Mittwoch, 29. März 2017

Inspiration: Feijenoordse Meesters

The Dutch website "Feijenoordse Meesters" showcases fascinating inspiration for anyone interested in freight traffic in urban settings. The site features images, video’s and even maps and plans from the tracks in and around Feyenoord. The section "Trein in de wijk" holds particular interest for me as it covers lots of street running images in the Raccordement Katendrecht. 

Another great resource for this area is the site of Arthur Kamminga: Op dood spoor.

Here some images from the Feyenoordse Meesters site:

Sonntag, 26. März 2017

Night Shift

Two workers of Hoekstra's Oliefabrieken enjoy a pipe and chat during a break in the night shift.

Samstag, 25. März 2017

Planning for the Valkenveld II shelf layout

I have done a lot of planning for the new layout lately, Valkenveld II. I enjoy planning as much as building and operating a model railroad. 

After some back and forth, I have decided to stay true to the current theme, a switching layout situated in The Netherlands in the early 1960s. Another option would have been an Austrian themed layout.

My inspiration comes from a number of industrial lines, like the former Distelweg line in Amsterdam Noord, Ede-Wageningen, Deventer, and others. I will not try to strictly follow a certain prototype, but proto-freelance drawing on inspiration from various prototypes.

Key measurements are:
  • L-shape of 250 x 110 cm
  • Aisle depth 45 cm 
  • Cupboard height at 135 cm
  • Top of rails at ca. 145 cm

The “must-haves” for the new layout are:
  •            Lots of operational fun without looking overcrowded
  •           Elegant track plan
  •           RocoLine or Tillig Elite rails
  •          Overall feeling that the modeled section resembles not a terminus station but is part of a freight-only short line
  •           Run-around track with at least 5-6 cars capacity
  •           Variety of interesting scenes, buildings and industries.
  •           Attachable, folding fiddle yard with 3 tracks (but the layout should be operational without the yard as well)
  •      Minimum radius of 50 cm

“Nice-to-haves” are:
  •          A bridge/canal
  •          Street running
  •      -  Passenger excursions
I have shown a first plan inspired by the Distelweg industrial line earlier. On second thought, this plan has a lot of industries but also looks too crammed and overcrowded. The minimum radius is below 50 cm.

Distelweg in Amsterdam Noord, inspiration for the above track plan.

Since then, I have done many variations of the original plan. Some I will show here below.

This plan is elegant but offers not enough switching possibilities for my taste.

In this plan, I wanted to have the team track road in-between the incoming track and the team track. This would make the plan more interesting. However, it would not be really safe to have trucks move around close to the incoming track.

Finally, this is my current favorite. It is elegant and has a lot of operational potential. The minimum radius is 54.28 cm (RocoLine radius No. 5).

A slight variation to the above plan with an insertion between tracks 1 and 2. This allows some space between tracks 1 and 4 without the slight S-curve.

And finally with insertion between tracks 1 and 2 and a slight S-curve. You can go on and on and on...

Montag, 20. März 2017

New Railroad Room

After a couple of weekends of hard labor, Valkenveld has been finally moved to its new home - the new "Railroad Room" slash study. The height of the rails is now at 145 cm, a great height to view and operate the layout. All equipment is neatly stored in the cupboards below. An operating session can be started at the throw of a switch! What is really missing, however, is proper lighting which I will install with a new layout.

Planning for the new layout continued. I hope to be able to report shortly on progress. The new layout will cover the full length of 250 cm plus an L-shaped extension on the right of 110 cm. The depth will correspond with the cupboards' depth of 45 cm. I am also planning for a folding fiddle yard and an upper fascia to include led lighting strips (see the example from Lance Mindheim below).

"Miami" is one of Lance Mindheim's shelf layouts and a good example how a shelf layout can be beautifully integrated in a room. I especially like the upper fascia. Source: lancemindheim

Sonntag, 19. März 2017

Valkenveld featured on Carl Arendt small layout website

The late Carl Arendt was a pioneer in developing and promoting small layouts. He has written many books like "52 Micro Layouts You Can Build" and the "Small Layout Scrapbook" and published a website. Carl Arendt's heritage lives on as others keep his famous website alive. Model Railroader magazine has even featured an article about the site. contains many track plans and ideas for small layout enthusiasts. My layout Valkenveld has been included in the March layout update.