ICE 3 in motion – TEE at Wörrstadt station
The LEGO exhibition and fan event Bricking Bavaria in Fürth/Germany was the ideal setting to build a really big LEGO train layout.
I was named by the organizer Bricking Bavaria as the coordinator for the "Train and City Collaboration". And as soon as the registration was possible, we – me and fellow AFOLs/TFOLs from Noppenbahner and others – signed in and started planning.
Planning is done
First ideas were exchanged in our group and the organization team of Bricking Bavaria was given a total size of approx. 20 x 3 meters for the layout. Sceptically we were asked whether we would get this area full at all? But about 20 exhibitors registered with trains, cars, locomotives, bridges, stations and buildings. In summer Florian, Dirk and I met to work on the planning.
At least three tracks were planned to keep the train running independently of each other and ensure a lot of movement on the layout. Dirk took over the planning of the outer line and had set himself the goal of completing his metal tracks made of Spur 1 (Gauge 1) rail profiles by the time the event was over. Thus, the 9-volt fraction should also have a realistic track for driving long and fast trains.
The two inner lines were planned as Power Function lines without power supply in the track. I had set myself the task of creating a track in shape of an "eight" with a bridge and corresponding ramps for the ascent and descent. In addition, the bridges had to be planned by Michael and myself. Here it made sense to lower a part of the platforms and use these bridges to overcome the resulting valley. In addition, the stations of Nick, Florian and Dirk as well as Nick's railway roundhouse had to be included in the layout. Smaller exhibits such as Peter's depot and various buildings without a direct rail connection were then spontaneously integrated into the layout on the day off setup.
The bridges are ready
Setup Day (Thursday)
On Thursday before the exhibition, the construction of the collaboration layout took place in the Stadthalle in Fürth. The platforms with a total dimension of 19.8 x 3.3 m were already in place. So we were able to immediately start laying out the fire-retardant molleton as a table underlay. I took care of the tedious construction of my "eight" with the ramps and the red bridge in the middle. Florian plunged deeply into the wiring of the numerous switches (we used modified R104 switches from TrixBrix with old 12 Volt style magnetic remote controls) and Dirk packed more than 46 meters of self-made tracks onto the table and connected them piece by piece.
In the meantime, Michael's tan bridge had also arrived and was correctly positioned in the valley. My filigree, but quite stable arched bridge (original design by Thomas Avery) was brought into position at the other end of the valley and already in the early afternoon the first trains were able to make their rounds. Gradually more and more exhibitors arrived and the area grew into a collaboration layout. In order to create as much parking space as possible for all the rolling stock, all (!) existing R104 switches from TrixBrix were used. Additional track sections next to the tracks offered space for further exhibits. Since the Stadthalle was closed punctually at 9 a.m., the construction ended after 13 hours and we were looking forward to the next day.
LEGO Collaboration Train Layout at Bricking Bavaria 2019 – YouTube video
Überblick über die Gemeinschaftsanlage
AFOL Day (Friday)
Friday was all about the AFOLs and was deliberately created by the organizer as a day "by fans, for fans" and without an audience. This offered the opportunity to get in touch with many known and unknown faces and names, to have a chat or to listen to one or the other lecture.
At the collaboration layout, the final construction work was still a bit on the way, but finally Nick's roundhouse stood in full splendour and offered a beautiful target for camera lenses and visitors' eyes. Last details on the track were implemented, cable crossings or other small differences in height were compensated and Dirk positioned a huge number of overhead line masts along his 9 volt track, giving it an even more realistic look.
Regional-Express over the valley
And finally we could enjoy the sight of the moving trains! I wonder if the locomotive with the heavy wagons will come up the ramp? And does it manage the descent through the R104 (BrickTracks) curve over the valley without jumping off the track and plunging into the depth on Peter's models?
Exhibition Days (Saturday and Sunday)
Exhibition Days (Saturday and Sunday)
On the two visitor days, the collaboration layout acted like a magnet on large and small and attracted numerous interested visitors. And we always asked the same questions and answered everything in a friendly and courteous manner. "No, the models are not from LEGO and you can't buy them either…" or "These are Gauge 1 rails which Dirk specially converted to the LEGO gauge…". But there was also enough time to change trains again and again and to take many photos and videos.
Live stream from the video car
Another highlight was Florian's video car, which transmitted the track from the driver's perspective via radio to the specially installed screen. So the spectators could get to know the community centre from this unusual perspective.
Our rail vehicles from the rail bus to numerous steam locomotives to modern high-speed trains such as the Thalys or ICE 3 were able to let off steam for three days and collect several kilometres. There were no major train accidents to report, but one or the other collision could not be avoided. And the so-called "filigree shit" (all the details on the bogies and under the locomotive) could prove itself, whether it was built stable enough and not every minute threatened to fall off and stay on the tracks. The dismantling was finished after about three hours and all participating exhibitors made their way back to Hamburg, Dresden, Munich or Wörrstadt.
Videos and further links
Train Chase with video car – YouTube video
My Big Boy in motion – YouTube video
YouTube video by Thomas