Modelable Intermodal Terminals #7: Vlaardingen Terminals, The Netherlands

While browsing through the Tank Car Trains album on Flickr I was intrigued by a picture of a Captrain locomotive pulling a string of tank cars through an industrial area in Vlaardingen in the Netherlands. After a bit of searching in Google Streetview I was able to figure out roughly where the photo was taken:

I can’t include the original image as it’s copyright but if you click the link above and take a look you’ll see the similarities. If we stand on the street called Vulcaanweg; the buildings on the left match the original photograph, the only difference is that the photographer must have been standing on the grassy bank between the two sets of tracks on the right.

Now this view wasn’t the most intriguing part. If you turn 180 degrees and ‘travel’ down Vulcaanweg a short distance things get even more interesting.

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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…


View Larger Map

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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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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Grain Silos & Feed Mills In Mount Joy, Pennsylvania

The town of Mount Joy in Pennsylvania, USA has been on my must research list ever since I found this photograph of the Wenger Feed Mill:

Wenger Feed Mill by Jim Epler – Own work, CC BY 2.0, View Image

You might think that’s strange because a closer look at the picture reveals there isn’t actually any track in the picture. While that observation is true, it’s still a very interesting and attractive jumble of buildings which would make a very nice scratch-building or kit-bashing project.

I don’t have a photo to show it but the facility is still rail served, it’s just that railcars are currently loaded/unloaded on the other (north) side of the facility. However there’s no reason why we couldn’t apply a little modellers license, add some track and create the option to model tracks on both sides of the facility.

There’s also something else not visible in the photo above that makes this location somewhat rare and interesting, at least in terms of US operations…

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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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Annacis Island Rail Barge/Car Float Slip

It’s been much too long since I last wrote about Annacis Island.

So in this post I’ll be taking a look at the Annacis Island barge slip and the car float service that operates between Annacis Island and Nanamio on Vancouver Island.

Annacis Marine Terminal (AMT) ~ Delta by Chris City – All rights reserved
Used with permission, View Image

The barge slip is a fairly simple facility but it has the potential to add some interesting operations to a model of the Annacis Island railroad…

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Inspirational Modelling #1 (Shunting Tractors)

While researching rail-served industries in the United States and Europe I’ve often seen pictures that include interesting looking rail-car movers or shunting tractors like this Mercedes Road Rail UniMog:

Unimog U-400 As Two-Way-Vehicle by LosHawlos – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, View Image

For a while I dabbled with the idea of creating a 3D model of one of these units but put the idea on the back-burner because I’d assumed it would be impossible to motorise something as small as a shunting tractor in N scale.

Then I saw this amazing bit of modelling posted on the East Surrey N Gauge blog: It’s shunting Jim, but not as we know it….

A fully-working, ‘free-range’ shunting tractor in N scale!

After taking a look at the video I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s an amazing piece of engineering and very inspirational.

Grain Silos: Useful Reference Photos

Grain silos are a common sight alongside railroads in agricultural areas and seaports in the United States and Canada.

Nebraska Grain Silo RAAM 2015 by D Ramey Logan – Own work, CC BY 4.0, View Image

Many of these silo complexes have evolved and expanded over time resulting in an interesting combination of different building materials and styles. As such they have the potential to make a fascinating scratch-building projects.

You’ll often find photographs of the whole complex but sometimes photographs of small details can provide inspiration for a project so I thought I’d share a few interesting photographs that I’ve discovered on the Internet…

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Useful Website: railgoed.nl

I’ve been a fan of Lance Mindheim’s industrial switching layouts since I first saw his Downtown Spur in the US magazine Model Railroader. When I became interested in European railways I wondered if it would be possible to create something similar based on European practice and locations.

I’ve been able to find rail-served industrial areas just by searching maps using OpenStreetMap or OpenRailwayMap but frustratingly it’s not always possible to easily find photographs of the buildings or operations at these locations.

Then I found the railgoed.nl website after browsing the links page of railtrash.net.

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