I build models for lot of years now.
But i want somthing new.
So now i thinking for building a railroad.
After looking some things up i decided i want to do something in the 3th
I also now i want to build in scale HO and want an american theme.And i also
want it digital.
I'm from europe.
The questions i have are 1) are the american periods the same as in europe?
I guess not but saw nothing to
2)What kind of system i can use the
best? I'm thinking of Marklin but find it
3)I found something called
Intellibox, is this a good thing?
4)I don't find many american
vehicles,where can i find them?
5)I also want that the cars ride is
there an alternative for the faller car system?
A lot of questions,but i don't find good answers yet on the net for these
I have some vehicles from the mid to late steam era in North
America. They came from a company called "mini-metals" they don't look half
bad with a bit of weathering to dull the sheen down a bit. The mid to late
1950's was pretty much the end of steam locomotives in North America on
Mainline railroads. Yes I know the D&RGW held out to the early 70's but that
was 3 foot gauge. There is much available in North American prototypes to
model. I don't know where in Europe you are located or how expensive things
are where you are. The equipment is out there...
No, modeler's across the Atlantic don't use this term. I tried searching on
Google to find out what it meant, but did not get any imeadiate reults.
What years are in the 3rd period?
Most American modelers do not use a single manufacturer's syatem, but rather
buy for the manufacturer whose products have the best price or best quality
or best represent the prototype we are interested. Ideally we want all
three, but it doesn't always work that way. Thanks to the work of the NMRA
virtually all US products are compatible. When I understand what period you
are interested in, and what type of railroad (Colorado mountain narrow
gauge, south western US desert mainline, north eastern US urban corridor,
Appalacian coal hauler, midwester country short line, etc.) you would like
to model, then I can recommend some manufacturers.
Sorry, I don't know what this is.
One of the major US suppiers to both private individuals and to local hobby
shops is the Walthers Comany at
I suggest you start at
their web site and look at the HO Vehicles pages.
I was not aware of the Faller system, but see that it is listed on the
Walthers site. I am not aware of a US equivalent. However, it does not
seem that it would be too difficult to replace the Faller vehicle bodies
with some of the American outline ones and use the Faller mechanisms and
Good questions is always the best way to learn. I hope these answers are a
little help. Gary Q
I wonder if he means 3rd generation.
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No -- in fact I think the era system is one of the stupidest ideas ever,
but I won't bore you with my reasons. :-)
N. Americans prefer to know the actual years of production and operation
of the rolling stock they use, and use descriptive phrases, such as
"steam-diesel transition" (which is roughly the same as Era III, ie,
1930s to 1950s).
2)What kind of system i can use the best? I'm thinking of Marklin but
Don't think system, think prototype (the real thing) and models. In N.
America, l;retty well all HO is built to the same standrads (first
established by the National Model railroad Association, or NMRA), and
products of different manufacturers will operate together.
Yes, Marklin is expensive. It is also incompatible with all other
manufacturers' products, since it uses three-rail alternating current
instead of two-rail direct current. Its digital system is also its own.,
and is not compatible with DCC (Digital Command Control) standrads
established by the NMRA (Lenz and similar DCC systems will work
together.) Trix (the two-rail, DC line made by Marklin) is very, very
good, but, as you say, very expensive. If you want just a small layout,
say the size of a room, with suitably large curves (about 1m radius or
larger), and run a half dozen trains or so to time-table and
train-orders, a few Trix might fit your budget, though.
No idea, never heard of it, must be someone's brand of digital control.
If it is compatible with international DCC standards, it should be OK.
For the era you want, you will have to buy from US and Canadian suppliers.
You mean cars that run along the roads? AFAIK, Faller's is the only system.
Just keep coming back here. :-)
Am Thu, 24 Feb 2005 19:21:58 -0500 schrieb Geezer:
This question should be simple to answer (I hope) ;-)
Epoche l = 1835 - 1920
Epoche lI = 1920 - 1950
Epoche lII = 1949 - 1970
Epoche lV = 1965 - 1990
Epoche V = > 1990
Hope this helps. My english is a bit rusty. ;-)
Yes, that helps. There are not numbered periods such as this in the US. In
my own opinion, I would divide US RR evolution (from a model RR standpoint)
o 1830 to 1860 - early RRs; rarely modeled
o 1860 to about 1885 - Civil war and "wild west"/gold rush period - 4-4-0
very common, together with 2-6-0, and early 4-6-0 and 2-8-0 types; wooden
passenger cars to 60' and freight cars under 30'
o 1895 to around 1912 - Turn-of-the-century, wooden car era - big 4-6-0 and
2-8-0 locos common; 80' wooden passenger cars and 36' freight cars common.
