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www.trains-and-trains.dk : A personal view by Christian Vinaa


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Hagen von Ortloff




hagen von ortloff
( Picture from and © SWR ➚ )
From SWF's ➚ website :

Original text in German, translated to English, and elaborated by me :


"Hagen von Ortloff was born in Zwickau (DDR) ( in Sachsen - between Nürnberg and Dresden - close to the border to the former Czechoslovakia ) in May 1949.

He grew up with his grandmother in Dresden (DDR).

When he was 5 years old he already new that he wanted to be an engine driver.

Steamlocomotives and steam-boats were the little boys passion.

In 1960 he moved to live with his mother near Stuttgart ( Western Germany ). His father had died in 1957.

Hagen von Ortloff has written about that move in "Züge - Zeitschrift zur TV-Sendung Eisenbahn-Romantik" in volume # 103 ( spring 2010 ) :
[ SUMMARY of that story comes here soon. ]


He lived in Weinsberg ( north of Stuttgart and just east of Heilbronn ) for the next 10-12 years.

He completed the first years of high school and finished his education at high school level with an edution given access to a "University of Applied Sciences". He didnt get a high school diploma.

On top of that, due to economic hardship, he had to sell his model-railroad.


After completing his military service Hagen von Ortloff studied at the "University of Applied Sciences" in Stuttgart, where he specialised in printing techniques, and graduated as an industrial engineer.

Then he attended the University in Stuttgart where he studied political science, sociology and economics.

In 1984 he received his university degree "Master rer.pol."


At that time he had already done his first work in television; in the SDR ( Süddeutscher Rundfunk ) where he did volontary work with the program "Durchblick"; a news program for children.

With his first real salary he bought a model railroad locomotive.


In 1979 Hagen von Ortloff became part of the editorial staff of the "Abendschau" ( news program for adults ).

He produced several stories in the segment "Country and people".

He also was a weather-man and became known as "Gartenzwerg (Garden-Gnome) Kunold".

One incident made him famous :

While trying to demonstrate how to throw a boomerang, he actually threw it so perfectly that it immediately returned and hit him in the head while he was still explaining how a boomerang worked.

Watch the video with the boomerang on Youtube


From 1978 - 1998 he was also part of the Sports editorial staff.


In 1991 the Eisenbahn-Romantik series started; - almost by accident.

During the first year (1991) only 11 railroad movies were produced - entended to be only broadcasted when there was a longer pause during normal programs ( i.e. during the night ), or if a scheduled sport-event finished sooner than expected.

TV-viewers, however, loved the programs, so Eisenbahn-Romantik was soon given its own regular spot; once a week.

Eisenbahn-Romantik has become a hallmark of the SWR ( SüdWestRundfunk ) and has turned Hagen von Ortloff into "Mr. Eisenbahn Romantik" - a title that he in fact does not like.

hagen von ortloff - preiser 28139
Pictures © Preiser


The reason for the success of Eisenbahn-Romantik is the team behind him, he often states :

"Eisenbahn-Romantik has only become a success because there are so many devoted souls involved in the making of the programs."

( No doubt that a lot of the praise go to the camera-guys and the technical staff, and to the speakers but you can't diminish the enthousiasm and sheer joy that Hagen von Ortloff, as the on-screen face of Eisenbahn-Romantik, conveys to the many viewers ).

Preiser has made a 1:87 set of Hagen von Ortloff with his camera-team.

Clearly an indication of how popular and wellknown Hagen von Ortloff is.


Hagen von Ortloff has participated actively in the protest against the new Central Station in Stuttgart ( Stuttgart 21 ).

I think you have to live in Stuttgart, or at least Germany, to fully understand what Stuttgart 21 is and the "pro's" and "con's".


In 2015 he launched the idea of "Der internationale Tag der Modelleisenbahn" ( International Model Railroad Day ), which will take place each year on December 02.


Sadly Hagen von Ortloff has retired from SWF in 2016 due to age-regulations within the SWF.

His last work day was in July 2016, but he can still be seen in the more than 800+ episodes of Eisenbahn-Romantik.

It is not known whether he will continue introducing the Modelbahn TV ➚ video/DVD-series


There is a special "Eisenbahn-Romantik" about Hagen von Ortloff shown first time in July 2016 : "Der Eisenbahn-Romantiker Hagen von Ortloff; Ein Portrait"



I have had the great pleasure of meeting Hagen von Ortloff several times.

He is a very modest person, who has an almost super-human patience with his fans.

He often turns up at fairs to give autographs.

Even though there is a long line waiting, he takes time to talk to each autograph hunter.

Watch autograph video from Friedrichhafen 2012 on Youtube

Hagen von Ortloff and one of his many fans Dortmund 2011
Hagen von Ortloff and one of his many fans Märklin Treff 2013
Hagen von Ortloff and one of his many fans Nürnberg 2014
Hagen von Ortloff and one of his many fans Märklin Treff 2015
Hagen von Ortloff and one of his many fans Nürnberg 2016













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2014 -
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