Soviet Memories V: Economy Today! USSR.

edited January 8 in Layout Showcase

The attached video is for entertainment purposes only; any political references are merely germane to Russia when I visited it back in 1964. What if there was a trailer to a Soviet film in '64? Might it look like this? Also, a chance to slide in some of my interest in paleontology. The concept of cloning an extinct species, such as the Wooly Mammoth is intriguing, however, the eons of thaw-freeze cycles has rendered DNA from that period useless, in such regard. I have heard tell of an effort to reintroduce the extinct auroch to Europe. Hah, hah, good luck with that, they were enormous and quite aggressive. Video features some unusual use of Jouef, Electrotren, and Kleinbahn.


  • BR42BR42 Auburn

    Very interesting! Like it.

  • Thanks BR42, very kind of you. Getting some feedback this German artists is raising copyright claims, to here is the video revised with a different sound track.

  • I purchased this from a private seller in the UK, and have determined, with some help from Micheal E, that it it is based upon the Transaucasus Railway that worked between the Black and Caspian Seas. The writing appears to be Cyrillic, but that is only my best guess. The documents within is printed on the sort of soft, feathery paper I associated with Soviet era paper for "off" jobs.
    I tried various attempts to feed it through Google Translate with no luck. Worse comes to worse, there are photocopies, rather old, that appear to be a German translation of the manual.
    Can anyone here identify the manufacturer and the supporting documents, specifically the country of origin on the customs paper work?

    I have yet to remove it from the packaging, as it is snagged up in their and the plastic feels quite fragile, so will do it later after a decent breakfast and some strong coffee.

  • BR42BR42 Auburn

    Hello CHops:

    Nice set! I had read about 35 years ago in the Eisenbahn Magazin that there was some production of modeltrains in the Soviet Union, but this is the first example I have ever seen. Realy cool.


  • So you do think it's Soviet? That is quite intriguing as the detail pack is quite thorough. My limited experience with Soviet dolls, models, toys, is that if not made out of wood, or celluoid, as with dolls, is that the over build is flimsy and on the crude side, which this is not. Then I have to wonder, who would have the money to purchase this item? I also recollect that Soviet trains, in the particular, were sold as sets that included whatever structures or accessories one might hope for. I'm a bit of a loss, but look forward to peeling back the layers.

  • BR42BR42 Auburn


    The set is also offered at as an item made in the Soviet Union:
    MNHN CCCP Vintage HO Soviet Russia Steam Locomotive Train Set


  • Well, finally got some time, tomorrow to fire it up!

  • BR42BR42 Auburn

    Удачи, товарищ.

  • Спасибо! Что бы это ни значило!

    New Trains to the Baltic! CCCP.

    Apologies for the bad focus. Was trying to get this expensive camcorder to do more than it is able, the venerable smart phone with its tiny lens works so much better.

    The locomotive and matching coaches is produced under Soviet auspices, the brand name translating to "Mini." The paper work enclosed, and the customs documents, are in Cyrillic.

    It is also determined that this locomotive, built about 1888, and survived well into the Soviet era, was used extensively between the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, so the title might have been better as "New Trains to the Black and Caspian Seas," rather than Baltic, but I was fatigued and did not see the error until just now.

    In any event, it is a whimsical "trailer" advertising Soviet trains from one place to another; the Soviet economy did not promote tourism

  • BR42BR42 Auburn

    They encouraged tourism from the West, because it brought strong currencies, preferably German Marks and US-Dollars into the country. Same in East Germany, one was forced to exchange 25.00 West Mark a day for 25.00 East Mark. At the Frankfurt Airport, you got 25.00 East Mark for 2.50 West Mark, although it was illegal to import East Mark into the East. On the black market, you paid 20 East Mark for one West Mark...


  • Very interesting. Brings to mind stories about the black market in burned out light bulbs. The purchaser would then use it to replace a working bulb from a place of employment, saving the working bulb and avoiding inquiry as to theft of State property.
    Well, I tried using a smart phone to record this video, hoping it would have better resolution than the video camera. I think that part of my problem is the poor lighting. I am going to see if I can find some 150 Watt bulbs. It is difficult now, as everything at the hardware store appears to be these dim energy saving things. Unless there is an outright ban, perhaps I can secure a few and get better video.

  • Initial Firing
    I often wondered how, in the days when steam locomotion was in its infancy, how did a prototype boiler get tested? In my mind's eye I would imagine some designers saying among themselves," 'ello, 'e looks stupid enough. Oy! You there! Chops! Go put one some coke on yon firebox whilst we stand o'er 'ere!"
    Come to find out that the Rocket, for one, was tested using hydrostatic pressure. I had not guessed that these early designers, like Stephenson, had pumps strong enough, nor gauges accurate enough, to pump cold water under pressure into a boiler and measure it in psi. They did. So, they would pump up a new boiler, never tried or tested before, with cold water and watch for where it leaked, patched it up or reinforced it.

    So accurate was their ability to measure things, that Stephenson, Jr. wrote to his father, in the days leading up to the Rainhill Trials, that the back boiler was bulging at an alarming 3/8th of an inch, and what might they do to prevent it from doing so, and possibly exploding? Stephenson, Sr., a man barely able to write his own name, dictated back to add stay bolts the length of the boiler, and so it was fixed. This in an age when life traveled at the speed of horse and sail.

    So, having added a total of one feeder wire per main, period, I lit it up and held my breath. Nothing. I had forgotten to switch the power pack on.

    Switching it on, nothing. Gave the locomotive a small nudge, and off she went, a bit herky-jerky, in the manner of dirty track. But around she went the entire circuit and neither stalled or derailed at all, gliding over the diamonds like and ice skater.

    Then repeated the performance for the second main line, no issues save dirty track, but it never stalled and never derailed.

    First surprise came in that the outer line, which is laid to a 22 inch radius, would be become the inner line, before re-emerging as the outer line gain, which initially made me wonder if I had somehow contrived to mislay the track. No, it just does that. Having tested my long passenger coaches on Jimmy's 18 inch radii, I have no fear that it will run perfectly well.

    The next run was using a double headed track cleaner car, one to lay down Wahl's Hair Clipper Oil, and the trailing car to wipe off the excess. Again, no problem, and these cars love to derail and foul because of the cleaning pads.

    Well, enough for one night. Take a siesta and have at it again in the morning.

    Since I lave last been on, overhauled Henley to an additional 64 square feet, incorporating all that I have unlearned about model railroading. To be brief, it was discovered, to no small surprise, that Bachmann code 100 EZ track has superior operational characteristics to any British manufacturer I have poured money at. Certainly some of the European manufacturers make ready road bed of an unmatched quality, Marklin, Fleischmann, and Trix, come to mind, but that was double the cost of the less realistic, but durable Bachmann EZ track.

  • BR42BR42 Auburn

    Yes, keeping things clean is always a major effort.


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