Aster goes to Switzerland

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Next up for Aster Hobby Inc. of Yokohama, Japan, will be a Swiss switch engine that was used regularly up through the mid-1960s.

The Swiss Federal Railways E 3/3 (which would be called a 0-6-0 in Whyte notation) was a standard-gauge manufactured by the railroad between 1902 and 1915 and nicknamed “Tigerli” (or “tiger cub” in Swiss-German). The prototypes weighed about 76,900 pounds and were 28½-feet long, with a 10¾-foot wheel base. The two cylinders were 14-inches in diameter with a 19-inch stroke and the boiler carried 174 psi; the engine reached a top speed of 29½ mph.

‘Tigerli’: A preserved Swiss Federal E 3/3 at Buchs, Switzerland. Photo by Bobo11, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Swiss Federal, called SBB, built 83 locomotives for itself and four for other railroads. At least 28 of the original locomotives are preserved throughout Europe, with fewer than a dozen still operational.

Aster Hobby is creating a model on behalf of Aster Europa of Wohlenschwil, Switzerland. The companies have said the “Tigerli” will be an alcohol-fired engine with Walschaert valve gear. “The Aster concept represents the standard type E 3-3,” the companies said, “with front platform and original coal bunker design.”

Aster Hobby is on the Web at http://www.asterhobby.com/, while Aster Europa is at http://www.astereuropa.com/. The U.S. distributor, Aster Hobby USA LLC, is at http://asterhobbyusa.com/ and at (864) 587-7999.