AM-Trackers of Switzerland
Basel region (northwest Switzerland)
The AM-Trackers carry the torch for American-prototype 3-rail O gauge modeling in Europe. As their Blue Comet application notes, “We are a group of enthusiastic model railroaders from the Basel region in the northwest of Switzerland, who are all members of the TCA. We have built up a 47’ x 21’ modular 0 gauge layout, which we are continually enlarging. Recent additions have included a rebuilt yard with access from both sides, an engine shed with a turntable, and a new control panel that looks like a piano.”
The Am-Trackers undertake a variety of activities to promote the American-prototype 0 gauge hobby to the public. In recent years, their modular layout has traveled to conventions and exhibits throughout Switzerland and also in Germany; frequently, they are the only exhibitors representing American railroading.
An annual highlight is a public event at the Goggel Hill Railroad (GHRR) in Pratteln, Switzerland. The GHRR is the private garden railway of Am-Trackers member Fredi Zeller and features outdoor scenery that includes a spectacular American-style wooden trestle. In 2012, an outdoor layout with a track length of 1300 feet is planned for the 15th convention of the American Railroad Fans in Adliswil, Switzerland. Full-length trains, including a 135-car coal train, will run on this layout.
A favorite event in recent years was the club’s participation at the York TCA Meet in October 2011, where the layout was displayed for over 10,000 TCA members. Rather than run their usual American equipment, the AM-Trackers established contacts with friends that had rolling stock from Swiss and European manufacturers. “We were astonished; to get a lot of rolling stock of almost all manufacturers of Switzerland, Germany, France, England, and Italy, including many rarities.”