December 2011 Volume 33 Number 12
From the Editor
Editor ANDREW BURNHAM Assistant Editor TIM RAYNER Associate Editor & Photographer STEVE FLINT Editorial Assistant HEATHER SCOTT Art Director ADRIAN STICKLAND Graphic Illustration BRIAN MEREDITH,
DAVE CLEMENTS, GARY BICKLEY, DAVID MALTON Review Photographer JOLYON SARGENT General & Advertisement Manager JOHN KING Advertisement Assistant SUE DAVIS Classified Advertisements NICOLE CHARLTON Direct Subscriptions ALICIA KNIGHT Editorial Director C.M.PRITCHARD
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Published on the second Thursday of the preceding month.
Cover Modellbundesbahn – a BR44 three-cylinder 2-10-0 brings a long ore train across the old Nethe River viaduct on the approach to Ottbergen, where both a pilot engine and a banker will be added for the climb ahead. Photograph: editor.
Compliments of the season
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our readers, contributors, advertisers, and suppliers for their support through the past year, and we wish everyone a happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.
Modellbundesbahn We had for some time planned to feature Modellbundesbahn in this issue, along with video material on the free cover DVD, having reported on the first stage of the project back in July 2007 and visited on two occasions since, so it was fortuitous that the companion book about Ottbergen has just been published, and we have been able to review that in this issue too (see page 842).
The book shows the level of research and care that went into the planning of the project, not to mention the effort, skills, and resources in construction, plus the continuing operation. We plan to show more of the layout in forthcoming issues, but even then we will have only covered part of the overall installation and a selection of its features and details. Each time you look, you see something more, as you move around the layout and see scenes and structures from a different angle – it has been very cleverly planned and executed, full of interest yet never overloaded. Even the side away from the viewer is fully modelled.
It is arguable that Modellbundesbahn has prompted several similar permanent display layouts in other parts of Germany (and beyond) which are more interested in recording an element of local history, more or less accurately in the space available, and in a way that necessarily entertains as well as informs its audience without sacrificing authenticity, rather than simply claiming to be the biggest/brightest/most technically sophisticated/most animated installations in an attempt to attract the visitors necessary to ensure commercial success – a potentially vicious circle, leading to decline in pursuit of the lowest common denominator. Modellbundesbahn does include some animated features designed to amuse the young – and not so young – general audience, but they are always in the context of the landscape setting and not the reason for its creation. Perhaps most significantly for our hobby, both approaches illustrate the appeal of model railways in general, especially in Germany, and their commercial potential.
Free cover DVD We hope you will enjoy the free DVD attached to this issue. (If there was not one, please contact our office.) I t includes much of interest to CM readers: a brief look at Modellbundesbahn; Jonathan Collinge’s Swiss HOm layout Surselva in operation, with particular emphasis on the colour light signalling, which is explained in detail in this issue (see page 806); and Joachin, the new American HO layout from Peter North, a new theme for him as it is East Coast, long trains, coal hauling, overhead electric. It has already been introduced in CM (March 2011), and we plan to describe it fully in the January 2012 issue, to correspond with its appearance at the St.Albans show.
The DVD is designed to run on most DVD players/recorders and is suitable for all regions (PAL system only), with menu-driven access using the remote control. It will also work on computers with a DVD drive; it needs no special software. For any technical enquiries, please contact the producers, Renaissance Vision. (The telephone number is on the label.)