Monthly Archives: February 2017

Locomotive Builder Department: Werdau 1916

More than 30 locomotive laborers, bosses and owners stand and sit proudly before a stoked new engine with various tools and parts displayed in 1916 at a locomotive works in Werdau, Germany.

A wide range of ages are also on display as this firm employed men presumably from the prior century with vast knowledge and experience, in the new century this firm also employed two women.

Each person depicted was probably confident that their job would last a lifetime and history recorded this as fact; steam had a solid 60 plus years left. Skilled labor that could not be outsourced, downsized or outmoded; our contemporary culture cannot grasp the life these men and two women experienced, as members of society they shared in the transport of people and goods by growing (my Wife prefers “building”) these powerful locomotives that lived beyond many in this photograph. A specialist is required to identify the tools and parts, but some stand out including calipers and wrenches (supersized).

In a future post I will be consulting with such a specialist to help identify these parts as well as the most unusual steam loco design. And perhaps I will also be able to uncover another photo of the locomotive in its entirety so stay tuned.

For now we will enjoy the people watching and take note of the clogs.

If anyone has anything to share on this photo please feel free to comment, I will give you credit and add to the description.

Gottard Tunnel: 1872 + Marklin’s Swiss Steam Loco 88992 + 81035

The Gottard Tunnel opened to freight trains January 1, 1882 after 10 years of construction and deaths of 200 workers. It was the longest tunnel ever built when it opened with a total length of 9.322 miles. Used by steam trains until 1920 when it was electrified the private railway Gotthardbahn operated the tunnel until it was incorporated with the Swiss Federal Railways in 1909. The proposal for such a tunnel as part of the project to link North Italy and South Germany was first proposed in 1848, but the Gottard was a difficult tunnel to build with construction starting in 1872, workers used the recently invented dynamite (1867), pickax and shovel. The pace was slow at just under 5 meters a day for a proposed budget of 2830 Swiss  Francs per meter but that cost would increase by 11%. The lives it cost included the Swiss engineer Louis Favre who overseeing the project died of a heart attack inside the tunnel.

The Gotthard Tunnel one year before completion:

The Gottard Tunnel in 1890 as recorded by the Italian photographer Giorgio Sommer (Napoli) who was well known for his photographs of Switzerland’s geological formations:

Postcard view from 1900:

Postcard view from 1900:

Today with view from Goschenen station platform:

Siding: Marklin produced two Swiss early steam locomotives who’s prototypes would have run through the Gotthard at the beginning of the last century: 88992 + 81035.

88992 – Serie A 3/5 Era II loco with builder number 613 and paired with type T 20 tender. One Time Series 2005.

81035 – “Swiss Old Timer Train” Era I loco with builder’s number 605 paired with type T 21.5 tender with three coaches. One Time Series 2007.



DB BR 44 Steam Locomotive: 044 665-8

After WW II the DB acquired 1242 class 44 steam locomotives of a total 1989 locomotives produced from 1926-1949. The attached photographs document the original DRG Class 44’s, a variant was produced for this class during the war, the class 44UK construction was limited and simplified and included but was not limited to the eliminating the smoke deflectors and cab side windows of the original class 44 as a matter of cutting costs. Latter in the 1950’s OBB gave the DB 9 locomotives and the DB gave SNCF 291 for war reparations. According to my calculations a total of 316 were scrapped or destroyed at war’s end. Originally designed for goods trains of 1200 long tons for the hilly Mittelgebirge region. In the late 50’s the DB converted 32 44’s to oil firing, these variants were reclassified as BR 043 for the DB. The class 44 3 cylinder steam locomotive proved its worth and continued in service with the DB until 1977. On October 26, 1977 the last steam locomotive for the DB made its last run: BR 043 903-4.

The operating number proceeded by ‘0’ indicates this photograph was made “on or after” Germany’s reclassification of locomotives in 1968. According to the documentation that came with these photographs this BR 044 665-8 was working on this day in Crailsheim, Baden-Wurttemberg.

Marklin 88973 with operating number 44 1374 (released 2012 – 2014):

Note: buffers painted with warning stripes!

Siding: Marklin has thus far released three Era III BR 44’s: 88971 (operating number 44 494), 88972 (MHI Release with operating number 44 100), and 88973 (operating number 44 1374).

