The beginning

A long time ago…

Even as a little boy, I was interested in trains as toys. My first railway was a clockwork train consisting of a heavy locomotive made of cast metal with a powerful winding motor and 3 or 4 passenger cars, I think in gauge “0”. My father equipped the locomotive with battery lighting. A track oval made of tin rails with 2 points belonged to the layout. Of course, I was not unaware that there were already electric model railways. Something like that was my dream, but probably an unrealisable one at first for reasons of cost. – One Christmas, around 1952, the time had come. The company TRIX Express had launched a battery railway in approximate scale 1:90 in gauge “H0” = ½ “0” as a beginner’s set, consisting of 1 tank locomotive with 3 tipper trucks, which was operated on the TRIX Express three-wire track. In March 1953 I had my 10th birthday and then got my first “fully-fledged” locomotive for 14 V – DC operation with control transformer, which could be operated on the existing track material. The decisive advantage over other track systems was that two independent circuits could be set up on the 3-conductor track, i.e. my battery railway and the new “full railway” could be controlled simultaneously on one-and-the-same track independently of each other. The new locomotive cost 35 DM at that time, the control transformer another 35 DM. On my birthday, my favourite uncle extended the layout with 2 switches for 14 DM each and a larger number of new rails. My uncle was so enthusiastic that he later became a model railway enthusiast as well. – My layout grew in the following years on a plywood board of 1.50 x 2.00 m according to the possibilities of my pocket money. The cheapest goods wagon could be bought for the equivalent of a booklet of discount stamps from the grocery shop, for 1.50 DM. So I liked to go shopping for my mother because I was allowed to keep the discount stamps. At last there were several points on the layout and even an electric double crossing point and some electrically operated shaped signals with train control. – When I turned 16, electric model railways in 1:160 scale = gauge “N” were already on the market. On the same size layout you could fit twice as many tracks and models in this N-size as in “H0”, because the N-models were only half the size. I decided to change gauges and from then on collected only N models until today, but never got the chance to build a new layout to operate. I also had to give up my beloved 3-conductor track system in favour of the two-conductor system. For the time being, my hobby was collecting models. As time went by, more and more model building companies dedicated themselves to building N-train models with the same operating system, so that the range of models steadily increased and could be used on the N-tracks of all companies equally.

Childhood dream

After my engineering studies, I joined the railway service at the Deutsche Bundesbahn (DB) in 1967 in the field of signalling and telecommunications and remained loyal to DB until my retirement in September 2007. In 1985, DB celebrated the 150th anniversary of the railway in Germany with a large anniversary exhibition in Bochum-Dahlhausen. This was in the neighbourhood of my hometown and my place of residence, Essen, and I also worked there for my employer DB as a guide in the field of telecommunications for 2 weeks. I bought the large exhibition catalogue and resolved to acquire the “N” scale locomotives shown at the exhibition successively as far as possible. After more than 40 years of collecting, the “PPPR” fleet now consists of more than 85 traction units and more than 300 wagons of all kinds – In spring 2014, I started to set up the PPPR in the former cowshed of an almost 100-year-old farm at Parrenmäki in Liperi-Leppälahti. The exhibition space is about 7 x 8 m. So far, about 100 m of track with about 80 points have been installed, wired with about 2000 m of wire. The layout is constantly under construction and is being expanded on a model basis. At the beginning of 2015, 8 circuits are ready for operation, unless unexpected technical problems occur. There are currently 2 passenger train lines running in opposite directions, 2 goods train lines running in opposite directions, 1 single-track ferry line, 1 single-track sand railway, 1 single-track rack railway line and a single-track circular line called “Liechtensteinbahn”. – The landscaping is still in the early stages. The layout is enlivened by cardboard models of buildings in scales of 1:150 to 1:200 (cf. scale “N” = 1:160), including Eltz Castle, Hohenzollern Castle Sigmaringen and Henrichenburg Ship’s Hoist in Germany, Liechtenstein Castle, Loire Castle Chambord in France and Turku Castle in Finland. In each case, the model templates were bought locally (with the exception of Liechtenstein Castle) and built either by my father (d. 1985) or by me and my wife. The airship LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin on a scale of 1:200 illustrates the size of the airships from the 1920-30s in comparison with the railway or with the buildings. Attention should also be paid to the vehicle models located in the landscape as well as human and animal figures in N scale, although this requires good eyes or a magnifying glass.

My ambition

is to show the development of the railway (in Germany) from the beginning in 1835 to the present day, starting with the first train in Germany from Nuremberg to Führt with the British-built locomotive “Adler” up to today’s high-speed train “ICE”. Also on display are exceptional one-offs from railway development, e.g. the “Schienenzeppelin” or the “Schienen-Strassenbus”, which ran on the road as well as on the track. Locomotives and traction units of all traction types (steam / diesel / electric) from all eras are exhibited – and, if operational, demonstrated. The same applies to passenger and freight wagons. There will also be some DB construction vehicles as well as some special vehicles such as crane wagons, a tunnel rescue train set, transformer transport wagons, liquid iron torpedo wagons, coke mould wagons, slag wagons etc.. Finally, the so-called road rollers should be mentioned, with which goods wagons can be transported on the road. The oldest models are from the 1960s.

The “PPPR” is probably the largest private N-scale 1:160 model railway in Finland at the moment and can be visited at any time by telephone arrangement, although during the winter months it cannot be guaranteed to be in working order.

Tervetuloa! Welcome!


On the naming:

The property on which the “railway stable” is located is registered under the name “Parren Parooni”, loosely translated as “Baron of Rafter”.

About the mode of operation:

The layout is operated in analogue mode. Due to the impossibility of equipping most of the older models with digital decoders, as well as for reasons of cost, a conversion to digital operation is waived.