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Hobbytrain Plasser and Theurer Duomatic 07 32 N Gauge Track Tester 23500D

14 July 2011

Richard Dockerill puts the Hobbytrain Plasser and Theurer Duomatic 07 32 N Gauge Track Tester 23500D through its paces.

British Railway Modelling magazine was privileged to have the opportunity to review an intriguing model from Hobbytrain. Marketed as the LEMKE Collection, one will realise this track tamper is of Continental origin and is to the Continental scale of 1:160 as opposed to the British Outline Scale of 1:148.

Hobbytrain Plasser and Theurer Duomatic 07 32 N Gauge Track Tester 23500D
Hobbytrain Plasser and Theurer Duomatic 07 32 N Gauge Track Tester 23500D

Nevertheless due to the varying sizes of the prototypes the variation in scale is barely discernable of this stand alone model making this Track Tamper extremely suitable for British Outline modellers in N Gauge.

Plasser Theurer have become a byword for examples of online plant equipment for maintaining the permanent way and examples are an everyday sight espe4cially at weekend engineering possessions, maintaining and repairing the track.

Many years ago when delivering ready mixed concrete from my depot at Acton one of our site deliveries was to Plasser Theurer at these premises at West Ealing adjacent to the Great Western main line. It was fascinating to observe the varying items of plant under construction or repair as I delivered concrete for an extension of their workshops.

Several years ago a kit for a track tamper was available in either kit form or built ready-to-run from N-Thusiast Resprays.

Hobbytrain Plasser and Theurer Duomatic 07 32 N Gauge Track Tester 23500D

The final version utilized a Tomix tram chassis for propulsion as far as I am aware it is no longer available in RTR form. It was developed in conjunction with Taylor Plastic Models who may possibly be able to supply in kit form. It is however not a kit for a novice builder. Thus making the new LEMKE Model an extremely competitively priced and attractive option.  Another advantage on removing the model from the packaging is the fact that the LEMKE model is another variant of tamper to the previously mentioned kit version should any of the BRM readership have one of these already in their possession.

First impressions are extremely favourable as one would expect. The livery is in the familiar yellow livery. The only negative to this is the DB insignia underneath the cab windows, however for the more fastidious it should not be too much of a problem to remove and replace with a suitable BR Arrows of indecision decal from Fox Transfers. Included in the model is a pack of detailing parts to be added by the purchaser if they so wish. These comprise of hoses for the tamping equipment separately moulded air horns and bodyside access ladder. The positioning of these items is easily ascertained by referring to the comprehensive instructions and diagrams even though the text is in German. Such was the quality of these items they were easily attached to the model.

Hobbytrain Plasser and Theurer Duomatic 07 32 N Gauge Track Tester 23500D

The tamping gear is extremely well moulded and detailed. The model is powered by a cam motor concealed in the main part of the body and both bogies are powered via a spring drive to gear towers above each bogie. Thence via a gear track to provide drive to all axles of the model. Whilst one end of the drive mechanism is concealed within the main body moulding drive is transmitted to the other bogie via a Cardan shaft above the A Frame at the base of the tamping gear. Pick ups between the bogie at the far end and the motor are cleverly concealed within the A Frame moulding.

Performance of the model on analogue using a Gaugemaster controller was superb. Of special note was the ability of the model to crawl along at a snail’s pace. Top speed was not excessive no doubt geared to suit the models excellent slow speed performance with the model being silky smooth throughout even through Peco double slips.

To conclude this is a superb model of these distinctive machines with performance to match its appearance. It is sure to appeal to many. Two versions are available in RTR form. One is straightforward analogue with a second version in RTR form fitted with DCC. Another bonus for users of DCC removing the hassle of attempting to fit a chip to this model.

British Railway Modelling would like to extend its thanks to Total N Gauge and British Railway Modelling Reader Geoff Butler for the loan of this superb new model, for the opportunity to review this item. 

LKH 23500 Plasser & Theurer Tamper £125.00
LKH 23500D Plasser & Theurer Tamper DCC fitted. £165.00

Richard Dockerill

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