With the decline of wagonload freight in present-day Europe, it’s sometimes difficult to find prototype trains to recreate that won’t look out of place on a small layout and won’t cost an absolute fortune to buy or scratchbuild in miniature.
If you model US railroads, there is still a fair amount of wagonload freight running, but the trains are often marshalled into incredibly long formations, especially on the Class 1 railroad lines.
If only there was a gallery of photographs of short freight trains for inspiration…
It’s in the grounds of the massive Aurubis copper production and recycling facility in east Hamburg. It’s a sprawling site but this section of track in particular caught my eye because it’s similar to the track plan of a significant number of model railways…
I was taking a virtual tour around the railways in Hamburg via Google Maps today and spotted this interesting looking building at the end of a seemingly abandoned line in an industrial area:
From what I can glean web searching and Google translating, this is part of the Salzgitter Mannesmann Stahlhandel facility that manufactures and sells a range of steel products, some of which, despite the state of the track in places, still appear to arrive or depart by train. A potential shelf layout here I think…
After a long break from posting anything on this website I thought I’d get back into the swing of things by taking a look at an interesting little intermodal facility in the German port-city of Kiel called Schwedenkai.
Schwedenkai is one of eight terminals that are part of the wider Port of Kiel. As you many have guessed from the name, Schwedenkai is the terminal for passengers and freight heading for Sweden. In the picture above, it’s the area between the water and the tree lined road from the bridge at the bottom, up to and including the flat areas around the Stena Line ship in the centre of the picture.
The compact nature of the rail-freight handling facilities at Schwedenkai means they could be built as a stand-alone module/cameo, as a small shelf-layout or even as part of a larger German-themed static layout. Read on to find out more…
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…
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…