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Offline mike c  
#1 Posted : 19 January 2009 07:15:09(UTC)
mike c

Joined: 28/11/2007(UTC)
Posts: 6,249
Location: Montreal, QC
Most of the European railways are replacing locomotive pulled consists with trainsets on traditional Eurocity routes. Whether it be the ICE 3M between Paris and Frankfurt, the TGV POS between Paris and Stuttgart/Zurich or the CIS ETR 610 between Switzerland and Italy.

How will this trend in reality transfer itself to your collection or layout? Do you prefer the classic consists or are you open to new models of TGV, ICE, ICN and Cisalpino and the like.

It has been possible to adapt the locomotive pulled consist to HO scale, by composing a train made up of a lok and between 4 and 9 coaches, normally consisting of baggage car, 1 or 2 first class coaches, restaurant, and up to 5 second class coaches or combination of 2nd class coaches and kurswagen*.

*Kurswagen - Coaches attached to a train that are limited to a section of the route of the train, ie within a country's borders (ie. Basel to Chiasso (SBB-CH) on a Germany to Italy train).

These modern trainsets come in fixed compositions of 7 to 14 coaches. Many times, the shorter ones are operated as a multiple unit, made up of two trainsets coupled together. Some times, these units are separated at a station, and one part continues on one route while the other segment goes on to another destination. Most modellers will find it a challenge to model a 14 car unit or two 7 car units.

A model of such a trainset will be more expensive than just a lok. The set will come as a 4 or 5 piece unit, with additional coaches available as sets or individually. The Cisalpino ETR 470 by Lima came as a 4 car set with one set of 3 and one set of 2 coaches to make up the full 9 car unit. Roco has announced a 5 car set and a 2 car additional set for the SBB ICN (2009).

How do you foresee adapting these long trainsets to your layout/display? Will you collect the entire train or run a shortened version?

Would you rather continue collecting loks and coaches rather than these new modern trainsets?

Hopefully we can get a consensus on preferences and see where the future of model trains may be heading.

As usual, I welcome all your thoughts and comments. Please try to keep to the topic of mdoern trainsets vs traditional lok pulled consists (Era V) and not to get sidetracked by steam vs electric vs diesel, etc.


Mike C
Offline TimR  
#2 Posted : 20 January 2009 00:36:38(UTC)

Joined: 16/08/2007(UTC)
Posts: 1,752
Location: Jakarta
I get what you are saying..

Personally I prefer loks and passenger coach consist to trainsets - as there is more playability factor. It's fun to swap the loks or consist of the passenger trains to suit whatever you want anytime, so that technically the same train doesn't always run everyday.

One playable scenario in my mind is setting up a border station where for example, an SBB train pulled by an Re 460 going into Germany do a lok swap with a waiting BR 101. The 101 will then takes the SBB train back to Germany while the 460 took over the DB train that the 101 pulled to the station back to Switzerland.

To reflect the world reality (and to add variety), I would not mind a few trainsets - but I don't see them dominating my Era V rail traffic. I guess I am not personally too enthusiastic about them.
Now collecting C-Sine models.
Offline RayF  
#3 Posted : 20 January 2009 00:42:19(UTC)

Joined: 14/03/2005(UTC)
Posts: 15,332
Location: Gibraltar, Europe
I don't have room for a 7 to 14 piece train set. Not even for display. If I were to get one it would have to be severely cut down to run on my layout.

I could see perhaps a 4 piece ICE as being the longest that would be practical for me.

I think I'll stick to mainly loco hauled trains!

Mostly Marklin.Selection of different eras and European railways
Small C track layout, control by MS2, 100+ trains but run 4-5 at a time.
Offline perz  
#4 Posted : 20 January 2009 01:08:07(UTC)

Joined: 12/01/2002(UTC)
Posts: 2,517
Location: Sweden
A realistic ICE etc. will be too long for my current and possible future layouts. Too shortened versions will look awkward I think. What I do is I go for the shorter local line trains like BR610, BR628 or the BR648(LINT). These are realistic trains and still fit on small layouts.
Offline mike c  
#5 Posted : 20 January 2009 05:55:42(UTC)
mike c

Joined: 28/11/2007(UTC)
Posts: 6,249
Location: Montreal, QC
I can identify with Ray and Perz in that a 14 car ICE or TGV would be a little long for the average layout, even if in 1:100.
Perz's comment about focusing on LINT may be of interest, (For years I have been trying to keep LINT off my layout) but does this mean that we can forget about modelling the mainlines and are relegated to commuter and secondary lines.
I like having a model of the SBB Flirt (Liliput) as well as various SOB trains, but the focus to me has always been the mainline.
Somehow, this tendency towards fixed composition trainsets takes something away from the fascination that is sure to have an impact on model trains as well. Add to that the fact that they can no longer add an extra coach or two in case of added demand and the whole consist must be sidelined when there is a problem with one element, I fear that this will have a negative impact on ridership.
As far as models, the 5 unit Gottardo is about the longest that I can operate. I did once put together a consist of Maerklin coaches so that the last coach was about 5 mm from the lok on the oval, but I cannot see that happening as a regular occurrence on my layout just to have a prototypical ICE.
I think that as individual coaches are replaced by trainsets, that this will create the true division between Era V and Era VI and will bring about another period of nostalgia when we will tell our grandkids how they used to switch locomotives at borders, at end stations and how the trains would contain such colourful combinations of international coaches and we could tell which country each one came from.
Sometimes I wish that they would put the TGV and ICN on ICE and leave the trains the way they were. I remember reading that after all the changes on the Rhine Valley HSL (Frankfurt-Cologne), that ridership was at 40% capacity. Hopefully they won't be so blinded by trying to attract business travel that they will lose all the railfan and tourist travel that they previously enjoyed.
At least we can keep that image and love alive albeit in small scale.


