The BurgerBahn

Last update: February 2007

The Burgerbahn is a HO (1:87) scale layout. Construction began in 1984, and it is mainly based on German stock and architecture up to around 1940. It's a very complicated track plan - far toot complicated, I think my main challenge was to see if I could actually build the thing.

The layout is about the size of a large living room or a short 1 1/2 car garage - 5.57m (18'3") across the back wall, by 4.44m (14'7") along the right hand side as the sketch and track plans are viewed.

The main line has a hidden loop at each end and eight Fleishmann relays allow up to seven trains on the main line at one time, and with the aid of a few dozen DPDT toggles, it's possible to override the system in order to take control of a selected train.

The idea for the Burgerbahn layout plan was adapted from the MIBA publication MPM1 - "Modellbahner Planen fur Modellbahner", page 6 - in mirror reverse - an unworkable plan as published?? but I managed to adapt the general concept to Peco turnout sizes. The layout was drawn at 1:5 scale with the aid of photocopied turnouts from the back cover of the then current Peco catalogue. The method of contruction (using L-girders, joists, risers and cleats) was all learnt from the brilliant publication "How to build MODEL RAILROAD BENCHWORK" by Linn H Westcott, published by Kalmbach Books.

The layout is not based on any particular City although Hamburg is my favourite - I have incorporated ideas from various photos in my photo book "Reichsbahn-Album" by Alfred B. Gottwaldt which spans the years 1920 to 1940.

I wanted to get as much railway into the room as possible (like most suckers) but never forgetting my desire to be able to watch a train's progress over a decent length of track. This meant some compromising, such as keeping the height of the roundhouse lower than I would have liked.

Anyway, the general idea is that trains arrive at Hamburger which is the City station plus goods platforms, then progress through to Fries which is the hub of the Hamburger's industrial area and contains the Frie-ght yards. After Fries comes the outskirts of town - the scenic mountain line.

If I hadn't wasted much of my spare time on computers etc. (like right now, Dummkopf Bilbo!) the layout may have progressed to a more refined state, but to most people's eyes it looks pretty well finished enough anyway.

Sketch of Burgerbahn layout (improved image - June 2004) Track plan sketch
Burgerbahn track plans showing both viewable and hidden tracks, room dimensions and track levels Track plan diagrams
Early days - pics 01, 02Dec 1984: Wide angle shot, the spiral
Early Days - pic 03 Mar 1985: Hidden storage levels.
Early Days - pics 05, 061985: The golden spike, bowl of spaghetti
Early Days - pics 10, 111987: The roadways and the viaducts take shape
Early Days - pics 14, 151987: The third viaduct and the control panel
Scenery Begins - pics 21, 22Shaping the sculpture
Some colour at last - pics 29, 30The viaducts revisited
Modelling a Structure - pics 33, 20aThe betriebswerk
Modelling a Structure - pics 37, 36The Adler-werke
City Scenes - pics 39, 39a, 40The backdrop
Modelling a Structure - updated June 2004The roundhouse
Modelling a Structure - pics 47, 50The platform steps
Industrial Scenes - updated June 2004The yards at Hamburger
Station Scenes - pics 52, 56Pardon the Swiss loco
City Scenes - pics 54, 53Urban & Rural
Industrial Scenes - pics 55, 57Fries yards
The prototype - Burg KatzMy favorite pics of the real thing
The Model = Burg BurgerA Kingdom from Scrap Cardboard
More pictures at last - November 2003Seven new pictures
Many new shots - June 2004 - to Celebrate 20 Years of the BurgerbahnA mammoth seventeen new pictures
Bonus pictures of the Ringlokschuppen (Roundhouse)New digital camera pictures
Underneath the ArchesThe geometry would be inspiring if only....
Trams at HamburgerUpdated tram pictures.
Modelling a SceneTransferring Cargo to truck and wagen.
More Industry ScenesThe smaller smellier factories
TRAIN SPOTTER'S CORNER (expanded 2006)
Mainly Close-ups of Locos etc (6 photos)Electric Class Locos
Mainly Close-ups of Locos etc (18 photos)Steam Locos & Misc
Railcars (Triebwagens)The Flying Hamburgers
The "Micky Mouse" ExpressThe designs were so ahead of their time!
A Steam-hauled trainThe Mighty 01 Class
360 Degrees of ActionThe whole layout in one video
Action at the BahnhofWorms eye view
Triebwagen in ActionFlying Hamburger departs Bahnhof
Train SpottingClass 18 in the mountains
Action at the BahnhofHamburger Bahnhof from the west
Pardon the 1:76 ScaleMilitary Loads
Pardon the 1:72 ScaleTwo Railway Guns
For military modelling enthusiastsVisit my new AFV pictures site

Bilbo's email address: Click here to let me know that you have visited my modellbahn - tell me if you enjoyed the pictures and which are your favorites. When mailing please enter the subject name using "BurgerBahn" or "Layout" etc so I know it's not SPAM

The BurgerBahn

counter added 24 July 2006