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Chapter Seven


Awesome model train layouts made in Swiss model railroading and railway modelling style

In the history of railway and railroad construction, we must recognize that the most beautiful and the most ingenious railway lines have been built in Switzerland. There are many tourists who visit Switzerland only because of the railway tracks. Therefore, it’s not a surprise that there is a separate genre in model building, namely Swiss model railroading or Swiss railway modelling. In this video, Pilentum presents three model railway layouts in HO scale, narrow gauge, showing special structures and places of the Swiss railway. You can recognize the places by identifying the name signs at the miniature railway stations.

Awesome model train layouts made in Swiss model railroading and railway modelling style

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Very Large Model Railway Layout by Märklin in HO Scale

In this video, Pilentum presents a very large HO scale model railway layout. Now, we are going to discover this amazing model railroad in detail. In this miniature world, there are 50 trains running simultaneously in digital railway control mode. There are both passenger trains and freight trains. Especially at the large central station there is a lot of rail traffic.

Very Large Model Railway Layout by Märklin in HO Scale

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Model trains in action at the famous Gletsch railway station in Switzerland

Many model builders and railroad modelers in Europe are fascinated by the railway system in Switzerland. Although there are high mountains and deep valleys, everywhere the railroad runs. So, many model builders would like to create this atmosphere on a model railway display. Especially in Germany there are many layouts with Swiss landscapes. Therefore, we see in this video the famous Furka Cogwheel Steam Railway. Of course, it is a model railroad layout built in HO scale, narrow gauge. In particular, we can see the railway traffic at the famous Gletsch station in Switzerland. Let me explain why this station is something special: This railway station was opened in 1914, and owned and operated by the Furka Oberalp Bahn. The Furka Oberalp Bahn was the only railroad that crossed the mountains. The railway line was used until 1982. Then the railway line was abandoned because the new Furka Base Tunnel was opened for crossing the mountains. But since 1992, the abandoned railway line has been reopened as a heritage railway. And, also the station at Gletsch was reopened. The station in this model is a very, very good copy of reality in 1/87 scale. Now, please enjoy watching these Swiss locomotives and trains.

Model trains in action at the famous Gletsch railway station in Switzerland

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Railfanning view of a large modular model railway layout built in FREMO Free-Mo Modutrak standard

Basically, there are two methods to build a model railway layout. On the hand a model railway layout can be built on a single plate. In this case width and length finally define the size of the whole layout. On the other hand single modules are built by members of a model railway club. Because of consistent standards in module construction, wiring, DCC, track and scenery, these single modules can be fitted to a very large modular model railway. For example, FREMO, Free-Mo, Mod-U-Trak and Modutrak are well known standards for building those model railway modules. In this video Pilentum presents a model train cab ride along a very large modular model railway layout. There are more than 50 meters of HO scale railway tracks in narrow gauge. The whole model railroad layout presents the famous Furka Cogwheel Steam Railway in Switzerland. This Swiss mountain metre gauge railway operates between the Realp railway station in the Canton of Uri and the Oberwald railway station in the Canton of Valais, crossing the Gletsch railway station also in the Canton of Valais. Because the entrance of the tunnels were built so low, what is usual for narrow gauge railways, Pilentum's cab ride camera does not fit. So Pilentum had to make a video cut between the tunnels.

Railfanning view of a large modular model railway layout built in FREMO Free-Mo Modutrak standard

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Railfanning cab ride view of a large modular model railroad built in FREMO or Mod-U-Trak standard

In this video, Pilentum presents a railfanning cab ride view on a very large modular model railroad layout built in FREMO, Free-Mo, Mod-U-Trak and Modutrak standard. Model trains run along more than 50 meters of HO scale railway tracks in narrow gauge. The great model railway display presents the famous Furka Cogwheel Steam Railway in Switzerland.

Railfanning cab ride view of a large modular model railroad built in FREMO or Mod-U-Trak standard

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The fantastic miniature world of model railroading and railway modelling in Germany

The Miniature Wonderland is the world‘s largest model railway, located in the city of Hamburg, Germany. More than 15 million visitors - from all over the world - have already visited this famous model railroad exhibition. Spreading over more than 1,500 square meters, a unique and outstanding exhibition built in HO scale arose in 760,000 man hours - and it keeps on growing. Next to sophisticated technologies, the Miniature Wonderland is known for its captivating richness of detail. There are 250,000 figures lovingly set in scene. There are moving cars and ships. And, at the miniature airport airplanes are taking off and landing every minute. The Miniature Wonderland is a breathtaking miniature world unmatched anywhere in this world. Every year more and more visitors are discovering the Miniature Wonderland. But also behind the scenes, there is a lot to report: For example, currently more than 360 people are working there. From technicians to art students - the whole team is going to create new worlds in HO scale. The great exhibit invites its visitors to dream and to observe. And, visitors get the possibility to look at our world from a totally different perspective. Although the model trains - sometimes - disappear in the background, however, not only the creation of these amazing landscapes makes Miniature Wonderland so unique. It is also the innovative high-technology, which has never been installed in model railway layouts before. This technology, hidden within the impressive landscapes, is an important factor for the fascination and uniqueness. For example: 385,000 lights, which are dynamically controlled by a self-developed light control system, provide an almost perfect simulation of day and night. Of course, also approximately 300 amazing miniature cars must be mentioned, which are controlled by several computers. Finally, Germany’s Miniature Wonderland is not only a normal model railway exhibition, but a miniature world - for the young and the old - which invites its visitors in many ways to marvel, to dream, and to discover. So, please: Visit Germany. Visit Hamburg. And, visit the Miniature Wonderland. Thank you, and keep on watching Pilentum.

