S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com Z-Scale Model Railroad Continuation Page 4 keywords = Z scale model rail train HO mini Club Ztrack Western Fruit Express WFEX Great Northern GN Pennsylvania Pennsy PRR Berlinerwerke Vest Pocket Degnon Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal BEDT Marion River Carry schnabel

Updated:   25 Feb 2020; 23:55  ET
[Page created 18 May 2000; converted 21 Sep 2013
    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]
URL:  http://sbiii.com/z-scale4.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/z-scale4.html"]

S. Berliner, III
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher

note - The vast bulk of my massive Web presence (over 485 pages) had been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I have been scrambling to transfer everything.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my sbiii.com Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.

S. Berliner, III's


Z-Scale Model Railroad Continuation Page 4


NOTE:  Page size was limited by HTML to some 30kB;
thus, I was forced to add new pages just for Z-Scale, more Z-scale, and articles about Z-scale.


The internal links, which work fine on my home page and others, don't seem to work here!  I'm working on it, but haven't a clue; I even just copied the working links over and they don't work here.  So, scroll away!

On the main Z-Scale page:

Scale and Gauge
Scale Conversion Table
Z-Scale Miscellany
Z-Scale Wiring Conventions
Z-Scale Vehicles and Märklin Rubber Autos
    (moved to Z-Scale page 3 on 01 Jan 00)
Z-Scale Repair and Hobby Shops

On the Sub-Z-Scale Page :

    Z-Scale Narrow Gauge (really)
    Z-Scale Meter Gauge
    Half-Z Scale - 1:440 Tiny Trains!
    1:900 Scale - Tiniest Trains!

On Z-Scale Continuation Page 1:

Zictionary - lotZ of wordZ.

On Z-Scale Continuation Page 1:

    Zictionary Part 1 ("A" - "M") - lotZ of wordZ

On Z-Scale Continuation Page 1a:

    Zictionary Part 2 ("N" - "Z") - lotZ of wordZ!

On Z-Scale Continuation Page 2:

Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal RR in Z
Z-SCALE DIMENSIONS (with how to approximate a mile of track).
Overton Coaches, Bobber, Crane and a Boxcab in Z! - plus other neat items.
Wish List - some goodieZ I'd like and some I have,
    like Freudenreich's Z Boxcab Diesel and GN/WFEX Reefer
    and Larry Hoff's Bobber Caboose and Crane!
M-T Z SP Moguls - the absolute top of the Wish List!

On the previous Z-Scale Continuation Page 3:

Z-Scale Vehicles and Märklin Rubber Autos
Half-Z Scale - 1:440 Tiny Trains!
Quarter-Z Scale - 1:900 Tiniest Trains!
Power - Volts, Amps, Watts for Z.

On this Continuation Page 4:

Some More Z (all the latest!)
    including more on Freudenreich's Z Boxcab Diesel and new HomaBed Z roadbed.
Lájos Thek's ZThek Line.
    Lájos Thek's SW-1 in Z!.
Zictionary - lotZ of wordZ.
    (moved to new page 1 on 31 Jul 00)

On the new (15 Jan 01) Z-Scale Continuation Page 5
(a page for the Third Millennium):

Even More Z (all the latest!)
    including even more on Freudenreich's new Z products.
Anhalter Bahnhof in Z.
Hermaphrodite (Conversion Coupler) Cars.
Microscopic Z Accessories.

On the Ztrack page:

Ztrack Magazine

On the Z-Scale Articles page:

Z-Scale Hell Gate Bridge

On the first Model Railroad page:

Schnable Cars
Sunrise Trail Division (STD) of the
    Northeastern Region (NER) of the
    National Model Railroad Association (NMRA)
Long Island - Sunrise Trail Chapter (LIST) of the
    National Railway Historical Society (NRHS)
Long Island Live Steamers

On the second Model Railroad page:

  Vest Pocket Railroads You Can Model:
Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal Railroad (but see below)
Degnon Terminal Railroad
Marion River Carry Railroad

On separate pages:

  Berlinerwerke-Z Script   Berlinerwerke-Z Saga
    Berlinerwerke-Z Saga Continuation Page
  Berlinerwerke Script   Z scale is about 2&frc12; times smaller than HO!  In Z scale, a scale ¼-mile is exactly (and only) 6 feet; in other words, a mile is only 24 feet!

