Gauge: H0 Era: II
Prototype: Propeller-driven Kruckenberg Rail
Zeppelin. The unit looks as it did in 1931 on the German
State Railroad Company (DRG).
Model: The unit has an
electromagnetic (non-digital) reversing unit and will not
operate properly on digital Märklin layouts. The unit
has two motors; one motor drives the front two axles and a
separate motor drives the propeller. The unit has built-in dual headlights. Vehicle length
approximately 28.5 cm / 11-1/4".
- Propeller speed increases as
voltage to the unit is increased.
Airplane Technology on Rails. In the Twenties of the
previous century, aeronautical engineer Franz Kruckenberg,
born in Uetersen, Germany in 1882, had the vision of fast
railroad passenger service with propeller-driven railroad
cars. The plans developed by him were based on lightweight
airplane technology and reached their peak on June 21, 1931
in a triumphant record run by his streamlined Rail Zeppelin.
It reached 233 km/h / 146 mph, a speed record for powered
railroad cars that stood for 23 years. The principle of
propeller-driven railroad cars proved to be less than
ideally suited during test runs. Yet, Kruckenberg laid the
foundation for modern, lightweight high speed rail cars with
the Rail Zeppelin and axle-powered successor designs
developed by him. The Rail Zeppelin was and still remains a
legend and synonym for the rapid progress in railroad
technology that has reached its peak in the present with the
current high speed powered rail car train technology.