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…
I’ve been a fan of Lance Mindheim’s industrial switching layouts since I first saw his Downtown Spur in the US magazine Model Railroader. When I became interested in European railways I wondered if it would be possible to create something similar based on European practice and locations.
I’ve been able to find rail-served industrial areas just by searching maps using OpenStreetMap or OpenRailwayMap but frustratingly it’s not always possible to easily find photographs of the buildings or operations at these locations.
Then I found the railgoed.nl website after browsing the links page of railtrash.net.
A while back I did a couple of posts about the Dordrecht Island in the Netherlands. The western side of the island has a rail served industrial area that I thought might make a good basis for some industrial modules or even a larger European themed industrial switching layout.
The Silo Dordrecht building caught my eye and it was while I was searching for images of that structure that I stumbled across a website called RailTrash…
I’ve always wanted to model an intermodal facility, now more than ever since I’ve started putting together my own 3D printed tanktainer models. However most intermodal facilities are huge and even in N scale they’d take up a lot of space, so I’d all but given up on the idea.
I didn’t realise that smaller intermodal facilities still existed but in the last couple of weeks I’ve found a number of modelable facilities in various locations throughout Europe so I thought I’d do a series of posts on each of the locations…
Today I thought I’d take a look at a lift-bridge over the Wantij river in Dordrecht. The bridge is located to the east of the city of Dordrecht, near the chemical plant I talked about in my first post on this area of the Netherlands last week.
_DSC3702 by Martijn Deleij – Own work, Used with permission of Martijn Deleij, View Image
It’s an unusual looking structure, maybe not to everyone’s tastes (there seems to be a lot of ‘modern’ rail and bridge architecture in the Netherlands) but it would definitely make a very interesting bridge module and scratchbuilding project.
Dordrecht is an island to the south east of Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
It is home to the historic city of Dordrecht and the sixth largest seaport in the Netherlands. There is a large rail-served industrial area with a port on the west of the island and a large rail-served chemical plant in the north either of which would make a good basis for an industrial module or European themed industrial switching layout.
You can just about make out the platforms and building of Sliedrecht station in the centre of the image above. The local, mostly single-track line serving the station is on the left and the double-tracks behind the sound barrier on the right are the Betuweroute; the international, freight-only rail line mentioned in the title of this post (more on the Betuweroute in future posts).
Despite being quite a run-of-the-mill location, Sliedrecht has always struck me as a great location for an unconventional (freight-only routes are a little more uncommon in Europe), watch-the-trains-go-by module with the added interest of a separate single-track line with passenger service and local freight workings…