R e n o v a t i o n  J o u r n a l


C o b b l e s t o n e s


a r o u n d  


S c h l o s s  C o c h e m




A. The Idea


On January 12, 2022, Jimmy Low (or: Ghim Meng Low), an expat from Malaysia, currently stationed in Germany,

asked me to make a Dutch translation of the Timesaver program, developed by the late John Whitby Allen, as well as check the English for spelling.

We had already met through a chat about the Malletlocomotive Baureihe 53 Kriegsdampflokomotive.



In due time an (online) friendship arose (does that actually exist?)

which resulted in Jimmy offering me to take care of the entire cobbeldstone section for the Cochemer Bahn - in particular for Schloss Cochem.

Impressed by the high standard of the Cochemer Bahn, he impressed me with the high standard of his handcraft work.

All was handmade, underpinned by excellent research. It became a mutual understanding: the best of the best...





In the weeks and months that followed, a frequent information exchange took place, both via messenger and video calls.

At the beginning of April 2023, all parts will come to me, and Schloss Cochem can finally be connected to the Cochemer Bahn.



B. The Planning



I have divided the whole square around Schloss Cochem into four segments.
(A) is the square for the royalties and comes to a height of 3 cm, because the Martinstoren requires that height.
(B) becomes a ramp leading to

(C) the market square. The latter is located at ground level 0.
(D) And finally - also on level 3 - there's, as Jimmy so nicely called it, a Lustgarten.

This will be a garden-like place where the royalties can relax.



C. The Ramp 

Perhaps the most complex part, which was also the most subject to change during the various discussions - was the slope or ramp between level 0 and 3.

The ramp is mandatory for the Preiserlein being able to enter the Martinstor, which is at level 3 cm.





Various ideas about color and shape were discussed. 



The raised edge in particular did not make the choice easy. Smooth, even, stepped?
The use of gas lanterns on top of the wall also determined its width.






Planning... and more planning...



Is the ramp only for carriages or also for pedestrians?

In the latter case, there must be a sidewalk on both sides, but stepped. 



At first we memed to put the lanterns on the floor so that the wall would have to run around them.



But we soon abandoned that plan. The lanterns would go on top of the wall. 





D. Ŕ la Metz... 


Jimmy came up with the idea of placing a staircase between Ramp and Lustgarten,

all in line with the Metz staircase.

This way, pedestrians who want to avoid the bustle of the ramp with carriages can safely enter the palace square. 




For royalties I think this staircase is too steep.

Jimmy therefore adapted it to my request with two platforms in the middle and the steps more extended. 










And then continue with planning...









E. The Royal Fence 


Since we are talking about royalties and palaces, a royal enclosure and an entrance of royal grandeur should not be missing.
The company Adler Modelbahnmanufaktur Köln, for whom I have made some photo shoots in the past, will provide the entire fencing of Schloss Cochem.



A number of test samples have already been sent to me. That's what you call the finest of the finest...



Adler asked me which pillars of posts I preferred... made out of white metal.




Jimmy's proposal for the entrance gate...




In addition, I first need to know how much space in height and width the carriages need.







In order not to get a whole square full of cobblestones, but to allow the carriages to have enough space to turn towards the exit,

I came up with a midfield. Initially I envisioned a basin with a raised edge and a fountain or even lanterns on pedestals in the water.

But later the idea developed to place Faller's antique cannons here.




New measurerments followed, focussing on the main gate to come. 










F. The Royal Crest

One day Jimmy asked me about the Eagle Crest on the towers of the Cochemer Bahn.


It was his bright idea to also use this crest in the paving in front of the main gate in the street.
Unfortunately, all my 'eagles' were already used, but I could order one copy via Faller Kundendienst.
I can't put both the idea and the result into words, so let the pictures tell the story.


















March 28, 2023









G. The Arrival

One day before Easter, Holy Saturday April 8th, I received the box with all the parts Jimmy made.

I couldn't help trying everything on.






Already during the consultation phase,

I had the impression that the Lustgarten, as Jimmy proposed next to the slope (he had halved the length, contrary to what I had imagined)

was both too small and with too thick walls the whole looked pretty clunky.

For that reason and because of the rediscovery of Pola's villa staircase, I decided to build the Lustgarten on the south side of the square.

In this way, the whole fits more into the landscape and also fits in better with the private domain of his royal highness.









Now it is important to measure everything properly, to position the lanterns and, above all, to be careful not to force anything.

It feels like the construction of Stift Cochem, which means taking a lot of time for positioning and shifting, observing and reflecting, but above all listening to the inner voice.



H. The Painting

From May 20 to 22, I painted the parts, like grey primer and slate (20/5), painting most separate cobbles by hand in 4 colours (21/5) and finally dry white the whole (22/5).








To me, these great stones of the ramp, as Jimmy Low cut them, where too pyramide like!

So I cut them into smaller pieces, since my 1912 Preiserlein couldn't handle such heavy material in those days...









Finished with dry white.


Suggestion of a 'guard house'




Pičce de résistance...




H. And then...

How the story of the Royal Square continues, is told in Chapter 42.





Frits Osterthun © 16.3.2023

Last update: 7.8.2023