility favoured costly and economically inefficient canal projects over railways. In the 1830s, the growing liberal middle classes supported railways as a progressive innovation with benefits for the German people in general as well as for the shareholders in the joint stock companies that built and operated the railroads. Though private concerns such as the Nuremberg-Fürth Railway were superseded by state railway companies in the 1840s, the government companies copied many of the private companies' methods and organizational structures. Economist Friedrich List, speaking for the liberals, summed up the advantages to be derived from the development of the railway system in 1841: First, as a means of national defence, it facilitates the concentration and direction of the army. 2. It is a means to the improvement of the culture of the nation.... It brings talent and skill of every kind to market. 3. It secures the community against dearth and famine, against excessive fluctuation in the prices of the necessaries of life.
4. It promotes the spirit of the nation, as it has a tendency to destroy the Philistine spirit arising from isolation and provincial prejudice and vanity, it binds nations by ligaments, promotes an interchange of food and of commodities, thus making it feel a unit. The iron rails become a nervous system, which, on the one hand, strengthens public opinion, and, on the other hand, strengthens the power of the state for police and governmental purposes; the German middle class played a key role because the more powerful nobility favored costly and economically inefficient canal projects over railroads. In the 1830s, the assertive middle classes started to supported railways as a progressive innovation with benefits for the people in general as well as for the middle class executives and shareholders in the joint stock companies that built and operated the railroads. Private companies such as the Nuremberg-Fürth railroad were superseded by government railroad companies in the 1840s, but the management remained the same and used the previous companies' m
The InterRegio is a train service seen in some European countries. They are trains that run "from region to region", as best described by Swiss Federal Railways. In Belgium, InterRegio trains were slower than the fast IC trains, called at more stations along a route, their journey was not as long as IC trains, but still traveled further than the local trains. Most IR trains had some having only services every two hours. All trains in Belgium shared the same cost structure, so taking an IR train cost the same as an IC or L train for the same route; the only difference lay. In December 2014 the InterRegio was withdrawn, InterRegio lines were either converted to InterCity or Local train or cancelled completely; the InterRegio in Switzerland was first introduced in 1997. They replaced some of the former fast trains with their own identity. InterRegio trains are now commonplace in Switzerland; the abbreviation is IR in a 45 ° - white letters on red. The ICN runs as an InterCity train but sometimes with halt frequencies in the same manner as an IR and sometimes as IC trains.
When ICN services first began on May 28, 2000, the ICN was placed as an InterRegio train. InterRegio trains were commonplace in Germany from 1988 to 2003, they travelled and connected regions in Germany. Most of the InterRegio lines have been replaced by InterCity lines. However, Interregio-Express lines belong technically to the short distance train category, tend to be shorter. InterRegio trains were popular as they could be used without supplement - DB scrapped them, hoping customers would trade up to InterCity or InterCity Express trains, a policy, only successful, only when the SparPreis brand of tickets were introduced; the InterRegio system was introduced to the Danish railways in the early 90's and became an alternative to the InterCity services, with no seat reservation required. However, unlike other countries, InterRegio trains in Denmark only operates on Fridays and Sundays, to support the heavy flow of passengers that travel on those days; these InterRegio services have fewer stops than the InterCity services, which goes against the original InterRegio concept of long-distance trains with more local stops.
There are no specific rules for the composition for these trains, both old and new material has been used for InterRegio services. In Poland, interREGIO trains were introduced by Przewozy Regionalne in spring of 2009, the first IR train connecting Białystok with Warsaw; the fare is similar as TLK-branded fast trains of PKP Intercity. In the beginning these trains operated on Fridays and Sundays along the routes: Wrocław-Kraków, Kraków-Przemyśl, Poznań-Olsztyn, Poznań-Warsaw and Bydgoszcz-Warsaw. Since June 2009 there are more interREGIO trains on routes. More routes were introduced, some of which are made for students, like Kielce-Częstochowa-Wrocław. InterREGIO in Poland uses older electric multiple units, with newer units on some routes; some IR trains are serviced with single - and/or double-decker locomotives. As of 1 January 2009, all IR trains in Poland are second class-only though PR's regulations include a first-class fare for interREGIO trains and in service are first-class coaches, yet declassified.