o 1912 to late 1920's - Big steam era - Locos with 2-wheel training trucks;
articulated steam locos; "drag freight" era; steel heavy weight 80'
passenger cars, 40' steel frame wood side freight cars common; colorful
"private owner" freight cars.
o 1928 to WWII - Super power era - Locos with 4-wheel trailing trucks; high
horsepower locos for higher speed freight service; emergence of articulated
lightweight internal combustion streamliners, all steel 40' freight cars
o 1945 to late 1950's - Steam to Diesel transition - 1st generation Diesels
(mostly cab units) 85' streamlined lightweight passenger cars, 40' and 50'
o late 1950's to 1970 - Initial merger period and decline of RR owned
passenger service - Steam gone; hood unit Diesels replace cab units as
favored type; transition to "2nd generation" Diesel types; emergence of
piggy back, unit train and specialized freight equipment (auto-racks, etc.)
o 1970 to 1990's - Amtrak takes over intercity passenger service; mergers
accelerate; RRs sell off excess lines and shortlines appear, government
regulations lead to large numbers of shortline cars in interchange service,
growth of container freight
o 1990's to today - Modern era - Mega systems (BNSF, UP, NS, CSX), double
More could be said about the characteristics of each period, but I hope
these notes give the flavor. Others may suggest other divisions, and there
is much overlap between them, but these are typical eras I have seen
modeled. The steam to Diesel transition and end of steam to Amtrak periods
seem to coincide with your Epoche III. Is this what you are interested in?
These periods equate to both political and administrative periods in Germany.
Epoche I is the "Landerbahn" period where each of the (9 major German) States had
it's own system.
Epoche II is the post WWI period with nationalized, public company, nationalized
and occupied administration.
Epoche III is the period where railway ownership was returned to the German
Epoche IV was the change to computer numbering.
Epoche V was the recombination of East and West Germany.
Steam in Germany lasted until around 1977-78, so the US "transition period" has a
much later completion.
Ah, thank you, I wondered where this stupid idea came from. That
explains why it doesn't match actual railroad development. Era III
covers the end of pre-war technology as it was phased out (most of it by
the early 60s) and the introduction of new technology. Result: if you
buy stuff because it's "era III", you may run rolling stock and loco
combos that never existed in actuality. I want Austrian equipment from
about 1950, but Era III includes stuff that wasn't even on the drawing
boards at that time. The mfrs just label their stuff by era, not by
year, so without some sources of prototype data it's impossible to tell
what's what. And those sources are practically non-existent. I pore
over photo books looking for clues, and since precious film was never
"wasted" on mere rolling stock, those clues a are few and far between.
Dividing eras, such as IIIa and IIIb, helps some, but it's really an
admission that the era system is deeply flawed.
I prefer our system of descriptive phrasing.
Well, lots of older stock remained in service way beyond the 1960s.
Locos like the Prussian P8s / BR 38, G8.1 / BR 55 etc etc remained in use into
1970s / Era IV.
Passenger and goods rolling stock lasted even longer, although much passenger
new bodies because the frames and running gear were still usable.
That's the cut-off between the two eras so you basically want era II models.
Now you have the problem that Era II in Austria most definitely is not one
1920 - 1938 was the BBö period with lots of facinating developments. (Golsdorf
1938 - 1945 was the period when the BBö was amalgamated with the DR (not the
all rolling stock gained DR numbering. Also stock was transfered fairly freely
Germany, Austria and Italy etc.
1945-48/50 was the occupation period, with US and Russian sectors. Cross out the
"Adler" and Swastika markings on locos and coaches. Add "US Zone" under the DR
1950 0n was the OeBB period, with new markings/lettering. It was also the period
which the international "Europ" wagon pool started, but that's too modern for
Some of the stock confiscated by the Russians was also returned around 1950 so
also have stock with Russian markings with a line painted through.
Just ask the right people! :-)
Much of that means very little to some of us.
I model South Germany over a ten year time span 1923-32, which covers the
from individual State railways to DRG through to the beginnings of the new
loco designs replacing locos which held on through WWI and the following
even that period needs to be divided up into Eras II a, b and c as far as
politics/administration/ownership is concerned and a different set of IIa, b, c
as far as livery and markings is concerned.
