S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com Z-Scale Model Railroad Continuation Page 7 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:   15 Dec 2012, 09:05  ET
[Page created 04 Jan 2004; converted 10 Jul 2012
    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]
URL:  http://sbiii.com/z-scale7.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/z-scale7.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.


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.


Some internal links, which work fine on my home page and others, may not work here!  I'm working on it, but haven't a clue; I even just copied the working links over and they may not work here.  So, scroll away, if necessary!

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)
    (moved from the main Z-Scale page 13 Nov 01)
Z-Scale Meter Gauge
Half-Z Scale - 1:440 Tiny Trains!
    (moved from Z-Scale page 3 on 13 Nov 01)
1:900 Scale - Tiniest Trains!
    (moved from Z-Scale page 3 on 13 Nov 01)

On Z-Scale Continuation Page 1:

Zictionary Part 1 ("A" - "M") - lotZ of wordZ
(moved from Page 4 on 31 Jul 00 and split on 28 May 01)!

On Z-Scale Continuation Page 1a:

Zictionary Part 2 ("N" - "Z") - 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 Z-Scale Continuation Page 3:

Z-Scale Vehicles and Märklin Rubber Autos
Power - Volts, Amps, Watts for Z.

On Z-Scale Continuation Page 4:

Some More Z (all the latest!)
    including more on Freudenreich's Z Boxcab Diesel
        and new HomaBed Z roadbed.

On Z-Scale Continuation Page 5:

(a page for the Third Millennium):
Even More Z (all the latest!)
    including more on Freudenreich's Z products.
Microscopic Z Accessories.

On the previous Z-Scale Continuation Page 6
(a page of the Third Millennium):

V 32 001 Diesel Pneumatic in Z.
Yet More Z (all the latest!)
    including more on Freudenreich's Z products.
BEDT #14 in Z.
8800 vs. 8805.

On this Continuation Page 7

And More Z
    8620 Well/Depressed Center/Schnabel Cars
WheelZ II
WheelZ III   new.gif (02 Feb 08)
Will Wright's Full Throttle

On Z-Scale Continuation Page 8:

Z Beech BonZana.

On the Ztrack page:

Ztrack Magazine

On the Z-Scale Articles page:

Z-Scale Hell Gate Bridge

On the first Model Railroad page:

Schnabel 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 Saga
    Berlinerwerke-Z Saga Continuation Page

  Berlinerwerke-HO Script
  Berlinerwerke Saga (HO, included with Horseshoe Curve info.)
    Berlinerwerke Apocrypha (tall tales of the BW and its equipment and such).
    Schnabel and other Giant RR Cars.



Z-Scale model railroading, at an incredible 220 times smaller than life size, or slightly under half the size of the familiar HO scale, with rails only 6.5mm (~¼") apart, continued ...

Z scale is about 2½ 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 -

And More Z

(continued from Z Pages 2 and 6)

I'm a nut about Orcas (Killer Whales) (see my whale page) and had always hoped to locate an 837 Super-Wahljahr (Whale-year) 1994 car (aka #88631) at an affordable price (I'm NOT a collector):

orca wahljahr car
Images from Z-world and (substitute) the Web

The Stiskas came through for me (as always).

Dan Stirpe is producing scale Pennsy water plugs, to tracing 61140-A, in Z:

(Image from D. Stirpe, shamelessly retouched by SB, III 04 Aug 05
to remove extraneous background - all rights reserved)
[thumbnailed image - click on the picture for a larger image]

Dan can be reached at:

Dan Stirpe ("Stirpe", NOT Stripe!)
P. O. Box 284
Elizabethville, Pennsylvania  17023
<dpstripe@aol.com> ("stripe", NOT stirpe!)

National Z-Scale Capitol

While on a visit to the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, California,in the delightful company of Lájos Thek on 29 Jun 2004, we spotted this sign in their Peterson Collection:

(Montage of photos by L. Thek, 29 Jun 04 - all rights reserved)
[Thumbnail image - click on picture for larger image]

The line from Richmond, which is just northeast of San Francisco, to Stockton runs due east some 45 miles, so a MP 1149.7 (from St. Louis?) doesn't help me much.

There is also supposed to be a town called Zee Estates in El Dorado County in California (which puts it just east of Sacramento, perhaps 30-40 miles north of the Valley Division), but I can't find hide nor hair of the old Zee nor of Zee Estates.