Because much information about Z scale is in German, you might find Chris Ozdoba's Eisenbahn- und Modellbahn-Wörterbuch - Deutsch-Englisch / Railroad and Model Railroading Dictionary - German-English of value.

Ztrack Magazine

The Newsletter for Z Scale Model Railroading

Ztrack now has a separate page of its own - ztrack.html.


(moved from the preceding page 18 May 2000)

HOMABED® roadbed, a roadbed made from milled HOMASOTE® was available in Z-scale (1:220)!  It had been brought out by Scott Grubbs, who advised (03 Feb 2000) that it was already outselling N-scale roadbed!  The Z line was written up in the Nov/Dec 1999 Ztrack Magazine (but the sample reviewed was only 12" long and the roadbed actually came in 32" lengths.  The product was then made by Richard Jayne of California Roadbed Co., Inc., and later by Steve Cox of Cascade Rail Supply but Cox closed Cascade down

It briefly came in Z/Nn3 Scale (16' to a box) with a top width of 0.630", a thickness of 0.175" (4.45mm), and a 45° bevel.  Curvable sections only had a minimum rated radius of 7.5" (which works out to 190mm) and I found it virtually impossible to bring them down to the standard 145mm.

Mr. Jayne, who I met at the National TRain Show in Seattle on 09 Jul 2004, was going to work with me to provide a more flexible curve and also possibly to bring out turnout blocks for standard Märklin turnouts and crossings.

I had met Scott Grubbs at the Amherst Show in Springfield (Mass.) in Feb 2000 and what a day he'd had!  HOMABED sold like hotcakes!  Scott had sent me a sample to test.  Well, so much for another bright idea!

While at Springfield, I picked up an interesting Z electric boxcab; see it on Boxcabs. Page 5 - Electric Boxcabs.

- - - * - - -

Hey, who needs 1:440 or 1:900?  Here's the Boxcab loco kit from Freudenreich Feinwerktechnik and it's a jewel!  Look at this!

Z 60-ton Boxcab Chassis

Z 60-ton Boxcab with Shell

(photos 07 Oct 1999 by and © 1999 S. Berliner, III)
[Instead of thumbnail images, I give you both scale (on my 14' monitor) and enlarged images.]

Freudenreich completed (Dec 1999) a 36' Coke Car (with extended side and end sheets) to go with his 60-ton Boxcab decorated for U. S. Steel and ARMCO (American Rolling Mills).

FR Z 36' Coke Car
FR Z 36' Coke Car
(photo by Freudenreich - all rights reserved)

- - - * - - -

Here she is!  On 09 May 2000, I received my new Ztrack transformer car, well-flat with demountable transformer (it's held in by a screw up through the bottom).  It is exquisite (even the underside has wood slat detail in the well!):

Ztrack Trafo

[11 May 2000 photo by and © 2000 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved.]

Made for, and sold by, Ztrack editor Rob Kluz, BM-WC110 is a six-axle black well car with a giant grey transformer and M-T couplers and trucks.  These are all the work of Bob Marotta (who makes those tiny Z 1936 coupés shown elsewhere).  The wellflat car is available separately as BM-WC100 and the trafo alone as BM-TR100.  It arrived slightly damaged; the far left insulator had snapped off and the delicate brakestaffs were bent.  No biggie; I cemented the insulator back and straightened the brake staffs quite easily.  They don't look straight to you?  Guess what?  They're not!  They WERE when I started to set up the shot but by the time I snapped the shutter, they had drifted part way back again!  What's going on here - some sort of shape-memory wire?  Risking wrecking a brand-new model, I tried bending them back with the same results again - ZOOP - bent again!  Nothing loathe, I bent them the other way (worse), and they straightened up most of the way.