Mike C
Offline Tivvy  
#6 Posted : 20 January 2009 12:38:15(UTC)

Joined: 01/02/2008(UTC)
Posts: 414
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Personally I am a railcar man all the way - but I guess that is what I grew up with. The other thing I like about the railcars is that a lot of them have jacobs (or shared) bogies which means that you dont get to see all the way down the ends of the coaches.
I cannot fit a full 8 coach ICE on my layout but a 6 coach one will hopefully make an appearance at some stage as hopefully will and 8 unit BR423 double header and maybe a br420 double header.
Ep IV / V Marklin Layout
6 track dead end station, twin track loop, 4 track through station.
Under construction.
Offline hemau  
#7 Posted : 20 January 2009 22:14:14(UTC)

Joined: 09/01/2007(UTC)
Posts: 612
Location: The Netherlands
I've got two realistic train sets which are operating in real life too. I especially look for Dutch trains, so among others I have:
- a 8 coach ICE-3 in NS livery; here in real life this train is usually on its own; in Germany it will be coupled with another to a 16 coach train. This is a 5 coach M* standard with a 3 coach extension set to meet the original (there is no 5 coach original as far as I know).
- a 4 coach ICM from NS; these run in 3 and 4 coach units coupled togheter to 10-14 coaches trains, only in remote areas you will see a single 3 or 4 coach unit.
Both units look very realistic on my layout. They also run through my town regularly (the ICE not stopping, alas, as it does 10 mi. ahead in Arnhem). Greatest view is the ICE passing through town center of Ede on the local rail line if the main line is obstructed by something!
I'm really waiting for M* to produce the double decker NS IC-trains which exist in 4 and 6 coaches units, and who run toghether in 10-12-14 coaches trains.
But as in real life there are also loc-hauled trains I run on my layout, and I'm not sceptical about several periods through eachother. What I'm missing is a control car (stuurstand, in German a steuerwagen or - translated badly - a tax car biggrinbiggrin) in NS livery. They are from 4 to 8 coaches and I'm still looking for using the 3 NS-Benelux trains (yellow and red) I found in the M* fundgrube in Göppingen this summer; it should have a control car too and a Belgian loc, which M* never made AFIAK.
C and M track; CS1R and 2 MS
Offline nevw  
#8 Posted : 21 January 2009 00:27:46(UTC)

Joined: 27/08/2005(UTC)
Posts: 11,002
Location: Murrumba Downs QLD
Only have a 2.1 M Long I cannot run Long consists either. as Perz says the BR648(LINT) is beautiful. If the FD agrees a few more would be great.
Except for the Rheingolds (2) and the AMtrak I usually have loco and 3 cars. But the railmotors (2) really fit in well.
wearing the Pink Pinny, which is hard to see and now have 2 new shiny tin Hips that is badly in Need of Repair matching tin shoulders
and a hose pipe on the aorta
Junior member of the Banana Club, a reformist and an old Goat with a Bad memory, loafing around
Offline mike c  
#9 Posted : 21 January 2009 00:33:45(UTC)
mike c

Joined: 28/11/2007(UTC)
Posts: 6,249
Location: Montreal, QC
The corresponding locomotive for the Benelux coaches was available from Lima in DC. A new model in DC (and AC) was announced last year by LS Models.
AFAIK the Lima pilot coach (268mm) can be used with the Maerklin models (264mm), but I cannot guarantee that the coaches will be an exact match (livery, etc).


as listed here:


It should be possible to adapt the Lima pilot coach to AC


Mike C
Offline mike c  
#10 Posted : 21 January 2009 00:42:13(UTC)
mike c

Joined: 28/11/2007(UTC)
Posts: 6,249
Location: Montreal, QC
I am planning to have a max length on my layout of a lok plus 5 30cm (1:87) coaches. This would enable me to have two A and three B per consist.

The compromise is that in many cases, baggage and restaurant coaches will have to be removed from the consist.

I should also be able to run a 5-6 unit trainset without problem.

As far as anything longer, I have been know to set up a floor layout that spans three rooms, so I guess that the prototypical consists will only see the light of day then.


Mike C
Offline hemau  
#11 Posted : 21 January 2009 19:40:01(UTC)

Joined: 09/01/2007(UTC)
Posts: 612
Location: The Netherlands
Mike thanks! Now I know what to look for!
Regards, Henk
C and M track; CS1R and 2 MS
Offline DTaylor91  
#12 Posted : 22 January 2009 20:43:30(UTC)

Joined: 31/08/2007(UTC)
Posts: 367
Location: Kennesaw, GA
I think I'm going to be just fine on this front. Not many steam locomotives were directly integrated into a trainset biggrin. I'm not sure the Kittle counts as a trainset, as it is only one car.....


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