8620 Well/Depressed Center/Schnabel Car

At the same time (03 Jan 2003) as I picked up a 1975 Märklin catalog, I also got five more 8620 Schnabel cars to chop up for photos of the Schnabel loading sequence - BUT - they are all different from the original 8620 and from each other!  They are from the 8688, 8689, 8690, 8691, and 8892 Regional Sets and I can't very well destroy them; here they are with the original 8620:

Original 8620
DB - Deutsches Bahn / Trafo Union {German Railways / Transformer Union}
(Original 8620 ca. 1980)

8620 EVS
Energie Versorgung Schwaben {Swabian Energy Supply} [black cabs]

8620 BEWAG
BEWAG Berlin

 8620 FÜL
FÜL - Fränkisches Überlandwerk AG {French Overland Works}

 8620 RWE
RWE {???}

SCHLESWAG {Schleswig} [black cabs]
(03 Jan 04 photos by and © 2004 by S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Anyone have junker 8620s for me?  Never mind; I found one.


Hey!  For a really big Z-scale Schnabel, the giant CEBX 800, I need 18 3-spring, 100-ton, 38"-wheeled trucks [yes, that's 18 trucks (36-axles, 72-wheels)]!  Well, Micro-Trains doesn't make any such, so I had to settle for their regular #953 (2-spring) Roller Bearing Trucks, pulling out all 36 33" wheelsets (#950) and replacing them with #957 36" wheelsets (three packages worth)!  Well, you say; who'd notice?  Well, I say; I would!  Naturally, the order was too small for my local hobby shop to order from M-T, so he had to get them from Walther's, who, naturally, short-shipped, putting the rest on back order.  M-T warned me that the #953 truck frame would not reliably run the larger wheelsets, but (so far) the rims just barely clear the bolster bar and all seems well.  To show you just how miniscule the difference between the wheels sets is, I took microphotos of some converted trucks, one with just the left axle swapped out, and the 33" and 36' wheelsets alone:

33 & 36 in. wheels/trucks

Oops!  While all the wheels are on the track (quite a feat in itself), the second truck from the left is upside down!  The fool things are so small (~¼" wheelbase) and so black that they are almost invisible, let alone distinguishable!

33 & 36 in. wheels/truck
(13 Feb 04 photographs by and © 2004, 2006 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
[artificially lightened 08 Mar 2006]

Now, what do I do with 36 33" wheelsets?  I already have over half a package left from a previous project, as well.  Easy; I get some M-T 14500-series flats, add some sections of the smallest rail I can find and some microscopic chocks (or wheel grooves through the railheads) , and - lo, PRESTO - I have wheel cars!

[Actually, I have since come up with another project that uses up all the wheelsets!]

I had drawn up a rather detailed side-view CAD layout of the CEBX 800 in Z scale, with the long load typical of petrochemical reactor vessels, but the wheelsets don't quite match the final configuration:

CEBX 800 in Z - elev
(07/08 Jan 04 drawing by and © 2004 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
[Thumbnailed image - click on picture for larger image]

Then I'd also done a preliminary CAD layout in plan view of the car on the standard Märklin 145mm, 195mm, and 220mm radius curves (as well as on the mythical, missing 170mm radius and even on the #8591 490mm complementary curve for turnouts, but it's just far too long for any of them.  The inside overhang is simply ludicrous on 220mm and the load arms and load almost fit the diameter on 145mm:

CEBX 800 in Z - plan
(14 Sep 05 drawing by and © 2005 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
[Thumbnailed image - click on picture for larger image]

[I also managed to place the tangent view in the wrong part of the drawing and then realized I'd ungrouped the whole mess, so it stays there until I redraw.]

Again, the wheelsets aren't the final version and the spacing around the curves is a wee bit odd; the inter-axle spacing on each half-car is exactly 6' (1.83m) [0.327" (0.831mm) in Z].  Also, the 170mm and 195mm views weren't complete so I didn't move them into this composite image.  I may not bother updating these; once the tracking mockup is ready, I can just photograph it on the various curves (see similar coverage below).

