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Ein Nebenbahn im Schwarzwald oder Eifel - Im Niederland! Our new branchline in H0


WM183
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Guten abend.

I have been doing British 7mm a while, but have decided to switch to German H0 in the postwar steam era - I live in the Netherlands, right on the German border near Aachen, so research and models are close at hand! I also speak some German, which helps as most decent books on the topic are naturally, also in German!

We have benchwork! We built a 3.6m x .5mm shelf for the British 7mm project, but that will become a dockside, freight only sort of layout for exhibitions, and thus be on smaller boards. That frees up our larger bench for the DB layout. We're working in Era 3, between 1955 and 1960 or so, and plan to have a typical Endbahnhof layout - station with passenger platform and attached goods shed, locomotive shed, and loading bank - along with a large lumber mill served by the line. I love the various rungen and schienenwagen models, and Faller makes some simply gorgeous lumber mills and houtlager kits. We have two good running locomotives - a Fleischmann BR 86 and a Roco BR 50 - as well as an older, rather coffee-grinderish BR 94 from Fleischmann. We will likely add a small diesel to the roster. I know a BR 50 is probably on the large side for a branchline, but with their light axle loadings I'm sure they wound up in service on them. Incidentally, the German and Austrian made models mentioned above run like fine clocks; night and day better than most British 00 models I have had.

 

Passenger service will likely be the providence of a combined goods-passenger service, or, perhaps, a dedicated run with a few donderbüchse. We shall see!

I plan to go DCC; the Fleischmann 86 is mercifully new enough to be relatively easy to convert, the Roco BR 50... somewhat more problematic, due to the motor being in the tender, but I can manage. The questions on my mind are which track system to use (Peco? Frankly Peco Bullhead is still a top contender for me...) or some other system, as well as which couplings to standardize on. We're leaning toward Roco universal couplings, but not decided for certain yet. We have half a dozen freight wagons, a gepackwagen, and the locos above, so not too deep in yet.

Advice is welcome! 

Amanda

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Hello Amanda,

 I like the sound of this!

If I may suggest either a newer Fleischmann BR94 that has a DCC socket already fitted (this should also have a “flywheel” motor, actually just lead type material sections fitted between the motor segments) OR a modern Trix version - I have both models and they are both excellent, the Trix is smoother but the Fleischmann is more powerful. If you’re rich, you could also go for the ESU BR94 with sound and everything but I understand that it’s less powerful.

 I only have an older Fleischmann BR50 but it’s still good, like you say, even older German stuff is better than typical 00!
As illustrated in a couple of my books on nebenbahn, the BR50 was a bit of a maid of all work and could be seen on all sorts of trains on branch lines.

For track, my standard recommendation is Roco-Line - the 2.1mm high stuff (code 83) NOT the 2.5mm high (code 100) NOR the Geo-line. All three types are made by Roco so please beware of the differences.

You can get Roco-Line with and without track bed, the choice is yours.

 I haven’t any decent pictures available but if you hunt on the likes of Stummis forum, you should find good examples.

A friend of mine recommends Piko track as a lower cost alternative but I know very little about it. I only mention it as you should have good access to it.

 I should say that Peco bullhead would be rather incongruous for a German outline layout but may be useful if you already have it in stock? Maybe you could sell it for a good price, I don’t know but I understand that quite a few of your country folk model British outline, not to mention all the Brits living in Europe who might appreciate the chance to obtain supplies tax/duty free!

 I hope this helps,

John

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Hi John,

Thanks for the feedback! I will probably give that Roco track a good long look. I like the Peco bullhead's geometry and long, unhinged turnouts, but if Roco offers something similar, I'm down. Suppose I can always try rolling my own too, especially since the trains themselves are very RtR here; not much kitbuilding. 

