Rail Served Industries In Europe #2: A Ghost In Hamburg

This will be a quick post because I can’t find out much about this building, for the simple reason it’s not there any more:

However this is an almost perfect ‘ready-made’ cameo or micro shunting-module.

And yes, there are tracks there, honest…

…If you look just behind the wide grass verge you can just about make out a pair of tracks embedded in the concrete/tarmac apron in front of the beige building.

I’ll link to the Streetview imagery below (which will allow you to zoom-in if you’re still struggling to see the tracks).

If you’re reading this in the future I don’t know how long Streetview will show the scene above because even when I wrote this post in 2020 the buildings shown had gone, having been replaced by a new logistics centre that was built in 2018. Next time the Google Streetview car heads down Liebigstraße and updates the images it’ll be gone for good unfortunately.

For now anyway, you can see it’s a relatively simple scene but perfect to practice a bit of scratchbuilding, painting, weathering and/or vegetation creation. You could use it as non-operational cameo or if you want to operate trains then keep any fiddle yards really simple and it’d be an easily-transportable scene to just shuttle some wagons about on.

One of the things about this location that caught my eye was the amount of greenery in an otherwise industrial scene. It’s not something I’m used to seeing. That greenery at the edges acts a nice frame for the industrial buildings as well as acting as a natural view block on the left helping to disguise trains leaving that end of the board.

There’s also a couple of other elements that really help frame the scene and keep viewers focused on the trains/wagons. I think the shapes of the buildings naturally draw and even ‘trap’ a viewers eye’s into the middle of the scene which is perfect when you’re trying to disguise how small the layout actually is. Adding some small details to the yard and keeping fine detail on the roofs or walls of the buildings limited (particularly near the edges) would also help keep eyes focused on the centre of the scene.

If you had space to include the path and road at the front of the scene then I think you’d also be recreating the feel of a location that someone might feel like they could stumble upon themselves or perhaps they’ve even seen before which would help add to the realism of the scene as the minds eye often does a good job of filling in missing details.

Operationally it’s a bit more limited than some of the locations I’ve written about on this blog but if you had space you could put a set of points in the yard to allow wagons to switched between tracks.

I suspect that most of the loading and unloading that took place at this facility happened inside the building but there’s no reason why you couldn’t put a fork lift truck and lorry in the yard to create another spot for loading and unloading outside. That’d give you at least 3 spots to place wagons on and then shuffle around.

I think that’s about it for this one but if anyone knows what this building used to be don’t be afraid to leave a quick message below.

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