- - - * - - -

Z Scale Valve Gear!

On the inside front cover of Ztrack Magazine for March/April 2000, Aspen Model has an ad featuring Westmodel Z engines and cars, a steam rotary plow, an an old engine house.  However, down at the bottom of the ad, Aspen shows three Westmodel "Super detailed Running and Valve Gear Kits", No. 34312 for the Märklin 8885 4-6-2, No. 34313 for the Märklin 8801/05/95/97 0-6-0T, and No. 34315 for the Märklin 8896/83/84.

You can see these illustrations on the Aspen Website (click on "Parts - Z") but I thought these deserved even more coverage, so here they are:

34312 Valve Gear 34313 Valve Gear 34315 Valve Gear
(Images from Aspen Website - by permission)

The 8896 is a tank Mikado 2-8-2 and the picture shows gear for four axles but the 8883/84 is a 2-10-0 Decapod with FIVE axles - there is a fourth side rod supplied for that.  I've asked Aspen whether they supply rivets and a setting tool.

On their Website, Aspen also lists (but doesn't show) other Westmodel superdetailing parts, a 40 033 pilot beam with snowplow for steam locomotives and a 40 034 old-time cow catcher for steam locomotives.

Now, this is the kind of fine (in both senses of the word) work that makes Z scale so much fun (and destroys eyesight)!

O.K.!  Now, for his next trick, Herr Freudenreich has completed a Gunderson Husky stack car, the well of which will accept standard Märklin containers; here is a production sample (an ample sample):

FR Husky
(photo by Freudenreich - all rights reserved)

And here is Harald's latest hopper, decorated for the Frisco:

FR Z Frisco Hopper
FR Z Frisco Hopper
(photo by Freudenreich - all rights reserved)

More on both of these models is at the FR Freight Cars section of my Freudenreich Feinwerktechnik page.

Ron Ruddell runs London Bridge Collector's Toys, Ltd. at 16 South 3rd Street, Emmaus, Pennsylvania  18049, 610-967-6887 (Lbt@londonbridgetoys.com).  He not only sells and repairs military miniatures but he makes them, AND he sells Z scale, AND he even makes a line of vehicles in Z!  Ron was kind enough to host a meeting of NE regional Zed-Heads on 09 Sep 2000 and I found these vehicles (and, of course, had to buy them):

London Bridge Z Trucks
London Bridge Z Trucks
12 Sep 2000 photo by and © 2000 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved.]

These are:  upper left - ZV11 Flatbed Truck, upper right - ZV1 Bus,
lower left - ZV10 Dump Truck, and lower right - ZV3 Caterpillar Tractor.

Ron also makes a pair of VW (old) Beetles, but I have too many Märklin VW Bugs already.  Actually, I bought two tractors; I'll put a dozer blade on one.  The bus is so undeniably European with that tarp-covered roof luggage rack that I'll use it for a crew bus as is rather than file the rack off.  It doesn't show but the flat bed is on a diffferent chassis than the dump bed; that under the flat bed is extended and has a spare tire/wheel mounted underneath at the rear.

PENNZEE Products, Inc., 1333 Crums Mill Road, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania  17112, had a line of "Quickits"*, color-printed and prepunched cardstock building kits - just fold and glue!  Four kits of five buldings each (the difference is in the style in which they are printed - red brick, yellow/tan brick, gray/white brick, and clapboard) in four- and five-story apartments with stores, small and large three-story corner stores with offices, and a two-story store with offices:   rev (20 Apr 2017)

PENNZEE#103Frint&Back-detail (photos 06 Nov 2000 of PENNZEE #103 Sheet by S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved to PENNZEE)
[Thumbnail images - click on the pictures for larger images.]

