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S-Bahnhof Engelscher Markt, Berlin


railsquid

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I moved to Berlin in 1991, which was a fascinating time to be there for a whole number of reasons, anyway I ended up spending a lot of time changing between trains and trams at what was then S-Bahnhof Marx-Engels-Platz in the former east. It was originally called "Börse" ("Stock Exchange"), which kind of fell out of favour post-1945, and became "Hackescher Markt" in 1992 as part of the great, often controversial post-Communism renaming process. The station is one of the few on the Stadtbahn viaduct which has retained its original form and has been renovated quite nicely.

 

When I was in Berlin a few years back I stumbled upon a pack of the Faller viaduct structures, which gave me the idea of creating something vaguely reminiscent of the real station, ambiguously set in the early 1990s. After a fair bit of thought I worked out a way of integrating something into the main layout without looking too out-of-place, including a stretch of tram track. I have no intention at this point of making a stab at recreating the prototype, just something catching the atmosphere of the time and giving my German trains somewhere to run. Hence the made-up name, which kind of combines the elements of the former and current names into something plausible.

 

Here's the first "proof-of-concept" from as long ago as 2016:

 

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german-module by Rail Squid, on Flickr

 

and with tram from 2017:

 

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german-station-mockup-2017-01-05 by Rail Squid, on Flickr

 

I have cunningly managed to arrange things so there is the illusion of the pair of Fernbahn (long-distance) tracks on the other side of the station:

 

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engelscher-markt-2019-05-09_01 by Rail Squid, on Flickr

 

and was more than delighted when Tomytec brought out an actual Berlin tram:

 

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Berliner Strassenbahn am Hackeschen Markt by Rail Squid, on Flickr

 

Here is a picture of the side of the station I am attempting to "model":

 

 

Dated 1985, but looked pretty much the same in the early 1990s.

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It did occur to me while I was making it that (after colouring the tape) it would be a useful technique for decorating Japanese apartment balconies. Unfortunately it's a very tedious process, only about 7 more lengths to do.

 

11 hours ago, railsquid said:

In today's exciting adventure a game stab is made at reproducing the GDR-typical street railings, which I vaguely remember from that time:

 

Some examples of what I mean in this picture selection: https://interaktiv.morgenpost.de/ost-berlin-1980-2016/

Edited by railsquid
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12 hours ago, railsquid said:

I moved to Berlin in 1991, which was a fascinating time to be there for a whole number of reasons, anyway I ended up spending a lot of time changing between trains and trams at what was then S-Bahnhof Marx-Engels-Platz in the former east. It was originally called "Börse" ("Stock Exchange"), which kind of fell out of favour post-1945, and became "Hackescher Markt" in 1992 as part of the great, often controversial post-Communism renaming process.

 

I should note that the station was renamed (in 1992) not primarily because of the 19th century political philosophers it was named after, but because it wasn't particularly close to the eponymous square, which itself wasn't renamed until 1994. Said square was a rather sad car park / parade ground in front of the former Palast der Republik, both of which occupied the site of the former and now reconstructed Royal Palace. The neighbouring Marx-Engels-Forum compete with a statue of the famous couple has been retained, albeit not without controversy, and was used for a while as a construction site for the U5, though I believe it has now been restored.

 

There is also a Karl-Marx-Straße station on the U7 in the former West Berlin.

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Meanwhile thanks to Mega-big Whirly Cloud Formation number 14 "Hogiswartus" (or whatever it is called, they are always referred to by number, even when it's Japan's turn to choose the name) it has been raining heavily all morning, which has provided an excellent opportunity to continue work on the 2022 Exhibition of Drying Towels:

 

engelscher-markt-2022-09-18_01.thumb.jpg.197325d3975aadbc54c06b30c88936de.jpg

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The station entrance now protected by some ornamental bollards:

 

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engelscher-markt-2022-09-18_02 by Rail Squid, on Flickr

 

Sourced here: https://www.dm-toys.de/en/product-details/MU_N-A00239.html

 

The web page indicates they are unpainted, but the package which arrived looked quite painted to me.

 

Unfortunately they are very brittle and snap easily, hence the "gap".

 

Filling the void of the station entrance passage will be an interesting challenge...

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Another interesting challenge is the German-Japanese border, which has been arranged using some very freaky loopholes in the space-time continuum and a set of international customs and immigration treaties which currently form the basis of a whole new branch of theoretical physics.

 

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engelscher-markt-2022-09-18_04 by Rail Squid, on Flickr

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Fitting as customs agencies seem to be in some strange space/time reality… I want to see you model a little worm hole for the layout. Enter wormhole to alternate set of time and space, go thru customs and then exit on the other end. Hopefully with out coming out the other side with a third arm or second head or thoughts of destroying the world…

 

jeff

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Not sure if this counts as a wormhole entrance, but I experimentally installed a drain grille from this Noch laser-cut set:

 

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engelscher-markt-2022-09-22_01 by Rail Squid, on Flickr

 

On the edge of the road to the right of the van. In case it's not obvious, and at around 2x3mm it's so small that if you weren't looking for it, it would probably not be noticeable. Sticks up a little from the road surface, but on the other hand given the state of the roads in the area at the time, it's probably protoypical.

