Röwa N-Scale

Röwa was founded in 1961 by Willy Ade and Horst Röchling, the company name being an acronym of their combined names.  For several years, much of Röwa’s energies were directed toward developing products for other model train manufacturers, notably Trix of Germany and, on occasion, Roco of Austria.

Production of model trains under the Röwa name began in the late 1960’s, ca. 1968.  Much of the company’s products were in H0-Scale, but there was some interesting production in N-Scale. Here is the Röwa N-Scale product line in 1970 / 1971:

The Röwa American-prototype N-Scale items (above) were marketed in the United States by Model Rectifier Corporation for a period of a few years.  Both the locomotives and passenger cars were subsequently marketed by other companies in successive years. For example, Brawa and Con-Cor marketed the N&W Y-6b Mallet-type, and the Berkshire may have also been marketed in the same way.  Con-Cor owned the passenger car tooling for a period of time, producing until the die-molds went out of production tolerances. Not pictured is another car, a Slumbercoach.

The passenger cars are interesting since they are partly based upon prototypes for the ill-fated Chesapeake & Ohio “Chessie” train. Although orders were placed for some of the Chessie’s passenger cars, the train itself never ran and the equipment was sold to other railroads. For example, similar dome cars were operated on the Baltimore & Ohio and the coach cars ended up on both the Seaboard Air Line and Denver & Rio Grande, along with others.  Like most model railroad items, the cars are not “exact”, but they are close and even by today’s high standards, the Röwa passenger cars are still nice.

The German prototype production was equally interesting:

Röwa ended production around 1974 and the manufacturing tools and dies used to produce the trains were sold to other companies.

Willy Ade moved on to continue manufacturing under other company names.

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