Monday, May 28, 2018

Roco 43012 - VT 11.5 "IC Suedwind"


The VT11.5, after 1969 known as class 601, is a popular staple on many model railroads because it is the epitome of luxury German TEE service between major European cities along the Rhine valley. By the early seventies, TEE service transitioned to locomotive-hauled trains and the older diesel units were used in the new InterCity service, usually with a metal shield covering the TEE logo.

Many modelers don't like that period of these famous units, because it reflects the decline of the class towards the end of its life. It also isn't quite as cool as the remotored units equipped with gas turbines as the prime mover which became class 602 for improved acceleration in InterCity service. Towards the end of the 1970's and into the 80's, the trains were used in charter service for a while.

As a consequence there are lots of models of the VT11.5 accurate for its TEE heydays in the 1950's and 60's, several recent models of class 602 with prominent and rather ugly gas turbine air intake hoods, but almost no models of class 601 in InterCity service, which happens to be the prototype I'm interested in.

Thus, when the opportunity presented itself recently, I couldn't resist. A Roco 43012, with the car extension set 43015, found its way to me.


This model is DC analog with the big old round motor Roco is notorious for. It will take some work to bring it up to standard. The first step is replacing the motor and adding the appropriate ESU Loksound V4.0 decoder.


All lights will need to be converted from bulbs and soffit lamps to LED. I'm also planning to add cab interior and cab lighting, as well as proper directional tail illumination. Should be a fun exercise. For now a couple hardware orders have been made.


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