Die Poggenbahn
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Fall 2021

I presented my modular layout to ETE (European Train Enthusiasts), my model railroad club, on October 4. Check out the recording of my presentation, The Manhattan Project:


Winter 2020-21

Although the Poggenbahn has been in hibernation during the winter, work has proceeded apace on my modular layout in NYC. I have now completed all the modules and am finalizing the wiring (that is, trying to squash one last bug with the wiring bus). The next steps will be to commence landscaping and building the 20 or so model buildings which will grace the layout. Here are a couple of photos for your enjoyment (click for larger image).



Summer 2020

The summer of 2020 has been a busy time on the Poggenbahn.

ETE Presentation
On July 20, I presented the Poggenbahn to the European Train Enthusiasts, my model railroad club, and over 100 members watched my presentation. Unfortunately, the presentation was cut short due to internet connectivity problems, so I created a second part completing my presentation. You can watch both videos at the links below.



Electrification of the Poggenbahn
The big project this summer was the electrification of the Poggenbahn. I decided that it was too unprototypical to run electric locomotives with their pantographs down and so I decided to add catenary (overhead wiring). There was a lively debate on the German Railways discussion list of which I'm a member about whether wires were a necessity. Wires are difficult to install and maintain, and limit access to track for cleaning. The conclusion I came to was that at H0 scale one wouldn't see the wires anyway so I just went with catenary masts, as the late Jacq Damen did on his legendary Dreim├╝hlentalbahn (here are a few photos of the "wireless" catenary on his layout).

So I ordered Sommerfeldt catenary masts like the ones at right and finally went to work at the end of August. Here are some photos of the result (click on the photos to enlarge).






One of the challenges posed by electrification was that two of the five tunnel portals (shown in the photo directly above) are for steam/diesel locomotives and do not have clearance for catenary or raised pantographs. I've been told that clipping pantographs is painful and very expensive to repair, especially on my ESU BR 194 locomotive which has remotely actionable pantographs, so it was imperative that I swap out the low tunnel portals. Fortunately, the hard shell of the Poggenberg had some flexibility because of the rock outcroppings so replacing the tunnel portals wasn't too difficult. You can see the end result above, and a video of the BR 194 entering the tunnel safely below.


Summer 2019

My big project for the summer of 2019 was the conversion of the railroad crossing from static to operating. You can see how I did it in my video about it:


It still has to be operated manually from the switch on the control panel (lower left, below), and I hope to automate it next summer.



Sommerfeldt 185 catenary mast


Sommerfeldt 126 catenary tower
(for cross catenary assemblies in station areas)


The old Faller 558 steam locomotive portals, top, and the new Faller 559 electric locomotive portals, bottom