It’s been a while since I wrote a post about a modelable European intermodal yard so today I thought we could take a look at the Terminal Combiné Chavornay SA (TERCO) intermodal yard in Chavornay, Switzerland.
In lieu of any photos of the complex, here’s a satellite image of the yard and its immediate surroundings:
So far so ordinary perhaps, but this yard caught my eye because it’s indirectly connected to the Swiss national railway system by an intriguing little Swiss short-line called the Orbe-Chavornay railway.
I first spotted this interesting bridge a few years back when Google Map exploring the railroads and industrial spurs around Savannah, Georgia.
Something about the control tower and massive counter-weight structure appealed to me and I have always thought it would make an excellent North American river crossing module and scratchbuilding project.
You might think that’s strange because a closer look at the picture reveals there isn’t actually any track in the picture. While that observation is true, it’s still a very interesting and attractive jumble of buildings which would make a very nice scratch-building or kit-bashing project.
I don’t have a photo to show it but the facility is still rail served, it’s just that railcars are currently loaded/unloaded on the other (north) side of the facility. However there’s no reason why we couldn’t apply a little modellers license, add some track and create the option to model tracks on both sides of the facility.
There’s also something else not visible in the photo above that makes this location somewhat rare and interesting, at least in terms of US operations…
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…