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German TT - Rennsteig


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Ok so I thought it was about time I braved the great collective of RMWebbers and showed my attempt at modelling a German Line.

 

Let me start, most people know me as an N Gauge Modeller, but due to my Daughter & her family being in the Army and ending up posted to Paderborn, Mrs C and I made numerous visits to Germany (Which I was never posted too in my time in the RAF) Anyway on a couple of our visits we somehow ended up at Miniatur Wunderland, quite how that happened I'm not sure :P:P

 

I entered into a discussion with Mrs C and I mentioned that I fancied doing something completely different to my 1970's/1980's BR Blue N Gauge, so she said "How about something German??"  and that set the old mind ticking, anyway fast forward to last years Warley and a chat with @PaulRhB and also with a friend of mine and I was off looking at German Stock. After I nearly had a heart attack when I discovered how much the stuff that Paul runs, I had to start looking down the price range, when I was pointed towards TT gauge. I helped a mate out with his layout Grunow and I was hooked with TT.

 

Much trawling through books followed and eventually we came across Rennsteig, (I can't remember which book this plan came from) and I thought "That looks great, simple but interesting" and I liked the fact that it's a former through station that's been turned into an end of line station.

 

After a few weeks track was purchased from Modellbahnshoppe Elriwa and the track system chosen is Keuhne, however I've since discovered that Keuhne points are very fragile, but as they have a spring I still prefer them to Tillig. Track laying has commenced and so far is as per the photos, it's almost finished just the board joints to sort out and then I can take one board down and connect the Fiddle Yard board to lay track on there.

 

Next decision is, Which type of Point Motor to use, a Solenoid type or Servo?? Bearing in mind my perception of Keuhne Points being quite fragile I wonder if Solenoids might be too fierce for them, but Servos in the guise of Tortoise/Cobalt are a bit pricey and rather large, so I might just go down the small Servo route, decisions, decisions??

 

One thing I do know is that it will be wired as a DC layout, but I may eventually go down the DCC route, I have a DCC controller and most of my stock is fairly new Piko/Tillig and therefore are DCC Ready.

 

Oh and it'll be set around reunification, with a little bit of a stretch to cover most of Epoch IV, just so I can run an East German Steam Engine, but :secret::secret: don't say that too loud, as I'm known as an ardent Diesel man ;)

 

Anyway, enough of my waffle as I've probably bored you all to tears now, I'll keep this updated as I go and hopefully I'll have trains running soon.

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;) To be honest I was originally going to use TT mechs to do the Harz and did clear out all my Swiss HOm to afford the HSB stuff ;) 

Great stuff, I remember staying in Germany about 35 years ago and there was an army base nearby, a loco and wagon went flying by and my host explained it would soon be followed by a military train, sure enough it was. 

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At one point there was a Sundays only service to Rennsteig achieved by extending a service that originally starts at somewhere like Erfurt, and there are a few nicely repainted wagons in the station. IIRC there is a railway themed restaurant in the station building, but I didn't have time to go in.

 

Jon

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I think this is a great choice of prototype. Look forward to seeing updates!

 

 

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A Rennsteig Shuttle service arriving at Bhf Rennsteig on 27 January 2018.

 

To pick up  on earlier comments: the station cafe was open when I visited, so after a route march along the trackbed of the former Kleinbahn to Frauenwald and back, I treated myself to Kaffee und Kuchen. Then back down the hill to Ilmenau in the next Shuttle.

 

Most of the rolling stock pictured by @jonhall above was not present on that date.

Edited by readingtype
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This is a station I've considered modelling myself — and might still do — though in N gauge rather than TT, and set in the period when 94s and 118s were both in use. There's an article on the station in the April 1983 Eisenbahn Kurier, including a photograph of 94- and 118-hauled trains in the station simultaneously.

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On 24/09/2020 at 18:20, jonhall said:

Photos from 2014, I was in the area for the Meiningen open day.

 

Jon

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@jonhall these photos are great, a bit modern for my layout, but do give me a sense of the place.

