Ralf Junius came to model railways the classical way. He was looking for a big challenge and found it on a small scale. His passion for electronics and digital media led him to Z gauge and also to us.
My name is Ralf Junius and I come from Düsseldorf. My career in the field of model railways certainly started like most model railway enthusiasts: probably around the age of ten, my younger brother and I each received a Minitrix starter pack for Christmas.
A rail set with steam locomotive, wagons and buildings that could be built out of the packaging box. A short time later I had two trains for my modest operation. The model railway virus did not strike my brother while I tried to build a layout in the following years.
The design of a track plan and the laying of the tracks up to the first test run always worked out, but then it was already over again or there was a break because of other interests. With the end of school and the beginning of vocational training, model railways became uninteresting for the time being.
Although there were isolated attempts at 1:160 scale over the years, it was the profession of radio electronics technician and the later training as a technician that shifted my interests towards control electronics and kept the subject of model railways alive.
In September 2002, my father had just passed away and I was organising the funeral, I passed a toy shop and there it was in the window: a tiny Z-gauge starter set. At that moment I was infected again and became a loyal Zettie.
I can remember exactly to the day: it was 30 September 2002 when I bought my first Mini Club pack. Even as a child, I had always looked at Z gauge, but I had N gauge material and at the time I didn't have the opportunity to switch.
Since the encounter described above, I have been intensively involved with the 1:220 scale. In addition to several attempts to build a layout, I have started to take photos and make video reports of my visits to exhibitions and regulars' tables. And that also led me to the Trainini team.
When I was asked if I wanted to be part of it and would be willing to accompany the Trainini TV channel programme, which was launched in spring 2022, by filming, editing, moderating and making editorial selections, I didn't have to think twice. I quickly accepted.
However, I still haven't completed one installation. However, I have already been able to build a peepshow - a type of layout that I absolutely love - with "Kistrath". I was also allowed to present it in Zell in 2019.
In addition, I find the idea of the Stammtischbrettchen for private meetings in a convivial atmosphere a nice idea. With and on these I can also practice something that will later find its way into a layout.
I also like to experiment with Arduino controllers and see what I can realise with them for the model railway. My favourite circuit is a shuttle train control.