Egger-bahn

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Egger-bahn Diesel locomotive

Egger-Bahn was a German model railway manufacturer. The company produced the first H0e (HO (1:87) scale narrow gauge rolling stock using N gauge track) models, and established HOe as a viable model railway standard. The firm was founded in 1963 by three brothers. One of them, a performer, soon left the firm. Theodor Egger, technician, and Jonathan Egger, salesman, continued.[1] The models first appeared at the 1963 Nurenberg Toy Fair.

The scale/gauge combination represented 600–750 mm gauge lines, but could reasonably depict several similar narrow gauge sizes. 009 is a similar concept, used mainly for modelling UK-based prototypes, again on N gauge track, but to the OO scale of 4 mm to 1 ft (1:76.2). Egger was the first to produce H0e ready-to-run models, and they were a great success. In 1964 the range was expanded, including a steam locomotive. Models from Egger-Bahn were often used in presentation lay-outs. For instance Faller used them in their magazine, because Faller produced models more in a scale of 1:100 than 1:87. The small Egger_bahn models suited it very well. In the USA Egger-Bahn was marketed by AHM (as H0n30 scale) together with Roco Peetzy models under the name of "Minitrains".

In order to cope with the market demands Egger had to produce more models. Besides, technical improvements, as Magna-Kraft, meant that models and moulds had to be reworked very often. Furthermore it was decided to simplify the models in order to cope with the demands. Customers respond badly to this change and sales went down. The company had to find new financial resources. These were found with Tristan movie company (Constantin movie company) that produced the Old Shatterhand movies. Tristan was forced to produce more USA-style models suiting the Winnetou scene. This was not successful. In the end the firm was broken up in 1967 and Jouef later acquired the toolings and produced the models. Jouef ended production in the early seventies. In 1983 the old moulds were discovered in an old bunker. Jouef retried to market these models under the name of Egger-Bahn in grey boxes. As sales were mostly directed inside France, the market was not large enough and production finished in the early nineties. The company name registration was not renewed and now is possessed by private owners including and Theodor Egger.

Apart from the narrow-gauge trains, Egger-Bahn produced a boat in N-scale. It was meant to become a mechanical moving boat in real water. This was the great love of Mr Theodor. He only produced one Mississippi-styled boat. Egger also started the production of slotcars with the name of Egger-Silberpfeil. These models can also be found with Jouef. The Egger-models ran with a Jouef motor. The Egger-Lectron,[2] a system for modular electronic experimentation, consisting of elements with magnetic links, has been a quite successful product. It was licensed by Braun and Raytheon, and later spun off in an independent company Lectron GmbH. The Lectron system is still in production today.

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