Voie Libre n°75 oct/nov/déc 2013
Voie Libre n°75 oct/nov/déc 2013
  • Prix facial : 8,20 €

  • Parution : n°75 de oct/nov/déc 2013

  • Périodicité : trimestriel

  • Editeur : LR Presse

  • Format : (210 x 285) mm

  • Nombre de pages : 82

  • Taille du fichier PDF : 118 Mo

  • Dans ce numéro : Riffelalp, un tramway vers les sommets (H09).

  • Prix de vente (PDF) : 1 €

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Artisan productions In the late 1940s, two Parisian retailers offered narrow gauge stock in their catalogues. First Le Pélican, which sold a few series of highly confidential models of meter gauge stock in 0 scale, adapted to run on H0 track. These models, made of card, were built by two gifted artisans, Messrs. Rossi and Lottiaux, who produced a Sud-France train comprisingeither a 0-6-2 T or 0-6-0 T engine, a bogie carriage and some goods wagons, as wellas a Sologne meter gauge network consist comprising a tram 0-6-0 T locomotive, carriages and wagons. These trains, of which very few units were produced, are also extremely rare. Another artisan production enjoyed a longer lease of life : the « Tortillard », by Jean-René Allard, owner of the retail shop Au Pullman (see next page). This train consisted of a red, green or black 0-4-0 T, inspired by the Corpet 0-6-0 T engines of the Côtes-du-Nord network, of a carriage (red or green according to the class) and of an open wagon (grey, red or green). A small De Dion Bouton railcar, which used the same chassis as the 0-4-0 T, was also available. Originally fitted with a clockwork mechanism, the 0-4-0 T was quickly equipped with an electric motor and central rail pick-up. The clockwork sets included all-bakelite track as wellas a turntable. While the railcar and the carriages were short-lived, the locomotive and the wagon did survive until the early 1970s. By then, the engine was fitted with double buffers and a universal type coupling… Industrial production Before Egger-Bahn, other foreign brands had sold narrow gauge trains in France. One of them, German in origin, produced items that were more like toys than scale models. This was Biller-Bahn, which entered the French market very discreetly in the early 1950s. The range available was clockwork, ran on 16.5 mm gauge track and comprised a full work train set, with a steam locomotive, a locotractor, skips as wellas a full programme of « portable » track on wooden sleepers with turnouts, turntable, pillars for building gradients, etc. The range grew swiftly, with the addition of passenger carriages and other goods wagons. All these items were very colourful and full of charm, and the emphasis was squarely on having fun : for example, the springs of the locomotives could be woundup inside the engine shed. Loads and cranes were also available in the range, as Biller made other toys besides trains. In the early 1960s, plastic appeared at the same time as electric drive, with batteries fitted to a carrier wagon, without however replacing the clockwork versions. The Biller-Bahn trains then lost a lot of their interest and charm, but did survive until the late1970s. Then came Egger-Bahn… n [Captions]• A very rare Sud-France train by Le Pélican. The engine and consist are made of card, the driving mechanism is from an H0 scale Antal PLM Pacific. Other types of carriages and wagons were also available.• Two pages from the 1931 Edobaud catalogue, showing the full range of this surprising work train.• At the time, the Edobaud productions were sold in « scientific toy » shops. Their 110 V mains supply was hardly suitable for children…• The two meter gauge trains (actually 016.5) illustrated on the 1951 Le Pélican catalogue.• The green 0-4-0 T in clockwork version, as evidenced by the plastic wheels and the hole for the winding key.• The complete « Tortillard » train, with a black electric 0-4-0 T. It has metal wheels, and a coupling rod has replaced the driving rod. The carriage was also available in green, and so was the open wagon.• The early sheetmetal version of the steam locomotive. The large knob in front of the cab is used to control the engine : depressing it slightly starts or stops it, turning it through 90° puts the engine into reverse (photo François Fontana).• Cover of the 1949 Biller-Bahn catalogue. It’s in German, English and French, showing the ambitions of the manufacturer in the export field ! • Two types of bogie wagons : side tipper or central unloading hopper. Made of lithographed sheetmetal, these wagons are quite delightful. (photo François Fontana).• Electric locomotive, with on-board battery in the tender, locotractor and clockwork locomotive displayed on a few lengths of track (photo François Fontana)• The engine shed features an automatic brake system which stops the engine. The child can then windup the spring and reverse the mechanism before dispatching the locotractor (photo François Fontana).