Siding: many excellent Era III freight loads are available for this locomotive including the GI 11 boxcars depicted in these photographs. Marklin’s recent release of weathered GI 11’s can be found in the 10 car set (available individually from Walthers): 82559_1-10. These cars feature beautiful weathering!

Marklin 82559


Marklin 89792 + 89793: Bahnhof Hamburg Dammtor Station Kit

Bahnhof Hamburg Dammtor: opened July 7, 1903

If you are up for an ambitious project in ‘Z’ this is it: 89792 and 89793 building kits for the Hamburg Dammtor Train Station. Two kits sold separately to comprise the station building and approach including arcades and bridges.

The cost for the kits is very reasonable considering the scope of these kits and the accurate translation of the prototypical building: discounted retail for 89792 is $249, and 89793 is $149. Both kits are made of laser cut card stock which has been a growing trend in building kits partly due to the material itself, laser cut buildings look great and their matte and pre-colored surfaces contrast nicely on a layout. In ‘Z’ or any other scale these are big kits measuring nearly 55 inches long, and in ‘Z’ there are lots of small parts to assemble.

Finished dimensions: 20 7/8 x 8 1/4 x 4 5/16 inches (89792) and 33 1/2 x 6 x 1 3/16 inches (89793). Both kits are card stock with one small exception, the station includes 4 caps and spires on the entry towers that are cast resin and painted to match the rest of the kit.

Marklin commissioned MKB Modelle for these build kits. As of writing this post I have not started assembling these kits, I am hesitant to build them until I design a layout for them first. A layout to include these kits can be historical based on the 1903 opening of the station or contemporary with the arcades and bridges,  it can also be prototypical rendering or an interpretation. Current urban planning for the Hamburg Dammtor Station includes numerous intersecting roads with few adjacent buildings, modeling some or all of these roads will be a challenging undertaking for the most ambitious.

Four lines run through this station so the track planning is another consideration. Nearly 5 feet from end to end for both assembled kits, and if it is incorporated into a loop the dimensions will balloon to 7-8 feet, this is after all probably the most ambitious project to date in ‘Z’ with an estimated build time of 50 hours for 89792 alone.  Reviewing the part sheets and instructions these kits look well organized, and the instructions are clear. Heavy card stock, medium weight card stock and lightweight card stock are all used in these kits. The kits start from a rigid foundation and build up and out, in some cases with as many as 5 layers to build the exterior walls. No covering for the platform or track concourse is included, you will need to come up with your own solution, I highly recommend Faller material here available in the United States from (updates will follow for my own solutions here). Accessorizing and laying track in the station will be much easier or only possible before installing the trusses. Partial exposure of the interior might be interesting by reducing the roof sheathing and maybe consider leaving the roof un-cemented in case you need to access the interior in the future.  I have recommended a UHU Glue for attaching window glazing in the past, for this kit I would recommend the standard assembly glue: all-purpose, wood, or polyvinyl acetate, but each will require the added step of roughing up the acetate in the area to be glued. Another consideration is a very level work surface, even though the parts snap together assembling the building on a very level surface will insure there will be no warp or curve to the base, I recommend a piece of masonite for a smooth level surface and freezer paper to allow building to easily slide/rotate for assembly plus glue residue is easy to clean off this surface. Toothpicks are correctly recommended in the instructions along with drops of glue versus lines of glue. Lastly have fun and don’t rush, it can’t be assembled in a day!

Siding: Marklin’s 81481 “Metronom” train set is a good prototypical train to use with this station, along with the other “Metronom” offerings: 88370 (loco) + 87299 (bi-level coach set).




DB BR 39 Steam Locomotive in its year of retirement: 1967

BR 39 for the DB sits idling along the tracks in Esslingen, Germany, it appears to be in very good condition following many years of service owing to excellent maintenance. This locomotive started out as a Prussian P10 of the “Mikado” type 2-8-2 for passenger service. A total of 260 locomotives were built in the years 1922-1927. Built by Borsig the P10 was designed with the squared off Belpaire firebox. Following the merger of the state railroads with Deutsche Reichsbahn the P10 was reclassified as DRG 39. Eventually the DB operated the class 39 who fitted it with Witte smoke deflectors and pairing it with T 34 tenders. By 1967 the DB had 3 BR 39’s in service which were stationed in Stuttgart, in this year “The Star of the Rails” was retired from service.

