MODELLBUNDESBAHN GERMANY HO
The layout had been built in sections and was assembled as a large U shape. On one side is a scale model of Ottbergen station and the loco depot, on the other an accurate depiction of Bad Driburg, at the top of the climb, as these stations had been in the summer of 1975, the start of the last year of steam operation.
Trains run at scale speeds, the scale length consists are authentic, and the stations are accurately modelled, and linked by scenery with recognisable features from the area.
The landscape is modelled to a very high standard, packed with realistic details and enhanced with cameo scenes, with a certain number of animated features, some replicating rail-
Above A diesel-powered push-pull working on the Holzminden line at Ottbergen station. Note the staff taking lunch outside by the goods shed.
Left Although the yard is large, to accommodate trains while locos are changed, the local goods shed is modest.
Left A circus train is held in the yard as a BR44 comes off shed, passing the loco servicing facilities. In the background is the apprentices’ workshop (the long low grey structure) and the main administration building for the loco depot.
Photographs by the editor.
CONTINENTAL MODELLER way activity, operated by push-buttons on the fascia. These include a fire engine attending a burning combine harvester, a tree feller at work in the woods, and a farmer’s wife putting loaves into the oven. On the railway, a signalman leans out of the window of his box to show a special K-Tafel hand signal to a passing loco. While these were designed to entertain the general public, they never dominate and always add something to the realism of a scene, often with an amusing aspect or some local significance.
Every 20 minutes the layout is progressively darkened to simulate nightfall, and thousands of lights in structures and stock reveal stories which are hidden during the ‘day’. As a result, in course of a real day’s operation the miniature world goes through sixteen days, with the train services timetabled accordingly.
The first stage of the layout was largely constructed by professional builder Gerhard Dauscher, while the second stage has been supervised by Michael Butkay.
The buildings are mostly scratchbuilt, or at least heavily adapted, as few commercially available kits were correct. Parts for the buildings were CNC-milled from original CAD drawings.
The setting required a large number of evergreen trees, which were made with the help of the local model railway club, while the deciduous specimens came from a Dutch specialist supplier Jos Geurts, including the specific signature limes on the island platform at Ottbergen.
This instalment has concentrated on Ottbergen station and depot; coming articles will look at other areas of the layout.
Above The shed is perhaps the focal point of the layout. It requires skill to perch a BR44 on the short turntable.
Below left A BR44 waits on the headstand opposite the Wolff company’s premises.
Below The Gasthof Spalting was popular with enthusiasts. The lorry waiting at the level crossing was driven by the young Karl Fischer’s father.