Since September 1, 2015 IR trains are only on routes Łódź – Warszawa and Ełk – Grodno, due to company's economics and restructuring. The rest were replaced by Twoje Linie Kolejowe express trains. Szczekociny rail crash On 3 March 2012, the Szczekociny train collision occurred, with 15 deaths and 50 injured The InterRégió trains were introduced in Hungary on 13 December 2009. InterRégió trains run on regional lines, but their function is national as well; the trains operate along Kecskemét -- Baja -- Dombóvár. InterRégió trains use air-conditioned MÁV 6341 DMU-s. Train categories in Europe Bodack, Karl-Dieter. InterRegio. Die abenteuerliche Biografie eines deutschen Zugsystems. Freiburg i. B.: EK-Verlag. ISBN 3882551496
Light rail, light rail transit, or fast tram is a form of urban rail transit using rolling stock similar to a tramway, but operating at a higher capacity, on an exclusive right-of-way. There is no standard definition, but in the United States, light rail operates along exclusive rights-of-way and uses either individual tramcars or multiple units coupled to form a train, lower capacity and lower speed than a long heavy-rail passenger train or metro system. A few light rail networks tend to have characteristics closer to rapid transit or commuter rail. Other light rail networks are tram-like in nature and operate on streets. Light rail systems are found on all inhabited continents, they have been popular in recent years due to their lower capital costs and increased reliability compared with heavy rail systems. Many original tram and streetcar systems in the United Kingdom, United States, elsewhere were decommissioned starting in the 1950s as the popularity of the automobile increased. Britain abandoned its last tram system, except for Blackpool, by 1962.
Although some traditional trolley or tram systems exist to this day, the term "light rail" has come to mean a different type of rail system. Modern light rail technology has West German origins, since an attempt by Boeing Vertol to introduce a new American light rail vehicle was a technical failure. After World War II, the Germans retained many of their streetcar networks and evolved them into model light rail systems. Except for Hamburg, all large and most medium-sized German cities maintain light rail networks; the basic concepts of light rail were put forward by H. Dean Quinby in 1962 in an article in Traffic Quarterly called "Major Urban Corridor Facilities: A New Concept". Quinby distinguished this new concept in rail transportation from historic streetcar or tram systems as: having the capacity to carry more passengers appearing like a train, with more than one car connected together having more doors to facilitate full utilization of the space faster and quieter in operationThe term light rail transit was introduced in North America in 1972 to describe this new concept of rail transportation.
The first of the new light rail systems in North America began operation in 1978 when the Canadian city of Edmonton, adopted the German Siemens-Duewag U2 system, followed three years by Calgary and San Diego, California. The concept proved popular, although Canada has few cities big enough for light rail, there are now at least 30 light rail systems in the United States. Britain began replacing its run-down local railways with light rail in the 1980s, starting with the Tyne and Wear Metro and followed by the Docklands Light Railway in London; the historic term light railway was used because it dated from the British Light Railways Act 1896, although the technology used in the DLR system was at the high end of what Americans considered to be light rail. The trend to light rail in the United Kingdom was established with the success of the Manchester Metrolink system in 1992; the term light rail was coined in 1972 by the U. S. Urban Mass Transportation Administration to describe new streetcar transformations that were taking place in Europe and the United States.