The fantastic miniature world of model railroading and railway modelling in Germany

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Z scale highly detailed model railroad layout

Last weekend, Pilentum visited a model railway exhibit for US model trains in Germany. One of the most impressive displays was built by Juergen Tuschik, a German model railroader. For creating his miniature world he chose neither HO scale nor N scale, but Z scale. The layout, named “Flaggstone East Terminal” presents a marshalling yard with industrial plants in the foreground and a silhouette of a big city in the background. Of course, there are larger and perhaps more beautiful model railway layouts, but in this case the small size of only 1/220 scale is extremely special.

Z scale highly detailed model railroad layout

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The Choo Choo Barn Model Train Layout in Strasburg Pennsylvania

As you know, Pilentum lives in Germany. But Pilentum knows that there are many wonderful model railroad displays in the United States. A great desire of Pilentum is to visit the US once to film these great model train layouts. Unfortunately, the travel costs from Germany to the US are very high. But in order to present some of the most impressive model railways Pilentum asked the Choo Choo Barn for getting some video footage. So this video was created. Now, you should ask yourself why Pilentum did choose the Choo Choo Barn. The reason is the extraordinary story behind this model railroad exhibit. The Choo Choo Barn was originally born in 1945, in the basement of the Groff home in Strasburg. George Groff had just returned from World War II, and was looking for a Christmas present for his son Gary. He found a $ 12.50 Lionel model train set. And, one thing led to another - within few years - that simple train set had begun to take over a larger and larger portion of the family basement. In the 1950’s, the Groff family began opening their model railroad display for neighbors, townspeople and local school groups during the Christmas holidays. The exhibition became very popular so that the Groff family decided to move the model railroad into a small township maintenance facility. Then, the Choo Choo Barn, as George decided to call his display, opened on Thanksgiving Day in 1961, and it was very quickly a hit with local folks and visitors alike. With over 600 square feet of detailed landscaping, 6 trains, and 6 animated figures, people knew they were seeing something special and unique. Over the years, the display continued to grow. The train layout has grown into an attraction for all ages and all groups. There are miniature replicas of The Willows Restaurant, Dutch Wonderland amusement park, the Strasburg Railroad, and a scale version of the Groff family home. Today, the Choo Choo Barn is a 1,700 square feet model train layout.

The Choo Choo Barn Model Train Layout in Strasburg Pennsylvania

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HO Scale Model Railway Layout of Narrow Gauge Rail Transport in Chile

While Pilentum visited a model railway exhibit for American model trains in Germany he saw this special model railroad diorama of the Chilean railway. The model railroad was built by Juergen Petrik in HO gauge, 1/87 scale, narrow gauge. It is a model of the famous “Ferrocarril Andino”, the narrow-gauge railway somewhere in the Atacama Desert in Chile. On the right section, there is the Pacific coast where penguins and sea lions swimming in the cold water. In the background of this scenery, the locomotives and trains drive on the railway line. On the left section, there is the high plateau of salt lakes and volcanoes with a little station. The landscape on this model railway layout is really impressive, for example the rocks, the very small stones and the plants along the tracks.

HO Scale Model Railway Layout of Narrow Gauge Rail Transport in Chile

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Wonderful US model railroad layout in HO scale with landscape in winter

This model train layout in HO scale was built by German modellers from Cologne. There are three different landscapes covering the whole model railway layout. And, there are a lot of North American locomotives and freight trains, including Amtrak or CSX, etc. The model railroad layout was carefully designed with a beautiful snow cover.

Wonderful US model railroad layout in HO scale with landscape in winter

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Porvoo Model Railroaders: Shark Bay Railroad - A three rail model railroad in O scale

In this video the members of the model railway club from Porvoo, Finland, present their particularly rare three rail model railroad layout in O scale. The members call their layout “Shark Bay Railroad”. They were weathering their locomotives, trains and coaches in an absolutely perfect way. The model trains are equipped with digital control from Lionel (Legacy) and MTH (DCS). The locomotives rumble along the tracks through an industrial landscape with a sawmill, a brewery and even a small fishing port. Let me explain the use of a third rail in model railroading: Early toy trains used two metal rail tracks like most real trains. However, manufacturers quickly found that using a center rail for electric power and the two outer rails for common or ground made electrical contact much more reliable and less prone to short circuits. Three rail contact also negates the need for insulated wheels, an important consideration before plastics wheels became widely available. Therefore, most models on the Finnish model railway display are made of metal. Finally, the entire layout is not very large. There is a marshalling yard on the left, and a circuit on the right. So the locomotives and the loving weathering are special.

