Montag, 30. Januar 2017

Inspiration: Distelweg, Amsterdam

Planning for the new layout in the new room continues. Most probably I will stick to the original theme of Valkenveld, a freight short line in the early 1960s in The Netherlands. This allows lots of operations with short trains and many industries. On the available space of 250 cm length it also seems the only viable option when I do not want to shorten track lengths dramatically or overload the space with tracks.

I came across a particularly interisting prototype that could form an important inspiration: the former freight line on the Distelweg in Amsterdam. This line is perfectly described with many images on the site of the AGA museum. The website even features a list of industries and which car types and loads they have seen. Below are some images from the site and a first track plan option for my layout inspired by this prototype.

Source of all plans and images: AGA Museum









Plan by Jaap Veldhuis for a modular layout of Distelhaven.

Below my own interpretation fitting my l-shaped layout room. Thematically this layout fit perfectly to my existing Valkenveld layout with lots more of switching operations. I did not include the ferry as this would take away too much room. However, I am thinking of a quayside allowing shiploads to be transfered to freight cars. The layout is 250 cm long and on the L 110 cm deep. The curved track furthest to the right on the L is the main coming into the yard. This track could lead to a cassette-style fiddle yard or even the existing Valkenveld layout.


Montag, 23. Januar 2017

Inspiration: Modelspoordagen Rijswijk

Last year, I was very enthousiastic about the Modelspoordagen in De Broodfabriek in Rijswijk. One of the smaller event, but with high quality layouts and a sales area that does not overwhelm you. Just right for a few hours and lots of inspiration.

This year, it seemed there were fewer layouts and I missed essential stands with products I was looking for (there was little in high-quality scenery materials and paint). But my overall impression is still positive. There were a few layouts that I found really inspiring. Most of these had been shown on earlier events like Ontraxs, but were new for me. Anyway, seeing a great layout back can never do any harm. There is always something new to discover.

I particularly liked:

Midsommar pa Högskogen: a simple, Swedish themed oval layout with only three switches in the visible area but still interesting operations and very nice detailing.

The Fridge: a US themed switching layout that uses cassettes as fiddle yard on both ends. I am currently exploring if cassettes could be an option for me as well. 

Western Rhapsody: another finely detailed US layout, however much bigger with longer trains running.


Het Venhuizer Spoortje: the track layout of this Dutch layout is a bit too simplistic for me and operations did not grab my attention. However, the scenery detailing and reflection of Dutch countryside was sublime.

Here some videos shot by other hobbyists (mainly from Ontraxs) and some own images:










Cassette system on The Fridge


Het Venhuizer Spoortje









Midsommar pa Högskogen






Montag, 9. Januar 2017

A small "in-between" project

Two aspects hamper my current model railroading progress:

- Plans to rebuild the "home" of Valkenveld into a new room for my son. His existing room will then house amongst other things my railroading activities. At best this will mean a larger section of (still small) 250 x 40 cm for a new layout.
- My indecisiveness on whether the new layout should feature The Netherlands in the 1960s or an Austrian theme in the late 1980s.

But I made one decision: to do a small building project in the meantime. In an old Railhobby magazine (May-June 2012, p. 28, by Rob Mooij) I found the description of the "Trafohuis" on the Hogeweg 205 in Amersfoort. It is a neat little building in a style that I very much appreciate. Works will commence soon (hopefully).

The transformer at Hogeweg 205 in Amersfoort, The Netherlands. Designed in 1938 by C. B. van der Tak for PUEM. Source: rijksmonumenten

Drawing by Rob Mooij in Railhobby May-June 2012

A real life Inglenook: Velbert Süd in Germany


While reading through an old MIBA publication (Ulrich Rockelmann: 80  Bahnhofspläne, MIBA Verlag, 1989) I came across a station plan that seemed almost an exact copy of an Inglenook layout: the Güterladestelle Velbert Süd in Germany as it existed until the 1970s.

This small freight yard has originally been part of a larger station, the end point Velbert on the line from Wülfrath. When the line got extended from Velbert to Kettwig the planners ran into a problem: the local situation did not allow a simple extension of the existing station. Therefore a new through station was built and named Velbert Hauptbahnhof. 


The old station was ultimately reduced to a small freight yard. The yard consisted of three tracks and Trains had to be pushed into the station via the yard lead - exactly as in Valkenveld or any other Inglenook-style layout. As a special feature the yard lead included a switch and industrial track. Due to the limited size trains often had to be broken up to reach the industry and yard. Very much a model railroad-like situation!


Scan from Ulrich Rockelmann: 80 Bahnhofspläne, MIBA Verlag, 1989, page 54.