The Remersdaal or Remersdael (German spelling) viaduct is a rather utilitarian concrete structure located in the attractive rolling countryside of north-east Belgium.
As you can see from the picture, the viaduct is nicely framed by the surrounding hills and trees and has the potential to make a very interesting feature…
The Remersdaal viaduct carries the freight-only Line 24 across the valley of the Gulp river. I’ve highlighted the viaduct on a map of Line 24 below:
Line 24 connects the Belgian town of Tongeren to Aachen, Germany and is itself part of the longer Montzen route that connects the international port of Antwerp to important industrial areas in the Ruhr Valley, Germany.
Line 24 is currently freight-only but until 1957 it did have a passenger service that operated between Visé and Montzen.
According to this article on Rail Gazette, in 2009, when the route was fully-electrified, it was “…being used by 35,000 trains a year — around 110 per day.” Of those “…40% are moving to or from the ports of Antwerpen and Zeebrugge and another 7% serve industries in the Antwerpen region.”
Here’s a more detailed map of the area around the viaduct:
The viaduct is much bigger than it looks in photographs; at 390m long it’s about 2.5m (8ft) in N scale. An accurate model would span three of my 105cm wide modules!
I found a little more detail about the dimensions of the viaduct on the website of Jaak Nijssen. A book written by Jaak states that: “The Remersdaal bridge…” is “…on average 22 m high. It consists of 14 arches with a 20 m span each.” You can read the chapter about the concrete bridges of Line 24 here.
If you had the space it’s a perfect spot though; you couldn’t ask for better natural framing:
Being so long you might think it wouldn’t really be a suitable candidate for using T-Trak modules but you could capture the essence of the viaduct by modelling a short section flanked by trees. As in the photograph below:
The viaduct was built using crushed-concrete and is rather plain with little or no decorative ‘trim’ except for maybe the catenary supports and the areas at either end of the viaduct (see picture below).
The only tricky bit about recreating the viaduct might be realistically replicating some of the weathering that is visible in many shots of the viaduct and the Google StreetView imagery above.
The photos I’ve used in this post so far include older Belgian locomotives such as the NMBS/SNCB Class 55 diesel locomotive and the SNCB Class 23 electric locomotive. I’ve always liked Belgian locomotives and rolling stock but as far as I know they aren’t produced by any of the major N-scale manufacturers; at least not yet.
If you’re interested in seeing more pictures of old-school Belgian locomotives on the Montzen route take a look at the images I’ve collated in a gallery on RailPictures.net.
DB Class 225 and DB Class 241 diesel locomotives are also regularly seen crossing the border and operating into Belgium. You can see a gallery of contemporary trains on the Montzen route here on: http://treinfotostop.net.
Luckily there shouldn’t be any problems finding any of these ‘newer’ locomotives in N scale as they are all produced by a number of manufacturers.
Here’s the exception that hopefully proves that rule: possibly the only TRAXX livery I’ve not seen in N scale 🙂
That’s about it for Remersdaal but I’ll come back to Line 24 soon as there are other famous viaducts just a couple of miles to the west and east…