Porvoo Model Railroaders: Shark Bay Railroad - A three rail model railroad in O scale

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Beautiful Model Railway Layout in HO scale

At the great festival for US model trains in Germany, also Gerrit Schoenmaker from the Netherlands presented his beautiful model railway layout, called “Western Rhapsody”. This display presents the Southwest of the United States in the 1950’s and 1960’s with its freight and passenger rail services. Apart from the model trains, for example, two steam locomotives operating in multiple-unit train control, the effect of the background wallpaper must be noted. So the landscape with its railway line merges with the background of the canyons.

Beautiful Model Railway Layout in HO scale

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Southern Pacific Lines Model Railroad Display in HO Scale

This model railroad display was built by Juergen Bode in HO scale, and it is a fictional design of a main railway line of the famous Southern Pacific Lines in the 1990’s. There are mountains, forests, lakes and a small town called “Grand Valley”.

Southern Pacific Lines Model Railroad Display in HO Scale

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Very long freight train in HO scale

In this video, Pilentum presents a very long freight train with two diesel locomotives in front and 19 freight cars. Ultimately, it's not a high quality video, but it's simply entertaining.

Very long freight train in HO scale

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Freight Trains Galore and Toy Trains Galore

Probably one of the longest freight trains in miniature. There are four diesel locomotives operating in multiple-unit train control leaving the tunnel. These locomotives are from the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway (BNSF Railway). This freight train consists of 25 freight cars weathered in a perfect way. And, at the end of the train there is still the fifth diesel locomotive.

Freight Trains Galore and Toy Trains Galore

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N scale model railroad diorama with freight trains

This model railroad layout was built by the German model railroader Elmar Manfroid in N Scale. It is a diorama with approximately 6 meters in length and only 20 centimeters in width. Therefore, Pilentum was able to shoot only some little sections and corners, in which freight trains are presented.

N scale model railroad diorama with freight trains

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On30 Narrow Gauge Model Railroad Display with Steam Locomotives

This beautiful model railroad layout in On30 scale, called “Stirmouth & Southern Railroad Company”, was built by the Dutch model railroad club MSM Modelspoor. On this narrow-gauge railroad a typical American landscape is presented with steam locomotives in the 1940’s. Remarkable are the turntable, the large bridges, and the many buildings made of real wood.

On30 Narrow Gauge Model Railroad Display with Steam Locomotives

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Model Trains and Model Railroading in former East Germany

After the Second World War, the world separated into East and West. So, also Germany was divided into West Germany and East Germany. Therefore in West Germany, typical types of locomotives and trains were developed by the German Federal Railways (Deutsche Bundesbahn). And, also in East Germany special designs and types of locomotives and trains were developed by the state railway of East Germany (Deutsche Reichsbahn). In this video, Pilentum presents a model railroad layout, where steam trains and diesel trains of the old state railway of the GDR are running. Noteworthy are the powerful diesel locomotives that were originally delivered from the Soviet Union to East Germany for freight traffic. And, there are the famous bilevel passenger cars, also known as double-decker train cars, which are still used in passenger traffic today.

Model Trains and Model Railroading in former East Germany

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Model trains - Rare and famous types from Germany in HO scale

In this video, Pilentum’s camera is capturing both rare and famous model trains from Germany. For example, there is the DB Class 403, a series of three electric multiple units commissioned by the German Federal Railways in the 1970s, an early predecessor of the Intercity-Express as a high-speed train. The units were mainly used for rail passenger service by the Lufthansa airline in the 1980s. Due to their distinct design of the front section, they were nicknamed Donald Duck. In 1981, the Lufthansa airline wanted to replace very expensive short-haul flights by rail transport. So the train was renamed in Lufthansa Airport Express. In addition, there are usual commuter trains, freight trains and express trains from the 1980s and 1990s. The model railroad display was created by the members of a German model railroading club. And, the members worked in great detail, for example, look at the platforms at the station, at the railway line or at the overhead line (catenary).

Model trains - Rare and famous types from Germany in HO scale

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Model trains in HO scale: Passenger trains and freight trains

While sitting at the railway embankment, a lot of passenger trains and freight trains came along. Please, enjoy this small compilation of German locomotives and trains.

Model trains in HO scale: Passenger trains and freight trains

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Model railroad layout in HO scale with steam locomotives and steam trains

Enjoy this compilation of German steam locomotives and trains driving on the mail railway line of an amazing model railroad layout in HO scale.

Model railroad layout in HO scale with steam locomotives and steam trains

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The Great Model Railroad Layout in Berlin with 9,680 square feet of model trains in HO scale

This amazing model railroad layout in Berlin, Germany, with more than 9,000 square feet of floor space, was the world's third largest model railway exhibit. It opened on September 18, 2004 in Berlin, later it moved to the Alexa Shopping Center in 2007. Note, the last opening day was August 31, 2017. At the beginning, 70 employees constructed this model railroad with a size of 6,000 square feet of floor space. Thereafter, the railroad display was taken down, moved and rebuilt in the new shopping mall. When the model train show was re-opened, the display was expanded to more than 9,000 square feet of floor space. A large part of the model railroad presented places and buildings in Berlin. In addition, there were Berlin’s famous railway stations and sections of the famous Berlin Underground, also known as Berlin Metro or Berlin Subway. Also attractions such as the zoo, the television tower, the Reichstag and the Brandenburg Gate were presented. However, the model railroad layout was not a complete model of the city. The display was built in HO scale and included over 13,000 feet of railway tracks and 32,800 cars and much more. The model trains, made by Fleischmann, Roco, Brawa, Gützold and Piko, were digitally controlled. For example, 30 computers and 80 cameras monitored the railway traffic. In addition to the trains, there were also model cars on the run using a system similar to the Faller Car System. Every 20 minutes there was night, so the lights of the houses became visible. Sorry, but during the night Pilentum could not take video recordings. In total, 30,000 LED were installed in trains, in cars and in buildings.