Marklin 88090 DRG’s BR 39

Marklin 88091(Insider) KPEV BR P10

Marklin 88092 DB’s BR 39

Marklin 88093 KPEV BR P10

Marklin 81362 DB BR 39

Faller 282781 (Provincial Houses): two kits assembled with mod.

An update to my recent post about Faller’s 282781 “Provincial Houses” kit includes a small modification, assembling multiple kits (2), and variations. A terrific and important building kit for ‘Z’ is this recent release, it’s fun to assemble with lot’s of variations possible.

One kit comprises 4 separate buildings that can be combined in a number of combinations, add a second kit and the choices abound.

It took longer to assemble the first kit due to learning curve that seems inherent with all ‘Z’ projects, I would estimate the average assembly time dependent on average skills and patience is 4-6 hours. A good discounted retail price for each kit is about $34.00.

So for this project the investment is about 12 hours to assemble and about $70.00 for the two kits, but it is a small addition to a layout so budget concerns may trump to benefit. Lot’s of reasons to make the investment in this small building including great detail inside and out, but it is also a design that is traditional German architecture combining all of the most used styles including stucco and open timber with tile roof.

Dimensions: 1 kit – 2 1/4 inches (height) x 1 1/4 inches (width) x 2 1/8 inches (length), for 2 kits – 2 1/4 inches (height) x 1 1/4 inches (width) x 4 1/4 inches (length).

Modification: when two units of this 4 unit kit are assembled there will always be a seam present, I modified this kit with the addition of shoring lines that are sometimes evident in multi-unit construction using card-stock leftover from the kit. Adding this modification to these buildings is far less distracting than the seam we are left with.

Prussian Railway Troops

The history of rail brigades in Germany starts in 1866 with the Prussians, and their mobilization during the Austro-Prussian War. The brigade comprised railway engineers who were first soldiers with responsibilities extending to maintaining, repairing, building and destroying rail lines. During the 1870 Franco-Prussian War there were 5 Prussian units and 1 Bavarian field unit comprising more than two hundred soldiers and civilians. On October 1st, 1871 a railway battalion was formed and nearly 20 years later a brigade. By 1890 the brigade was assigned a depot and operating responsibilities for the Royal Prussian Military Railway (Berlin). In 1899 the training of railway troops was transferred to the army and the Royal Prussian Military Railway fell under the jurisdiction of the Corp of Transport. The Royal Prussian Military Railway comprised the line between Zossen (30 miles south of Berlin) to Juterbog, it was used for the training of the railway troops. Their responsibilities were further extended to field railways and during war would be reinforced with Landwehr troops.

Photo: Telegraphists for the Eisenbahn-Regiment II in May, 1907. The Eisenbahn-Regiment II was formed in 1866 and connected to the Royal Prussian Military Railway in Berlin.

DR Class 01 Steam Locomotive

The Class 01 Express Steam Locomotive awaits passengers one morning in the summer of 1968. The older design baggage car and “Thunderbox” coaches were still used at this time by the DR at reduced speeds, the 01 was capable of 80mph, this photograph carries an inscription that the locomotive operated at 60 km/hr (37mph) in the Hornbach region. This Ostdeutschland BR 01 is operating accordingly in East Germany, the photograph’s inscription records the location as Hornbach. Operating number plaque indicates this locomotive to be 01 527, it varies in appearance to the DB class 01’s with the appearance of a continuous cover for the dome which gives evidence that this was one of 35 locomotives rebuilt in 1962 by the Reichsbahn Repair shop in Meiningen, the rebuild included Witte smoke deflectors, new cab and boiler positioned higher on the frame of the locomotive. My research does not verify the disposition of this locomotive so presumably it was scrapped, but the class 01’s operated for the DR until 1982, their service displaced with the advent of the diesel ‘Ludmilla’ introduced in the 1970’s. Marklin has not produced the DR version of the class 01 in Z, but maybe it will be a further development of those so far offered for DB: 88010 (Insider) and 88011, we will wait to see if it is included in the ambitious plans at Marklin.