In Germany the term Stadtbahn was used to describe the concept, many in UMTA wanted to adopt the direct translation, city rail. However, UMTA adopted the term light rail instead. Light in this context is used in the sense of "intended for light loads and fast movement", rather than referring to physical weight; the infrastructure investment is usually lighter than would be found for a heavy rail system. The Transportation Research Board defined "light rail" in 1977 as "a mode of urban transportation utilizing predominantly reserved but not grade-separated rights-of-way. Electrically propelled. LRT provides a wide range of passenger capabilities and performance characteristics at moderate costs." The American Public Transportation Association, in its Glossary of Transit Terminology, defines light rail as:...a mode of transit service operating passenger rail cars singly on fixed rails in right-of-way, separated from other traffic for part or much of the way. Light rail vehicles are driven electrically with power being drawn from an overhead electric line via a trolley or a pantograph.
However, some diesel-powered transit is designated light rail, such as the O-Train Trillium Line in Ottawa, Canada, the River Line in New Jersey, United States, the Sprinter in California, United States, which use diesel multiple unit cars. Light rail is similar to the British English term light railway, long-used to distinguish railway operations carried out under a less rigorous set of regulation using lighter equipment at lower speeds from mainline railways. Light rail is a generic international English phrase for these types of rail systems, which means more or less the same thing throughout the English-speaking world; the use of the generic term light rail avoids some serious incompatibilities between British and American English. T
The S-train is a type of hybrid urban-suburban rail serving a metropolitan region. Some of the larger S-train systems provide service similar to rapid transit systems, while smaller ones resemble commuter or regional rail, they are common in Germany and Austria, where they are known as S-Bahn, which in the 1930s was an abbreviation of either Schnellbahn, Stadtbahn or Stadtschnellbahn, depending on the city, but they must not be confused with U-Stadtbahnen. Similar S-train systems exist in Denmark, there known as S-tog, the Czech Republic as Esko, Switzerland as S-Bahn, northern Italy as Servizio ferroviario followed by either the word "metropolitano" or "suburbano". There is no complete definition of an S-train system. S-trains are, where they exist, the most local type of railway stopping at all existing stations inside and around a city, while other mainline trains only call at major stations, they are slower than mainline railways but serve as fast crosstown services within the city. S-trains service the hinterland of a certain city, rather than connecting different cities, although in high population density areas a few exceptions from this exist.
A good example of a such exception is the Rhine-Ruhr S-Bahn, which interconnects the cities and suburbs of the Ruhr, a large urban agglomeration, not unlike the large net of regional trains which serve the area. Most S-train systems are built on older local railways, or in some cases parallel to an existing dual track railway. Most use existing local mainline railway trackage, but a few branches and lines can be purpose built S-train lines. S-trains use overhead lines or a third rail for traction power. In Hamburg the S-trains use both the methods, depending on. In smaller S-train systems and suburban sections of larger ones S-trains share tracks other rail traffic, with the Berlin S-Bahn, Hamburg S-Bahn and Copenhagen S-train being notable exceptions. Busy S-train corridors sometimes have sections of exclusive trackage of their own but parallel to mainline railways. Many of the larger S-train systems will have central corridors of exclusive trackage that individual suburban branches feed into, creating high frequency corridors.
In many cases, the central corridor is an dedicated underground line in the city center with close stop spacing and a high combined frequency similar to metro systems. A good example of this is the Berliner Stadtbahn in the Berlin's S-Bahn, regarded as a tourist attraction. However, in more used sections outside the city center, S-trains share tracks with other train types. Further out from the central parts of a city the individual services branch off into lines where the distances between stations can exceed 5 km, similar to commuter rail; this allows the S-train to serve a dual transportation purpose: local transport within a city center and suburban transport between central boroughs of larger cities, to suburbs. Frequencies vary wildly between systems with short headways in the core sections of large networks to headways of over 20 minutes in remote sections of the network, late at night and/or on Sundays and in smaller systems; the rolling stock used in S-Trains reflect its hybrid purpose.
