This video was shot by Lawrie at the 50th Anniversary of the 009 Society where I was fortunate enough to be asked to exhibit the layout over the weekend alongside 60 of the best narrow gauge model railway railway layouts available. Please remember to like Lawrie's video and subscribe for more superb videos from him.
Kaninchenbau is a computer controlled H0e layout, modelled on the rolling, grassy meadows that are typical of the European Alpine region. The hands-off aspect of automation allows discussions about the layout to be undertaken whilst the layout continues to run.
It has been built using ready-to-run stock in H0e scale from various European manufacturers and is based upon the prototype Narrow-Gauge lines that are seen in the Alps border areas which theoretically allows for rolling and stock and locomotive power to be lent between railway operators.
Although the swapping of stock rarely happens in reality, this theoretical practice allows layout to run various combinations that, whilst not seen on the prototype, look interesting and provides variety and interest to visitors.
Kaninchenbau has been designed with 2 levels that are interconnected within the hidden sections of the layout which provides variety as trains will not always appear from tunnels in the expected order let alone from the expected tunnel mouth. there is a total track length of 22.5m.
This is especially interesting for younger visitors who try to guess where the train will appear and are surprised when they are often incorrect with the guess.
Another attraction of the layout is that it was designed to maximise audience interest by always having several trains running simultaneously, usually at least five.  This number of trains, plus the complexity of the track layout, means that the model had to be automated and this has been achieved using commercial software called iTrain.
The program knows the location of all trains at all times because the track, just like the real railway, is divided up into blocks and you can see these blocks on the iPad. This shows where the trains actually are, with a red track and the loco ID provided by Railcom. The route ahead that the train has chosen to take is shown by the gold track. The track that is available but not yet used or reserved remains black.
This operation is fully automatic, with routes for individual trains, stopping stations, and wait times all being chosen randomly by iTrain which also controls the signals and turnouts.
For the technically minded it is operated by a Z21 with a Z21 booster, which enables 2 power busses to operate. One bus is for the track and the other for accessories such as detection, signals and turnout motors. This modus operandi ensures when a train overruns a turnout or there is a short on the track the accessories can still be operated.
This layout attaches to a larger fixed layout, all of which is similarly operated using;
I hope that you enjoy the layout and that it shows you some of the capabilities that are available with computer control. Please contact me (below) for further information or discussion.
And finally – Kaninchenbau is actually named after the layout style - it literally means Rabbit Warren 😊
If you would like to contact me about Kaninchenbau please use the form below and I will revert to you with an answer
Thank you! I will get back to you soonIain Morrison
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