ROUND about seven o’clock the hooter of the Diesel engine gave a low moan and imperceptibly the four coaches of the “train” glided from the platform into the darkness, quietly leaving the throbbing life of the heart of the city for the leisurely stillness of the suburbs before bidding Spandau a swift farewell and leaping across the Havel. The flying trains are not the least remarkable innovations of this new Germany. For hour after hour we sped along at an average of 160 kilometres-one hundred miles-an hour, the dial of a speedometer indicating what can only be described as the train’s velocity. In one of the coaches was a snack-bar, but uniformed attendants brought trays of food to those who preferred to remain seated. There was a gentle, swaying motion that lulled the mind to a sense of forgetfulness of the swift crack of death that must accompany any defect of mechanism or the presence of obstacles on the track. It seemed as if one had scarcely time to settle down and read the opening pages of one’s book, before the train had stopped and through the windows one read the word “Hanover”. Three times more we stopped-at Dortmund, Essen, and Dusseldorf. At each station passengers got off-mostly businessmen and commercial travellers-and by the time we reached Cologne, after five hours and a few minutes, the four coaches were almost deserted.