Dieter Nolte sent along this wonderful report of the Hamburg hobby show
where he presented his layout to the public. Let's read what he has to
I have renamed my layout.
Instead of 'Texas Railroad' I now call it 'Red Rock Canyon, Texas'.
So I am more free to use other road names of trains passing by.
The fair took place from 16th to 18th of November 2001 in seven halls of the
Hamburg Exhibition and Fair Center. More than 180 exhibitors were spread
out over an area of 325,000 sq.ft. All segments of modelling were covered as
general plastic models, cars, trucks, boats, airplanes and helicopters. And
course model railroading. So, a big crowd was flocking in as you may
Hall 5 with an area of 55.000 sq.ft. was dedicated solely to model
Beside many exhibitors and manufacturers many layouts were shown from scale
to scale II (1:22,5). Layouts from other European countries like the
were there also.
However in scale Z, only three layouts were present, the lay out of the
of scale Z of Hamburg' (who had invited me to this show), a smaller layout
one of the 'friends' and my little layout.
Their large layout showing a scenery in northern Germany, consists of 10
with double tracks and two end or turning modules consisting of three parts
including 'shaddow stations' or fiddle yards. The overal length of the
was about 80 ft. Up to 9 trains were running at the same time, each pulling
to 17 cars. At least 4 operators were busy to handle the traffic. Additional
operators compiled new trains to be fed in.
It was a very interesting operation which draw many visitors to this place.
The other smaller layout was about 47 x 32 inch, showing a North American
with a small Western village and a switching yard. The owner was also busy
coordinate a through train and the switching operation. A very fine piece.
As I said earlier I was guest of the 'friends' and so my little layout
inch) was next to the two layouts mentioned above.
The two new gadgets I added recently to my US-American layout worked
and were attracting the people.
The typical Texas windmill driven waterpump was spinning nicely. Only very
visitors detected immediately why the windmill was whirling around. Some
behind the booth to get the solution and laughed when I showed them the
aquarium air pump which created the 'wind' on the layout to turn the blades.
Also the spinning rotor blades of the helicopter which sits on a helipath
blinking boundary lights was drawing the attention, especially this of the
A few months ago, I asked a manufacturer from Stuttgardt to add to two of my
cars (a box car and a tank car) blinking end-lights or FREDs, as they are
in the USA. The converted cars arrived just prior to the Hamburg show. Well,
they worked fine, blinking nicely at the end of a train. However, only three
insiders of scale Z realized this novelty.
I have build a special exhibition booth to
present my layout in a more attractive manner. It is 60x24 inch and 75 inch
tall. The layout is positioned at a height of 47 inch, so it is conveniend
the older people to study the scenery (even if they forgot their glasses).
I also have added very bright spotlights behind blinds. So even small
may be recognized. And we scale Z railroaders do have many details on our
which are worth to be seen!
The lower part, the sides and the back part of the booth are closed with
artificial plywood sheets. The upper front part however is closed by an
It looks like an aquarium. Instead of fish, small trains are passing by.
In my experience this configuration is very attractive for visitors,
especially the kids.
They can look from a very close distance - nose to nose with the little
and trains - on the layout. The smaller kids have of course to
get a lift from their parents (or from me).
And I do not have to be afraid that visitors (especially the kids) may
the scenery or may take away a loco or car. And our little gems are so easy
be taken away undetected.
I believe the normaly used protective fence which is an absolutely necessity
'open' scale Z layouts at fairs is some sort of a barrier. People do not see
details. And they have to see them, which is in my opinion of great
for us scale Z fans!
In the lower closed part of the booth I put all the equipment necessary to
run the layout (I need 7 transformers, one airpump and a switch board for
automatic operation and the relevant cables - a spaghetti bowl!). In
place my personal belongings in this small lockable closet.
So, if I am alone at an exhibition (which is the normal case), I may leave
booth unattended with 4 trains operating automatic.
This new presentation seems to be a success. Sometimes up to 18 (!) people
crowded at my 60 inch wide booth! Just the two flags, one of USA and one of
Texas, which I fixed on top of my booth indicated to the passing visitors,
there was a booth behind the crowd. It was amazing!
I enjoyed the fair (and also the fine time, I was with the nice team of the
'friends') very much. Introduced by Kai Wuestermann, the 'friends' included
in their team immediately like a member. It was great. And this team is
There is a vast knowledge of matters of scale Z available. And they give it
to the public on their home page.
For 2003, at the next fair in Hamburg, I am already invited again. And I am
to accept this invitation!
Pictures of the fair, of the team and also of my layout are available on the
home page of the 'friends': http://www.z-spur.de
. My layout is pictured on
version of the home page under the heading 'Anlagen' and then 'Red Rock
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