If you’re asking German model railroaders and railway enthusiast, where to find the most outstanding permanent model railway exhibition in Germany, they will probably answer, this is the “Modellbundesbahn”.
In fact, the “Modellbundesbahn” is a superb HO scale permanent display layout, constructed to museum quality. In 2007, the British railway journal “Continental Modeller” called this layout the “German equivalent of Pendon Museum”.
On the contrary to many other model railway layouts, which are presented in Germany, this HO scale display is an accurate and historically correct scale model of Ottbergen railway station and its locomotive shed as they were in 1975.
Buildings, locomotives and trains are carefully weathered. There are no high speed trains. No, there are freight trains, local passenger trains and a lot of railway traffic at the classification yard or marshalling yard as it was usual in the early 1970’s.
Karl Fischer had a dream: He wanted to recreate Ottbergen in miniature as an authentic historic record. Captured by its memories of the steam age, in October 2005, the first stage was opened in Bad Driburg. The layout had been built in sections and was assembled as a large U shape. On one side is a scale model of Ottbergen railway station and the famous loco depot. On the other side is an accurate scale model of Bad Driburg railway station.
The HO scale display was built over a period of eight years. Taking around 35,000 man hours. Occupies about 100 square meters and consists of 1,100 meters of track, 216 points and 83 signals. When building this miniature world a lot of emphasis was put on reality. There are no gimmicks, just high quality railway modelling at realistic speeds, using authentic train formations. Trains run at authentic scale speeds. The landscape is modelled to a very high standard. The first stage of the railway layout was constructed by professional builder Gerhard Dauscher, while the second stage has been supervised by Michael Butkay. The buildings are mostly scratchbuilt, or at least heavily adapted, as few commercially available kits were correct.
In 2009 Karl Fischer and his team decided to expand the layout. This was not just a simple case of an addition but involved modification of the existing installation. A large new central module was added with a new railway station. If you look at the cab ride, you will discover this new section because it was used as a starting point of the POV drive. Furthermore, this “point of view video”, some say “first person view video”, which was made by Pilentum with great passion, is a very good way to get to know this model railway layout exactly.
Please, enjoy this video. There are beautiful cab rides and a lot of outstanding video footage of steam trains and steam locomotives. Don’t forget to visit this layout, called “Modellbundesbahn”, when you are going to make a journey to Germany.