Abendstern is a H0 scale model railway I am building. The events and locations are a  “could have been” in Germany……. as I write this the Iron curtain has evolved into its full avatar and the Cold War is at its peak. It is the 70s and steam is also giving way to diesels. We are on the branch line  which connects Abendstern to the Fulda-Erfurt mainline, just south of Bebra, in the state of Hesse.

abendstern location map smallclick on pic

The construction of the branchline started in the late 30s and was intended to connect Bebra to Meiningen but was interrupted due to the outbreak of World War II. Post the war and the subsequent division of Germany meant that Meiningen now lay in the DDR and behind the iron curtain and as a result the line was never completed and ended in Abendstern……

main intro abendstern track plan smallclick on pic

Abendstern could be viewed as a satellite town of Bebra with a population of about 20000, most of whom were employed by the railway itself. This because nearby Bebra was a major junction for rail traffic within West Germany and also the border checkpoint for traffic into the DDR…..

abendstern intro abendstern hbf bird nest viewmain intro abendstern station reworkabendstern intro mixed freight at Abendstern Hbf

 view 1

On the first Sunday of each month a street market is organized which has become very popular amongst the locals as well as residents of the surrounding towns & villages ……


main intro abendstern altstadt rework view 2

As dusk falls…….

abendstern intro altstadt view 2

the city really comes to life with its many bars and restaurants.

main intro abendstern night scene 2main intro abendstern restuarant  view 3

The region was rich in potassium & zinc and Abendstern was home to a large chemical factory making fertilizers and other chemical products….

main intro abendstern chemical industry view 4

Since it was a railway town it had its fair share of machine shops……

abendstern intro machine shop interiorabendstern intro G.Wehner & Cie machine shop

……..and warehouses as well.

main intro abendstern warehouse 1main intro abendstern warehouse rework view 5   view 6

A medium sized loco shed or Bahnbetreibswerk serviced and turned around the locos which operated on this line.  Steam power was in the shape of Br38 tender loks and Br64 tanks. The Br210 and Br V100 diesels also worked the branch line hauling most of the passenger push-pull traffic. Close proximity to the inner German border meant that a few Russian built Br130 Ludmilla class and Br119 U-boats along with steam power and rolling stock of the Deutsche Reichsbahn also made their way into Bebra and Abendstern. Locos would sometimes be changed in the border crossing town of Gerstungen and it was not uncommon to see Deutsche Reichsbahn stock hauled by Deutsche Bundesbahn locomotives……

main intro abendstern lokshop reworkmain intro abendstern lokshop 1 view 7  view 8

The Br38s hold pride of place in the loco shed and the shed is home to 4 of this class …… all built by Langner aus Stuttgart …..

main intro abendstern bad bebra br 38

Bad Bebra, halfway on the branchline was a holiday town thanks to its hot spring baths and wanderwegs. It lay on the banks of the River Fulda and had a wood and lumber factory as well as a brewery. It also served as a junction to the nearby town of Blankenheim. As a result it also saw considerable “ stuckgut” or less than wagon load traffic…..

main intro abendstern river fulda diorama

The model railway is not completed as yet and will probably take the best part of two years before some semblance of completion can be claimed, even though i believe no model railway is ever complete !!

main intro abendstern layout room 3 view 9

The layout is about a 1000 sq ft in  size , climate control and lighting is already in place alongwith all the benchwork, valance, fascia, backdrop and kneedrops…..

main intro abendstern bad bebra view 10

All trackage has been laid and there are a couple of handbuilt turnouts for special situations……abendstern trackwork double crossover installedabendstern trackwork 3 way curved turnout installed-2abendstern trackwork Baeseler design double slip

the staging yard has been completed…..

main intro abendstern staging yard view 12

It is a DCC powered layout and electricals and wiring has been completed……..

main intro abendstern electronics

and has been set up for automatic operations using RR&Co. software…… all programming bar the signaling logic having been completed …

main intro abendstern rr&co

as I move forward in its construction I will keep posting my progress and hopefully keep you interested and coming back for more ….


15 Responses

  1. Very nice indeed. I like the track plan and the wonderful and expertly executed work from you..All the best kudos to you!!

  2. Hi Vikas.
    Greetings from New Zealand. I’ve visited your site so many times over the years. Truly amazing. I’m still trying to find a local area to prototype with a bit of free lance design. I love the feeling I get from the area and era you are modelling. The hard working locos on your roster look like they have paid for their keep.
    I would love for you to post a video Of Abendstern going about Its daily routine. As you have with the other great layouts you have filmed.

    Thank you.
    Regards, Adam.

  3. Hi Vikas,
    Wonderful layout, superb craftsmanship, and a wonderful sense of realism. I love the artistry, evidenced by the colours, backdrops and photography. I came across your website after seeing the Franklin and South Manchester video – was lucky to visit that layout last year.
    Am currently building a layout based on the Newcastle, NSW area in Australia – have a website http://www.newcastle-modelrail.com. Still building baseboards and laying track, so haven’t got around to scenery or structures yet, but your layout is an inspiration!

    Garry Glazebrook

  4. Vikas – the layout looks stunning. Are you doing all of the work yourself? If so – how do you find the time – it must be a full-time labour of love.

    Neil (Railways of Germany)

  5. Hi Vikas.

    born in Fulda I know your prototype region quite well, and I like your imaginative story very much. But I am even more impressed by the model railroad itself. The quality and the detailing is outstanding, and I wish I could have a look at it – if it weren’t in India. 😉

    I have to recommend your website to all our FREMO colleagues here in Germany.

    All the best,

  6. Nice work you have here, Mr. Vikas. Thank you for sharing. Keep up the good work! BTW, I’m railway modeller from Malaysia. We have a small community of railway modeller here in Malaysia.

  7. As Shanx said, this is a true labor of love, and an inspiration to many, for years to come. Kudos for all that’s been accomplished, and god speed for all that lies ahead!

  8. Vikas – I have seen your layout a couple of times but it is only now that I truly comprehend the story behind it. I see this as a labour of love, an expression of absolute devotion to a hobby – and making an art form out of it.

  9. this is an excellent layout and definitely built with the highest standards of model railroading craftsmanship! Congratulations and wish to see more progress soon!

  10. Absolutely beautiful layout. The attention to detail is not lost and the craftsmanship is superior. Thank you for sharing this beautiful layout!

    Tom, from mrrforums

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