The Betuweroute is a modern, freight-only railway line in the Netherlands that connects the internationally important port of Rotterdam to the Rhine-Alpine freight corridor via the town of Zevenaar near the German border.
Like all contemporary infrastructure projects the Betuweroute was mired in controversy about it’s cost and viability but since opening in 2007, the number of trains using the line has been rising year-on-year. ProRail(the organisation responsible for Dutch rail infrastructure) report that the line now carries over 500 freight-trains a week making it a key section of the Rhine-Alpine freight corridor.
The Betuweroute is still something of an anomaly in Europe, having been designed and constructed solely to carry freight. So if you’re looking for something unique to model, the Betuweroute could be just the thing. Combine that uniqueness with the potential to incorporate some interesting scenes, modern architecture and a wide variety of potential freight rolling stock and I think there’s scope to build some interesting modules or cameos…
Following on from my recent post about Wolfsburg Hauptbanhof and the idea of using the ‘half-station’ approach to model a large station in a small space I thought I’d take a look at Erfurt Hauptbahnhof.
Erfurt Hauptbahnhof is an interesting mix of old and new architecture much of which could easily be modelled in a small space but what really caught my eye is an interesting tram/bus-only underpass that really lends itself to modular modelling.
I’ve always thought that scenes involving trams are particularly well suited to T-Trak modules; trams run in shorter formations than regular trains, tram track formations tend to be quite compact and by their nature, trams are usually found in more densely populated areas with (hopefully) lots of interesting architecture to model.
By Tram Into The Newly Built Area Of Freiburg by Matthias Frey – Own work, Used With Permission, View Image
Plus if you don’t want to model a purely urban scene, as the photograph above shows, tram lines can offer interesting opportunities to mix more natural elements with busy city scenes.
Plus: Ideas & Techniques To Create More Realistic/Effective Scenes On Narrow Modules
Continuing with the theme of modules with slightly unusual scenes and viewpoints I thought I’d discuss this photograph of the northern entrance of Wolfsburg Hauptbanhof in Germany.
North Entrance of Wolfsburg Main Station & ICE Power Car by Matthias Frey – Own work, Used With Permission, View Image
It’s a brilliant photograph with excellent composition; in fact it’s the kind of image you don’t often see in railway photography where of course the focus is the trains. However the unusual perspective sparked some ideas for modules and module design in general that I’ll be discussing in this post…
I’m always on the lookout for prototype photographs that capture railway activity from a slightly different perspective, particularly if it might work well as a viewpoint in a slightly unconventional module or cameo.
277 807-4 (KSW 46) of the Kreisbahn Siegen-Wittgenstein passing through Dillbrecht (April 2015) by Johannes Martin Conrad – Own work, CC BY 3.0, View Image
Now I say quick post because a bit of research revealed the site as I initially saw it in Google satellite image no longer exists, so it’s a race against time to try and grab the old satellite imagery before it’s updated.
Luckily the facility itself is not gone but it’s boundaries have been expanded and unfortunately the terminals old gantry crane has been removed so it’s no longer quite as compact or interesting as it once was.
However there are quite a few older photographs of the facility still around on the Internet so let’s take a look at the Südwestfalen container-terminal before the recent renovation work…
While researching rail-served industries in the United States and Europe I’ve often seen pictures that include interesting looking rail-car movers or shunting tractors like this Mercedes Road Rail UniMog:
For a while I dabbled with the idea of creating a 3D model of one of these units but put the idea on the back-burner because I’d assumed it would be impossible to motorise something as small as a shunting tractor in N scale.