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Finsterwalde Diorama

Deutsche Version

This diorama was inspired by the railway station Finsterwalde (Lower Lusatia).

Finsterwalde is located in Elbe-Elster county, Brandenburg state, Germany, on the double-track mainline from Leipzig to Cottbus. The Finsterwalde railway station was also the beginning of the single-track Schipkau-Finsterwalde Railway (Schipkau-Finsterwalder Eisenbahn), which was taken over by German State Railways (Deutsche Reich‎sbahn) in 1938. After closing the section South of Annahütte due to lignite coal mining operations, passenger trains disappeared from the route. Freight service survived on the remaining section to Annahütte until 1993.‎ The cutout from a German railway atlas published in 1994 shows the situation shortly before the entire line went out of operation in 1993.

In reality, the water tower on the background picture is located a little more to the left. The diorama shows the area where that line diverges from the Finsterwalde station area. The relevant area is marked in this Googlemaps screenshot:

To fit on a footprint of just 30 cm * 15 cm, the scene was shrinked a little. The objective was not to make the model scene exactly up to scale but to show the characteristic athmosphere of that place. So, the level crossing was made single track. While the signalbox buildng meets the style of the prototype, it has a reduced length. It is a TT scale model from Arnold (now a brand of Hornby), which was repainted to meet the appearance of the prototype.

Signalbox close-up

In 2009, DB's infrastructure manager DB Netz sold the right of way to a consortium of local communities.‎ They finally sold it to Torsten Ratke, owner of a private railway company with headquarters in Finsterwalde. That company reopened the line for special passenger trains in 2010. Today, there are regular passenger trains to the mining museum F60 in Lichterfeld during the summer season. An interesting railway operations aspect is that the entire line was transformed into a yard track. So, while the passenger trains have a published timetable, they are formally shunting moves. 

For the trains to Lichterfeld, a series 772 diesel motor car is used. That motor car with the number 772 342 is owned by the train operating company LDC (Lausitzer Dampflok-Club = Lusatia Steam Locomotive Club). It was the only copy of that series that still got the red DB Regio paint scheme. A model of this car with exactly that number is available as a TT scale model from manufacurer KRES.

Leaving to Lichterfeld

The picture below shows that model at the Southern end of this line in a temporarily arranged photo scene with a background photo of the F60 conveyor bridge.

F60 Sonderfahrt

More photos of this diorama on Flickr (under construction)

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