The interior is designed for short journeys with provision for standing passengers but may have more space allocated to larger and more numerous seats. Integration with other local transport for ticketing and easy interchange between lines or other system like metros is typical for S-trains. Where both S-train and metro exist, the number of interchange stations between the two systems is substantial with metro tickets being valid on S-trains, vice versa; the S-Bahn Mitteldeutschland constitutes the main local railway system for Leipzig but connects to Halle, where a few stations are located. The Rostock S-Bahn is an example of a smaller S-Bahn system; the name S-Bahn is an abbreviation for the German "Stadtschnellbahn" and was introduced in December 1930 in Berlin. The name was introduced at the time of the reconstruction of the suburban commuter train tracks— the first section to be electrified was a section of the Berlin–Szczecin railway from Berlin Nordbahnhof to Bernau bei Berlin station in 1924, leading to the formation of the Berlin S-Bahn.
The main line Berlin Stadtbahn was electrified with a 750 volt third rail in 1928 and the circle line Berlin Ringbahn was electrified in 1929. The electrification continued on the radial suburban railway tracks along with changing the timetable of the train system into a rapid transit model with no more than 20 minutes headway per line where a number of lines overlapped on the main line; the system peaked during the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin to a train schedule below 2 minutes. The idea of heavy rail rapid transit was not unique to Berlin. Hamburg had an electric railway between the central station and Altona which opened in 1906 and in 1934 the system adopted the S-Bahn label from Berlin; the same year Copenhagen's S-tog opened its first line. Vienna had its Stadtbahn main line electrified in 1908 and introduced the term Schnellbahn in 1954 for its planned commuter railway network; the S-Bahn label was sometimes used as well, but the name was only switched to S-Bahn Wien in 2005. As for Munich, a first breaking ground for an S-train-like rapid transport system running through tunnels in downtown areas and interconnecting existing suburban and local railways, the construction of what is now Goetheplatz underground station took place in 1938, executed by the Nazi governmen
Grand Duchy of Baden State Railway
The Grand Duchy of Baden was an independent state in what is now southwestern Germany until the creation of the German Empire in 1871. It had its own state-owned railway company, the Grand Duchy of Baden State Railways, founded in 1840. At the time when it was integrated into the Deutsche Reichsbahn in 1920, its network had an overall length of about 2,000 kilometres. Baden was the second German state after the Duchy of Brunswick to build and operate railways at state expense. In 1833 a proposal for the construction of a railway from Mannheim to Basle was put forward for the first time by Mannheim businessman, Ludwig Newhouse, but received no support from the Baden state government. Other proposals too by, for example Friedrich List, were unsuccessful at first. Not until the foundation of a railway company in the neighbouring French province of Alsace, for the construction of a line from Basle to Strasbourg in 1837, did any serious planning begin for the building of a railway in Baden in order to avoid the loss of trade routes to Alsace.
At an extraordinary meeting of the state parliament, the Baden legislature passed three laws on 29 March 1838 for the construction of the first route between Mannheim and the Swiss border at Basle, as well as a stub line to Baden-Baden and a branch to Strasbourg. The construction of the railway line was to be funded by the state, something, championed by Karl Friedrich Nebenius. In September 1838 work started; the Ministry of the Interior was responsible for the construction of the railway, setting up for that purpose its own authority, the'Railway Construction Division'. The railway construction authorities were incorporated into the'Water and Road Construction Division'. Responsibility for the operation of the railway was, by contrast, given to the Foreign Ministry because it took over the running of the Postal Division, that from on became the'Post and Railway Division'. Not until the merger of the Baden Post Office into the Reichspost in 1872 did a separate railway administration emerge in Baden: the Grand Duchy of Baden State Railways.
