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.
Many of these silo complexes have evolved and expanded over time resulting in an interesting combination of different building materials and styles. As such they have the potential to make a fascinating scratch-building projects.
You’ll often find photographs of the whole complex but sometimes photographs of small details can provide inspiration for a project so I thought I’d share a few interesting photographs that I’ve discovered on the Internet…
Regular visitors may have noticed that wherever possible I use open source images and maps when creating posts on my website. Once I’ve identified an area with some interesting operations I’ll use the transport layer maps on OpenStreetMap to get a better understanding of the layout of the tracks in the area.
As an example, here’s an OpenStreetMap transport layer map of an area of Basel, Switzerland with some interesting intermodal (ship to rail) facilities:
You may have noticed that over the last year, I haven’t actually built any modules despite doing the design work and finding suitable plenty of suitable locations. Unfortunately, my plan to have a space to build those modules hasn’t come to be… yet. However, I’ve still got the desire to build something and practice modelling techniques but to make this a realistic prospect anytime soon, it’s going to need something small, relatively cheap and easy to store.
I’ve talked in previous posts about wanting to create small modules or cameos; where the scenery is of equal importance to the trains and where the scenic elements are used to frame a scene. T-Trak modules might be the answer…
It looks a bit rusted but those modern relay cabinets on the bridge deck made me think it might still be in use. A quick search revealed that it is an active bridge on a short Canadian National line. It’s not a mainline, so trains using the bridge will be shorter locals that are serving industries further east…
If you’ve visited the site before you may have noticed one of the background images is a fairly typical North American rural grade crossing.
It’s another example of a photograph I found on the public-domain photo sharing website Pixabay. I choose to use it not only because it’s a particularly nice photograph but because it also reminds me of a similar crossing, although perhaps not quite so photogenic, that I stumbled across whilst out for a drive in Tennessee.
I’d always thought a simple grade-crossing scene like this could make a great module to watch-the-trains-go-by.
I remember when I started getting interested in North American N gauge I used to see adverts for the North American Railcar Corporation Hawker Siddeley cylindrical hopper wagons everywhere… and I remember really wanting a rake or two.
CP 608386 Cylindrical Hopper Car by Pete Hughes – Own work,
All rights reserved by creator – Used with permission.
They’re beautiful looking models and just like the real wagons they are produced in a range of colourful liveries. You can see the range on the Pacific Western Rail Systems website by clicking this link.
So you might wonder why I’m mentioning these models in a post about Annacis Island industries?
Having introduced Annacis Island in previous posts, this time I thought it would be worth taking a look at how trains actually get onto the island. That’s because they make use of a rather interesting road and rail bridge known as the Derwent Way or Annacis Island swing bridge.
Booms by Glen Ritchie – All rights reserved
Used with permission, View Image
The slightly cryptic image above doesn’t reveal a great deal about the bridge itself (it’s a view from the control tower of the bridge as it opens/closes for passing river traffic) but it has the potential to make a very interesting module and scratch building project…