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Installing the Piko "Kreisellok" Roundabout Locomotive

Image of DR RENE WILFER.DR RENÉ WILFER, President of PIKO, tells us about a recent installation on a Sonneberg roundabout...


It was a long and difficult process to provide the PIKO roundabout with a new appearance. The mayor of Sonneberg, Dr. René F. Wilfer of PIKO and the goldsmith and artist Wolfgang Otterpohl from Halle in Westfahlen, have discussed the various options at many PIKO events over the years.

In the end, it was the idea of Bernd Pöschl (the new product manager for the G Scale Department at PIKO) that was chosen. Dr. Wilfer presented the idea at the 2015 PIKO Christmas party, and the idea was well received.

locomotive on the low-loader.
The locomotive arrives on the low-loader.

PIKO is proud of their tradition in Sonneberg, which dates back to the year 1956. On the one hand, you can look back on a 67-year tradition of PIKO and on the other hand to a 25-year company anniversary of the "new" PIKO Spielwaren GmbH in Sonneberg on 1 May 2017.

Almost twenty-five years exactly the day, the PIKO Roundabout Locomotive is installed.

Sonneberg is of great importance to PIKO not only because the headquarters of the company are in the town, but also because the town has set up their own tributes to the company; there is a PIKO square in the city and a roundabout known as the "PIKO Roundabout". PIKO pays tribute to Dr. Voigt and in Memoriam Mrs. Sybille Abel (recently deceased Mayoress of Sonneberg). Thanks and appreciation to them.

locomotive is carefully winched up.
The locomotive is carefully winched into place onto the prepared track and gravel-bed.

The plan for the roundabout was this; an almost 7m long and 3.5m high V23 diesel locomotive was to be installed. It was manufactured by the locomotive manufacturer LKM in Potsdam-Babelsberg in 1972, and was converted as a factory and marshalling locomotive by the VEB Getreidewirtschaft Gotha. It worked in Bad Langensalza for many years. Until the end of the nineties, the locomotive was in daily operation under the new owner, the Heyl-Mühlen GmbH & Co. KG in Bad Langensalza. After this, the locomotive was at the IG Hirzbergbahn.

After intensive discussions with the IG Hirzbergbahn in Gotha, over a period of more than six months, the reprocessing and repair of the locomotive took place. The locomotive was dismantled, sandblasted, repainted, sealed and reassembled.

The Kreisellok in situ.
The Kreisellok in situ.

With a weight of more than fourteen tons and a wheel diameter of exactly one metre, the transfer of the locomotive from Gotha to Sonneberg and the procedure of the installation was a great challenge to all parties involved. This has been successfully mastered by an experienced team from the Henneberger heavy transport company. The gravel came with the support of the Hartsteinwerk Hüttengrund quarry in Sonneberg, the provision of the track supported the Erfurter civil engineering company and the Thüringer railway.

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Dr Wilfer on the footplate.
Dr Wilfer gets up on the footplate.

PIKO's positive economic background has also contributed to it being the number three company in the continental European model railway market. At the end of May, PIKO was up 10% above the previous year's sales. In addition to a whole series of attractive innovations, which PIKO 2017 has already handed over to specialist dealers in Germany and abroad, the stable supply of goods to the market also plays an important role in this positive development. Over the last few years, PIKO has developed into a reliable partner of the model railway traders and the consumers, which is rewarded by the market.

The video above shows the transformation from grassy roundabout to locomotive monument!

The model of the PIKO Kreisellok is now available in the two different scales, HO and TT, will hopefully be a sight on many model railway systems worldwide. In addition to this event, we celebrated our 10th "Open Day" on 17 June, where many thousands of PIKO fans visited us in Sonneberg.

PIKO Kreisel-Lok V23 Diesel Locomotive.
PIKO Kreisel-Lok V23 Diesel Locomotive.

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