The first route, called the Baden Mainline, was built in sections between 1840 and 1863. The first, 18.5 km long, section between Mannheim and Heidelberg was taken into service on 12 September 1840. Other sections followed: to Karlsruhe in 1843, Offenburg in 1844, Freiburg im Breisgau in 1845, Schliengen in 1847, Efringen-Kirchen in 1848 and Haltingen in 1851; the branches to Kehl and Baden-Baden were opened as early as 1845 respectively. The extension of the main line through Basle territory required negotiations with the Swiss Confederation, during which differences of opinion over the best place for the junction of the Baden line to the Swiss network – Basle or Waldshut – led to delays. In the state treaty of 27 July 1852 an accommodation was reached which enabled the construction and operation of a line on Swiss sovereign territory by the Baden State Railways; the Baden railway lines were laid to the 1,600 mm. After it turned out that all her neighbouring states had opted for 1,435 mm standard gauge rail, the Baden State Railways rebuilt all their existing routes and rolling stock to standard gauge within just one year during 1854/55.
The line reached Basle in 1855, Waldshut in 1856 and Konstanz in 1863. With that the 414.3 km long Baden main line was completed. After the all-important north-south axis as well as links to the Lake Constance region had been established by the Baden Mainline, the remaining network expansion plans concentrated on opening up the area of Pforzheim with the Karlsruhe–Pforzheim–Mühlacker route, linking up the Odenwald and Tauberfrankens with the Baden Odenwald Railway and forging a direct link from Karlsruhe to Konstanz, without the diversion via Basle, in the shape of the Black Forest Railway; when the Baden Mainline was being built, plans were being formulated to link up with the Swiss railway network. This was not achieved until the bridge at Waldshut over the river Rhine, built by Robert Gerwig, was completed on 18 August 1859. Other links were made in 1863 in 1871 at Konstanz and in 1875 at Singen; the Basle link line, which connected Baden station on the east of the Rhine with the Central station west of the Rhine, was opened in 1873.
Today it is the most important railway connexion between Switzerland. The connexion to the north towards Weinheim-Darmstadt–Frankfurt had been established since 1846 by the Main-Neckar Line, in which the Grand Duchy of Baden participated. In 1879 the Ried Railway followed. From 1861 there had been a direct route to France after the completion of the Rhine bridge between Kehl and Strasbourg; the opening up of the Palatinate was first realised in 1865 with a pontoon bridge from Karlsruhe–Maxau as well as a link between Mannheim and Ludwigshafen in 1867. A connexion with Bavaria followed the opening of the Baden Odenwald Railway in 1866. Negotiations for a route to Württemberg were difficult because both states were competing for traffic between Germany and the Alpine passes. While Baden favoured a line via Pforzheim, Württemberg was interested in a more direct connexion at Bruchsal. An agreement was reached in the state treaty of the 4 December 1850, whereby Württemberg was granted the right to build the direct Stuttgart–Mühlacker–Bretten–Bruchsal route on Baden territory, while Baden was permitted to build and operate the Karlsruhe–Mühlacker line, which ran in Württemberg
A double-track railway involves running one track in each direction, compared to a single-track railway where trains in both directions share the same track. In the earliest days of railways in the United Kingdom, most lines were built as double-track because of the difficulty of co-ordinating operations before the invention of the telegraph; the lines tended to be busy enough to be beyond the capacity of a single track. In the early days the Board of Trade did not consider any single-track railway line to be complete. In the earliest days of railways in the United States most lines were built as single-track for reasons of cost, inefficient timetable working systems were used to prevent head-on collisions on single lines; this improved with the development of the train order system. In any given country, rail traffic runs to one side of a double-track line, not always the same side as road traffic, thus in Belgium, France, Sweden and Italy for example, the railways use left-hand running, while the roads use right-hand running.
In Switzerland, the Lausanne Metro and railways at the Germany border area use RHT as well as all tram systems. The Semmering Railway in Austria uses LHT while most of the country is RHT. In countries such as Indonesia, it is the reverse. In Spain, where roads are RHT, metro systems in Madrid and Bilbao use LHT. In Sweden, the tram systems in Gothenburg, Norrköping and Stockholm are RHT; the railroads use LHT in general. In the Ukraine, some sections of Kryvyi Rih Metrotram use LHT due to tramcars have doors only on right side, which makes it impossible to use RHT at stations with island platforms. On the French-German border, for example, flyovers were provided so that trains moving on the left in France end up on the right in Germany and vice versa. Handedness of traffic can affect locomotive design. For the driver, visibility is good from both sides of the driving cab so the choice on which side to site the driver is less important. For example, the French SNCF Class BB 7200 is designed for using the left-hand track and therefore uses LHD.
