Inspirational Layouts #1: Schwungischerplatz

I thought it might be worth doing a series of posts to share some of the layouts and models that I have found inspirational in the hope that they might inspire you too.

So here is Schwungischerplatz…

Schwungischerplatz – Photo by Matt Lamb – All rights reserved – Used with permission,
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In the words of it’s creators (Marc Fuller of Ickenham & District Society of Model Engineers), Schwungischerplatz is: “…an N gauge model railway layout representing a busy scene in a German city”.

I’ve seen Schwungischerplatz at a couple of different model railway exhibitions (Letchworth MRC exhibition/Milton Keynes MRS exhibition) and have always been impressed by the quality of the modelling and the fact that the exhibition team always keep an interesting range of German/Austrian rolling stock on show.

The layout is what I call a ‘watch-the-trains-go-by-layout’ set in a German city with a definite nod to Berlin and the riverside Jannowizbrücke section of the Berlin stadtbahn.

Schwungischerplatz is 12ft (3.6m) long by 3ft (1m) wide, so you might be thinking why have I chosen to highlight such a big model when I’m always talking about modules and cameos? Which is a good question. However it’s worth remembering that most exhibition layouts are actually quite close to being modular because they are nearly always broken into sections for transport. There’s no reason why with careful design they couldn’t be created in a way that would allow sections to be added/removed without ‘breaking’ the whole layout. It’s also worth remembering that as long as the outer-most edges of a layout conform to a modular standard then there is usually no reason why they couldn’t be incorporated into many modular standards. City layouts also lend themselves to modules as it’s much easier to hide module joins along road edges or even with drop-in buildings that sit over module joins.

So back to Schwungischerplatz: which features a double track mainline, a large station with terminus tracks, tram lines and even a short section of underground line with an S-bahn/U-bahn station. I really like seeing trains on different levels as it is very reminiscent of many major European train stations, for example, the new Berlin Hauptbahnhof ,Amsterdam Sloterdijk or Antwerpen-Centraal to name just a few.

Almost the entire length of the layout is scenic area so there is plenty of space for running long trains and displaying a range of buildings in differing architectural styles. The large station building effectively hides the corners at one end of the layout and the part-station approach allows you to model a much larger station than you might otherwise have space for.

Schwungischerplatz – Photo by Matt Lamb – All rights reserved – Used with permission,
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The layout is constantly evolving so there is usually something new when you get to see it and it’s impressive how well the modifications are worked into the existing layout. It’s well worth taking the time to watch-the-trains-go-by as well as looking for and appreciating all the small details that have been added to the layout over it’s lifetime.

If you want to find out more about the layout and it’s scheduled exhibition appearances then take a look at the layouts Facebook page: Schwungischerplatz.

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