The Great Model Railroad Layout in Berlin with 9,680 square feet of model trains in HO scale

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HO Scale Model Railroad Layout made by a German Model Railroader Club

In this video, Pilentum presents a model railroad layout that was made by a German model railroader club in HO scale. This model railroad layout follows a mixture of two philosophies in railway modelling: On the one hand, there are permanently installed railway segments, and on the other hand, there are replaceable railway modules. Finally, the model railroad display is so large that it extends over several rooms. In the first room, there is a huge hidden staging yard. From there, the model trains drive through two tunnels through the wall into the main room. Locomotives and trains drive along the main railway line, crossing a little station and reaching a huge railway bridge. Behind this railway bridge a large mountain rises above the landscape. In the valley, behind the mountain, the railway line is divided in two directions: The one railway line leads to the new central station which is still under construction. The other railway line leads through tunnels into the next room. In this room, the railway embankment was installed along the wall. While locomotives and trains drive on the railway embankment, below a large lake followed by a funfair, a restaurant and a medium-heavy fire brigade are presented. Inside the restaurant, take a look at the waiter who takes care of the guests without getting tired. Behind the fun park, the fire brigade has to extinguish a burning truck. Besides that, the model trains reach the next room. Here, the railway line was built under a mountain. On the top of the mountain, there is a large park with a children's playground. Down in the valley, near the railway line, crazy hippies are going to have a party when they are not stuck with their VW Bully in the mud.

HO Scale Model Railroad Layout made by a German Model Railroader Club

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Cab ride on a model railroad layout with hidden railway station in HO scale

As you know, Pilentum is fascinated by doing cab ride videos with model trains. Therefore, in this video, a new model railroad layout is presented. It was built by a German railway club in HO scale. A special feature is the big hidden railway station and its parking trains and locomotives. Please, enjoy becoming a train driver in miniature.

Cab ride on a model railroad layout with hidden railway station in HO scale

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Model train driver's view : Cab ride on an HO scale model railroad layout

Let's discover a beautiful model railroad layout in train driver's view. This miniature world is a modular model railroad which was constructed in HO scale by the members of the French model railroad club, called Trains Miniature de l'Omois. The railway layout was presented at the Eurospoor, the largest exhibit for railway modelling and model railroading at Utrecht, Netherlands. Inside the locomotive, there is a camera onboard, so you are the train driver, engine driver, railroad engineer, loco pilot or train operator on this model train layout.

Model train driver's view : Cab ride on an HO scale model railroad layout

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The Excellent Model Railroad Layout in HO Scale

In this video, Pilentum presents a German model railroad exhibit that is located in Bavaria. But, do not expect any Bavarian locomotives and model trains. Inside this model train show, a slightly different philosophy of railway modelling exists because the operator of this model railroad layout wants to represent the complete development of railway history in Germany. Therefore, for each time period a railway display was built in HO scale. Actually, there are five very large railway displays presenting Germany’s rail transport history. For example, there are the very first steam locomotives and steam trains of the German Empire since 1870. Also, there is another railway display presenting the first electric locomotives and diesel locomotives in the 1920s and 1930s. The whole development of Germany’s State Railway Company is shown up to the modern times with high-speed trains. Apart of this philosophy of model railroading, the correct speed in relation to the HO scale is remarkable. At this model railroad layout toy trains are driving only with 80 % of the maximum speed which the trains would drive in reality. In addition, most locomotives were converted with new engines and gear sets from the famous Faulhaber Company. Faulhaber’s special engines and fine gear boxes ensure the most accurate movements of model trains with very realistic start-up and braking. And, there is another special feature. Normally, model railway exhibitions are using digital train control systems, for example computers with special programs. But these five model railway displays are controlled by analogue technology. There are no computers and there are no digital components. The entire model trains are controlled by the analogue system made by Gebhardt Company. Gebhardt’s system is based on block circuits controlled by electrical relays. While watching Pilentum’s video, you will not recognize this electrical technology, but you can sometimes hear when relays are switched. Please, enjoy this excellent model railroad layout and hundred famous model trains.

The Excellent Model Railroad Layout in HO Scale

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Train Cab Ride along a never ending model railroad layout in HO scale

Once again, you are the train driver, railroad engineer, loco pilot or train operator along this never ending model railroad layout which was built in HO scale. While watching this cab ride video you are going to discover a beautiful model railway layout in train driver's view. You are going to explore more than 1,000 square meter of this miniature world, and you are going to meet some of more than 200 model trains.