None of my locos are socket-equipped, but that's ok; I've converted dozens of older brass and pre-socket plastic engines, and have had great success. I've only let the magic smoke out twice! I'm going with ESU decoders, as they're so readily available. I'd love sound, but wow it gets expensive. It's good to know my BR 50 will be at home though; it's an older Roco from the mid 90s, but it runs like... well. Like a precision Austrian-made mechanism, I guess.

Off to look at the Roco track. I don't have much peco bullhead on hand anyways!

Amanda

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Peco bullhead track would be pretty incongruous on a German layout, as flat bottomed rail was the norm. Peco produce FB track using both code 75 and code 83 rail. I used the former on my DB branch terminus (with scratchbuilt points), but one of my two Fleischmann locos (a BR70) bashes the "chairs" on the track. It still runs perfectly, but the noise is distracting. Strangely, the other Fleischmann, (a BR98.8) doesn't - I think. This particular model is notorious for the noise it makes, so the coffee grinding sound of its motor and gears may mask any "clicking" as it goes over the chairs ..... If you do decide to use Peco track, check if the same thing doesn't happen on code 83 with your Fleischmann locos. 

 

German points are very different to British ones (including the Peco ones) as they used double width sleepers at rail joints, with sleepers along part of the point at half the angle of the frog (if that makes sense!) The standard size of the point was B8 (i.e. the tracks diverged at an angle of 1:8, so the sleepers were at an angle of 1:4. Weinert make accurate versions of the points and this link will show you what I mean: http://www.mein-gleis.de/images/html5/mg-2018/index.html#issue/4

 

I haven't used either Weinert or Tillig points, but if you decide to use the former, they are true to scale and are therefore very long - too long for my layout. Tillig points seem to be shorter and therefore more "space friendly" for modellers. They do have correctly angled sleepers, but not the double sleepers at rail joints. If you're not bothered about the un-Germanic nature of the points (and a lot of German modellers aren't), I'd be inclined to use Peco.

 

BR50s were certainly used on at least one branch lines in the Eifel, that to Adenau, as were the 86s. I've seen photos of them on trains of donnerbuchsen, landerbahn type 4 wheelers and ex Prussian 6 wheelers. I travelled on a number of branch lines in the area in the early 1980s with trains of silberfisch coaches pulled and pushed by 212 diesels. They also hauled bogie convert coaches. Some of the photos I took are here: https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/germanrailfr/nebenbahn-in-the-eifel-and-one-in-the-hunsruck-t9119.html. This website contains a lot of info about modelling German railways.

 

Hope this is of interest.

 

David C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I don't have much to add to what has been said about German track above, but I have built several Tillig Elite turnouts. They are not hard to make and look good. The Tillig rail is 2.1mm and is pre-blackened (even the running surfaces). This helps it to look a bit finer -- unless and until you take the trouble to paint the sides of the rail in rust colour. Tillig and Weinert turnouts, unlike Peco, don't have anything to hold them in position so you need to find something, a motor or a manual lever, that will do that job.

 

Both Tillig and Weinert offer their turnouts ready made, but (to take the Tillig ones I have experience of) it's quite a nice task to build them and using kits will save you quite a lot of money if you need more than a couple. The weak point of Tillig turnouts is the little projection on the end of the switch rail that connects it to the tiebar. This is a fairly commonly discussed topic. One solution I have heard of is from Weichen-Walter who supplies a more robust alternative tie bar. I haven't tried it.

 

I think that the sleeper bases and rail for both Tillig and Weinert plain flexible track can be bought separately and self-assembled. I've done this with Weinert track base which uses Peco IL-3 code 75 flat bottom rail. I am not sure I would encourage anyone to do it -- the ready made flex track is not much more expensive. I simply wanted to prevent the need for posting an awkward item (900mm lengths of track) from abroad which is silly really, it doesn't generally cost more. And couriers love awkward and delicate parcels!

 

Ben

 

ps. I agree with the recommendation to avoid bullhead track. I know that it was used in the tunnels of the Sauschwänzlebahn in the Black Forest but elsewhere in Germany it was extremely rarely (if ever) used. But you will find lots of it in France, and looking a bit harder also in Spain and Austria, not to mention outside Europe. So the next time?