 

However I'm a bit confused, I'm trying to place where the Cobbled Platform is?? Because as far as I can make out, the only platforms are the 2 sided platform whcih is pretty much at ground level and the single face platform which is where the sation building and freight buildings are?? I can't make out any other 2 - sided platforms :huh::huh: 

 

Cheers

 

Neal.

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1 hour ago, Calnefoxile said:

 

@jonhall these photos are great, a bit modern for my layout, but do give me a sense of the place.

 

However I'm a bit confused, I'm trying to place where the Cobbled Platform is?? Because as far as I can make out, the only platforms are the 2 sided platform whcih is pretty much at ground level and the single face platform which is where the sation building and freight buildings are?? I can't make out any other 2 - sided platforms :huh::huh: 

 

Cheers

 

Neal.

 

Its the covered side loading dock on the end of the goods shed - it appears that someone has laid an isolated track to the North East, and put a few wagons on it, which makes it look like an island. Effectively dead centre in this extract from Google Earth.

 

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Jon

Edited by jonhall
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By the way, 'Rennsteig' isn't a place; it's a bit like the Ridgeway in southern England (and I think the name has a lot of similarity); an ancient route that leads across high ground. Bahnhof Rennsteig is sited at the summit, broadly at the point where the railway line crosses this route. The Google Maps view above gives the impression the line runs north west to south east but in fact it runs north east to south west, the station now being the leg of a T (or a flattened Y) and forming a forced reversing point. This reversal is helpful if you are running steam locos on steep gradients and want to be confident that the firebox crown is covered in water both when the trains going up one side and when it is going down the other.

 

Whereas the Ridgeway is open and exposed, the Rennsteig route is thickly forested (here, it's within the Thüringer Wald). I found out on my stroll along the abandoned line to Frauenwald (above) that despite being close to the summit there was practically never a view, This was a big disappointment. Good thing I like looking at pine trees as there were several of those to be seen.

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If you are modelling the Rennsteigbahn, then you need its preserved BR 94 loco! Until dieselization of the route through Ilmenau and past Rennsteig through to Themar on the line from Eisenach to Sonneberg (formerly Coburg), services were dominated by the locos of the BR 94 which were fitted with Riggenbach counter-pressure brakes for safety on the steep gradients. The Rennsteigbahn is a a registered EVU (Eisenbahnverkehrsunternehmen) and is licensed to conduct rail traffic throughout Germany. It operates, among other services, the household refuse bulk trains from Ilmenau. The state of Thuringia now supports regular weekend rail passenger services between Ilmenau and Rennsteig which are operated by the Erfurter Bahn. The Rennsteigbahn operates the steam-hauled specials and the freight services. In the last years of the DR the route was the home of the V180 diesel-hydraulics, also fitted with additional braking systems, and most trains were double-decker 2 and 3 car sets. Here is a photo of the preserved BR 94 with a preserved DR double-decker unit. I am also attaching a photo of my TT version of the BR 94, made by Kühn, which is a beautiful model - probably the most impressively detailed rtr loco in TT.

BR 94 plus Dostos.jpg

BR 94 wieder da 1.jpg

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Nice plan mate, lots of fun to be had with that. I take you you sorted the fishplates in the end ok?

 

Regarding the Kühn points - I had one failure (switchblade came lose from the tiebar - it's a very small soldered joint) out of the 7 points I have. It was one of the trio that came with the track starter pack and was demic pretty much out of the box. I did have a go at remaking the joint, using the finest tip on the iron and a very quick in/out, but  it didn't hold for long. In the end, as I needed 6 points for Nove Mesto, I just added a 4th to the order I put in with Elwira.

 

I'm guessing that manual operation (wire in tube) is out of the question with the length of the layout?   