Train Cab Ride along a never ending model railroad layout in HO scale

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Beautiful Model Railroad Layout both in Summer and in Winter Landscape in HO scale

In this video, I would like to show you, an amazing model railroad layout that was built in HO scale. This layout was built by a group of model railroaders living in Cologne, Germany. But, let’s point out, what is the special thing on this model railway, and on this video. Two years ago, I visited a model railway exhibition for US model trains in Germany. I saw this fine layout built with landscapes in summer time. Two years later, I visited this model railroad exhibit again, and I also saw this fine layout. But now, it was built with a landscape in winter time. Within two years the members of the German railway modelling club have completely rebuilt their model train layout from summer time into winter time. Therefore, in this video, I would like to present a kind of “visual comparison”. We are going to see some sections of this model railway in the summer, and then we are going to see nearly the same section, with almost the same angle of view, in winter. At the first time, perhaps, you will not immediately see the difference. So, you need to pay attention to the many details along the railway line.

Beautiful Model Railroad Layout both in Summer and in Winter Landscape in HO scale

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The World of Model Trains - Enjoy more than 75 different locomotives and train sets in HO scale

Doing model railroading or railway modelling is something beautiful. Apart from the construction of a model railway display, the model trains and locomotives are a very important detail of any model railroad layout. Again and again Pilentum is extremely fascinated by different locomotives and train sets. It does not matter if they are steam locomotives, diesel locomotives or electric locomotives. That's why Pilentum focuses very much on the passing trains while making videos. And, Pilentum prefers to capture them in macro photography mode. But in macro photography, choosing the right exposure, distance, or focus is not always easy. But sometimes everything is perfect and beautiful shots are taken. In this video, Pilentum would like to present you these beautiful shots. Enjoy more than 75 different trains and locomotives, some from Europe and some from the USA.

The World of Model Trains - Enjoy more than 75 different locomotives and train sets in HO scale

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Train Ride in Germany's Marklin Model Railroad Exhibit in HO scale

The best way to explore a model railroad layout is doing a train cab ride. Therefore, we are going to discover another model railroad exhibit in this video. This layout, respectively this model railway exhibition was opened some years ago in Germany. It is called “Oktorail”, a permanent model train show of 400 square meters that mostly uses trains made by Marklin. The exhibition is divided into different sections. For example, the old Ruhr area in Germany, an industrial landscape known for its blast furnaces, steel and coal industry. In another section Germany is presented with modern streets, big cities and with a very large central station. By the way, this is the largest central station in HO scale Pilentum knows. In another section the Alps are presented. The landscape consists of high mountains and alpine regions. Unfortunately, Pilentum could make the video recordings only during the visitor hours. Therefore, only short train rides were shot. Anyway, enjoy this miniature world and, as you are used to from Pilentum, feel like a train driver.

Train Ride in Germany's Marklin Model Railroad Exhibit in HO scale

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Model Train Show Blue Brix in Germany HO Scale

A new permanent model railway exhibition opened on February 8, 2018, in Germany. The model train show is called “Blue Brix Wonder World”, and it is located in the South of Germany, near Munich. There are different model railroad layouts inside the whole exhibition area, for example, two layouts built in G scale presenting Switzerland. Another layout, approximately 130 square meters in HO scale, presenting the Germany city of Straubing. The most beautiful layout is the great HO scale show room with an exhibition area of more than 440 square meters. On a rail network with more than 1,600 meters in length, there are a lot of toy trains made by different European manufacturers, such as Marklin, Roco, Hornby, PIKO and Fleischmann. Some passenger cars and freight cars are made by Bachmann, Athearn and Liliput.

Model Train Show Blue Brix in Germany HO Scale

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Model Railway “Burgundy 1,500 Volt” with French Model Trains made by Jouef in HO scale

In this video, the French model railway club, called “Rails Miniatures de la Boucle”, from Gennevilliers, France, presents its beautiful model railroad layout named “Burgundy 1,500 Volt”. This French association of model railroading is located near Paris, France, and was established in 1982 by twenty model railroaders and railway modelling designers. The layout was built in HO scale and took approximately ten years of working time. It presents a famous French railway line near the city of Dijon inside the Burgundy region, France. This railway line is one of the major axis of the French rail traffic network, connecting Paris, Cote d'Azur in the southeast of France and other Italian destinations. In 1950, the railroad section between Paris and Dijon was electrified by catenary wires with 1,500 Volt. Therefore, the members of the French model railway club called this layout “Burgundy 1500 Volt”. Of course, in reality this railroad track has been modernized according to the modern standards of rail traffic systems. On the model railway layout, there are some of the finest model trains made by the French manufacturer Jouef, today a subsidiary company of Hornby Railways. The model railway layout has been built extremely detailed: The signal systems and the rails are designed very realistic. And, a very important argument, the locomotives drive with pantographs. The layout was built especially for toy train exhibitions. It is about ten meters in length. On the front side, spectators can enjoy the three-track railway line. On the back, behind the layout, what spectators cannot see, there is a large shadow station or fiddle yard where the miniature trains are parked. The whole train system is digitally controlled.

