Train Length

Hello Everyone:

I have always been interested in train compositions. The main problem almost everyone encounters is that most express trains are longer than our model railroads permit, so some selective compression is necessary. My layout is about 10' long, and the main platform is 7' with 6' straight (on a diagonal), and the remaining 6" on each are laid in the curves. When I run my pre-war coaches, I can stop a 6-car train (D-Zug) with steam engine comfortably at the station since it is just an inch longer than 6'.

The problem starts with the modern coaches, I am using the Fleischmann 1:93,5 , and a six car train with 01.10 loco comes out to be 6' 6" ). Normally, express trains do not stop at the station, it is a station for lower class train (Eilzug und Personenzug), but since I model a single track line, station stops are sometimes unavoidable. So, I am looking at three options:

a) Reduce train length to five cars. That way, the train would be only 5' 8" long, and would fit at the problem the same way my pre-coach trains do.

b) Continue using the D-Zuge with 6 cars, and just have the loco come to stop at the signal, so that the cars fit nicely with some space at the end.

c) Forget the platform length at all when running express trains, and run them with 7 cars so they are quite distinct from lower class trains.

b) is what I have been doing the last years, and seems to be a reasonable compromise. a) looks without doubt best, but leaves the train compositions somewhat unsatisfactory. Finally, c) results in the best train compositions, but results in a real mismatch between platform length and train length. Suggestions?



  • michaelrose55michaelrose55 Orange City, FL

    Switch to N scale or a bigger layout ;)
    Honestly I don't have an answer.

  • Michael:

    Unfortunately, neither one is an option. Too much rolling stock to switch scales, and my wife would not let me occupy the art area to extend the train. Just would accuse me to act too much like German.


  • Guess I could take one of the Büm from the day train , and combine it with some additional cars into a long-distance Eilzug:

    Post4i - MDyg - Aüm - Büm - Büm

    and keep the Night Train as is and have the a shortened Day Train:

    BDüm - Aüm - WRüm - Büm - Büm

    Running the longer one with an electric engine would bring the length down to 6' 2", and run the longer 01.10 and 221 on the day trains...


  • Hello:

    I thought about the options discussed. To the rescue came the observation that the train stops at the exit signal. Since the distance from the exit signal to the other end of the platform is 7' 1" with the six car train with 01.10 being about 6' 6", there will be 7" free space at the end of the platform. So I will run the day train with 6 cars, and the night train with 7 (it will make no stops in the station, so the platform length is irrelevant for it). I decided on the following compositions:

    Night Train:

    Düm - Aüm - ABüm- Büm- Büm - WLABüm - Bcüm (too nice of a composition not to run it)

    Day Train:

    BDüm - Aüm - WRüm - ABüm - Büm - Büm


    Post4i - MDyg - ABn - Bn - Bn


  • Hello:

    My layout was quite inspired by the article on the Eifelbahn in MIBA Spezial 74 "Eingleisige Hauptbahnen". Another article on the Eifelbahn can be found in MIBA Spezial 88 where one can find a station where the platform is shorter than the longest trains running. It is quite typical that a D-Zug may not stop at a station, but lower class trains (Eilzug and Personenzug) do. Essen-Altenessen where I grew up was such a station in the late 60s and early 70s. A couple of D-Zuege stopped, but not all. I got out my MIBAs once more and did some more studying.

    Trains with Sleepers ran on single track mainlines, and the half-diner BRüm appeared definitely in trains on the Eifelbahn. Unfortunately, the only 1:93,5 model is made by Marklin/Trix, and their cars are slightly (1mm) narrower than the Fleischmann models (They should have produced the 54 UIC cars since Fleischmann already had the later ones, and make them compatible). Because of this, I was planning to sell it, resulting in the revised arrangements. However, running the trains once more today after work, made it clear that the seven car train is too long. It is out of proportion to the layout. I also realized that positioning the half-diner at the end of the train behind the diner makes it impossible to tell the difference in width without a caliper. Alas, back to the original idea

    Night-Train: Düm - ABüm - ABüm - Bcüm - WLABüm - BRüm

    Day Train: Düm - Aüm - WRüm - Büm - Büm

    Finally, I will use my Silberlinge for one Eilzug

    Post4i - MDyg - Bn -ABn - Bn and the remaining express coaches for another Eilzug/DC: BDüm - Aüm - Büm - Büm


  • Here some images of the compositions mentioned before:


    Images courtesy

  • Hello:

    After some soul searching, here are the final combinations I will run for my early 1970s setup:

    Images courtesy ( "")


  • Here are updated combos, again with pictures from MLG Traffic.

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