Trams In Vauban, Freiburg
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.
The picture that is the subject of this post was taken in the Vauban neighbourhood of Freiburg, Germany. Vauban is an ecologically-friendly district on the site of a former French military base; it’s well worth a reading more about the history, buildings and infrastructure of Vauban.
A key part of the ecological design of Vauban is the area’s transport network, which has been designed to favour pedestrians, bicycles and public transport. As such the area offers a chance to create a street scene that looks a little different.
I’m unsure exactly where on Vaubanallee the photograph was taken, but the whole area offers lots of potential for interesting singleT-Trak modules featuring tram tracks, the main road, green areas and architecture.
The Vauban Mitte tram station is compact enough to fit within a single T-Trak module (31cm x 35.5cm) and at the end of Vaubanallee is the holy grail of modular railway modelling: a real life return/reverse loop! You’d need two double T-Trak modules (62cm x 35.5cm) to recreate it accurately but you could always just use it for inspiration and create something similar in a much smaller space using Kato UniTram track curves.
Here’s some satellite images for the area:
Unfortunately, the Vauban area has not been photographed by the StreetView project yet, but being something of a pioneering eco-development, there are plenty of images of the buildings in the area around Vaubanallee availble via a Google Image search.
Here are some examples:
Interesting scene but you might need a static grass applicator for that one!
Not quite on Vaubanallee but an example of some of the interesting architecture of the area:
The picture that inspired this post was taken in 2006 and features a somewhat older looking tram (I believe a type of a Duewag GT8 tram built especially for use in Freiburg) but as this Bahnbilder.de gallery shows, the range of trams used in Freiburg is quite varied and often more modern. Unfortunately, the range of trams available in N scale isn’t quite this varied so a little modellers license may be needed in terms of rolling stock, unless of course you fancy scratch building a tram.
Interestingly Tomytec do make a range of motorised chassis that would be suitable for a tram scratch building project, see the link in the following paragraph.
Thankfully the range of ready-to-run tram models available from Kato Hobbytrain and other manufacturers is generic enough not to look out of place on any European tram module.
Well, that’s about it for Vauban but I’ll be featuring more tram inspired module ideas from other locations around the World soon I’m sure…