Model Railway “Burgundy 1,500 Volt” with French Model Trains made by Jouef in HO scale

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One of the finest award-winning model railway layouts made in the United Kingdom

In this video, we take a look at the beautiful model railway layout which was built by Maggie Gravett and by her husband Gordon Gravett. It is the famous, award-winning model railway layout showing a little town in Brittany, France, in the early 1960’s. Pilentum Television: Please, Gordon, would you like to tell the story of this model railway layout to the viewers of Pilentum Television? Gordon Gravett: The layout is based on a small metre gauge railway in Brittany. We've called it “Pempoul”. The name is purely robbed from a small hamlet where there was a sheet we used to stay in, so it doesn't have any sort of bearing on a real railway or that the real railway in the area. But the “Réseau Breton”, which was quite a sizeable system for a metre gauge railway in Brittany, offered us the opportunity to do something a little bit different. Pilentum Television: Maggie, as you know, Pilentum Television is based in Germany. And, for a German model railroader it is more or less typical constructing a German model railroad scenery. But you are living in Great Britain. Why did you choose the French railway system for model railroading? And, please, explain to the viewers of Pilentum Television, how did you start building this amazing layout? Where did you get the inspiration from? Maggie Gravett: We start to work on it, we had to look at papers and pictures and maps and all sorts of things, because we knew not a thing about this railway. A lot of the British Railways we knew. A little bit about or could find out about that the French one. The Internet wasn't bad, but not that good and nothing was being built commercially. So we knew, it would have to be totally, totally hand-built. Everything you saw, had to be hand-built. Pilentum Television: Maggie, please, tell me, railway modelling by hand was the only way to catch the essence of this French small town life. How did you learn to make such unique buildings? Maggie Gravett: I started to get involved doing buildings. I didn't like the plastic buildings because they didn't represent, what I wanted them to represent. I wanted funny things. I want to strange things. I wanted sheds with roofs that had holes in and it's a little bit more difficult, when you've got a ready-made or kit ready to make. So, I used to build. I still do build my buildings right from scratch. Pilentum Television: I guess, the viewers of Pilentum Television want to know some more of railway modelling. Please, tell us a bit of you passion. Maggie Gravett: You can build a square box as a building, put a roof on it, make it look beautiful, but somehow, you don't feel like anybody could live in it because it's just something missing. And very often you can't even put your finger on it and then you change the color scheme. Slightly you put a dent in a front door. You break a window in model form and suddenly - it looks like it's been lived in. And, I think that that is, what we both try to achieve. Finally, it was written, that you needed seventeen years for making this wonderful miniature world. And, I guess, the time was worth it. Thank you, Maggie und Gordon, for giving us such a great model railway layout.

One of the finest award-winning model railway layouts made in the United Kingdom

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Model Railway Exhibition in Germany with Model Trains made by Marklin, Fleischmann and Roco

Model railway exhibitions in Germany are normally organized by model train clubs. They build railway modules, mostly in HO scale, and plug them together. That's how they get a huge model railroad system for their visitors. One focus of model railroading or railway modelling is on joining different modules with different train control systems. Before they open their model railroad exhibit on the weekend, the members are busy harmonizing various decoders, locomotives, switches, etc. In this video, Pilentum presents a model train show which was organized by three modelling clubs. After building a large modular railway layout consisting of more than 100 single modules, visitors enjoyed more than 200 meters of railroad track in HO scale and a lot of rolling stock, mostly German locomotives, freight trains and passenger trains. In Germany, the brands Marklin, Fleischmann and Roco are very popular. But recently there are smaller manufacturers making very detailed scale models of locomotives, for example ESU and BRAWA. They focus on realizing amazing digital functions in their locomotives, such as sound and light effects in electric locomotives or smoke generators in steam locomotives. Finally, German model railroaders more and more are using digital car systems on their model railway layouts even if the layouts were designed only as a modular system. The joy of running these little miniature vehicles or model cars in HO scale is unmistakable.

Model Railway Exhibition in Germany with Model Trains made by Marklin, Fleischmann and Roco

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Superb Model Railway Layout in OO Gauge and one of the finest in British Railway Modelling

Once again, Pilentum presents one of the finest model railway layouts made in Great Britain. It is the third layout made by the British model railroader Peter Goss. The model railway - built in OO scale or 4 mm or OO gauge - is based on the North Yorkshire market town of Knaresborough. It was completed at the end of 2014 and has been presented at model railway exhibitions since then. Pete Goss started planning this model railway in 2009, and after extensive survey work and detailed planning model construction finally commenced in February 2010. The scenery is set in the time period around 2005 to 2015. The rolling stock includes the modern day colorfully liveried diesel multiple units (DMU) and several long special trains, for example the “Northern Belle Pullman” or the “Scarborough Spa Express”. The layout has only a simple branch line theme with trains running through the station on a twin track continuous circuit run. The market town setting contains a very strong historical theme. It is that theme of model railroading that Pete is very familiar with. Pete has always had a fascination with railways and buildings. His main interest is the architecture and styles of old and historic buildings and displaying them at a true scale within the realms of railway modelling. Over the years, Pete has attended model railway exhibitions all over the United Kingdom and also in Germany, Netherlands and Belgium. The model railway layout in this video got the name “The Worlds End”, because this name refers to the pub that is located near the railway station of Knaresborough. Apart from the train station, the model railway layout contains a large stone built and ornate viaduct over the River Nidd which is around five feet long and 14 inches high. And, there are other scenes on the layout that will intrigue and entertain folks whilst watching the model trains go by. Substantial numbers of metal cast and converted plastic model figures have been employed on the layout and inside the coaches. Pete’s model railway layout was shown at the great Norwich Model Railway Exhibition in 2017. Pilentum made this video at the International Scale Model Exhibition in Dortmund, Germany, in 2018.

