Rail Served Industries In Europe #3: Aurubis, Hamburg, Germany

Here’s an interesting real-World track layout for you…


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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…

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Rail Served Industries In Europe #1: Salzgitter Mannesmann Stahlhandel, Hamburg, Germany

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…

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Modelable Intermodal Facilities #5 (Schwedenkai, Kiel, Germany)

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.

Hafen Kiel/Ostsee by BAW_Bundesanstalt für Wasserbau – Own work, CC BY 2.0, View Image

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…

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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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Bridge Over The Savannah River (Savannah, Georgia)

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.

I’ve also wanted to do a post about it for ages…

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Grain Silos & Feed Mills In Mount Joy, Pennsylvania

The town of Mount Joy in Pennsylvania, USA has been on my must research list ever since I found this photograph of the Wenger Feed Mill:

Wenger Feed Mill by Jim Epler – Own work, CC BY 2.0, View Image

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…

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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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Inspirational Modelling #3 (Boulder Creek Railroad)

Luke Towan & Boulder Creek Railroad

Over the last couple of months I’ve presented a lot of locations that could be recreated as modules but I haven’t done a lot of module building myself.

I’ve started a Stadtbahn module on a Gatorboard T-Trak baseboard but it’s still very early days. So I thought it might be useful to show just what can be achieved in a small space by highlighting the amazing dioramas of Luke Towan…

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Interesting Idea For A Module #12 (Beijing South)

Chinese High Speed Trains

In my last couple of posts I’ve been talking a lot about modules that use the ‘half-station’ approach to model a big station in a small space.

So far I’ve only looked at examples in Europe so here’s a picture of a Chinese station scene that caught my eye:

High-Speed Trains At The Gate by Scott Meltzer – Own Work, CC0 1.0, View Image

I love this line-up of Chinese high-speed trains. I don’t know a lot about Chinese rolling stock but many of the units in that picture look distinctly Japanese in origin/design.

Read on for more pictures…

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