Sign my

DR class BR 52 19-20

BR 52 2006

In July 2022 I won an auction on eBay and for just over €40 I had this model of BR 52 with condensing tender in the house. As advertised is was a non-runner so there was work to do. I also wanted to add some detail to this aging model.

BR 52 2005 Piko as received straight from the eBay shipment


Why did I buy it in the first place? Well, I bought a book on German war locomotives when I was sixteen and I have been interested in the subject ever since. What aroused my special interest further was a photo from WWII:

Deutsche Reichsbahn 52 1970 leaving Rotterdam DP at the rear of a military transport, 5 September 1944.
Photo J.J. Overwater, ©NVBS Collection

On 5 September 1944 the general belief that the allied forces were close and the liberation was a matter of days if not hours electrified the population of Rotterdam. People were celebrating in the streets and the German troops scrambled to move out as much precious equipment as possible. The photo above was secretly shot from a house on that fateful day. It is the most positive proof that a condensing BR52 ever visited Rotterdam. Remarkable is that this locomotive carries smoke deflectors as it was originally built without. To return to the story of 5 September: the rumours were wrong. The Germans were quick to regain control. Although allied forces crossed the Dutch border in the very south of the country on 12 September they failed to capture the Rhine bridge near Arnhem and the offensive stalled in the autumn and winter. The war was to last another eight months for the Dutch territories above the Rhine.

Status of the project

  • The model has been restored to running order as of 11 August 2022
  • I contacted Krüger Modellbau for quote on their ventilator detail set. A good price has been agreed upon and it is on its way to the Netherlands.

Further plans

Well, it runs. Considering the age of the model it runs decently but it sounds very much like the Trabant cars produced around the same time in the GDR. I have a lot of plans. I am not sure if they will materialise but this is the wish list:

  • Installing a new coreless motor
  • Improving the drive while at the same time reducing the gear ratio. The loco now has a top speed of about 150 km/h, which is 2.5 times the prototype's top speed.
  • Turning the wheels to RP25 norm and blackening them
  • A spokeless front running axle
  • Adding some brass detail parts, although I have no idea if there are any on the market
  • New buffers to replace the almost parodical rubber thingies.
  • LED head and rear lights
  • Weathering to a war neglected condition

But that is for a later date