Zwijndrecht & Dordrecht, The Netherlands

Following on from my post about a bridge over the Savannah River in Georgia, USA, this week I thought I’d take a look at the area another bridge; this time the giant lift-bridge between the towns of Zwijndrecht and Dordrecht in the Netherlands.

“Grote Kerk Dordrecht” by bertknot is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

In case you haven’t guessed, it’s that white, futuristic looking structure towards the rear of the picture 🙂

I’ve probably said this already in previous posts but I’m not entirely sure I’m a fan of modern Netherlands architecture, however… it’s definitely a bridge that makes a statement, it’d be a very interesting scratchbuilding project and it’s shear size means it would make it an eye-catching model on an exhibition layout.

So let’s find out a bit more about the Zwijndrecht, Dordrecht and the bridge itself…

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The Betuweroute (A European Freight-Only Railway)

The Betuweroute is a modern, freight-only railway line in the Netherlands that connects the internationally important port of Rotterdam to the Rhine-Alpine freight corridor via the town of Zevenaar near the German border.

Metrans E186 182-2 With A Prague Shuttle by Nicky Boogaard – Own Work,
CC BY 2.0View Image

Like all contemporary infrastructure projects the Betuweroute was mired in controversy about it’s cost and viability but since opening in 2007, the number of trains using the line has been rising year-on-year. ProRail (the organisation responsible for Dutch rail infrastructure) report that the line now carries over 500 freight-trains a week making it a key section of the Rhine-Alpine freight corridor.

The Betuweroute is still something of an anomaly in Europe, having been designed and constructed solely to carry freight. So if you’re looking for something unique to model, the Betuweroute could be just the thing. Combine that uniqueness with the potential to incorporate some interesting scenes, modern architecture and a wide variety of potential freight rolling stock and I think there’s scope to build some interesting modules or cameos…

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Useful Website: railgoed.nl

I’ve been a fan of Lance Mindheim’s industrial switching layouts since I first saw his Downtown Spur in the US magazine Model Railroader. When I became interested in European railways I wondered if it would be possible to create something similar based on European practice and locations.

I’ve been able to find rail-served industrial areas just by searching maps using OpenStreetMap or OpenRailwayMap but frustratingly it’s not always possible to easily find photographs of the buildings or operations at these locations.

Then I found the railgoed.nl website after browsing the links page of railtrash.net.

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Useful Website: RailTrash

A while back I did a couple of posts about the Dordrecht Island in the Netherlands. The western side of the island has a rail served industrial area that I thought might make a good basis for some industrial modules or even a larger European themed industrial switching layout.

The Silo Dordrecht building caught my eye and it was while I was searching for images of that structure that I stumbled across a website called RailTrash

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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.

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