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…
Turns out there’s been one on Flickr since 2015 and it’s now amassed a sizeable collection of 8,300 photographs or short trains from around the World. Here is the link to the group: Short Trains With Up To 5 Wagons/Korte Goederentreinen.
The groups description says it features pictures of: “All types of freight trains with a maximum of 5 wagons, no separate locomotives or locomotive trains”.
If you click on the Photos link at the top of the page you’ll find there’s over 80 pages and each page holds about 100 photographs!
The photos are also useful because they often help identify the locations of rail-served industrial areas that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.
My only minor quibble is that I’ve found it most interesting to start at the back of the collection and work forwards because it does seem that the group may have lost it’s focus a little in recent years, with the lower numbered (more recent) pages featuring a greater number of photographs that don’t quite fit the group description.
In any case, it’s well worth a look and I’m sure you’ll find something that piques your interest or perhaps even provides inspiration for your next layout or module.