Interesting Ideas For A Module #3

Appleton Swing Bridge, Wisconsin, USA

Here is an interesting photograph of a swing bridge over the Fox River in Appleton, WI.

Appleton, WI Swing Bridge by Unknown, CC0, View Image

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…

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Dordrecht Island #2 – Bridge Over The Wantij

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. 

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Converting Maps and Images To N Scale

Most of us probably understand that 1 measurement unit in our N scale model world is the equivalent to 160 measurement units in the real world. I use the term measurement unit because it could be feet, metres, inches, centimetres, millimetres etc. I prefer to use metric units so as an example 160 real world centimetres would be  1 centimetre in N scale.

Scale ruler by filmingilman – Own work, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, View Image

All pretty straight-forward but what happens when we’re making a model of an object like the Derwent Way swing bridge and we don’t have access to the prototype to take measurements?
Well, aside from accepting you’re unlikely to be 100% accurate we’ll need to convert the measurements on the drawing, satellite images or if we’re really lucky, the plan of the real World object we want to build to N scale.

Read on to find out how to do that…

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Scratchbuilding With Card, Styrene and Texture Sheets

Now things are settling down after the house move I’ll soon have the space I need to actually start making some model structures so I thought I’d do a quick post on some of the techniques and materials that I intend to use when scratchbuilding structures.

Plan and tools by Ian Robins – Own work, CC BY-NC 2.0, View Image

I’ve built some simple structures from styrene in the past but I’ve been following a thread by grahame over on RMWeb forum that discusses card and styrene structure scratchbuilding; after seeing the amazing results he achieves, incredibly quickly too, I know I’d like to give card building a go.

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Annacis Island Industries #3 (Western Transloading Corporation)

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?

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Getting Onto Annacis Island (The Annacis Island Swing Bridge)

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…

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Annacis Island Industries #1 (SSAB Hardox®)

The first Annacis Island rail-served industry I thought I’d take a look at is SSAB Hardox. Here’s a picture of their building, spur and unloading facilities taken by Chris City:

SSAB Hardox by Chris City – All rights reserved
Used with permission, View Image

It’s a simple but has the potential to be quite an interesting and relatively compact module.

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Annacis Island

Location: Vancouver, Canada

Annacis Island is a largely industrial island on the Fraser river in British Columbia, Canada. It is located in the Delta region of the Vancouver metropolitan area, just south of downtown Vancouver.


View Larger Map

The numerous industrial buildings and extensive network of track (including a rail-barge terminal) you can see on the map above  provide plenty of opportunities for modules or a larger industrial switching layout.

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