The #103 gray/white brick set is shown.  I've seen these kits and the structures made from them and they are FABULOUS!

These are all in the "Downtown Stores" series and I had completely misplaced flyers for the PENNZEE #101 (red brick) and #102 (yellow/tan brick) Quickit sets, which I had all along; they turned up by sheer chance and here are details of the small corner store and offices, showing the plain brick of the #101 and the arched windows and belt lines of the #102, for example:

PENNZEE#101&102Back-detail (photos 21 Nov 2000 of details of PENNZEE #101 and #102 Sheets by S. Berliner, III -
all rights reserved to PENNZEE)

    [* - Quickits are long out of production.   added (20 Apr 2017)]

At the 17 Nov 2002 meet of the so-called "Northeast Zed-Heads" in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, hosted by Ron Ruddell/London Bridge, Ron was kind enough to buy a four-pack from Bob Olson and split it for me; here is my brand-new PennZee 40' steel Great Northern/Western Fruit Express reefer, road number #68242:

PennZee WFEX 40' Reefer
18 Nov 2002 photo by and © 2002 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved
(image to be reshot when I find my missing closeup lenses)

I forgot all about reshooting the WFEX car when I got a new goodie on 24 Sep 2004; "the Colonel", Hal Carstens, late publisher of RMC and R&R, is one of my all-time favorites in the hobby and I somehow missed the NMRA's issue of "The Living Legends Limited Edition Car No. 4... Hal Carstens' Susquehanna Northern".  I couldn't resist and ordered it in Z; it's a PennZee (Bowser) 100-ton three-bay hopper with a prodigiously-heaped coal load:

Carstens SN
24 Sep 2004 photo by and © 2004 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved

That's Hal, dollied up as a Southern colonel, smiling out at you from the "Route of the Colonel" logo.

For the story of Boxcab Oil-Electric engines (the first diesels), see my Boxcabs page, et seq.

For the story of the Berlinerwerke-Z (my Z -scale layout), see the Berlinerwerke-Z Saga page, et. seq.

For tall tales of the BW and its equipment and such, visit the Berlinerwerke Apocrypha page.

For more and better illustrations of the tall tales and such, keep in touch; I have my digital camera (11 Jan 1999 - a belated Xmas present - an SLR, no less!), the requisite software loaded, and scads of server storage space.  Now, all I have to do is take more pictures.

See also the main Z page, the preceding page, and the Z-scale articles page.

For Ztrack Magazine, see its separate page.


For a really beautiful Euro-style layout, visit Hungarian-cum-Californian Lájos Thek's layout at http://www.zthek.com/ (new URL 30 Aug 2005).  Lájos makes some really nice locos and accessories for Z scale (30 Aug 2005).

Lájos also sells Z-scale trees (TreeZ?) commercially, as Zthek and I got (06 Jun 2000) a set for review - oh, WOW!  Here's a pic of the set as received and one without all that careful packaging (I TOLD that orchardman to trim those branches back!):

ZthekTreez-box ZthekTreez-open
[06 Jun 2000 photos by and © 2000 - S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved.]

In Magyar (the Hungarian language), "God is one" is written "Egy az Isten",
so, naturally, I sent it to Lájos as "Egy aZ Isten",
to which he replied that He "created TreeZ too!",
so see the new listing in the Zictionary.

Lájos has his own site, so I don't try to cover his every offering but THIS YA GOTTA SEE!  He takes the Märklin 8800-style 0-6-0T chassis and chops it up, drops the center axle, and dummies the outer axles (á là FR) et le voilà, an SW-1 in Z!!! (26 Sep 2005)

ZthekSW-1Br1 ZthekSW-1Br2
[photos courtesy of L. Thek - all rights reserved.]

