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  Germany : NO OTHER EUROPEAN COUNTRY offers as great a variety of passenger railroading as Germany. At the top are InterCity Express trains (ICE), Germany's entry in the high-speed competition. At the other end of the continuum are some steam-powered narrow gauge lines in eastern Germany - not important enough to dieselize, too important to close.

A lot of freight moves on the rails in Germany, and much of it is bulk commodities in large 8-wheel cars -- freight trains don't consist entirely of the 4-wheel freight cars you think of as typically European. Several cities have modern subways, many have streetcar systems, and one has the world's oldest monorail.

There's quantity, too. The main line through the Rhine george has three or four express trains and two locals per hour each way. Across the river is another double-track line equally busy with freight and local passenger trains. Several locomotive classes number in the hundreds. Quiet rural branch lines? You'll find those too.

The cities and towns of Germany are neat and clean, and the countryside is generally pretty. The food and drink are good, the hotels are well-run and cumfortable, and Germans are equally willing to speak English.

This book will help you decide not only what trains to see and ride but also where to stay and what to eat.

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