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…

Erfurt is a city in the state of Thuringia, located more or less in the centre of Germany. This central location means that Erfurt is served by a wide-range of local and long-distance services from an array of operators; so unless creating completely prototypical scene is your thing, you can probably justify running almost any German rolling stock without it looking out of place. If you want to find out more about the station and the services that pass through I’d recommend taking a look at the Erfurt Hauptbahnhof Wikipedia page which has quite a lot of information of this.

Erfurt’s attractive main station building is located on the southern side of the historic city centre just off Willy-Brandt-Platz (Willy-Brandt square). You can take a look at the area using the satellite imagery below:

I think the best thing to do would be to run through some pictures of the station and then show how it could be modelled using modules.

So here’s a second photograph of the older station buildings taken from Willy-Brandt square; these buildings would be an interesting if somewhat challenging scratchbuilding project with all that ornate stonework. The curved roof on the main entrance has the potential to be a real centre piece though. The more modern glass structure in front of the station buildings is the entrance to an underground car park.

Erfurt Central Station by Michael Sander – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, View Image

Now, imagine we are standing in Willy-Brandt square, roughly where the photograph above was taken, and we turn to our right. This brings Bahnhofsstrasse and the bus/tram underpass into view.

Erfurt Hauptbahnhof – Straßenbahnhaltestelle in der Bahnhofsunterführung by IngolfBLN – Own work,
CC BY-SA 2.0, View Image

I think this scene would make an excellent module in it’s own right. There’s lots of hustle and bustle: trains passing/stopping at the platforms behind the glass wall above; trams pausing at the stops below in the underpass; lots of street clutter, signs and advertising for visual interest and all nicely flanked by buildings either side.

Trains behind glass is an interesting perspective and not something I’ve seen on a model before.

Here’s a close-up shot of the underpass with two different types of tram loading/unloading passengers. Note the mass of lights and illuminated signs if you like incorporating lighting into your layouts; I pretty sure the DB logos and Hauptbahnhof sign are also illuminated if you like a challenge.

Erfurt by Patrick Müller – Own work, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, View Image

Here’s another view of the underpass, this one taken a little further up Bahnhofstrasse at a quieter time of day. On the left you can see part of the older station building, on the right one of the interesting buildings* that line Bahnhofstrasse. *It’s the juxtaposition of a sausage shop with a bike shop behind that interests me 🙂

This must be a more recent photograph and unfortunately it looks like most of the interesting street furniture visible in the first picture of Bahnhofstrasse was removed at some point.

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

Here’s a picture of that interesting sausage/bike shop. The sound wall behind is a little bland but it could be useful as a scenic break on a small module.

Erfurt Hauptbahnhof – Fahrradparkhaus am Willy-Brandt-Platz by IngolfBLN – Own work,
CC BY-SA 2.0, View Image

Finally, here what we would see if we turned around so that the station was behind us and we looked towards the north side of Willy-Brandt square. You can pick out some of objects seen in previous pictures, like the entrance to the underground car park on the right and the bollards and litter bin in the centre of the photograph.

Erfurt Hauptbahnhof – Willy-Brandt-Platz und Bahnhofstraße by IngolfBLN – Own work,
CC BY-SA 2.0, View Image

So here’s how how all that could be modelled using either single T-Trak modules (shown in blue) or double T-Trak modules (shown in green). There’s so much potential it’s a bit of a jumble of boxes but I’ll explain what I’ve marked out below.

The two blue boxes show that it’s possible to capture both the older station building with it’s grand entrance and the busy underpass in two single T-Trak modules alongside each other.

I’d want to include a bit of the square in front of the station so I’d probably reduce the number of tracks immediately behind the station building and between the first two platforms to free up a bit more space to use up front to model Willy-Brandt-Platz.

Using double T-Trak modules opens up a whole new set of possibilities.

As with the single T-Trak modules you might want to reduce the number of tracks immediately behind the station building and between the first two platforms to give you a bit more space to model more of Willy-Brandt-Platz but with two double T-Trak modules you could model the whole of the station and include buildings at either end to act as scenic breaks.

Here’s a panoramic view of the Eastern end of the Erfurt station.

The InterCity hotel building and TEDi shop would be a perfect scenic break as well as being quite a fun scratchbuilding project.

Another option is flipping a double T-Trak module on it’s side to model more of the station. You could also put two doubles side-by-side to model the underpass and station entrance.

If you have more space and aren’t confined to using modules it’d be really cool to also include those buffer stops just visible in the images above.

Here’s a rough idea of what a double module of the underpass and station with a reduced number of tracks might look like:

You still get to model five tracks and three platforms so you don’t loose much by reducing the number of tracks.

With this approach I’d recommend using similar techniques to the ones shown in this post about Wolfsburg Hbf to effectively model a slice of the station and disguise the edges of the module effectively.

I didn’t include the roof supports and skylights in the 3D module picture above but here’s a view of the roof from the platform that shows some of this detail.

Bahnsteighalle des Erfurter Hauptbahnhofs by Christian Liebscher – Own work,
CC BY-SA 3.0, View Image

Other photos of the station buildings and new roof can be found on RailFanEurope.net (RailFanEurope uses frames which complicates linking directly to the Erfurt pages so use the menus of the left to find the Erfurt station pictures).

In case you are wondering, the south side of the Bahnhofstraße underpass is not quite as architecturally interesting as the north side but it does have an interesting tram track formation.

Eine Straßenbahn der Linie 3 bei Ausfahrt aus dem Erfurter Hauptbahnhof in Richtung Urbicher Kreuz by Michael Sander – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, View Image

This kind of double-Y switch is not available in Kato UniTram track so you’d have to scratch-build the tracks or alter the layout slightly by removing one set of tracks or staggering two sets of switches.

That’s about it for Erfurt Hbf but looking at maps of the Erfurt area shows a lot more potential so I’m sure I’ll do more posts about this area in the future.

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