• The crane is fully operational (photo François Fontana) [Box] I discovered Egger-Bahn trains during a professional trip to Germany. This was in September 1965, in the window of a Munich toy shop. But my first purchase was in December in Düren : the black steam locomotive and some small mine trucks, as wellas a circle of rails which at the time were still nickel-silver. Before going through customs, as luggage was searched, I had concealed the models in my inside jacket pocket and amongst the measurement instruments I used for my work. Then, during other trips, I bought the blue transformer, the turnout controller and additional track elements. 6 Later still, Egger-Bahn fitted its locomotives with magnets to improve their adhesion, and the corresponding steel track. I then bought the blue Austrian engine and the assorted carriages. Alain Duchesne Page 32 : Dossier Egger-Bahn turns 50 Egger-Bahn turns 50 ! 1962 : while on a business trip for the TüV certification agency, their employer, Theodor Egger and Wolfram Ziegler happened to come across the Gmeinder locotractor and handful of skips of a mining railway. Text & illustrations : François Fontana The two friends stopped in a café and on a scrap of paper, drew the first sketches of their project for a miniature narrow gauge train. That’s precisely when Egger-Bahn was born ! Many drawings of the Gmeinder locotractor, of the small Koppel 0-4-0 T steam locomotive and of the skips were to follow. Andreas Schönfeld, who re-launched MinitrainS – a brand that used to produce H09 models in the years 1967-68 – showed us his collection and let us delve into his archives. He displayed the sketches, the notes of the two friends, the succession of prototypes and first production models which led to the final products. He also made available tous the very fine layout that illustrates these pages. A layout built back in 1965 ! Theodor Egger and Wolfram Ziegler have an idea A simple, obvious idea… So obvious that no one else had thought of it before ! Modellers are short of the space required to evoke a realistic railway. Even in H0 scale, the curves are too sharp, the trains too short, the consists unrealistic. Narrow gauge, industrial railways, rural tramways, on the other hand, are the perfect prototypes for creating layouts on small surfaces and even on a bookcase shelf ! The new creation is in H0 scale (1/87), the trains use 9 mm gauge track, which represents prototype track in 0.75, 0.76 and 0.80 m gauge, so commonplace. Electrical supply is via the two rails, the motors run on 9 V DC. A bumpy ride for the company In 1963, the first set is displayed to the public and to the specialized press at the Nuremberg International Toy Fair. As early as 1964, the range expands to include several locomotives and many wagons. But in 1965, one of the three Egger brothers, a partner formthe outset, sells his shares to an investor, Waldfried Barthel, the owner of the cinema production company Constantin Film. A huge marketing campaign is launched, the scope of financial investments explodes, new models are released at a frantic pace. But Theodor Egger loses control over his creations. Production cannot keepup with demand, and quality suffers. Eccentric models, using bodies from a variety of sources such as Rokal, Lima and Liliput for example, appear in the catalogue. In 1967, the company collapses and its assets are sold, mainly to Jouef. The end of Egger-Bahn ! Resurrection ? In 1997, Theodor Egger tries to revive the Egger-Bahn concept in partnership with the Sachsenmodelle company, but no agreement is reached. In 1999, new attempt : Theodor Egger, Wolfram Ziegler, Ruid Wittekoek, Roald Hofmannand Andreas Schönfeld get together to re-launch the brand. The idea is to produce models in H09 and in 016.5, but the business plans are unpromising and the project doesn’t get off the ground. In 2003, Roald Hofmanntakes over the brand himself and lauches a series of very fine top-of-the-range models. The Egger-Bahn brand is saved. In 2011, Andreas Schönfeld re-launches the MinitrainS brand : small narrow gauge trains which run perfectly at affordable prices. Very much the Egger-Bahn concept ! n Wolfram Ziegler’s sketchbook [Box] Wolfram Ziegler’s sketchbook is packed with an incredible amount of models. Electric or steam locomotives locotractors, railcars, wagons, carriages, European and American stock… Nothing is beyond bounds for him, everything feeds his creativity and imagination. Some models are highly realistic, quasi-copies of the prototypes, others are totally imaginary, but allare plausible and consistent. Few models were actually produced, and many sketches could still be used ! • Two pages from Wolfram Ziegler’s sketchbook. The choice of electric locomotives is purely a matter of chance, there’s all sorts in the sketchbook ! The forgotten layout [Box] The impressive layout we show here measures 210x50 cm. It’s a tailchaser, trains run continuously from the quarry to the stone crushing plant. But a large concealed loop extends the run and hides the trains from view for a lengthy period. This layout was built for display at the 1965 Nuremberg International Toy Fair. But it wasn’t completed in time and was never shipped to the show ! When the Munich factory closed, an employee salvaged it and finished the work. Then, from collector to collector, it came into the hands of Andreas who offered us the opportunity to discover it. The level of detailing is remarkable, the track is ballasted, the trees are made to scale and so are the buildings… An approach that was far from common back in 1965 !
