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Thursday, November 6, 2014

#476 KLEINBAHN – MERCEDES 250 and STEYR 1490 (Around 1980)

I am not interested in train models, I don’t want to go into that world, because it is a very broad and extensive one, and it is also a very expensive hobby. Car models in H0 scale are, however, more interesting. These are often used to decorate train dioramas, which we all know, can be quite realistic.

Kleinbahn is an Austrian train model manufacturers. The company takes its name from Erich Klein, the engineer who grounded the company back in 1946. Erich Klein had its first workshop in Vienna. Their first products were boats and planes made of wood, but the trains arrived also very early: 1947.

Until 1952, the company carried the name Gebrüder Klein OHG (Klein Bros.). The first workshop in Währinger Gürtel became too small after a few years, so they had to look for new facilities to produce their models. The final location they chose was Atzgersdorf, in the outskirts of the Austrian capital in 1955.

Their products were oriented for the local market, since they produced mostly models from the Austrian Railways (ÖBB), which were very rarely reproduced by other German or international manufacturers. The company was so successful, that the name Kleinbahn is currently in Austria a standard name for electric train models in H0 scale.

Something remarkable about this models is that they have no distributor. They are only available in their own shops or by amil order. Some years ago there were shops in the most important cities of Austria and Südtirol, but currently there are only 6 (3 in Vienna, Salzburg, Linz and Klagenfurt), and an online-shop.

In 1979, the company splitted in two companies, although they remained very close to each other, even sharing their facilities from 1984 to 2008.

Erich Klein controlled the company „Kleinbahn mechanische Werkstätte – Spielwarenerzeugung Ing. Erich Klein“, that was focused in less detailed, cheaper products. Today the company is controlled by his daughter. The toys shown in this entry are a product of this company.

Oskar Klein (Sr.) controlled „Klein Modellbahn GesmbH.“, that focused in higher quality, and highly detailed products, including the old assortment. In 1987 the company passed to Oskar Klein Jr. after the decease of his father. This company had to close in 2008 and their products were available until 2010 approximately.

It is also interesting to note that the truck is a Steyr, an Austrian truck, which has probably not been reporduced by many toy manufacturers. If I am not mistaken, the truck was produced from 1978 on, and it is now a cult-model in many east European countries.

Each model was available in different colours and color combinations.

  • Name: MERCEDES 250 and STEYR 1490
  • Scale: 1:87
  • Year: Around 1980
  • Company: Kleinbahn (Austria)
  • Size: approx. 4 cm (car) or 9 cm (truck)

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