Superb Model Railway Layout in OO Gauge and one of the finest in British Railway Modelling

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Lovely model railway layout with at least 100 details and miniature world attractions in HO scale

This is the latest model railway layout, which was built by Peter van den Wilderberg in HO scale. Peter is a famous model railroader living in the Netherlands. He is also known by the name “PEMOBA” which is an abbreviation for “Peter’s Modelbaan”. Peter does not build big model railway layouts; he focuses on small, cute and lovely dioramas, which are about three meters in the width and just one meter in the deep. When Peter builds a new layout for European model railway exhibitions, every square centimeter is filled with technical details and fascinating gimmicks. As a spectator you have to look closely to the layout for several times to discover all the little details. In the left section of this layout, which is controlled by the “Win-Digitpet” railway software, there is the little train station of the city named “Peters-Brück”. There are two platforms. At the front of the platform, you should pay attention to the station master who lines his head to the passing trains. And, in front of the train station there are two working guys who are loading a truck. In the background of this miniature world, there are the many buildings that are fully furnished and illuminated. On the street, a street sweeper is very busy cleaning the road, while the kids are playing at the children’s playground and the bus drives along. In the middle of the layout, there are two bridges that span a small river. Below the bridge, boats are loaded with a crane. In the right section of the model railway, you can see rows of houses with a small market and a church. In front of this scenery, there is a scrapyard or junk yard. And, behind the railway line, there are some transport activities at the warehouses.

Lovely model railway layout with at least 100 details and miniature world attractions in HO scale

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The $ 30,000 Live Steam Locomotive 7 1/4 Inch Gauge Model Railway

Recently, many friends of Pilentum have complained that there are far too few videos about steam locomotives. Therefore, Pilentum wants to make all enthusiasts of steam trains happy with this new video of a $ 30,000 live steam locomotive in 7 ¼ inch gauge. If it should be a steam engine, it must be a real steam or live steam garden railway. Some facts about this steam locomotive: The steam locomotive of Class 23 was a German passenger train locomotive developed in the 1950’s for the German Federal Railway. The locomotives had a 2-6-2 wheel arrangement and were equipped with Class 2'2' T 31 tenders. In reality, 105 types of this locomotive were built - from numbers 23 001 to 23 105 - by the manufacturers Henschel Company, Arnold Jung Locomotive Works Factory, Krupp Company and Maschinenfabrik Esslingen. Reduced to 1/8 scale, this steam locomotive was constructed in 2002 by a railway modeller from Cologne, Germany. The weight of this loco is 285 kg or 628 lb. The weight of the tender is 85 kg or 187 lb. Pilentum made a video from different angles by using three cameras. In the first part the miniature railway video was taken by the JVC Adixxion GC-XA2 camera installed on a passing train on a parallel rail track. In the second part, the riding railroad or grand scale railroad was taken by the Yi 4K+ camera installed above the running gear. In the third part, the train was taken by the Panasonic HVX 200 camera filmed from the hand. The whole video was taken on the railway course of the German Railway Modelling Club, called “Dampfbahnclub Taunus”, located near Frankfurt/Main, Germany. As you can see from the tracks, the park railway is suitable for 5 inch and 7 ¼ inch model trains. Please, enjoy this “Big Boy” steam engine and listen to the original sound.

The $ 30,000 Live Steam Locomotive 7 1/4 Inch Gauge Model Railway

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The miniature world of Venice: A masterpiece of modelling in HO scale without model trains

As you know, there is the great “Miniature Wonderland”, the world’s largest permanent model railway exhibition, in Germany. Two years ago, the model builders finished the Italian section with beautiful coast lines, with the central station of the capital Rome and much more. In February 2018 - after more than a year of construction work - the new section of Venice was opened. This masterpiece of modelling in HO scale completes the Italy theme inside the “Miniature Wonderland”, although there are no model trains and no model railway. The new Venice section with a size of only nine square meters is one of the smallest sections of the “Miniature Wonderland”. More than 35,000 man hours have been dedicated to create this Italian world with its winding streets, waterways, gondolas and palaces that were finished with greater precision than ever before. Approximately 60 model builders have been involved in modelling the new Venice section. They have made more than 280 houses and bridges by hand, have installed 2,800 LED, laid more than 5,000 meters of cable and have made 160 individual street lights. At a square meter price of more than 100,000 Euros, this diorama of Venice didn't come cheap at all. But every corner of miniature Venice is the result of so much devotion, for example, the 450 gondolas of Venice, each of them were carefully hand crafted and decorated. The famous tourism sights of Venice - the “Canale Grande”, the “Piazza San Marco”, the “Rialto Bridge” and the many water taxi gondolas - can be discovered in 1/87 scale.

