Soltendieck is a real place in Northern Germany, close to Luneburg Heath where General Montgomery accepted the unconditional surrender of Nazi forces in Northern Germany, Netherlands and Denmark on 4th May 1945. (The War in Europe officially ended on the 8th May 1945 with the signing of the total unconditional surrender in Berlin.) The area subsequently became part of the British Zone of West Germany and Soltendieck was a small station on the Bremen to Berlin line, that was actually split at the border, albeit some kilometres away. In reality the line was not operated for many years until it was re-opened through to Berlin in 1999.
Model railway layout
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A small fictional wayside station, now finding itself on the “internal border” between West Germany and East Germany at the height of the cold war. (epochs 3 and 4) As a result of the partition post 1949, the once through line has been arbitrarily cut by the East German authorities at the border fence. No alterations have been made to the track layout on the West German side and the line still operates serving the once through station and a grocery company’s warehouse. There is a BAOR (British Army of the Rhine) presence in the area.The unaltered track arrangement leads to some interesting shunting moves under the watchful eye of the East German observation tower.
The layout will be operated on the Lenz DCC system with Lenz stock and is based on a plan from the late Carl Arendt’s web site on small layouts, submitted by Alexander Kaczmavrek from Berlin
The above photo is of Soltendieck station in about 1900, showing possibly the whole staff plus the Station Master’s family & another workers family
(I wonder how many of the men survived the First World War?)
The station is not being modelled in this form but in a very simple track arrangement -see below -no more than 3 points to show how interesting (or not!) a small 0 gauge layout can be
Design by Alexander Kaczmarek,
Excerpt from http://www.carendt.com/small-layout-scrapbook/page-89-september-2009/
The baseboard size proposed is 2200 mm x 350 mm (7′-2″x 1′-2″)* made in two sections. Naturally, this layout is space limited, so he elected to emulate a real station that was seriously short of room and called it Grub am Forst. This fictional station is based on several real stations that were truncated by the partitioning of Germany in 1949. “The idea is in former times unimportant little station which came to high importance by the results of the inner German border. The line was cut off by the ‘Zonengrenze’ and Grub am Forst advanced to a terminus… but a very short one, because of the border crossing the tracks.
“Grub am Forst saw the short Schienenbus (DMU) and the Köf [a very tiny shunting loco] with one or two short freight wagons serving the factory in front. The track on the right hand is long enough to hold the Köf and one wagon. At the platform is space for the Köf with two wagons (or the Schienenbus). There are no signals, the Köf pushes the train from a nearby bigger station to Grub am Forst and then has to perform a zigzag-operation with each car to the factory… not easy to handle for the operator, but interesting?. The odd story is not quite fictitious; Zwinge West (see Scrapbook #66a) and Nienbergen were real examples for such stations.”
* An increase on the original design size of 1650 x 350 to allow some modelling of the border zone with East Germany
November /December 2016 This project is to be re-activated during 2017 using laser cut baseboard sections. Availability in 2018 for local exhibiting a distinct possibility. Could be another layout candidate for the Milland O Gauge Group