• The two sides of the large 1965 layout [Box] It was in 1965, during the school summer holidays, and we were on a cultural exchange trip to Augsbourg in Germany. A handful of French teenagers, guided by some young Germans, and we chatted happily in both languages… Coming round a street corner, I caught sight of a train set in a toy shop window. A delightful little steam locomotive, two or three trucks and an oval of track. Having had a « standard gauge » Jouef train in my childhood, I was stunned by the appearance of this strange engine and by what was for me a new gauge : this was my first contact with narrow gauge. I have just written « standard gauge », but at the time, I was blissfully ignorant of the existence of any other gauges… I couldn’t resist… The following day, without telling my mates - in those days we paid more attention to girls than to trains - I went back to the shop and bought this Egger-Bahn set ! Bernard Junk• An advertisement for retailers’shop windows. [Box] 1976 : Egger-Bahn had vanished 9 years before when, as a young high school student, I took a ticket to the modelling exhibition at the erstwhile Bastille railway station. On the stand of the Amiens club, Egger-Bahn starter sets were being sold off. The road to Damascus ! So, alongside the big and pricey FleischmannH0 engines of my father’s layout, there existed another world madeup of quaint little locotracors and weird wagons running on a strange track. In those days, Hobby-Train, a shop that has since disappeared, was located at N°23 rue de Rivoli in Paris and had a showcase dedicated to H09. On the shelves located far to the left when entering the shop, as if H09 were a shameful scale, an incredible collection of original Egger-Bahn models could be seen, together with what looked like an endless supply of Jouef Decauville toastrack carriages. This display was the rallying point of a handful of narrow gauge fans. A decade later, we would meet at the very fist Expométrique in Noisiel, then at the GEMM. But that’s another adventure… 37 years have gone by. I now model Swiss H0m and American H0n3/Nn3, more « finescale », more « respectable ». But when I open one of those blue and yellow boxes stamped « E-B », carefully preserved, a breath of fancy and of eternal youth blows over my workbench. Many thanks to Theodor Egger for having inoculated me with the most beneficial of diseases : the narrow gauge virus ! Frédéric Delaitre• Blue and yellow set with battery supply [Box] My passion for narrow gauge dates back to my early childhood. When my grandfather, a company manager, used to buy stone from a nearby quarry, operated with Dyma tractors, if my memory serves me right. I recognized them much later on, when I bought a real one myself ! This passion was also fed by having seen the TPT carrying sugar beet on the way back from a holiday. Actually, given my age, I discovered the Egger-Bahn models very late, and wellafter the brand had disappeared. I began with Jouef H0, and was not even aware of the existence of models in narrow gauge. These I discovered when buying a Roco locotractor and trucks, then with Jouef’s « Un amour de petit train » range and the re-run of former Egger-Bahn models. The Bazar Versaillais, where I bought my first trains with my parents, did have the Egger-Bahn catalogues. But getting the owner to order was anuphill battle ! I had to wait for my first salaries to visit the specialized shops in Paris and expand my collection. Much later on, I set out to find original models. I don’t have the full collection yet, as I’m still missing the very first locotractor models. Jacques Royan• Display case for shops. [Captions]• A rake of skips hauled by a short ref. 101 locotractor of 1963/64 vintage leaves the plant for the quarry. All the modelling references visible on this photo date back to 1965, the buildings are scratchbuilt out of wood, card and metal.• A locotractor ref.104 has stopped near the standard gauge loading screens. The source of inspiration for this 1965 engine isn’t clearly defined : for some, it’s a freestyle model, for others it was inspired by a locotractor used by the Rhine banks maintenance department ! • A black 0-4-0 T ref.102 of 1964 is parked in the quarry, under the small Egger-Bahn wood-like shed. This model received a wide variety of chassis, and the attractive metal motion of the early days was replaced in 1966/67 by a simplified plastic evocation ! • The quarry. The track disappears, to the right, under the wooded hill, on its way to the concealed loop.