Swiss Chris Railways

 The '80s

The Märklin Krokodil

   It was at Christmas 1978 that I received a Hornby Flying Scotsman and a rake of Gresley teak coaches. This was quickly augmented with the purchase of a tender driven (yuck) Evening Star, a green 08 with counterbalanced uncoupling and a few trucks. A trip to Switzerland in 1979 saw the addition of a Märklin-Hamo SBB Krokodil. A trip to London added a couple of Lima TEE locos and coaches. So my 2 rail stock was growing.

  Hornby were coming out with their Zero 1 digital controller so a few loco modules and a couple of slave units saw even my continental stock converted.

1980 and another trip to Switzerland got me a Hag Bodensee-Toggenburg set of Motor coach, driving trailer, 1st & 2nd class coaches and a restaurant car. Although these had been designed to run on the Märklin AC 3 rail system, we converted them to 2 rail DC.

  1981 saw the addition of some narrow gauge stock as Bemo had introduced their Rhätische Bahn HOm range.

  I now designed a 4 board layout that could be pieced together. with a double track standard gauge layout and a single track metre gauge with passing places.

  In 1984 I was given a shed 16' x 12'. This meant that I could have a permanent layout, and a rather ambitious plan was made initially as a single track folded over figure of 8 branch-line leading to a double track figure of 8 with a short cut and an upper level branch line. The total height difference was over 2' (60cm) from Bräu on the lower branch to Berg on the upper branch.  The main station was based on a Terminus plan from the Peco Track Plans book.

Bodensee - Toggenburg 5 coach EMU from Hag

The RhB Krokodil as used over the Albula to Sankt Moritz.

 In the end I converted it to an end to end layout, but never managed to complete the hidden storeage areas.

This project eventually came to a halt in the early '90s, when I lost my job after 18½ years and I went to university.

  The shed became a storage area with the boards being used as shelves. And there it sat for years until 2011 when after sometime thinking that I would like to get back to it, the oppertunity arose for me to re-start following a slight problem with the shed and a grand clear out with many trips to the council yard.

I had been working on the idea of Bondale / Bontal for a couple of years and with another redundancy occurring, I made a start on the project.

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