Siding: The Soviet built ‘Ludmilla’ diesel locomotive was introduced to the DR in the 1970’s thus eventually ending the long career of the class 01 locomotives. Marklin’s last version of the Ludmilla in Z was 88134 based on the class 132 prototype from 1982.

Marklin 88134

Insider Locomotive 2012: 88010 – BR 001 DB

Marklin’s Insider Model for 2012 was one of the first of the new generation of steam locomotives featuring completely new tooling with impressive detailing of side rods and LED’s.

Based on the prototype, BR 001 161-9 is an Era IV locomotive following the German Reclassification of 1968 which added an ‘0’ to the operating number.

Built in the mid 1930’s this locomotive class was the first to be “standardized” thus parts were universally available throughout Germany. More than 200 class 01’s were manufactured from 1926-1938 with some continuing in service for the DR until 1982 and the DB until 1973.

Marklin’s 88010 represents the prototype from 1968, the appropriate coach set for this locomotive is Marklin 87401 comprising 5 cars in ‘pop’ colors with destination boards “Braunschweig – Aachen.” Pairing 88010 and 87401 will create a prototypical trainset with associated destination boards for Braunschweig – Aachen from Era IV.

German BR 01 Express Locomotive: DB’s BR 01 154

The inscription on the verso side of this photograph gives the place and date as “In Nuremberg 1966.” Seven years later this class of locomotive would be retired from service for the DB, this one in 1968. As a side note: Class 01’s continued service until 1982 for the DR. Built starting in 1926 the BR 01 express steam locomotive was in service for many years, this one being BR 01 154 built during the time-frame 1930-31. In 1950-51 this locomotive along with 4 others were rebuilt with Witte smoke deflectors as can be seen in the photograph along with several improvements including Heinl mixer preheater, turbo pump and combustion chambers in the boilers. The rather clear representation of the tender was one of three types T 30, T 32 or T 34 varying by length to fit a particular turntable being used. The class 01 steam locomotive was the first to be considered “standardized” meaning parts with exact specifications could be used to repair this locomotive throughout Germany.

Inside the cab:

Specs for this rebuilt locomotive:

Service Weight: 109.3 long tons/ 122.5 short tons

Adhesive Weight: 59.1 long tons/ 66.1 short tons

Axle Load: 19.7 long tons/ 22 short tons

Power: 2417 hp

Grate Area: 46.4 square feet

Superheater Area: 1022.6 square feet

Resource: DRG Class 01 Wikipedia Page

The uniformed train driver poses next to his locomotive as his fireman peers through a cab window, his briefcase presumably contains his log and maintenance checklist. Standing along the rails of a gantry crane the train driver waits to board the locomotive which is in line to receive coal and water. A few chunks of coal outside the coal bunker suggests it was just loaded along with water as evidenced in the run off near the fill hatch. The train driver was more than the operator of the locomotive, he was responsible for the well being of the passengers and locomotive, following safety and maintenance protocols he was operating a locomotive of such power it could reach speeds upwards of 80 miles an hour. Interpreting signals on the right of way was assured by this well trained individual who could operate a steam train and deliver its passengers in accordance with printed schedules: safe and timely. Physical demands of the job cannot be overstated, this was not an easy way to make a living. When this photograph was made the locomotive and train driver were of similar age, two years later the locomotive would be retired, and the trainman with his specialized skills may have continued operating steam locos in this class for the DB until 1973.

Marklin has produced two BR 01’s in ‘Z’ since 2012: 88010 and 88011. Released in 2012, Marklin 88010 was the Insider Model for that year as BR 001 of the DB with operating number 001 161-9 based on the Era IV prototype. Two years later the 88011 was released based on an Era III prototype with operating number 01 147. Both locomotives represent the new generation of steam locos by Marklin with superb detailing of the operating equipment and side rods.



Both locomotives look virtually alike, the distinguishing feature is the operating numbers.

Siding: a short ton is 2000 pounds and commonly called a ‘ton’ in the United States whereas a long ton is 12% larger, it is referred to also as ‘Imperial Ton.”

Siding: In 1968 Germany reclassified their locomotives, steam locomotives at this time were given an extra ‘0’ thus the Marklin 88010 is a BR 001.