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…

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Rail Served Industries In Europe #3: Aurubis, Hamburg, Germany

Here’s an interesting real-World track layout for you…


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It’s in the grounds of the massive Aurubis copper production and recycling facility in east Hamburg. It’s a sprawling site but this section of track in particular caught my eye because it’s similar to the track plan of a significant number of model railways…

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Rail Served Industries In Europe #1: Salzgitter Mannesmann Stahlhandel, Hamburg, Germany

I was taking a virtual tour around the railways in Hamburg via Google Maps today and spotted this interesting looking building at the end of a seemingly abandoned line in an industrial area:

From what I can glean web searching and Google translating, this is part of the Salzgitter Mannesmann Stahlhandel facility that manufactures and sells a range of steel products, some of which, despite the state of the track in places, still appear to arrive or depart by train. A potential shelf layout here I think…

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Modelable Intermodal Facilities #5 (Schwedenkai, Kiel, Germany)

After a long break from posting anything on this website I thought I’d get back into the swing of things by taking a look at an interesting little intermodal facility in the German port-city of Kiel called Schwedenkai.

Hafen Kiel/Ostsee by BAW_Bundesanstalt für Wasserbau – Own work, CC BY 2.0, View Image

Schwedenkai is one of eight terminals that are part of the wider Port of Kiel. As you many have guessed from the name, Schwedenkai is the terminal for passengers and freight heading for Sweden. In the picture above, it’s the area between the water and the tree lined road from the bridge at the bottom, up to and including the flat areas around the Stena Line ship in the centre of the picture.

The compact nature of the rail-freight handling facilities at Schwedenkai means they could be built as a stand-alone module/cameo, as a small shelf-layout or even as part of a larger German-themed static layout. Read on to find out more…

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Interesting Idea For A Module #11 (Erfurt Hbf)

Erfurt Hauptbahnhof

Following on from my recent post about Wolfsburg Hauptbanhof and the idea of using the ‘half-station’ approach to model a large station in a small space I thought I’d take a look at Erfurt Hauptbahnhof.

Erfurt Hauptbahnhof by Ingolf – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.0, View Image

Erfurt Hauptbahnhof is an interesting mix of old and new architecture much of which could easily be modelled in a small space but what really caught my eye is an interesting tram/bus-only underpass that really lends itself to modular modelling.

Read on to find out more…

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Interesting Idea For A Module #9 (Freiburg Trams)

Trams In Vauban, Freiburg

I’ve always thought that scenes involving trams are particularly well suited to T-Trak modules; trams run in shorter formations than regular trains, tram track formations tend to be quite compact and by their nature, trams are usually found in more densely populated areas with (hopefully) lots of interesting architecture to model.

By Tram Into The Newly Built Area Of Freiburg by Matthias Frey – Own work,
Used With Permission, View Image

Plus if you don’t want to model a purely urban scene, as the photograph above shows, tram lines can offer interesting opportunities to mix more natural elements with busy city scenes.

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Interesting Idea For A Module #10 (Wolfsburg Hbf)

Plus: Ideas & Techniques To Create More Realistic/Effective Scenes On Narrow Modules

Continuing with the theme of modules with slightly unusual scenes and viewpoints I thought I’d discuss this photograph of the northern entrance of Wolfsburg Hauptbanhof in Germany.

North Entrance of Wolfsburg Main Station & ICE Power Car by Matthias Frey – Own work,
Used With Permission, View Image

It’s a brilliant photograph with excellent composition; in fact it’s the kind of image you don’t often see in railway photography where of course the focus is the trains. However the unusual perspective sparked some ideas for modules and module design in general that I’ll be discussing in this post…

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Modelable Intermodal Facilities #4 (Ultra-Brag)

In this post I’ll be taking a look at the Rhine intermodal port facilities of Swiss logistics company Ultra-Brag.

Destiny by Andreina Schoeberlein – Own work, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, View Image

Ultra-Brag have three tri-modal (road/river/rail) facilities in the Swiss city of Basel. These are located in:

  • the Kleinhüningen neighbourhood of Basel;
  • the Birsfelden municipal area to the east of Basel;
  • and the port of Auhafen in Muttenz, a little further east.

The relatively compact nature of these sites means they could be built as modules/cameos, as shelf-layouts or even included as part of a larger static layout. Read on to find out more…

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