Thx u gave me a lot of answers,and of course a lot of new questions too.
I like the steam trains,but i want also have some diesels and maybe an
In what direction do i have to look then for an american scene?
Pitty that here in europe there are no real standarts,but therefore was my
question of the intellibox.
It's something that can run with different protocols.
I'm thinking of using marklin rails becouse they use DC and the 3th rail is
not very disturbing.
When i look to the faler car system,it looks like it must be possible to
build sutch things myself, does someone now where on the net i can find more
info about that?
I live in belgium, and i must admid american models is something u don't
find a lot of it here. therefore i'm looking also for ways of selfbuilding
the locs and wagons.
I now there are kits for this,but in the stores here i havn't seen them yet
"Geezer" schreef in bericht
Do you mean, what kind of modelling material are available? If so, buy a
copy of Model Railroader and Railroad Model Craftsman - should be
available at more comprehensive European hobby shops. They have lots of
ads, including some for European stores. Google on their names for their
I've looked at their website, and it looks like a good DCC choice. I
would stick to NMRA DCC however. There are many different manufacturers
of NMRA compatible/compliant systems out there, and an increasing number
of locomotives are offered with decoders built in. N. American locos are
all NMRA DCC compliant. BTW, the NMRA standard was developed with the
co-operation of Lenz.
Marklin does _not_ use DC. They use AC. Avoid Marklin track. Use plain
two-rail track. Trix locomotives and cars are designed for two-rail DC
operation. (They are also DCC compatible.)
If google doesn't find it, it doesn't exist. Try "US automobile model"
as a start.
There are Belgian and Dutch members of the NMRA. Post a request for
contacts, I'm sure you will get some responses.
The following store advertises in Model Railroader:
Chalumand - Trains and Tools
Good Luck and Have Fun!
I think you should focus on the period 1950 to 1960 to capture the last of
US steam and the takeover by Diesel locomotives. The US has never had the
extent of electrification seen in Europe. Our electrics fell into perhaps 5
categories: Main Line electrics (primarily the Pennsylvania RR and the New
Haven in the urban northeast, and the Milwaukee Road in the Pacific
northwest), commuter railroads (primarily New York-New Jersey, Philadelphia,
and Chicago), rapid transit elevated and/or subway lines (many major
cities), street car lines (almost every US city, but most converted to bus
by the 1950's), and interurban railways (service between cities that entered
the cities on the street railway tracks, mostly gone by the 1950's)
I recommend you spend some time looking at some of the sites listed at the
National Model Railroad Association ( home page
) list of RR
and Model RR links at
These will show you many model
RRs, and give you connection to most of the railroad historical society
sites to tell you about the different prototype RRs.
The NMRA is our standards organization, and the standards can be found at
their web site
I am not aware of a site about the Faller system.
You can self build, but there are many fine kit and ready-to-run models
available. I believe most of the major US suppliers will ship to Europe. I
mentioned the Walthers Company in my earlier post. Their site
indicates that they will ship overseas. They have a very
well illustrated on-line catalog showing much of what is available in the
US. Gary Q
Pardon me for tagging on to your posting, but the original has long
since gone to the bit bucket.
Mike, to cover all three, you're looking sometime from the late 1930's
to ~ mid 1950's era. IT wasn't a sudden transiton, there's a lot of
room for overlapping steam and diesel.
I meant,what are the correct things to use,like thime and so on.
I like to combine steam,diesel and some electric.what time period should i
so i can combine these things?
Sorry my mistake i meant AC,it sounded the wright thing for me.
NMRA standarts are a good thing,only hard to get here,so it makes those
expensive.And that i don't want.Lenz stuff is something i gone look further
I saw some things of them,but not mutch yet.
That i know,but can't think of good woords for looking these things up.
But they told me there are no other manufacturers that make those cars.
Therefore i want looking for making it myself if possible,but therefore i
guidelines.And in my language i don't find anything.
This i didn't know,thanks for that.
Thanks for the info,I think i can now begin to deside what direction i wanna
go with this hobby.
Thx for all the answers u gave.
I know they will ship to europe.
Maybe on later times i would make use of this kind of shipping.
But know at the start i don't want to make thinkg more expensive.
Therefore i don't want to use those kind of shipping yet.
That's the reason i'm looking for fine alternatives.