Back into model railroading, part 48 (Eurobahn Ottawa)
- Good afternoon, fellow Valeasians,
I am on vacation until June 6 so I have naturally been doing yard work, taking nice long drives to explore rural Ontario and taking in the Ottawa Tulip Festival, when the sun makes an appearance, that is!
It's been raining on and off here for the last few days so I have taken refuge indoors...which means helping to do housework, long overdo repairs, and find ways to spend money on the layout. <smile>
A few days ago it dawned on me that Eurobahn Ottawa, the vendor who had disappeared on me on the second day of the train show, actually lived in downtown Ottawa. I gave him a ring and we got together yesterday afternoon to look over his supply of HOe rolling stock and his plastic structure kits.
Charles Belair is a debonair gentleman who, following his retirement 15 years ago as an IT management consultant for the Canadian federal government, started a wholesale/ retail business specializing in hard-to-find (in Canada that is) European brands: Liliput HOe, Roco, Bemo, Auhagen, Veissmann, and many others that I do not recall since I had never heard of them before meeting Charles.
Stepping into the Eurobahn Ottawa / Belair apartment was a great thrill. Charles greeted me at the door and asked what era and railroad I was interested in modeling. My answer, Austrian HOe era II and III. Charles invited me into his sitting room and there was a magnificent 4'x8' Austrian HO and HOe cityscape with an abundance of beautifully decorated and weathered structures. The OBB trains were mainly HO but he had a dual-gauge HO / HOe line with a complete OBB 4-car Mariazellbahn passenger train pulled by a C-C electric locomotive.
Needless to say, we chatted and told war stories for over two hours before I said goodbye with my purchases in hand. What purchases, you ask?
Charles had some really cool kits but I knew that my space was really limited. I picked up the water tower kit and an overhead crane set both from Auhagen, a Veissmann industrial wall light and a bottle of UHU plastic cement which I put into use as soon as I got home with my treasures. I was tempted by several other cottage kits but there really is no more space for even the smallest homestead.
The water tower is already in place in the far right-hand corner of Neuburg. It completes the setting perfectly. The overhead crane kit actually came with two lean-to tool sheds and a workman's trailer. I kitbashed the crane to strengthen the I beam supports. I also have the perfect spot for the crane in the bridging section between the suitcases. It gives the scene more depth and offers another switching opportunity to shunt flat and gondola loads. The sheds have found homes elsewhere on the layout...you can never have enough tool sheds, right? The Veissmann wall-mounted light is casting a wide beam of light onto the main entrance area of the KvSB welding shop.
Now that the thrill of the hunt is wearing off, I guess I can start weathering the rails in Neuburg....
Cheers to all,
P.S. Bob, sorry I got the state abbreviation mixed up. As I was typing the original message I said to myself, make sure you get the right two-letter ID for Michigan...! It's MI, MI, MI...
- Good evening, fellow Valeasians,
My fertile imagination has taken firm hold and won't let go!
Following many hours of Web and eBay searching, I have discovered that my Liliput engines and rolling stock, although Era II and III, would still be right at home on the Mariazellerbahn shortline in Austria.
In fact, Roco and Lilitput both produce passenger sets for the Mariazeller railway. Roco offers a starter set with an electric locomotive while Liliput offers a Bo-Bo diesel locomotive and a separate 4-car passenger set.
My research has shown that fiction sometimes converges on reality. The key theme of the KvSB is the Abbey that sits atop the highest elevation on the layout. It is also a popular pilgrimage destination in addition to a fine brewery!
Mariazell is also a pilgrimage destination and the main reason that the Mariazellerbahn exists.
So I got to thinking...
I happen to have the Roco OBB electric loco and 4 Mariazellerbahn coaches from Euro Bahn Ottawa. I picked them up for a song from Charles Belair thinking that I would eventually find another home for them.
Just for the fun of it, I placed the MZB coaches on the KvSB mainline. They look terrific in front of the KvSB station. They will not negotiate the curves beyond Neuburg. The Roco locomotive does not have the tight turning radius that the Liliput diesel has, and it has a pantograph (I do not want to have catenary on the layout or, should I say, there is no room for catenary on the layout).
The Liliput MZB diesel is Era III vintage...fits with my design. The 4 coaches are also Era II - IV so they work as well.
My imagination came up with the notion of an interchange between the OBB narrow gauge railway and the short wheelbase Liliput and Bemo rolling stock of the KvSB. The track arrangement will allow me to run an OBB passenger consist of 1 baggage and 2 coaches pulled by the Liliput OBB diesel which I will convert to DCC at some point, assuming I can get my hands on one!
There is no place to turn the OBB loco but there is a passing siding and other options that would allow me to uncouple the OBB diesel, run it into a spur, then shunt the passenger consist past the OBB loco which would then recouple with the consist for the return trip off the layout.
That's what my overactive imagination has come up with...an imaginary interchange that uses a 5-foot section of KvSB mainline but has nowhere to go but off the layout. This is more like adding a diorama to an operating layout but why not? It makes for good photo opportunities and some operational fun.
All that is left is to see if I win the auction for the OBB MZB diesel locomotive and if that fails, I have already found an Internet store with a new unit.
Well, gang, I have reached the 50 post milestone on my "Back into model railroading - HOe" saga. In the space of 5 months I have reached several milestones:
-built a new HOe layout,
- converted 4 locomotives to DCC,
- installed 30 or so lights throughout the system,
- installed constant lighting in a 6-car passenger consist,
- added DCC off-board synchronized sound for diesel and steam effects,
- done a large amount of housecleaning and sold off a large quantity of surplus items,
- kept up a running commentary on my progress.
Sure there are some minor projects left to finish but it is time to move on.
I have spent the past week doing some very heavy lifting in the back yard rebuilding my patio and leveling my shed in preparation for my long-planned garden railroad.
I'll keep you informed as things progress <smile>.
Thanks for being part of my model railroading universe. Hope you have a wonderful summer. Drop me a line, let me know what projects you are working on.