Rotstein - A German HO scale layout in North Wales

by Dave Sallery

Rotstein - the prototype

Rotstein is a small town in Southern Germany in the province of Baden-Württemberg, the nearest large town is Freiburg im Breisgau.  The town is situated on the River Rotbach and the main industries are agriculture, wine growing and quarrying.  The town takes it's name of Rotstein - Red Stone from the reddish deposits of limestone in the vicinity.  The railway arrived in the town in 1860 and a few years later a short freight only branch to the small town and stone quarry of Knopfbach was built.  All of which is total fiction of course.  Latest page: Rotstein by night!

Rotstein - the model

The viewable area of Rotstein consists of a through station with a single platform and a tunnel mouth at each end.  Within the station area is a goods yard and a locomotive depot.  A steeply graded branch leads off at the right hand side to the upper level storage sidings.  At the rear of the layout is a six track manually operated traverser with storage sidings at each end.  All the controls for the layout are at the rear allowing the front of the layout to present a clear uncluttered appearance.  Extending along the back of the station area is a rock face of a reddish limestone.  Part of the area between the track and the edge of the layout is modelled as a river - which is popular with swans, fishermen and boaters alike!  The period modelled is roughly the mid to late 1960's - a period of changeover from steam to diesel.  Although I have based the layout on DB models of the period, the odd Reichsbahn and East German example has crept in, likewise some of the freight stock is somewhat more modern than you would expect.  The traffic on the secondary main line through Rotstein consists of a mix of express, stopping passenger and freight trains while the steep gradients in the vicinity give an excuse to use larger locos than would normally be necessary.  All track and pointwork is by Peco and Code 75 rail is used throughout.  The points and the double slip at the branch junction are all worked from the rear using the wire in a tube principle.  At the moment the signalling on the layout is purely decorative.  My thanks must go to John Humphries who took some of the photos, Werner Knopf for inspiration, signs and various other goodies and to my ever patient wife!

The coal loading depot 'Hahns Kohl' was removed in March 2011 and replaced with a more 'Germanic' looking goods depot.  I have also taken the opportunity to include a number of half timbered structures in the layout as it was previously a bit short of buildings.  A vineyard has now been planted in the excellent soils above the north tunnel.  Rotstein has also gone 'green' and is now harnessing the wind to power the towns recently restored windmill.

Rotstein page 1
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