 

 

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15 hours ago, rekoboy said:

If you are modelling the Rennsteigbahn, then you need its preserved BR 94 loco! Until dieselization of the route through Ilmenau and past Rennsteig through to Themar on the line from Eisenach to Sonneberg (formerly Coburg), services were dominated by the locos of the BR 94 which were fitted with Riggenbach counter-pressure brakes for safety on the steep gradients. The Rennsteigbahn is a a registered EVU (Eisenbahnverkehrsunternehmen) and is licensed to conduct rail traffic throughout Germany. It operates, among other services, the household refuse bulk trains from Ilmenau. The state of Thuringia now supports regular weekend rail passenger services between Ilmenau and Rennsteig which are operated by the Erfurter Bahn. The Rennsteigbahn operates the steam-hauled specials and the freight services. In the last years of the DR the route was the home of the V180 diesel-hydraulics, also fitted with additional braking systems, and most trains were double-decker 2 and 3 car sets. Here is a photo of the preserved BR 94 with a preserved DR double-decker unit. I am also attaching a photo of my TT version of the BR 94, made by Kühn, which is a beautiful model - probably the most impressively detailed rtr loco in TT.

BR 94 plus Dostos.jpg

BR 94 wieder da 1.jpg

 

Thanks for the info, I'm modelling it around reunification, so 1989/90'ish so it'll be mainly 180's, and maybe a few other types that 'might've' made it to Rennsteig, if you know what I mean ;)

 

I do have a BR35, but the BR94 does look nice and I do have a 2-car Double stack + some Freight stock, although I'm a bit lacking in Vans at the moment.

 

But thanks to all for the great info and photo's and if anyone has any gen/photos from around the re-unification period and are willing to share them, then that'd be great.

 

Cheers

 

Neal.

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12 hours ago, CloggyDog said:

Nice plan mate, lots of fun to be had with that. I take you you sorted the fishplates in the end ok?

 

Regarding the Kühn points - I had one failure (switchblade came lose from the tiebar - it's a very small soldered joint) out of the 7 points I have. It was one of the trio that came with the track starter pack and was demic pretty much out of the box. I did have a go at remaking the joint, using the finest tip on the iron and a very quick in/out, but  it didn't hold for long. In the end, as I needed 6 points for Nove Mesto, I just added a 4th to the order I put in with Elwira.

 

I'm guessing that manual operation (wire in tube) is out of the question with the length of the layout?   

 

 

 

Yes to the fishplates, I ended up putting a piece of rail into a vice and tapping the fishplates onto it to open them up, took about an hour.

 

As far as wire-in-tube is concerned, I'd completely forgot about that and hadn't even considered it :blush: :blush: Ihave some I recovered from an N Gauge layout, I'll have a think. 

 

Cheers

 

Neal.

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1 hour ago, Calnefoxile said:

As far as wire-in-tube is concerned, I'd completely forgot about that and hadn't even considered it :blush: :blush: Ihave some I recovered from an N Gauge layout, I'll have a think. 

 

Cheers

 

Neal.

 

W-i-T is what I went for on Nove, simple push-pull action with very little strain on the Kühn points. But then I've only 6 points in 110cm to worry about. 

 

For vans, the old BTTB Gbs 1500 scrubs up OK (and they are generally pretty cheap s/h) , though you might need to swap out the couplers, depending on the type you are using. If the 'Tillig' type, can highly recommend the Kühn version as it has a little extra spur which helps align them height wise when coupling. Elwira (and others) sell the Kühn coupler heads in packs of 24.

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  • 3 weeks later...

 

I'm getting there with track laying, the scenic section is now done and I've just about finished laying the Fiddle Yard after I had to order some more track and points from Modelbahnshoppe Elriwa, whcih turned up 3 days after ordering it, which is pretty good from Germany.

 

I also ordered some more Freight stock from Contikits and that also arrived within 3 days, but unfortunately one of the wagons arrived slightly damaged, but looks like I could repair it if I can get the parts.

 

If you look at the photo, you can see that the bogies have fell off of the model most of the bits were in the box but one of the coupling mechanisms was not in the box. Does anyone know where I might get the parts from?? I've looked on the Tillig website, but there Spares list is all in German and won't translate as it downloads as a PDF, I've emailed Tillig so I'll see if I get a response, but just wondered if there is another route to spares in case they aren't forthcoming.

 

Cheers

 

Neal.

Tillig 15426.jpg

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