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Meanwhile, down at the lesser-spotted other end of the station, the tram line sneaks off under a "bridge":

 

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engelscher-markt-2022-09-23_03 by Rail Squid, on Flickr

 

Sadly Tomix do not make 280mm-radius tramline inserts, so I am making my own.

 

The IKEA Ivar shelf support will be cunningly disguised as a building, when I work out how.

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Oooh, look what came through the wormhole:

 

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engelscher-markt-2022-09-24_04 by Rail Squid, on Flickr

 

Actually ordered here from the Beyond Dimensions for clearance testing:

 

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engelscher-markt-2022-09-24_03 by Rail Squid, on Flickr

 

Tight, but works.

 

The plan is to use the section of tram track at the front of the layout for placing stock on the layout, as a) it's the easiest way of railing stuff I know of, and b) it's next to the "workbench".

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Squid I think you have come up with a new anime series, Wormhole Densha! Wormholes pop up and trains run thru them to reappear all over the world. One protagonist with an evil plan (like E4 suddenly running on German streetcar tracks) that the other protagonists trapped on the train are constantly trying to prevent, while being shifted all over the world constantly (and you could thrown in time as well). Hey a new career for you!

 

jeff

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Will the plucky little tram be able to face down the E1 From Another Place and Time?

 

engelscher-markt-2022-09-24_05.jpg

Edited by railsquid
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Time to start sending out the “Wormhole Densha” proposals to anime studios squid!

 

jeff

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On 9/24/2022 at 2:05 PM, railsquid said:

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engelscher-markt-2022-09-24_02 by Rail Squid, on Flickr

 

Next step is to paint it.

 

Turned out better than I expected:

 

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engelscher-markt-2022-09-25_02 by Rail Squid, on Flickr

 

While messing about with this, another Cunning Plan™ occured to me, which that as I was planning to disguise this "mousehole" under an overbridge, I might as well convert it into a proper bridge with a road running under it, which should be structurally possible. (Unfortunately there are a lot of Cunning Plans™, and never enough time...).

 

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I was looking for a fast food stand ("Imbissbude") to fill this space, as it would be the kind of place one would find such a thing, and decided this Lilliput model would be just right for retailing döner kebabs:

 

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engelscher-markt-2022-09-25_03 by Rail Squid, on Flickr

 

*mildy spooky music*

 

Having put it in place, I was idly looking for pictures of the real location from the early 1990s (turns out there are a lot of pictures of trams at this location), and found this one, which brings back memories (I could easily be in that picture, the tram is the one I used to take to get home), and look at the stand to the right of the tram - not exactly identical, but pretty damn close.

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14 hours ago, railsquid said:

 

Having put it in place, I was idly looking for pictures of the real location from the early 1990s (turns out there are a lot of pictures of trams at this location), and found this one, which brings back memories (I could easily be in that picture, the tram is the one I used to take to get home), and look at the stand to the right of the tram - not exactly identical, but pretty damn close.

 

The advert on the front of the tram in the link is interesting.  "Gorbachev Vodka." ("Wodka Gorbatschow")

 

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On 9/25/2022 at 5:38 PM, railsquid said:

 

Turned out better than I expected:

 

52382383926_c015886639_z.jpg

engelscher-markt-2022-09-25_02 by Rail Squid, on Flickr

 

While messing about with this, another Cunning Plan™ occured to me, which that as I was planning to disguise this "mousehole" under an overbridge, I might as well convert it into a proper bridge with a road running under it, which should be structurally possible. (Unfortunately there are a lot of Cunning Plans™, and never enough time...).

 

And talking of Cunning Plans™, the Ivar Shelf Support Disguise Department reminds me that I acquired the "classic" Tomix "brick" office building, and after sawing off the fassade it turns out that placed in a Berlin context it is actually quite a good fit for a late 19th century office/commercial kind of building of the sort you could find mouldering up against the Stadtbahn viaduct (though most have now been renovated and are probably infested with startups and the like).

 

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engelscher-markt-2022-09-27_02 by Rail Squid, on Flickr

 

It will need a sloping tiled roof and a bit of general kitbashing, particularly for the windows.

 

Random historical note: the green double-decker coaches on the viaduct are a genuine GDR-era product; in the real world there was a slight overlap between introduction of the GT6N tram and the removal of service of those double-deckers, but it's unlikely their paths would ever have crossed.

Edited by railsquid
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Started adding some of the S-Bahn "third rail", aka repurposed and lightly painted sprues:

 

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engelscher-markt-2022-09-30_01 by Rail Squid, on Flickr

 

It's somewhat further away than it would be in real life, but if I try to get it any close it will likely foul other stock, but looks good enough, especially given its origin.

 

Fencing next to it is not yet fixed in place...

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