When the design was modified for use in the Netherlands as NS Class 1600, the driving cab was not redesigned, keeping the driver on the left despite the fact that trains use the right-hand track in the Netherlands. The left/right principle in a country is followed on double track. On single track, when trains meet, the train that shall not stop uses the straight path in the turnout, which can be left or right. Double-track railways older ones, may use each track in one direction; this arrangement simplifies the signalling systems where the signalling is mechanical. Where the signals and points or rail switches are power-operated, it can be worthwhile to signal each line in both directions, so that the double line becomes a pair of single lines; this allows trains to use one track where the other track is out of service due to track maintenance work, or a train failure, or for a fast train to overtake a slow train. Most crossing loops are not regarded as double-track though they consist of multiple tracks.
If the crossing loop is long enough to hold several trains, to allow opposing trains to cross without slowing down or stopping that may be regarded as double-track. A more modern British term for such a layout is an extended loop; the distance between the track centres makes a difference in cost and performance of a double-track line. The track centres can be as narrow and as cheap as possible, but maintenance must be done on the side. Signals for bi-directional working cannot be mounted between the tracks so must be mounted on the'wrong' side of the line or on expensive signal bridges. For standard gauge tracks the distance may be 4 metres or less. Track centres are wider on high speed lines, as pressure waves knock each other as high-speed trains pass. Track centres are usually wider on sharp curves, the length and width of trains is contingent on the minimum railway curve radius of the railway. Increasing width of track centres of 6 metres or more makes it much easier to mount signals and overhead wiring structures.
Wide centres at major bridges can have military value. It makes it harder for rogue ships and barges knocking out both bridges in the same accident. Railway lines in desert areas affected by sand dunes are sometimes built on alternate routes so that if one is covered by sand, the other are still serviceable. If the standard track centre is changed, it can take a long time for most or all tracks to be brought into line. On British lines, the space between the two running rails of a single railway track is called the "four foot", while the space between the different tracks is called the "six foot", it is not safe to stand in the gap between the tracks when trains pass by on both lines, as happened in the Bere Ferrers accident of 1917. Narrow track centres on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway contributed to a fatal accident on opening day. A US naval scientist and submarine pioneer, Captain Jacques, was killed getting out of the wrong side of a train at Hadley Wood in 1916. Narrow track centres contribute to "Second Train Coming" accidents at level crossings since it is harder to see the second train – for example, the accident at Elsenham level crossing
Arriva is a multinational public transport company headquartered in Sunderland, England. It was established in 1938 as T Cowie and through a number of mergers and acquisitions was rebranded Arriva in 1997 and became a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn in 2010. Arriva operates bus, train and waterbus services in 14 countries across Europe; as of September 2018, it employed 61,845 people and operated 2.4 billion passenger journeys annually. It operates as three divisions: UK Rail and Mainland Europe; the company was founded by TSK Cowie in Sunderland in 1938 as a second-hand motorcycle dealer trading as T Cowie Limited. In 1948 the business was re-launched by the founder's son, still selling motorcycles. T Cowie plc was floated in December 1964, in 1965 it bought out the first of many car dealerships. In 1972 it formed Cowie Contract Hire, which became the largest contract hire business in the UK. In 1980 T Cowie made its first foray into bus operations, buying the Grey-Green operation in London from the George Ewer Group.
