Sunday 7 July 2024

A journey from here to there

 personal philosophy 

In order to be a modeller of railways there needs to be a model railway. It doesn't matter if it is a loft or an Ikea box, there has to be a railway, otherwise we are mere collectors of things in boxes.

Occasionally, a thought begins to become a concern, why build a model railway and why choose a particular subject? My obsession, for it is an obsession, is to create something naturalistic that pleases the eye and restores old memories of quiet rural railways of Southern Germany. 

I greatly admire those individuals who devout a lifetime to build a perfect representation of a actual location, set at a specific time/date. Their dedication is admirable but there are constraints, as they can utilise space and have access to information, neither of which I enjoy. By contrast, my world is one of limited to just 5m x 1m and limited information from both the internet and the few books that feature my chosen subject.

My project is based upon a notion that a modest rural line in the Fichtelgebirge had been extended a few more kilometres before funding was finally exhausted and the planned wayside station became a terminus for the remainder of its short life.

The generic trackplan is simple, the only extravagance is a tiny wooden loco shed with fuel+water and the style of the station buildings is typical of the builder. 

Various features (LDEs) from around the location are recycled, all chosen for their similarity to other local features. Colours are carefully chosen from a palette used in the location, mostly natural, a mix of greens + earth, subtle rather than brash. 

The stock was carefully selected with help from local experts, there are no 'special' visitors as everything must have been used on rural lines within 25kms during the timeframe 1950-68. 

The wherefore of operation on Pottendorf
 
The layout in the shed is small, only about 3,4m of scenic area with four storage roads, this means that it is a shunting puzzle rather than ‘parade’ style layout. Four is the magic number as there were just four trains per day on a typical branch in the mid ‘50s. 
 
The stocklist reflects the purpose of the layout, just a few wagons and coaches plus a railbus are the four trains that shuffle backwards and forwards. The wagons form two trains, the coaches another with the railbus as the simple shuttle that does not shunt at all. 
 
Each of the four scenic roads has at least one uncoupler, the platform has two so that after uncoupling from the head of the train, the loco can pick off vehicles from the train and set them into sidings. 
 
Running through all four trains should take about 25-30 minutes of intense concentration, enough to keep me happy.

I hope that this explains the approach.

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