Not the kind of site I usually feature on this blog but I’ve got to be honest, despite being dubious at first, I’m well and truly hooked now. I’m finding it’s actually a bit of a treasure trove of inspirational modelling and interesting prototype pictures.
If you want to take a look you can find my Pinterest profile here:
It’s been a while since I wrote a post about a modelable European intermodal yard so today I thought we could take a look at the Terminal Combiné Chavornay SA (TERCO) intermodal yard in Chavornay, Switzerland.
In lieu of any photos of the complex, here’s a satellite image of the yard and its immediate surroundings:
So far so ordinary perhaps, but this yard caught my eye because it’s indirectly connected to the Swiss national railway system by an intriguing little Swiss short-line called the Orbe-Chavornay railway.
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.
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…
I first spotted this interesting bridge a few years back when Google Map exploring the railroads and industrial spurs around Savannah, Georgia.
Something about the control tower and massive counter-weight structure appealed to me and I have always thought it would make an excellent North American river crossing module and scratchbuilding project.
You might think that’s strange because a closer look at the picture reveals there isn’t actually any track in the picture. While that observation is true, it’s still a very interesting and attractive jumble of buildings which would make a very nice scratch-building or kit-bashing project.
I don’t have a photo to show it but the facility is still rail served, it’s just that railcars are currently loaded/unloaded on the other (north) side of the facility. However there’s no reason why we couldn’t apply a little modellers license, add some track and create the option to model tracks on both sides of the facility.
There’s also something else not visible in the photo above that makes this location somewhat rare and interesting, at least in terms of US operations…
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.
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…
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 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.
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.
Plus: Ideas & Techniques To Create More Realistic/Effective Scenes On Narrow Modules
Continuing with the theme of modules with slightly unusual scenes and viewpoints I thought I’d discuss this photograph of the northern entrance of Wolfsburg Hauptbanhof in Germany.
North Entrance of Wolfsburg Main Station & ICE Power Car by Matthias Frey – Own work, Used With Permission, View Image
It’s a brilliant photograph with excellent composition; in fact it’s the kind of image you don’t often see in railway photography where of course the focus is the trains. However the unusual perspective sparked some ideas for modules and module design in general that I’ll be discussing in this post…