Dordrecht Island #1

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.

Let’s start by taking a look at the chemical plant in the north of the island. It’s operated by an organisation called Chemours and it produces a range of chemical products. Raw materials and finished products appear to be delivered and/or dispatched by rail in tank wagons (sometimes tanktainers too) and there are a number of sidings and loading facilities within the complex.


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You can’t use Google Streetview within the chemical plant complex but as you see from the satellite image below, the site has a number of tank wagon loading/unloading racks and a mixture of structures that would make interesting scratchbuilding projects in their own right.

As there aren’t many photographs of the site online it’s worth using the 3D view feature of Google maps to take a look around the complex and check out some of the interesting infrastructure.

The site is large but with a bit of selective compression it should be possible to make some interesting modules. The boxes on the map below represent modules that are 105cm x 40cm.

I’d focus on the four modules in the middle of the map above. The track is an almost perfect shunting puzzle as it is. A new delivery of wagons can be brought in and left in one of the sidings. The locomotive can then run-around the train and start collecting any loaded wagons ready for dispatch to build a new outbound train in one of the other sidings. It can then locate or ‘spot’ the new wagons at their loading/unloading points before finally leaving with the outbound train.

Kort Konvooi by Marco Roepers – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, View Image

Trains that serve the complex are usually quite short, sometimes only a few tank wagons pulled by a single NS Class 6400 diesel locomotive. I think the 6400 is quite an attractive locomotive and it has been produced in N scale by Minitrix in the past. You can see a small gallery of images of Class 6400 hauled trains on Flickr here. Just searching Flickr for Dordrecht and Dupont turns up some interesting images too.

Railion 6418 by Bart from Amstelveen, Holland – Own work,
CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons,View Image

Finally, the Chemours plant is located a short distance from the Betuweroute and Sliedrecht station which are located to the north across the water of the Beneden Merwede. In fact the plant is reached from a spur that leaves the line linking Dordrecht and Sliedrecht stations so including some modules that feature passenger services is a possibility too.

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