In 1984 T Cowie plc acquired the Hanger Group, which included Interleasing, a large vehicle leasing business. Further leasing companies acquired were RoyScot Drive and Ringway Leasing. Following the retirement of Tom Cowie, the company was renamed Cowie Group plc in April 1994; as part of the privatisation of London bus services, Cowie Group acquired the Leaside Buses and South London Transport business units in September 1994 and January 1995. Cowie plc bought United Automobile Services and British Bus in July and August 1996, both of which had acquired a number of privatised bus companies; as a result of these transactions, in October 1996 Cowie Group was reclassified on the stock exchange from a motor dealer to a transport group. In November 1997 the company was rebranded as Arriva plc. In that year it bought Unibus in Denmark, its first venture outside the United Kingdom. In June 1999 Arriva sold its vehicle-hire business to General Motors. In February 2000 Arriva purchased MTL Holdings, which included its first UK rail franchises, Merseyrail Electrics and Northern Spirit.
In 2002/03 Arriva sold its motor-retailing businesses and in February 2006 it sold its vehicle-rental business to Northgate. In April 2008 the LNWR train maintenance business in England was acquired. In 2010 it was reported that the government-owned railway companies of France and Germany were considering making takeover bids for the business. SNCF subsidiary Keolis and Arriva entered discussions regarding a merger, but in April 2010 Deutsche Bahn made a takeover offer for Arriva at £7.75 a share. The takeover was approved by the European Commission in August 2010, conditional on Deutsche Bahn disposing of some Arriva services in Germany; the takeover took effect on 27 August 2010, Arriva was delisted from the London Stock Exchange on 31 August 2010. In late 2011 Arriva sold its Arriva Scotland West bus operation. In May 2013 Arriva purchased Veolia Transport's Central European business with 3,400 vehicles. Arriva changed its logo in January 2018. In March 2019, DB announced that it would be selling Arriva through either a sale or possible public flotation.
In May 2013 Arriva entered the Croatian bus market with the purchase of Panturist Veolia Osijek with 120 buses. In August 2017 Arriva took a 78.34% share in Autotrans Group, thus becoming the number one private bus operator in Croatia Arriva group bought three medium-sized bus transport companies in 2006 and 2007 end established its own rail transport company Arriva vlaky s.r.o. in 2009. These four companies are owned through Arriva holding Česká republika s.r.o., owned by the Dutch company Arriva Coöperatie W. A.. In July 2013, the current Veolia Transport Česká republika a.s. with its four subsidiary companies fell under Arriva group as Arriva Transport Česká republika a.s. The daughter companies were renamed and rebranded as Arriva Praha s.r.o. Arriva Teplice s.r.o. Arriva Vychodni Cechy a.s. and Arriva Morava a.s. They operate buses but trolleybuses in Teplice and Desná Railway; the two Arriva holdings in the Czech Republic have not any direct interconnection yet. Moreover, the Arriva group operated in the Czech Republic through the German rail transport company Vogtlandbahn GmbH.
Former Abellio's companies Probo Bus and PT Real, purchased in December 2013, are owned by DB Czech Holding s.r.o., owned by German DB Mobility Logistics AG. In December 2006 Arriva purchased Transcentrum Bus, operating services in Mladá Boleslav District of the Central Bohemian Region, north east of Prague. In January 2007 Arriva acquired Bosák Bus, which operates to the south west of Prague and the Příbram District of the Central Bohemian Region. In November 2007 Arriva acquired Osnado, which operates bus and coach services in the north of Hradec Králové Region in East Bohemia, in the foothills of Krkonoše mountains; the three bus companies retain their original names but with livery. At the turn of 2014/2015, Bosák Bus s.r.o. was merged with Transcentrum Bus s.r.o. and Transcentrum Bus s.r.o. Renamed to Arriva Střední Čechy s.r.o. In July 2013 Veolia Transport Česká republika a.s. was purchased with its four subsidiary companies which were renamed Arriva Morava, Arriva Praha, Arriva Teplice and Arriva Východní Čechy.
These four companies are owned by holding company Arriva Transport Česká republika. It operates trolleybuses in Teplice and trains in Desná Railway. In December 2013 Abellio's Probo Bus and