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FAQ Basics

What is the difference between direct and alternating current?

For the 3-wire alternating current system (AC) applies: the power for the motor is taken along the run by a grinder via contacts that lie in the middle of the track. The current feeds the motor and is then discharged through the wheels to the track. In the 2-wire direct current system (DC), however, the power is taken by the wheels on one side of the track to the locomotive and discharged through the other side of the track.

Locomotives are not interchangeable between these systems. For waggons it is sufficient to change their wheels.

What is the difference between the H0 product lines Classic, Expert and Hobby?


  ► highest precision for passionate collectors and enthusiasts


► sophisticated models for discerning model railroaders


sturdy technology and variety of active model railroaders

What do the different eras mean?

Era I
1835 – 1925
First railways were built and numerous state and private railways founded.

Era II
1925 – 1945
Founding of large state railway companies such as DRG, BBÖ or SBB. Regulations were synchronised and standards
of construction established. First electric operation.

1945 – 1970
Reconstuction and recovery from war damage to the railways. Steam locos began to be replaced by diesel and electric locos. Construction of passenger coaches and goods trucks in cooperation with other state railways.

Era IV
1970 – 1990
End of steam operation. Undoduction of computeroriented classifi ations on locos and other vehicles.
Pre-war equipment taken out of service.

Era V
1990 – 2007
Beginning of the ICE age. Fusion of DB and DR. Introduction of “traffi c red”. Reorganisation of the railway into business divisions. Modern locos and motor coaches taken into service.

Era VI
2007 – heute
Besides traditional railroad companies, many private railroad transit companies also travel existing railroad networks in national and international transport with their own vehicles. Introducing the 13-digit UIC numbering system.

Railway administration and their abbreviations:

  • CSD | CD Chechoslovakian Railways
  • CFL Luxembourg State Railway
  • CFR Romanian State Railway
  • DB German Federal Railway, Deutsche Bahn
  • DB AG German Federal Railway Inc., Deutsche Bahn Aktiengesellschaft
  • DR German Imperial Railway, Deutsche Reichsbahn
  • DRG German Imperial Railway, Deutsche Reichsbahn Gesellschaft
  • DSB Danish State Railway
  • FS Italian State Railway
  • KSStEB Royal Saxon State Railway
  • SStEB Saxon State Railway
  • MAV Hungarian State Railway
  • NS Dutch State Railway
  • NSB Norwegian State Railway
  • ÖBB Austrian Federal Railway
  • PKP Polish State Railway
  • RENFE Spanish State Railway
  • SBB Swiss Federal Railway
  • SJ Swedish Federal Railway
  • SNCF French State Railway
  • SNCB Belgian State Railway
  • Slovakian State Railway
  • RZD Russian State Railway

Overview of selected private railroad companies and their abbreviation:

  • ACTS Afzet-Container-Transport-Service NL
  • Alpha Trains Leasinggesellschaft für Schienenfahrzeuge
  • BEHALA Berliner Hafen-und Lagerhausgesellschaft mbH
  • BLS Bern Lötschberg Simplon Bahn
  • Captrain privates Eisenbahnunternehmen Berlin
  • CFL Cargo luxemburgisches, internationales Unternehmen
  • CHTS Container Terminal Halle Saale GmbH
  • Crossrail Schweizer Eisenbahnverkehrsunternehmen
  • CTL Cargo Trans Logistik AG
  • EGP Eisenbahngesellschaft Potsdam
  • EH Eisenbahn und Häfen GmbH
  • ENERCON Windkraftanlagen-Bau
  • ERS Railways privates Eisenbahnunternehmen der Maersk-Line
  • GKB Graz Köflacher Bahn
  • green cargo Schwedisches Eisenbahnunternehmen
  • HECTORRAIL Schwedisches Eisenbahnunternehmen
  • HGK Hafen und Güterverkehr Köln AG
  • HLG Holz-Logistik &T Güterbahn
  • HUSA Husa Transportation Deutschland Duisburg
  • HVLE Havelländische Eisenbahn AG
  • HWB Hochwaldbahn Servicegesellschaft mbH
  • INFRA SBB Infrastruktur
  • INFRALEUNA Eisenbahntransportsparte der INFRALEUNA
  • ITL Import Transport Logistik
  • Lokomotion privates Eisenbahnunternehmen München
  • Lotos privates, polnisches Eisenbahnunternehmen
  • LTE Logistik- und Transport GmbH
  • MGW MGM Service Instandhaltung von Schienenfahrzeugen
  • MKB Mindener Kreisbahnen GmbH
  • MRCE Mitsui Rail Capital Europe B.V.
  • MWB Mittelweserbahn
  • NE Neusser Eisenbahn
  • NEUBAUER / RAN privates Eisenbahnunternehmen Karlsruhe (Railservice Alexander Neubauer GmbH)
  • NOB Nord-Ostsee-Bahn GmbH
  • NWB NordWestBahn
  • OHE Osthannoversche Eisenbahn
  • On Rail private Wagon-Vermietgesellschaft Mettmann
  • ORV private Wagon-Vermietgesellschaft Moers
  • PEG Prignitzer Eisenbahn GmbH
  • RAG Ruhrkohle AG
  • RAN / NEUBAUER privates Eisenbahnunternehmen Karlsruhe (Railservice Alexander Neubauer GmbH)
  • RTC Rail Traction Company
  • RTS Rail Transport Service
  • STLB Steiermärkische Landesbahnen
  • Structon privates, niederländisches Eisenbahnunternehmen
  • UBB Usedomer Bäderbahn
  • Veolia Nahverkehrsanbieter
  • VPS Verkehrsbetriebe Peine-Salzgitter
  • Wiebe Gleisbauunternehmen
  • WLB Wiener Lokalbahnen AG
  • WLE Westfälische Landes-Eisenbahn

US railraod companies and their abbreviation:

  • B&O Baltimore & Ohio
  • CN Canadian National
  • D&RGW Denver & Rio Grande Western
  • NYC New York Central
  • PRR Rennsylvania Railroad
  • RDG Reading Lines
  • SF Santa Fe Railroad
  • SR Southern Railways
  • SP Southern Pacific
  • UP Union Pacific
  • WP&YR White Pass & Yukon Route