WheelZ II

Well, I've been relatively retiZent lately but I'm baaaack with a BANG!  Märklin has finally condescended, after being far too buZy making diamond-and-ruby-encrusted platinum and gold locomotives, to ship the long-overdue 88290 Gt 2x4/4 Baureihe 96 articulated and 86200 10-8+8-10 Torpedo Ladle (hot metal bottle) car!  I ordered that loco in March 2004 and it only came in on 03 Jan 2005!  While I was talking to the hobby shop owner on 05 Jan about picking it up, in came the bottle car, as well (it never rains but it pours, eh?)!  I'd sold an unused original-issue type 050 decapod to ease the pain of the articulated but it was still quite a sticker-shock for me.  Merry Christmas (however belated), indeed, ho, ho, ho!

First pix (reshot):


(06 Jan 05 photographs by and © 2005 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

As magnificent as the articulated is, and that adjective truly fits, I think the bottle car is the finest model in Z scale that I have ever seen.  Now, all Göppingen has to do to make my life complete (hobby-wise, that is) is to bring out the 1973 DB type Uai 839 32-axle Schnabel Transport Car {Schwerlasttransportwagen} in Z (Trix has it in HO - #T23994*)!

Talk about a feat getting all the wheels on the track!  BOTH loco and car are quite a challenge to rail or rerail.  The use of the Märklin 8974 or M-T 988 00 221 (old 930) rerailers is STRONGLY recommended.

Just to prove that all the wheels on the bottle car are on the track, I tried processing the photo to show the exceedingly-black undercarriage better, to little avail:

(06 Jan 05 photograph by and © 2005 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Märklin states that those boxes over the journals on the inner two pairs of axles are heat shields to keep the intense heat of the molten iron/steel from frying the bearings.  However, I was told by an authoritative U. S. source that they are actually there more as splash guards against molten iron and that some mills will also have shields over the couplers to keep them from being welded together.

Next, I strung the loco and car out together; now THAT is an impressive sight in Z - some 9¾" long!

(06 Jan 05 photograph by and © 2005 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Then, I had the bright idea of digging out that mini-layout, all 145mm radius of it; now railing these monsters on 145mm radius track is something else!  Rerailer? - fuhgeddaboudit!  Do Ze TWIZT!


(06 Jan 05 photographs by and © 2005 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

All wheels on both units are really, truly on the track, even though it sure doesn't at all look like they are.  Somehow, I don't think I'm going to run them very much on 8510 (145mm R) track sections; they'll work, but the car is VERY unhappy at that curvature and the loco isn't exactly cooperative, either.

O. K.  That's a wee bit extreme; let's try them on the other two standard Märklin radii, 195mm (8520/8521) and 220mm (8530/8531), respectively:


(07 Jan 05 photograph by and © 2005 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Yes!  All the wheels are again truly on the rails.  Neither one is all that good, but the units run well and the 195mmR and 220mmR approach an acceptable reality.

It was borne in upon me that there was a definite resemblance to a torpedo or submarine here; some quick checking in the Art Department of the Berlinerwerke turned up this old view:

(09 Jan 05 "photograph" by and © 2005 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Now we know how the U-534 was moved to its berth at the Royal Navy museum at Birkenhead!


Anyone wanna trade my unused (MIB) 2004 Insider 88290 DRG cl 96 (Roy. Bav. cl Gt 2x4/4) 0-8-8-0T articulated steam locomotive (blue with red undercarriage, blue cylinders, and black wheels) for a 2006 88291 (black with red undercarriage and wheels) or a 2008 88292 (black with black undercarriage and wheels)?

88290 88291 88292
88290        \        88291        /        88292

Even Steven; no cash (but I'll pay all postage).

WheelZ III

Märklin just HAD to come out with the mythical Deutsch Reichsbahn Class 53.0, a planned prototype 2-6-8-0 heavy freight locomotive by Borsig-Werke in Berlin, with a condensing tender from Henschel in Kassel, as an Insider model.  It is a true Mallet design, with high and low pressure cylinders and has a Soeise boiler water recovery system in the tender.  Of course, with another Mallet articulated in Z, and at a heavily discounted price too boot, I just HAD to buy the fool thing:   new.gif (02 Feb 08)

(02 Feb 08 photograph by and © 2008 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
[I'll have to reshoot these; I am having real trouble seeing the focusing.]

Yes, all the wheelZ are on the track, as they are on the following!

