Era (Epoche)

Years

Background/History

I

until 1920

The first years of the German railways until about the start of the Weimar Republic.

II

1920 - 1945

The time of the Weimar Republic until the end of World War II.

III

1945 - 1968

From the end of WWII until the introduction of computer numbers (like TOPS in the UK)

IV

1969 - 1994

From the last steam engines to the privatisation (start of the DB AG) 

V

1994 - 2006

From the founding of the DB AG until the indroduction of 12-digit UIC numbers on locos.

VI

since 2006

Since then, notable things are the increased number of private TOCs and trains.