Wiki Articles: Small Layout Prototypes


Small Layout Prototypes

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Irish Peat Bog Railways
Prototype Army Depot
Prototype Caribbean Line
Prototype Traverser


Irish Peat Bog Railways


This page-let is here to draw attention to these very interesting railways. there is at least 600km of active narrow gauge, mostly 3ft gauge and mostly operated by Bord na Mona, in Eire. Have a look at my site here to see some pictures and a listing of the Bord na Mona lines.


The question is: has anyone built a micro-layout based on these prototypes?


– Kevin Payne, England


Prototype Army Depot


In the course of designing my micro layout, I remembered one site about 55 km away from my home: a former German army-base hidden in the woods at Weissig-Strassgraebchen. As the place has been vandalized by the local youth since the army left it (and the track been lifted by a local scrap-dealer two or three years ago) and as scrubs and trees have grown up considerably, it is almost impossible to take photos of the original place. Even so, I did a drawing (based on an original track plan which was passed to me and on the position of the concrete sleepers still in place) and wrote some notes.

This location might be of interest as it can be modelled either as an independent shelf-switcher or used as an additional shunting puzzle in the odd corner of a layout where it adds both to operations (shunting) and to the scenery whilst not adding a lot to costs.


– Peter Flaskamp, from Bautzen, Germany (near Dresden)


Peter’s Notes:


Until 1996, the German Federal Army operated the barracks at Strassgraebchen (formerly National People’s Army (GDR) flight-artillery-regiment 12) near Kamenz. In a forest, there were the barracks (so-called A-object), about 500m away was the ammunition-store (so-called B-object), which was connected to the railway Koenigsbrueck to Bernsdorf (-Hosena) by means of a 2.4 km private siding.


When looking at the tracks from a nearby road, it looked like the tracks lead only to a nearby quarry, but in fact the quarry was just a sub-user of that siding. The track from that “quarry-siding” passes a cutting covered by trees and can hardly be seen. The siding ends in an engine shed, and furthermore there are three points which permit running round and access to the head- and side-ramps and of the unloading-track (partly equipped with a trough). Due to the trees, the adjoining ammunitions-store cannot be seen.


Box cars (G- and H-type) can supply ammunitions, spares and meals, flat cars (R- and S-types) transport vehicles, hoppers (E- and F-types) bring coal or coke, tank-cars (Z-types) transport fuel.


The shunting-engine of the nearby station will push the wagons in, park them between the “WÜST”-signs (Wagen-Uebergabe-Stelle, or “wagon-handover-site”), and leave. All the other movements have to be handled by the private shunter owned by the army. As the length of the sidings is limited, the shunter has to move up and down rapidly to satisfy all departments. Not bad for a small siding, is it?

Further reading in this field (not on this particular site):
Wiesmüller, Benno, “Panzer Marsch!”, in: Eisenbahn-Magazin (Duesseldorf) 38 (2001) Nr. 7, pg. 84/85;
Lauscher, Stefan, “Die Diesellokomotiven der Wehrmacht. Die Geschichte der Baureihen V 20, V 36 und V 188”; 1. edition, Freiburg 1999;
Heusinkveld, Evert “Die Meppen-Haseluenner Eisenbahn“, 1. edition, Nordhorn 1994

(Peter J. Flaskamp)


Note: the depot site can be found on Google Maps here. –Carl

Prototype Caribbean Line


I like to surf the globe with Google Earth. Yesterday I found something remarkable, an operating railway line on the Caribbean island of St Kitts and Nevis! I managed to find a few links:

It turns out to be a tourist railway, mainly in conjunction with the large cruise ships, operating on a 30km circular line, originally built for the sugar cane industry. The line twists and turns itself over the island and has no less then 23 bridges. If you look at it in GE, you’d find an actual train running near the hamlet of Saddlers in the north. The main storage yard (it’s still operated for the sugar cane industry) is right next to the airport and has two return loops: one on either side. There is a branch to the freight port (the cruise ships dock elsewhere) with another branch suggested by GE, I couldn’t find that however…


GE also suggests railway lines on other islands, including Antigua and Barbuda, St Lucia, Barbados and Guadeloupe but I haven’t found any evidence in the landscape.


In any case, as I’ve said before: there’s a prototype for every layout! No sketches this time, but someone wanting to build a micro for it might choose to model only half of the island, to use the mountain (actually a volcano) as backdrop instead of putting down some hill in the middle of their design. OTOH, that also has it’s charms 😉


– Vincent Wesstein, the Netherlands



Believe it or not, the St. Kitts 30-inch line is moderately well known, due to the efforts of the narrow-gauge community to seek out lines that can be modeled on HO track using O scale (On30 or 0e)! It was featured in the Narrow Gauge and Short LIne Gazette (U.S. magazine) a couple years ago, with a focus on those delightful double-decker coaches. Here’s what the Worldwide Thirty-Inch Gauge Railways and Railroads page has to say about it:


St Kitts 58 kms, 1912-present. Does a complete circle right around the island. Built to serve the sugar industry. A scenic train trip has recently been established on this island, using double-deck coaches, probably a world first for narrow gauge railways.

– Carl Arendt, USA



If you want a good book about this railway, look for The St Kitts Railway by Jim Horsford, ISBN 1-900340-18-6.


– Kevin Payne, England

Prototype Traverser


I found a link to a prototype traverser. And: it’s brand new! Have a look here (note it has a 2nd page as well!) The locos in the pictures are shunters and are full sisters of the British Class 08 shunters. The pictures were made during a test of the traverser recently.


Found the page via Now no-one can say that traversers are outdated and aren’t built anymore! 😉


– Vincent Wesstein, the Netherlands