The miniature world of Venice: A masterpiece of modelling in HO scale without model trains

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Big Boys and Great Toys: Live Steam Garden Railway and Real Steam Trains on Backyard Railroad

Some say live steam trains, others say real steam trains. Today, we discover the world of garden railway, backyard railroad or garden railroad with live steam locomotives from 5 inch gauge up to 7 1/4 inch gauge. It is about ridable miniature railways including locomotives large enough for one or several persons to ride on. The whole video was taken on the railway course of the German Railway Modelling Club, called “Dampfbahnclub Taunus”, located near Frankfurt/Main, Germany. As you can see from the tracks, the park railway is suitable for 5 inch and 7 ¼ inch model trains. Please, enjoy these steam locomotives and listen to their original sound.

Big Boys and Great Toys: Live Steam Garden Railway and Real Steam Trains on Backyard Railroad

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One of Germany's finest and most famous and superb model railway with steam trains in HO scale

If you’re asking German model railroaders and railway enthusiast, where to find the most outstanding permanent model railway exhibition in Germany, they will probably answer, this is the “Modellbundesbahn”. In fact, the “Modellbundesbahn” is a superb HO scale permanent display layout, constructed to museum quality. In 2007, the British railway journal “Continental Modeller” called this layout the “German equivalent of Pendon Museum”. On the contrary to many other model railway layouts, which are presented in Germany, this HO scale display is an accurate and historically correct scale model of Ottbergen railway station and its locomotive shed as they were in 1975. Buildings, locomotives and trains are carefully weathered. There are no high speed trains. No, there are freight trains, local passenger trains and a lot of railway traffic at the classification yard or marshalling yard as it was usual in the early 1970’s. Over time the loco depot at Ottbergen, housing the strong steam locomotives, type Class 44, was to become famous as one of the last major centers of steam in Germany. Also in the early 1970’s, there was a young boy, called Karl Fischer, living near the railway line in Ottbergen. When he was a child, for countless hours, he stood near the railway line and watched the large steam locomotives of the German Federal Railroad. He was fascinated by the Class 44 steam train locomotives, and of course, he was fascinated by the big marshalling yard - right behind his parent’s house. Twenty years later, Karl Fischer, had a dream: He wanted to recreate Ottbergen in miniature as an authentic historic record. Captured by its memories of the steam age, 30 years later in October 2005, the first stage was opened in Bad Driburg. The layout had been built in sections and was assembled as a large U shape. On one side is a scale model of Ottbergen railway station and the famous loco depot. On the other side is an accurate scale model of Bad Driburg railway station. The HO scale display was built over a period of eight years. Taking around 35,000 man hours. Occupies about 100 square meters and consists of 1,100 meters of track, 216 points and 83 signals. When building this miniature world a lot of emphasis was put on reality. There are no gimmicks, just high quality railway modelling at realistic speeds, using authentic train formations. Trains run at authentic scale speeds. The landscape is modelled to a very high standard. The first stage of the railway layout was 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. In 2009 Karl Fischer and his team decided to expand the layout. This was not just a simple case of an addition but involved modification of the existing installation. A large new central module was added with a new railway station. If you look at the cab ride, you will discover this new section because it was used as a starting point of the POV drive. Furthermore, this “point of view video”, some say “first person view video”, which was made by Pilentum with great passion, is a very good way to get to know this model railway layout exactly. Everything was fine by the year 2017. But then, Karl Fischer and his team, especially Norbert Sickmann, decided on a change. The old location of the model railway exhibition had become too small. An enlargement of the layout or an extension of the exhibition area was not possible. Therefore, the entire installation was dismantled in the summer of 2017 and rebuilt in a completely new exhibition hall. At the end of May 2018, the new exhibition was opened in the city of Brakel, approximately 15 kilometers away from the old location. Today, the size of the whole installation makes it necessary to use a digital control system, using the software “TrainController”. Control of trains, control of accessories, occupancy detectors and locomotive decoders are based on the “Selectrix” digital model train control system. Finally, there are more than 80 locomotives, 900 items of rolling stock, 150 buildings, 7,000 figures, more than 1,500 trees and 2,500 shrubs. There is an ongoing programming to fit interior lighting to all coaches. Actually, the new car system is running. And, as you can see on the cab ride train journey, inside the new location is enough space to expand the railway installation. Please, enjoy this video. There are beautiful cab rides and a lot of outstanding video footage of steam trains and steam locomotives. Don’t forget to visit this layout, called “Modellbundesbahn”, when you are going to make a journey to Germany.

One of Germany's finest and most famous and superb model railway with steam trains in HO scale

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Chapter One

Video #001 - Video #040


Chapter Two

Video #041 - Video #080


Chapter Three

Video #081 - Video #120


Chapter Four

Video #121 - Video #160


Chapter Five

Video #161 - Video #200


Chapter Six

Video #201 - Video #240


Chapter Seven

Video #241 - Video #280


Chapter Eight

Video #281 - Video #320


Chapter Nine

Video #321 - Video #360


Chapter Ten

Video #361 - Video #400



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