Enjoying the Billerbahn

Attention: Field railroad crossing!

This site is for all those who love their old Billerbahn and especially for those who enjoy taking it out of the boxes, laying tracks, having trains run and maybe even working some pieces over...

It is not meant as a documentation about the toys of the German manufacturer Hans Biller, because Torsten Schirdewahn has already done this in an excellent way on billerbahn.de  (which is also available in English). It is simply an attempt to share with you the fun my collection gives me, and maybe to hand on one or another idea.
I still know the Billerbahn from my childhood days. My father still guards his treasure from when he was a child: Two engines 013, five little tipper lorries and a small lorry loaded with barrels together with tracks and some other items, and all this even in the - rather battered - original cardbord boxes. When he recieved them, the Billerbahn was just 1 or 2 years old. Sometimes he took his things out of the treasue box and let me play with them.
Well - I inherited his Maerklin trainset dating from the same time, but even as I collect the Billerbahn now, he won't give his to me.
My collection is focussed on the locos and cars made exclusively from tinplate - which, according to my philosophy, includes the battery-powered locos 1013 with their plastic roofs. And I also won't sell or scrap each plastic steam loco 550/1550 I can get my hands on.
As I have had some feedback from international visitors (thank you, Colin and Lew!), I have translated my sites in English.

The subdirectories:

Recent updates of my Billerbahn sites
Finding out the age of your Billerbahn loco; short history of the Billerbahn
Information on Biller's production methods and on colour variations
A characteristic Billerbahn item: The loco shed
The patented housing of the Biller diesel loco
Some pictures from my collection
Some thoughts about the pieces in the collection which are not so shiny and new...
Here are some information about loco no. 013's prototype!
This way to the Billerbahn handicraft corner!
The Biller excavators
The Biller helicopters
Here, you will find the pictures of the Biller Creek Lumber Co: An idea to a logging railroad oriented on real prototypes and totally without green diesel locos No 013 or tipper lorries!
The Billerbahn as a parc railway
A little movie for download: Billerbahn out of the loco engineer's view
The Billerbahn layout of Mr Hans-Günter Papirnik
The Billerbahn layout of MrPeter Jacques
My own Billerbahn layout: Construction and exhibitions
Pictures of my layout, taken by Max Stahel
Frequently asked questions about the Billerbahn
Back to the German site
The "Billerbahn" Bible: Torsten Schirdewahn's website with information about the enterprise Hans Biller Patentspielwaren, everything about the Billerbahn and about other toys made by Biller
Nice website of a Swedish collector named Staffan Sendel (in English) honouring his old Billerbahn from 1957
A remark in my own case: According to valid laws you can be held responsible for the contents of websites not made and administrated by yourself when linking these sites from your own sites. Therefore I am dissociating myself from the contents of all websites linked from my sites at arcor.de or at fortunecity.de which  are not made or administrated by myself.

What is a "field railway"?

I created the word "field railway" as translation for the German word "Feldbahn". "Feld" is the German equivalent to "field" and names, depending on the context it is used in, an acre, a field for sports and games or a battlefield. The correct translation of "Feldbahn" would be "battlefield railway".
These little railways are small narrow gauge industrial railways running on prefabricated sections of track. These track sections were laid without much support whereever the transport capacity of these little trains was needed, and they were removed and employed in another place when the need was fulfilled.
Field railways became popular in the second half of the 19th century and found agricultural as well as industrial use and were often employed on large construction sites, too. On the static fronts of World War 1 they bore the brunt of supply efforts. Already before the war, locos, lorries and track were produced to Army standards, and practically all armies had railroad engineer formations.
And that is where the name "field railways" or "Feldbahnen" comes from.
Even in World War 2 field railways saw extensive use whenever fronts became static. After WW 2, field railways could hardly compete against lorries which were more flexible to employ. Today active field railways can only be found at the extraction of peat in fens where the soil will not support the weight of a lorry.


It is not forbidden to make an entry into my  Guest Book  !
Your remarks, ideas, or critics are explicitely desired! Just click here:

Or send me a mail: thdressel@yahoo.de!

As my guest book is only available in German, here are some explanations:
To make an entry, just klick "Eintragen". You can just fill in your name in the form that pops up then, the rest is optional. Please enter your comment under "Kommentar".
If you want to, you can also enter your e-mail-adress, the title of your homepage under "Eigene Homepage" and its url under "URL der Homepage". Then klick "Eintragen" again, and it's done!

( Last Update: May 05, 12)