As with WheelZ and WheelZ II, above, I tried the new 88053 lok on my 145mmR mini-layout:

88053-1 88053-2
(02 Feb 08 photographs by and © 2008 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Oh my Gawd!  That bugger is only one step from totally impossible to set on the rails, and there's just no way to use a rerailer there.  Also, there's no way in HELL that it will run on 145mm radius track!  Again, as above, I then placed the 88053, together with the 88290 Class 96 0-8-8-0T articulated and the 86200 10-8+8-10 Torpedo Ladle (hot metal bottle) car on a larger layout with 145mm, 195mm, and 220mm radius track with similar results:


88053-4/145 88053-5/195 88053-6/220
(02 Feb 08 photographs by and © 2008 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Bloody ridiculous on 145mmR but not too bad on 195mmR and almost acceptable on 220mmR; at least here I could set them on the rails with a rerailer.

Speaking of wheelZ, lots of wheelZ, I attended the first-ever Z-scale convention in Columbus 05-06 July 2005 on my way home from a jaunt to Texas and then went down to Cincinnati for the NMRA's National Train Show, where the largest Z layout ever assembled was up and running (sort of).  On my way up to Columbus, I saw several flatbed loads of giant tires (for earthmovers, I'd guess), probably on their way down from Goodyear.  The tires were so big they hung over each side of the trailers and the rigs were placarded "OVERSIZED LOAD" front and back.  Most loads had two tires stacked up front and two on the bed behind the stack; only one load had the fourth tire stacked on the second.  Unfortunately, at 140mph closing speed, I didn't get any photos, but DING!  What a great load for the layout!  Gotta get flatbeds!  Well, there don't seem to be any; Jerry Davis's ISM seems to have vanished.  Bob's Trains had two brand-new Herpa Mercedes-Benz COE tractors with Euro flatbeds which I snapped up and his neighboring booth, Cars & Trains, had big HO traction tires, so I was in business (I thought)  Here's the souvenir 40' Ztrack boxcar I got at the convention, the Herpa truck in front of it for comparison, and the truck with the tires (I know, they need to be secured):

zturn195 HerpaFlatbed HerpaFlatbed
(18 Jul 2005 photographs by and © 2005 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Well, I never noticed that the M-B tractor only has a single driving axle and the flatbed trailer has three axles with single tires; not at all suitable to represent my U.S. loads!  A quick run through the image processor and, lo, we have a proper 18-wheeler, with duals all around and both types of loading:

HerpaFlatbed211 HerpaFlatbed121
(18 Jul 2005 photographs altered 19 Jul 2005 by and © 2005 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

The Herpa flatbed scales out to 42' but looks too far long, so I doctored the images to look more like the 40'-ers I think was what I saw.  I would guess the tires were held down with chains and come-alongs.

- - - * - - -

Ta, ra!  On 18 Jun 2012, while in the southwest on a combined vaction and business trip, I spotted these loads at a truck stop somewhere in the Willcox/Tucson/Phoenix locus in Arizona (at 108-112°F!); perfect examples of the loads I'd seen in 2005:   new (10 Jul 2012)

(18 Jul 2012 photograph by and © 2012 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Since standard flatbed trailer width is 102" (8½' / ~2.6m), we can extrapolate that the tires are about 9½' to 10' (2.9-3m) in diameter.  Note also that the top tire is loaded amidships and that there is a fifth tire on the gooseneck (no such on the models) and that the tires are secured with easy-to-model web straps.

Well, the Berlinerwerke Art Dept. was quick to respond:   new (15 Dec 2012)

(19 Jul 2005 photograph altered 15 Dec 2012 by and © 2012 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

[Not bad for a quick and dirty fix.]


While I hosted William Dean "Uncle Will" Wright's FULL THROTTLE site, I seem not to have mentioned it here.  Will specializes in unique American rolling stock and his latest efforts include a set of Appalachian Drags hoppers and a set of Southern Drags hoppers:   rev.gif (26 Sep 05)

(25 Sep 05 photograph by and © 2005 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

(25 Sep 05 photograph by and © 2005 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

More on these and Will's other offerings at his site and on his ZeBay OnLine store.

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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To tour the Z-scale pages in sequence, the arrows take you from the Z-scale index page to the main Z-Scale page, then to the Sub-Z-Scale page and continuation pages 1, 2, 3 and on, the Z articles page, the 6 BW-Z saga pages, and, and finally to the current Ztrack page.

© Copyright S. Berliner, III - 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2012  - all rights reserved.

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