Out of the Hobby Basement and Into the Limelight –Private Layouts Competition with 6 Private Layouts at Faszination MODELLBAHN Mannheim 2020

Dr. Michael Giersberg: “Light Narrow-Gauge Railway” (H0e gauge)

Peco’s H0e narrow gauge track was used as rail material. The sleepers were modelled on the irregular shapes of the narrow-gauge railway sleepers. The tracks were ballasted in sieved and washed Baltic Sea sand with a mixture of white glue, water and rinsing agent. The buildings are from Auhagen, Vollmer and Walthers. All of them have been modified and colour coordinated. Various materials from different manufacturers, as well as natural materials, were used for landscape design. Smaller bushes and trees, covered with foliage, are self-made. Appropriate vehicles are used which provide the layout with a narrow gauge railway character. Self-made and modified standard locomotives are included. Control is analogue and makes use of two separate electrical circuits. This permits diversified operation. There’s a small staging yard at the back where train changes can be carried out. This makes it possible to operate two different train units.


Wolfgang Stößer: “Hepsander Coastal Railway” (H0e gauge)

The Hepsander lighthouse is well known and popular, which is why there’s always lots of action there on Sunday. The day invites visitors to go for a walk, many of whom take advantage of the warm weather for a swim. They also stop at the station pavilion for a cup of coffee and to buy tasty fish from Else. The old railcars, lovingly restored, rattle leisurely along the old tracks. Summer vacationers young and old board and de-board.


Otto Gisch: “Gischuna” (Ho and H0m gauge)

Gischuna is a fantasy layout located in the Swiss Alps during epoch III/IV. This is where normal gauge meets the Rhaetian Railway’s narrow gauge. A double-track car system layout runs through the village, disappears in a tunnel and reappears at other various places. A car can be parked at the bus stop. The layout is operated digitally. 2 trains are alternated with each other in the staging yard on the standard gauge track and run in different directions. The narrow-gauge railway is equipped with a siding at the station. All of the houses are illuminated.


Heinz-Ulrich Grumpe: “Göhler Narrow-Gauge Railway in Summer 1961” (H0e gauge)

Commercially available materials were used. The grain loading facility comes from Auhagen, the truck scales from Model Scene, the transformer house from Liliput and the overhead line from Faller. Track is from Roco and the catenaries are self-made and from Sommerfeldt. The vehicles were all 3D printed on the basis of industrial chassis from MinitrainS and Roco. Just like the originals, the locomotives are all operated directly via the catenary line. Train traffic runs in shunting operation, automatically reciprocating, alternating between the grain loading facility and the main track. The road vehicle’s stopping points on the cart track and at the grain loading area or determined by the train. It also stops at the truck scale at specified times. In order to avoid collisions at the railway crossing, the train triggers road vehicle travel at its end points, i.e. the grain loading facility and the main track.


Jürgen Tuschick: “Heinzenberg Station 1968” (Z gauge)

This is an almost entirely faithful reproduction of Heinzenberg Station which was located on the former Weiltalbahn (Weil Valley Railway). The station building corresponds to the original and the platform lamps correspond to those used in the 1950s and 1960s. Operation is conducted true to the epoch with vehicles which were actually used on the Weiltalbahn. The station building was designed as a kit based on original pictures by Rainer Tielke. Additional details were first revealed after conducting on-site research and photo shoots, and the background was photographed such that it corresponds as closely as possible to the original. The train station is equipped with all of the necessary signs and signal posts used at the original location. Wherever possible, vehicles from epoch III (1960s) are used which were also operated in reality. All vehicles are equipped with decoders from D&H/Velmo. Self-made decoders are used for switching/signalling.


Heiko Wendler: West Bend Grain (N gauge)

On a scale of 1:160, the “West Bend Grain” competition layout depicts a small grain silo loading facility in the Northeastern United States in the early 1980s. It was conceived without any concrete archetype as an “Inglenook” shunting puzzle game for work breaks and was set up in an illuminated showcase with stage setting, attached fiddle yard and presentation room behind the scenic divider. The layout’s dimensions (100 x 28 x 36 cm) are limited by the internal dimensions of the office cabinet. The sliding doors protect the layout, with its unusual early-winter theme, from light and dust when not in use. At exhibitions, a small tile is placed on the right side to extend the main track of the standard gauge branch line (siding) in the foreground, or to be able to exchange rolling stock. The main track of the short line, which runs over a small bridge, serves as the starting point for the shunting game. A locomotive arrives with a short set of cars, uncouples and, with as few shunting movements as possible via two points (one of which is laid out as a space-saving segment switch), puts a new train together in a randomly determined sequence for further travel. Cars also have to be moved together on the two side tracks of the loading facility and, if necessary, exchanged. A second locomotive provides for occasional variety. Switching and coupling are carried out manually. Both analogue and digital operation is possible with the very lightweight layout. Track sections can be switched off for analogue operation.