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Hi guys,

 

Thanks so much for all the information. I really do appreciate it a lot. I believe we'll use that Tillig track, and I will have a go at building the turnouts from kits. That sounds fun and will let me detail them some, as well as use an alternative tiebar. I will use motors for the turnouts; not sure what sort yet, but probably whatever is available here in Holland/Germany. 

I am also very relieved that my choice of locomotives will work for something in the Eifel. I adore tank engines but I wanted to have a 50 as well. My trio will be plenty of motive power for now, I believe. There will be more, of course... there always is. My 86 and 50 run fine on both my Peco bullhead test track (code 75) and on Kato unitrack, so I imagine they'll be fine on Weinert code 83. The 94 also likes the Peco track, but grumbles about the unitrack; it doesn't like it at all. Too sharp of turns perhaps. It's our "Christmas tree" track for a train for the cat to play wit... err, to get us in the Christmas Spirit.

 

I will get a couple turnout kits and see what I can make of them. Thanks much! Now I just need to decide for good on couplings; I gotta say it's very tempting to just use the standard bugelkupplung with one loop on each end removed; it isn't like I will ever turn my stock anyway, and they couple super reliably and softly this way, even on slight curves. 

 

Danke schön!

Amanda

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Hi Amanda.  Happy to see you are getting yourself sorted out.  I will keep an eye on this but I probably won't be much help since I know diddly about European railways.

 

I'm intrigued about turnout kits, I will be interested in seeing that.

 

John

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1 hour ago, brossard said:

Hi Amanda.  Happy to see you are getting yourself sorted out.  I will keep an eye on this but I probably won't be much help since I know diddly about European railways.

 

I'm intrigued about turnout kits, I will be interested in seeing that.

 

John

 

Hi John,

Not sure I have got myself sorted, per se. I have just decided I will do the British 0 gauge stuff as a little portable  goods-only thing somewhere; maybe a goods shed and a small loco shed, hinting at a larger station being just offscene. I have my pair of panniers and quite a few goods wagons, and can build most everything else. I'll try to save any "big" purchases for trips over to the UK.

The German stuff is a fun distraction and it's also much more familiar and interesting for my husband, so that's what we'll go with in the train room. It helps I can go to a model shop a 20 minute drive away and get track, couplings, etc., if needed!

Amanda

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Relieved you have not given up on 0 gauge then.  Goods ops are more interesting than passenger (I'm sure I've said that before) so a small goods yard will be a good project.

 

I was really happy yesterday.  Two of my friends came over and we spent a happy couple of hours shunting trains.  The layout is working very well indeed and we had no problems.  Really great fun and I was quite exhausted afterwards.  There's a video so I'll point you to that when it is released.

 

John

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  • 4 weeks later...

A brief update. 

 

We had some damage from the recent massive flood here in South Limburg. Nothing life altering but demanding of attention and money. We fared much better than folks just over the border in Germany. Catastrophic is perhaps not a strong enough word to describe the scope of the devastation. It is surreal.

 

Roco universal couplings and Tillig elite it shall be by the way.

 

Amanda

 

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, WM183 said:

We had some damage from the recent massive flood here in South Limburg. Nothing life altering but demanding of attention and money. We fared much better than folks just over the border in Germany. Catastrophic is perhaps not a strong enough word to describe the scope of the devastation. It is surreal.

 

We were concerned for the members of the club in our twin town of Euskirchen who we have met on several occassions over the years. There was a Youtube video showing a cascade is water flowing down the main street, a couple of metres deep. Their clubroom is in a cellar near the station, but only had a couple of cms of water on the floor. I believe all the members are safe and well, but there were a number of completely flooded cellars.

 

It puts the moans and groans over VAT, import duty and shades of the colour green in to perspective.

 

 

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