The Betuweroute (A European Freight-Only Railway)

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.

Metrans E186 182-2 With A Prague Shuttle by Nicky Boogaard – Own Work,
CC BY 2.0View Image

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…

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Inspirational Modelling #3 (Boulder Creek Railroad)

Luke Towan & Boulder Creek Railroad

Over the last couple of months I’ve presented a lot of locations that could be recreated as modules but I haven’t done a lot of module building myself.

I’ve started a Stadtbahn module on a Gatorboard T-Trak baseboard but it’s still very early days. So I thought it might be useful to show just what can be achieved in a small space by highlighting the amazing dioramas of Luke Towan…

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Interesting Idea For A Module #12 (Beijing South)

Chinese High Speed Trains

In my last couple of posts I’ve been talking a lot about modules that use the ‘half-station’ approach to model a big station in a small space.

So far I’ve only looked at examples in Europe so here’s a picture of a Chinese station scene that caught my eye:

High-Speed Trains At The Gate by Scott Meltzer – Own Work, CC0 1.0, View Image

I love this line-up of Chinese high-speed trains. I don’t know a lot about Chinese rolling stock but many of the units in that picture look distinctly Japanese in origin/design.

Read on for more pictures…

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Interesting Idea For A Module #11 (Erfurt Hbf)

Erfurt Hauptbahnhof

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 by Ingolf – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.0, View Image

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.

Read on to find out more…

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Interesting Idea For A Module #10 (Wolfsburg Hbf)

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…

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Modelable Intermodal Facilities #4 (Ultra-Brag)

In this post I’ll be taking a look at the Rhine intermodal port facilities of Swiss logistics company Ultra-Brag.

Destiny by Andreina Schoeberlein – Own work, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, View Image

Ultra-Brag have three tri-modal (road/river/rail) facilities in the Swiss city of Basel. These are located in:

  • the Kleinhüningen neighbourhood of Basel;
  • the Birsfelden municipal area to the east of Basel;
  • and the port of Auhafen in Muttenz, a little further east.

The relatively compact nature of these sites means they could be built as modules/cameos, as shelf-layouts or even included as part of a larger static layout. Read on to find out more…

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Interesting Idea For A Module #8 (Basel Trams)

Trams In Basel, Switzerland

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.

While browsing the https://www.bahnbilder.de/ website I came across the photographs of Gisela, Matthias and Jonas Frey.

View From The Courtyard Of The Basel Art Museum by Matthias Frey – Own work,
Used With Permission, View Image

They have an interest in both architecture and railways and as a result they have taken some really interesting and inspirational photographs…

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Modelable European Intermodal Facilities #3 (Kreuztal)

I thought I’d do a quick post about the Südwestfalen container-terminal in the town of Kreuztal, Germany. The facility is served by the KSW Kreisbahn Siegen-Wittgenstein Gmbh railway and as there aren’t any Creative Commons licensed images of the facility here’s a shot of a KSW freight train.

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…

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Inspirational Modelling #2 (Adam Savage)

I’ll admit that I often get so focused on making super-accurate, perfectly-finished models that after starting a project I get paralysed and end up not finishing or even worse, I won’t even start a project at all.

Whether you suffer from what I call ‘model-makers paralysis’ or not the YouTube videos and forum threads I’ll be highlighting in this post are definitely worth taking a look at as they are full of useful tips and inspirational modelling…

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