Fleischmann 2005

Category: Trains
Tue, 08 Mar 2005, 19:06

I've never understood why Epoch I (1875-1920) isn't more popular among the modellers of German railroads. After all, who can resist the more colorful locomotives and rolling stock, especially Prussian passenger coaches with different colors for the four classes? But as it is, Epoch I fans have fewer choices than the modellers of later Epochs. I suppose one advantage is that the Epoch I fan can buy as much as he wants without getting broke.

Among the mainstream German model train manufacturers (Fleischmann, Trix/Märklin and Roco), Epoch I items are normally confined to limited editions. And so, purchases for the year generally have to be planned in advance, shortly after the new releases for the year are announced in time for the Nürnberg Toy Fair. For 2005, Roco and Trix/Märklin offerings lack luster. But Fleischmann can usually be counted on to offer some nice Epoch I items, and this year is no exception.

This years limited edition set is the "Goods Train with Passenger Accomodation of the Royal Prussian Railway Company". If that sounds familiar, it should. That was also the title of the 1998 limited edition set. Like the 1998 set, the 2005 set is also pulled by a Prussian T9. By the Fleischmann new items flyer, there are some nice pieces in the 2005 set. But I was really hoping for a pure freight set. There hasn't been a full Epoch I freight set in Fleischmann's lineup since 1996! Since Fleischmann is producing a new model of the T10 (in a DRG version), and since new locomotives are often featured in the following years limited edition set, and since the T10 was used for commuter service, we may not again see a pure freight set in Epoch I colors until 2007!

Anyways, I'm not disappointed with what Fleischmann is offering the Epoch I fan this year. Last year, Fleischmann sold new versions of DRG G02, VOI, and Ni wagons, and predictably, these are featured in KPEV colors this year. They're also offering a red and green post/baggage van, a three axle passenger coach (3rd and 4th class brown and grey), a tanker, a cradle truck, and a three axle reefer.

What will I be ordering? All items are tempting, except the cradle truck. Also, I'm not sure I really need another passenger coach. On the other hand, I really can't resist anything with three axles. The items I think I have to have are the G02 van, the reefer, and the tanker. Also, I really wouldn't mind another small tank locomotive on my layout.

Bottom line: If my 2005 model train buying were limited to pages 14 and 15 of the Fleischmann new items flyer, I would not be disappointed.


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