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Welcome: If you have not already read the introduction to Module 17 you can read it now by introduction by clicking here.


Piko may have been something of a late entrant into the Large-Scale Model Railway sector but have certainly made up for it by releasing a prodigious amount of rolling stock to the marketplace including an impressive range of passenger cars based on both European and USA prototypes.  Their ever-expanding model range incorporate the latest technology and a fair amount of innovation to challenge LGB's dominance.


Piko are equally reticent as other manufacturers about the actual scale they make their "G-Scale" products to although the widespread consensus is that it is in the ballpark of 1:27 which allows them to use the same ratio for narrow gauge and standard gauge production. This compromise means that their large-scale items appear slightly smaller then the equivalent LGB or Bachmann product for example and it is very much a question of your personal view, from an aestheticviewpoint, as to whether one can successfully or is prepared to "mix and match" stock from different companies on your layout. Some enthusiasts say they look a bit "toy" like but each to his own.

Another minor bugbear on my part is that despite the clean detail and decorative finish on their products the firm still supply the cars with plastic wheels - in fact even some of the motion gear on their locomotives is plastic as opposed to metal (no doubt to keep costs down like LGB). When one is used to Bachmann supplying all their cars pre-fitted with metal wheels it is annoying (and expensive) to have to replace the plastic variety with heavier metal ones. I would urge you to do so in order to improve their running characteristics as soon as you are able.



Once again, as part of their concerted offensive on the US large scale train market, Piko have come up with a range of Old Time American Wood Passenger Cars in a wide variety of railroad company liveries. They are slightly shorter than the comparable LGB or Bachmann coaches we are accustomed to but of  broadly  similar dimensions to the former and of pretty good quality all round (apart from the plastic wheels!).

I used to have a copy of a very interesting comparion of the dimensions and appearance of LGB and Piko D&RGW cars (on MyLargeScale site I believe - but this does not seem to be working anymore).

Technical Specification:

All the above cars have a similar specification apart from the Drover's Cabooses as shown below:


      Ball bearing wheels)

  • Sliding baggage doors (End doors do not operate)

  • Factory-applied brake wheel, hand rails, brake cylinder, roof smoke jack, and piping

  • Heavy duty, durable plastic wheels for long term use in all environments

  • Hook and loop type couplers

  • Crisp and clean lettering and logo designs

  • Created with incredibly tough weather-resistant materials

  • Minimum recommended radius: 600mm / 23.6”

  • Length: 365mm / 14.4”

  • Made in Germany


Drovers Caboose:

  • Realistically moulded on wood board with grain pattern

  • Working scale-size LED-lighted marker lamps with red and green lenses

  • Nicely detailed interiors with sliding side baggage doors

  • Factory-applied ladders, roof-walks with metal railings, brake wheel, hand rails, brake cylinder,

       roof smoke jack, and piping

  • Heavy duty metal wheelsets and electrical pickup wipers

  • Ready for interior lighting (Use a PIKO #36136 lighting kit with or without #36167 Ball Bearing Wheels)

  • Hook and loop type couplers

  • Crisp and clean lettering and logo designs

  • Created with incredibly tough weather-resistant materials

  • Minimum recommended radius: 600mm / 23.6”

  • Length: 365mm / 14.4”

  • Made in Germany


Piko's involvement in the manufacture of Passenger Cars closely mirrors the pattern adopted by LGB (even

down to product code notation) and they also make a fair showing in the European Coach sphere (after a slow

start admittedly)  as well as the obligatory series of Jackson Sharp type cars aimed at the American market.

As one might expect the former are particularly popular with continental modellers although the complete lack

of any British outline models remains something of a disappointment after the company's 70 years of trading

history. It is odd that both LGB and Piko virtually ignore the potential market across the channel but guess they

must know what they are doing.

Piko appear to limit production runs and tend to phase out older coaches when introducing new cars. This

"rationalisation" is not always evident until stocks are exhausted so if you desire to purchase a particular model

don't leave it too late!

Deutsche Bahn and DR reproduction covering Eras IV and V feature prominently and there are usually enough

examples to make up a full passenger train (or consist). We will start with the Deutsche Bahn Rebuilt 3 axle

(6 wheeled - otherwise the ride might be a mite rough) introduced to meet a serious deficit of rolling stock.










These were regional railway compartment coaches retrofitted from 1950 onwards to make a new series of

passenger cars for the nascent Deutsche Bahn and described as Umbauwagen (rebuilt cars). The cars

consisted of second class cars, first and second class cars and second class cars with luggage compartments.

Apparently they used to be paired up for for use on secondary railway lines until they were phased out in the

mid-1980's. Considering that some of the coaches were already 30 years old when they were converted this is

no mean achievement.

