Tag Archives: FREMO

Benchwork for my FREMO project

Last fall, a FREMO:87 colleague gave me plans for a small station that has a siding to a storage facility for an agricultural cooperative on a now-abandoned secondary line near Nördlingen, Germany. The dimensions and track plan with only one turnout seemed modest enough for a beginner, so I was immediately excited about building the station – and thus was born the Fessenheim project. I drew up preliminary plans, but when we decided to move, the project had to be put on hold.

Overview of the station with module outlines.

Overview of the station with module outlines.

Having arrived in NYC (albeit with our belongings still in transit), I revived the project a few weeks ago and spent some time working on plans for the benchwork for four FREMO modules. The drawings were done using CAD software for the Mac, as mentioned in my previous post. They are not finalized yet as I am still in the process of sourcing the materials and finding a craftsman to put the modules together for me – something I am not equipped to do in the confines of our Manhattan apartment.

As suggested by the aforementioned FREMO:87 colleague, the tracks are moved off-center in the first and last modules so that there is room for the storage building, while still fitting on modules that are only 500 mm wide. Even though this makes the benchwork a little more complex, I like the idea of shifting the track away from the center because it disrupts the monotony of the flow of the rails, in particular on straight modules that use the H0pur® module profile.

So here are plans for the four modules:

Module 1.

Module 1.

Module 2.

Module 2.

Module 3.

Module 3.

Module 4.

Module 4.

Modeling the underdog

Back in my Märklin days, I was aware of the distinctions between epochs, but my rolling stock was a hodgepodge of steam engines, diesels, electrics and cars from epochs III and IV.  When I became serious about model railroading again, I decided to strictly model epoch IV and in particular the time between 1980 and 1990. For me, it was a natural thing because I grew up during the 80s and first discovered the love for trains during that decade.

Unfortunately, it turns out that epoch IV seems to be the underdog in German model railroading and especially in FREMO. Many members of the club are modeling epoch III and there is a growing number of epoch V enthusiasts, but epoch IV people are few and far between. To make matters worse, there are even fewer epoch IV folks in FREMO:87, which makes the goal of a pure epoch IV operating session seem unattainable for years to come.

This lack of critical mass also has a direct impact on the availability of custom parts for rolling stock. I hope that I will able to contribute to improving the circumstances in the future, and by doing so, inspire others to model the underdog as well.