• Summit meeting on 10 April 1999. From left to right : Ruid Wittekoek, Wolfram Ziegler, Andreas Schönfeld (in the background), Theodor Egger and Roald Hofmann. 7• The only plastic building on the layout, with the engine shed, this small workshop used to be produced by Quick. Note the weathering and the way in which the building is embedded into the ground ! • We are now out on the line, on the quarry loop, with a 1965 consist : wood-bodied locotractor, trucks loaded with first generation track elements, 1964 crate wagon and 1965 van on a short chassis. The trees are made out of wound brass wire, coated and flocked. The flock material has been replaced, but not the tree trunks ! • A 1964 train crosses the wooden bridge over the road.• Emerging from the concealed loop, a fine passenger consist tackles the steep gradient leading to the factory. Locomotive ref. 102, 1967 second generation closed van (the first has grey ventilator grilles, moulded with the roof), 1965 first generation passenger carriage and luggage van.• While talking of different generations, here are two carriage prototypes. To the left, the model features a rigid chassis, the air tank is an add-on part, the glazing is flexible and the windows closed. To the right, the chassis is final, the air tank is part of the same moulding, there are steps, one of the windows is open.• Enter ref.105, the Stainz. It’s in charge of a set of slam-door carriages and of a 1965 water-carrying van with birdcage lookout.• To the left, the prototype of ref.105 validated by Theodor Egger. In the center, the model produced in 1966. To the right, the MinitrainS Stainz. Notice the coal bunker, it is curved on the prototype, but the night before production began, the mould was simplified without Egger being informed ! • An unlikely visitor to the layout. But we couldn’t overlook ref.103, the small 1965 electric and ref.1010, the 1966 Ruhr-Lippe railcar.• 1967 : the Egger-Bahn company closes down. N°105, fitted with the Magnakraft system and with plastic motion, is seen hauling the TT scale Rokal tanks, coarsely fitted to the flat wagon chassis.• A fine goods consist, N°105 with all the brand’s flat wagons, including the 1966 crane wagon.• Last period for this locotractor ref. 1001, black mono-block chassis, wide buffers, Minitrix motor. A 1967 production.• The line is busy ! Here is a MinitrainS 2013 consist, the concept thoughtup by Theodor Egger and Wolfram Ziegler is alive and well. Page 40 : Egger-Bahn, find the driving chassis ! We asked Roald Hofmann, a great collector and the man who resurrected the Egger-Bahn brand, to provide us with a picture of the various driving mechanisms, as this is quite a confusing area ! Spot the seven differences, as it were ! Text & illustrations : Roald Hofmann[Box] I was born just about the same time as Egger-Bahn. My first memory of the brand was when my father brought home a copy of the RMF magazine which contained the description of a small British layout in H0 narrow gauge. Later on, I must have been about 10 years old, the toy shop in Clichy I used to regularly visit sold off its entire Egger-Bahn stock : 5 Francs per engine and 3 Francs per wagon ! With what I had in my piggy bank, I could buy the whole lot ! I had even negotiated the sale of the thermoshaped display layout with the vendor. But my mother forbade me to buy all that, considering those trains too small for me… I madeup for this later on, when she no longer controlled my purse… Nono [Text]• Driving chassis n°1 (1963/64/65) was produced for the first diesel locomotive, ref. 101. It is fitted with the Marx Nanopermmotor, which only drives the rear axle. The ballast is injected mazak. This chassis will be replaced in 1965 by nº3. In parallel, the locotractor was stretched to the standard length of 49 mm.•Driving chassis n°2 (1964/65) was produced only for the first steam locomotive, ref. 102. The Marx Nanopermmotor drives both axles. The chassis proper is made of injected mazak, coloured dark red. This is a very elaborate production : the steel axles of the gears fit into holes milled out of the mazak. The gears and the pick-up supports are made out of red plastic.• Driving chassis nº 3 (1965/66) fitted with the Marx Nanopermmotor was produced for 49 mm long locomotives. Its dimensions are identical to driving chassis nº2, but with a view to simplifying production, n°3 is made out of red plastic. The remaining stocks of this chassis fitted with the Magnakraft block (two magnets that attract the chassis to the metal rails, enhancing electrical pick-up) were fitted to the Winnetou ref.1009 locomotives, made for the North American market. Some black injected plastic versions exist, usually found on steam locomotives ref. 102 and 105.• Driving chassis nº3a (1965/66). Due to limitations on the output of the Munich factory, the headquarters of the Egger-Bahn company, the driving mechanisms of the Fiery Elias model were produced in Italy by the Lima factories, and fitted with the Lima motor.



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