Deutsche Bahn Rebuilt Coaches  

37605 Bahnbaugruppe V Umbau Car.jpg
37606 Bahnbaugruppe V Umbau Car.jpg
37610 Piko Umbau Work Train Car Ocean Blue Era IV

This video shows the Piko Umbau Cars being pulled by a Piko BR95 Steam Locomotive (courtesy of Paul Torrey).


Deutsche Bahn "Silberling" Coaches  


Piko also produce an attractive range of passenger cars which later became the standard DB passenger car for regional and commuter trains but also some long distance train. Their popular nickname name translates to "Silver Coin Coach" which refers to the brushed stainless steel body construction. Over 5000 were built between 1958 and 1980 but numbers have dwindled fast as they have been replaced by more modern DMU's and AC equipped passenger cars acquired from 1994 onwards.






































The Youtube video below shoes the Era VI cars in action on a French garden railway. Note that these are long cars (817mm) and whilst they can still negootiate the tight Radius 1 Curves (600mm) there is a lot of overhang which detracts from the realism. If you intend to run these passenger cars (or any long wheelbase vehicle) it pays to use the widest radius curves on your layout.
































Deutsche Reichsbahn Reko Passenger Cars  


Another range of coaches that regularly appears in the Piko catalogue are the three types of Reko Car built for the Deutsche Reichsbahn (DR) from 1965 onwards . These cars were only 18.7m in length but came to typify the DR during Era IV.













37628 Piko Silverling Passenger Car.jpg



37630 Silverling.JPG
37631 Piko DB Silverling Coach 2nd Class



Another video contribution showing the "Silver Coin" passenger cars in action on a German layout (courtesy of StefansGartenbahn):

37650 Piko Rekowagen 2nd Class DR Ep.IV.


37651 Ppiko Reh Passenger Combine Car 2n


37652 Reko Dining Car -Mitropa-DR Ep. IV


German Rekowagen Coaches (DR).jpg
37653 Piko Rekowagen DR 2nd Class IV.jpg
37654 Piko Rekowagen DR 2nd Class Luggag

This official Piko video previews the Green / Chalk Reko Passenger Cars released in 2016.


Deutsche Bahn Intercity (IC) Passenger Cars  

For 2019 Piko have also announced new intercity cars based on the trains introduced from circa 1971 for locomotive hauled express train services on specified routes across the country. their improtance has tended to vbe eclipsed by the more recent proliferation of ICE trains. Various classes of service are provided but the two cars promised by Piko are 1st Class and 2nd Classes coaches as follows:

37660 DB IV IC Passenger Car Bpmz 2. Cl.


37661 DB IV IC Passenger Car Apmz 1. Cl.



These IC cars have the same features :

  • Realistically moulded passenger car with moulded interior seats

  • Ready for interior lighting (Use a PIKO #36132 lighting kit and 36165 or 36168 metal wheels.)

  • Durable plastic wheelsets for long term use in all environments

  • Hook and loop type couplers

  • Crisp and clean lettering and logo designs

  • Created with incredibly tough weather-resistant materials

  • Minimum recommended radius: 600mm / 23.6”

  • Length: 600mm / 23.6”

  • Made in Germany


*(incidentally the 2019 catalog incorrectly notes the model as having metal wheels.  The wheels are made of a durable plastic.)

In 2012 DB began a programme (caledd IC mod)of refurbishing the interior its Intercity coaches with decor similar to that found on the ICE3. Name of the programme is IC mod.



Deutsche Bahn TEE VM 11.5/901 Intermediate Passenger Cars  

To complete this module I must also mention these "Mittelwagen" Cars issued to accompany the splendid Piko BR602 Gas-Turbine Multiple-Unit Train (37321) as they were repowered between 1971 and 1973 (Era IV).


According to Wikipedia the trainsets of Class VT 11.5 (often simply called TEE) were originally diesel multiple units built by Deutsche Bundesbahn (DB) in 1957 and used for Trans Europ Express (TEE) services. Perceived as flagships of the DB rolling stock, they carried first-class seating only. When the UIC numbering scheme became effective on 1 January 1968, the power heads of the trainsets were renamed to Class 601 whilst the middle cars became Class 901 according to the DB locomotive classification. They were used for TEE service from 1957 until 1972 and thereafter on German InterCity services until being retired in 1991 and superceded by the IC series.

The production quality and impressive red / cream livery makes a real impression and the catalogue ages really do not do them justice. Piko also produced a reproduction of the original diesel version (37320).

Capture 37321.JPG

37320 Epoch III

37642 Piko DB Coach BR901 DB.jpg

37642 Epoch IV


37643 Epoch IV

37640 DB Ep.III Coach VM11.51.JPG

37640 Epoch III


37641 Epoch III

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