Rail Served Industries In Europe #4: Nestlé Suisse, Orbe, Switzerland

This building has been on my radar for a while after I stumbled across it while writing about the Terminal Combiné Chavornay SA back in 2019. What’s the connection?

The Nestlé Suisse facility in Orbe is just up the railway tracks from the town of Chavornay.

Here’s a Streetview of the modern loading facilities at Nestlé in Orbe:

I’d not seen a loading bay with exterior weather shielding like this before and I thought it might be an interesting feature to recreate in miniature…

Here’s a map of the sidings in the Streetview images above:


View Larger Map

As you can probably tell from this map, the gap in the ‘windows’ on the front of the loading bay is there to allow wagons to be switched between the two tracks that run alongside the building and unloading bay. That does add a bit of interest to operations and also allows a locomotive to pull the train into the siding rather than pushing it in.

The Orbe facility produces those little Nespresso coffee pods which are shipped out in a variety of sliding wall wagons. Coffee is also received by rail in black Nestle hopper wagons but that happens in a different part of the facility (where the tracks curve off to the right in the map above). I suppose with a bit of modellers license you could incorporate both coffee unloading and finished product loading in the same scene but I’m not going to tackle that here.

The warehouse building is about 150m long, including the section at the far end of the tracks with the black facade and Nestlé branding (you can see this if you turn to the left in the Streetview imagery at the top of this post). That scales to about 3ft or just under 1 metre in N scale. Not too bad.

You might want to include a bit more of track work to the right of the roundabout though. If you kept the kink in the tracks then you could possibly include the road and a couple of buildings to disguise the end of the baseboard, something like this perhaps:

There’s one more interesting thing about these sidings that those with eagle eyes may have already spotted…

…the tracks in these sidings have catenary! Traditional masts on the outer track and from what I can make out some kind of fixed bus-bar arrangement inside the building.

It’s not often you see electrically powered industrial sidings and it’d be nice to model one of the Orbe-Chavornay Ee 2/2 2 locomotives working the sidings:

Originally uploaded by Rynacher: (Locomotive Ee 2/2 2 (Ee 927 602) at Orbe station).
Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

I don’t think anyone produces one of those in model form so it’s likely to be a scratchbuilding project. If that’s not your thing, in reality it seems most of the shunting of the Nestle plant is done by a Travys G1000 diesel locomotive because that allows freight cars to taken directly into the Orbe-Chavornay/SBB interchange sidings at Chavornay without switching locomotives (the Orbe-Chavornay railway currently still uses a different overhead line voltage to the rest of the Swiss railway network):

Travys Am 842 705-6 by FlugZüge. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

You could always substitute the Travys liveried locomotive with an SBB Cargo liveried locomotive though.

I think that’s about it for this post but if this post has got you curious about the rest of the tracks and operations on this little Swiss line try these links to get started:

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