November 30, 2021

MITROPA (full company name MITROPA Central European Sleeping Car and Dining Car Corporation, from 1994 MITROPA AG) was a company that operated sleeping and dining cars as well as railway station restaurants and motorway service stations. The acronym "MITROPA" is derived from "MITteleuROPean sleeping and dining car company". The company was founded in 1916 during the First World War with the participation of various banks and railway companies of the then Central Powers. It was intended to break the largely monopoly of the French-controlled Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits (CIWL) in the operation of sleeping and dining cars as well as luxury trains. As a result of the Versailles Treaty, the CIWL got its pre-war rights back and, with a few exceptions, MITROPA had to limit itself to sleeping and dining car operations in the German Reich. In the 1920s, almost all of the company's shares were transferred to the Deutsche Reichsbahn. After 1945 MITROPA was divided between East and West. In the West German Federal Republic, the Deutsche Bundesbahn (DB) founded the German Sleeping Car and Dining Car Company (DSG) as a successor company. In the GDR, the Deutsche Reichsbahn (DR) continued MITROPA. Over the years, it expanded its field of activity considerably, including operating the railway station restaurants and motorway service stations on the motorways in the GDR. After German reunification, Deutsche Bahn AG, in which DB and DR had merged, merged both companies to form MITROPA AG in 1994. In 2002, MITROPA had to hand over sleeping and dining car operations on DB AG trains to DB Fernverkehr. In 2004 MITROPA was sold. Since 2006, the rest of the company has been operating under the name SSP Deutschland GmbH.


History until 1945

The company was launched on November 24, 1916 as MITROPA Central European Sleeping Car and Dining Car Stock Company by Emil Georg von Stauß and Arthur von Gwinner, who thus pursued the concept of a Central European economic area dominated by Germany. The aim was also to limit the dominance of the Franco-Belgian International Sleeping Car Company (CIWL / ISG). Co-founders were among others the railway administrations from Germany, Austria and Hungary. With the start of business operations on January 1, 1917, the company received the monopoly to operate dining and sleeping cars in Germany, Austria and Hungary until October 1, 1946. At the beginning of 1917, MITROPA also took over the management of the Balkan train from Berlin to Constantinople, which linked the Central Powers and was supposed to replace the Orient Express of the CIWL. MITROPA took over existing cars and personnel from ISG as well as existing German sleeping and dining car companies. At the same time, however, the German state railways kept their sleeping cars; the last independent courses of the now Reichsbahn were not transferred to MITROPA until 1925. After the First World War, the MITROPA area was largely restricted to Germany through contracts with the ISG. The company also offered courses in the Netherlands and Switzerland. She also managed the FD Rheingold. In the interwar period, the company also took on other business areas. Restaurants were operated on the ships of the Danube Steamship Company and the ferries on the Sassnitz – Trelleborg route. MITROPA also took care of catering on Lufthansa aircraft. MITROPA emulated the Franco-Belgian competition of CIWL, which had also taken over the first management of scheduled flights and ship restaurants on the Danube and the Vistula. From 1922 stan

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