Here are the guts of the beast and a detail of the finished product:

ZthekSW-1Guts ZthekSW-1Rear
[photos courtesy of L. Thek - all rights reserved.]

Next, here she is on her introductory run on the massed layouts at the July 2005 NTS in Cincinnati (from a photo by Randy Smidt) (19 Dec 05):

[cropped from photo by R. Smidt, courtesy of L. Thek - all rights reserved.]
[Background - yes, that's part of a huge string of Triple Crown Road Railers that Jeff White and Tim Buehring had at the 2005 NTS - but NOT running (top heavy).]

You are cordially invited to examine, and even to participate in, the new RR message board-cum-forum, "Trainboard", at http://www.trainboard.com/, administered by Charlie Dix, et al.  I don't do rings, fora, chat groups, or such.  Charlie needs people with Z Scale expertise to participate and is looking for that special person to moderate the Z Scale board.  I can't resist this: "Good luck, Charlie!", but I do mean it nicely.


The Zictionary has been moved to a new Page 1, et seq.; click here to go there.

You know, I'm always writing about someone else's layout, or, occasionally, my own, but I have just now finished a very basic 2' x 5' one for an elderly friend (which means even older than I!) with three ovals (220mmR, 195mmR, and 145mmR) and a siding and a reversing track, separate jacks for two DC feeds and an AC input and lots of room for scenery and growth.  Well, I plugged it in and it was all dead-shorted!  I'd made a beautiful brass plate to hold the DC and AC jacks on the front panel; how should I know that jacks short to metal?  I couldn't find any plain, unplated, unpunched PCB sheet, so I made a beautiful Formica substitute and now only about half the controls are shorted.  With over 50 separate connectors on four circuits with four reversing DPDTs and without any ability whatsoever to stay focused or think logically, this could be a problem.  Because of the dual feeds and reversing switches, just disconnecting each line one at a time isn't the whole answer.  All the wiring is clustered ("Spaghetti Junction!") behind a 3" x 5" control panel with 7 DPDT selector and reversing switches and 12 SPST block switches, all mini and micro!  Oh, my aching eyeballs!  Some days, it just doesn't pay to get out of bed!  And, as our ship sinks slowly in the West, we bid farewell to lovely - - - .

It's an interesting project; he'd started it on 2¼" foam board with a glossy painted top surface and, of course, all the track fell off as the nails pulled free from the paint (foam won't hold anything).  I bonded a 3/16" sheet of Upson board (heavy cardboard) over the whole thing, which takes Märklin track nails beautifully, painted that a flat medium earth color, and built a light-weight frame around and under the foamboard.  To save space, I tucked that microscopic control panel in the left front corner and allowed for an equally microscopic turnout control panel in the right front corner, with the above-noted infamous jack panel set into the left front fascia.  It never dawned on me that this project would take me years if I'd done it for myself and it has taken many months of hard work; some favor!  Maybe I'll write it up further; I developed some rather neat tricks to ease the strain.  Well, back to the old drawing (foam?) board.

HELP! - an e-mail correspondent from Switzerland asks if anyone knows where to get a copy of the software used to design layouts, Railways 3.0.

If you know, please advise "Kristian D" at < swissair@postoffice.pacbell.net >.

Best regardZ,  S.B.,III

Someone else signs off, "Be Z'ing you!"

You may wish to visit the Railroad Continuation Page, et seq.

of this series of Railroad pages.


  What happens to all this when I DIE or (heaven forfend!) lose interest?  See LEGACY.


See Copyright Notice on primary home page.

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prevpage.gif subjndex.gif frstpage.gif nextpage.gif
To tour the Z-scale pages in sequence, the arrows take you from the first Z-scale page to the Z-Scale index,
then to continuation pages 1 and up, the Z articles page, the 6 BW-Z saga pages,
and finally to the former then-current
Ztrack page.

© Copyright S. Berliner, III - 1999, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2011, 2013, 2017, 2020  - all rights reserved.

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