Annacis Island Industries #1: SSAB Hardox®

The first Annacis Island rail-served industry I thought I’d take a look at is SSAB Hardox. Here’s a picture of their building, spur and unloading facilities taken by Chris City:

SSAB Hardox by Chris City – All rights reserved
Used with permission, View Image

It’s a simple but has the potential to be quite an interesting and relatively compact module.

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Module Design: Scenery

In previous posts I’ve discussed the rules I’ve adopted that will govern module size, the type of track I’ll use and the minimum switch/curve radii of the trackwork but there’s one more thing to consider and that’s scenery at the module edges.

As a group of modules that make up a layout can be arranged to create a number of different formations you obviously don’t want a situation where a road on one module runs straight into a river or the side of a building on an adjoining module.

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Module Design: Track

Now that I’ve started finding some interesting locations it’s about time I started thinking about the steps needed to turn those location into working modules.

I suppose the first thing to think about is track. The FremoN-RE modular standard I’ve adopted offers plenty of guidance (a.k.a rules) on what’s acceptable. However I’m already thinking I’ll probably need to bend at least one of these rules to build what I can see in my head…

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Annacis Island

Location: Vancouver, Canada

Annacis Island is a largely industrial island on the Fraser river in British Columbia, Canada. It is located in the Delta region of the Vancouver metropolitan area, just south of downtown Vancouver.

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The numerous industrial buildings and extensive network of track (including a rail-barge terminal) you can see on the map above  provide plenty of opportunities for modules or a larger industrial switching layout.

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Designing The Framework Of A Simple Module

Having chosen a modular standard, the first thing you need to do is start cutting…

No not really, the first thing to do is read the standards document because this will usually give you very strict guidelines on the dimensions of the endplate. The endplate is where different modules will be connected together and for this to happen easily and reliably, the endplate needs to be uniform on all modules of the same standard. As it’s such a key part of the module, it makes sense to design the rest of the framework around the endplate.

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Choosing A Modular Standard

Once I’d decided I’d like to have a go at building some modules the next step was to decide which modular standard I would use.

After many hours reading the different standards it became apparent that many focused on putting as many tracks as possible onto relatively small boards with tight curves to maximize the available space. Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, but I already knew I wanted to create modules that were as realistic as possible.

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Welcome To My Blog

I thought I better get on and make my first post and explain what I hope to achieve on these pages.

I’ve actually been thinking about building a model railway for many years. During this time I developed an interest in prototypes in both North America and Europe, amassed a sizeable collection of models from both locations and so could never settle on a particular country or location to model. Then I found out about modular layouts and that seemed to be the answer I was looking for as I wouldn’t be forced to commit to a particular country or location in the limited space I had available.

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