IG Spur II (Special Interest Group Model Railway Gauge II)
The Special Interest Group IG Spur II was founded in February 1985. Since, apart from LGB, there had been practically no suppliers of models on a scale of 1:22.5 at that point, the main aim was to provide mutual support with respect to the construction of models and to publicize this scale beyond the range of narrow-gauge models. Even back then we were already thinking of more than just garden railways.
Since the first members of IG Spur II were coming from all over Germany. Since not everybody has the required space for a railway layout on such a scale at their disposal or wants to operate his valuable models out in the open garden, it has been an important concern of our society to organize meetings in order to demonstrate our own models in operation. In order to guarantee smooth proceedings during our meetings we agreed on a common standard. Thus this very same year the first group meeting could take place in Berlin / Germany.
The unique thing about IG Spur II as an association is its main aim to further model railway construction on the scale of 1:22.5 while equally encompassing all track gauges. Those different gauges are also always present at all meetings where models are operated thus illustrating in a special way the diversity of railroading.
Outline of model railway gauges and modeling scale in 1:22,5
The association's development proceeded quickly due to contact to manufacturers and the mutual support with respect to own model construction projects. Thus membership figures leveled off at 150 and united not only friends of Gauge II from all over Germany and the neighboring countries, but also from the whole of Europe.
Due to the diverse activities regional areas of focus formed that later developed into regional groups within the association. Bad Hersfeld is centrally located within Germany and can be reached equally well by all members. By now this is also where the modules owned by the association itself are stored.
Bad Hersfeld is the starting point for our yearly operating convention which has been taking place in Schenklengsfeld for many years now and parallel to which the official annual meeting of the association is held.
Further regional groups with different activities are located in the Rhine-Main area, in Dresden, in the Stuttgart area and in Bavaria and thus provide a point of reference for members beyond the annual meeting.
The joint operating conventions are the highlight of all the activities during the association's year. At first they were still conducted on tables assembled in a very improvised manner. Still they were fully functional due to the track system respectively the solid track bed that allowed to simply connect the tracks by sticking them together.
Thanks to the early commitment to standardized modular components it was possible to soon create an environment more suited to model railway vehicles at further meetings. During the first years it was above all modules constructed by private initiatives that were brought along to operating conventions. As the complexity and above all the size of segments increased it was possible to build up modules owned by the association itself during the following years.
For its annual meeting the association has a gymnasium in Schenklengsfeld comprising 1200 sq. at its disposal in which to arrange its segments and modules. As a fixed date the weekend after Ascension Day has stood the test of time, since it provides four full days of operating activities.
In addition to standard gauge an equally modular narrow gauge layout and varying guest layouts complement and enrich operating activities. In between layouts of those two gauges, minimum and industrial gauges that can be erected very flexibly, are blending into the varied railroad arrangements.
Since all parts of the layout have standardized connections and possess a normed top of rail of one meter above the ground, it is possible to conduct interesting operating games. Thus the carrier truck and roll car traffic enliven activities and provide multiple diverse operating possibilities.
The operating meetings are framed by booths of suppliers and small series manufacturers. Another part of the annual convention is the choice of tutorials imparting model making skills, presenting and coordinating projects and giving lectures pertaining to special subjects.
Further activities are happening during the working and operating meetings in Unterhaun near Bad Hersfeld. Here the parts of the layout are stored or can be partly erected and operated. During those meetings necessary repairs, expansions and new construction works are executed.
When the IG Spur II e.V. (1985) was founded, there were - apart from the definition of gauges and the scale in NEM010 and NEM020 - no further standards. At the time the first standard gauge vehicles by the manufacturer Magnus were already on the market. The manufacturer has constructed his own system for his products. The first bulletins of the IG make it obvious that at that time the next standards for Gauge II were developed, among those the standard gauge standard wheel set.
As time went by, more and more standards were developed. We differentiate here between mandatory standards and recommendations. Standards dealing with security of function and requirements for a smooth operation are always compulsory. Standards have primarily been developed for the standard gauge of Gauge II and are meant as a supplement to NEM. Primary objective is to provide manufacturers and model makers with official standards for Gauge II standard gauge.
Due to the close cooperation with the technical commission of MORP we could achieve that Gauge II is now included in all new and revised standards. We have often been commended by the commission for our work, since our standards are very close to the originals when compared to other nominal sizes.
IG Spur II will keep on supporting the model railway on the scale of 1:22.5 during the coming years and we are looking forward to your visit at one of our meetings or other activities.
We are more than happy to answer your questions. Please send an email to "geschaeft at spur-ii.de"!