2010-02-26 OnTraxs

I visited the second edition of the OnTraxs event in Dutch Railway museum. I am usually very reserved, if not to say mocking, about the Dutch railway Museum. Since its refurbishment it has turned into an amusement park rather than a museum. A friend of mine aptly described it as a "succesfull eventhall annoyed by the heap of scrap metal on its doorstep". I must admit though that the OnTraxs event is well organised and fits well in the mission of any museum "to enhance the interest in and memory of" in this case "railways". Looking at the crowds of parents with young children gazing at the stunningly beautiful layouts present, one can only hope that the intererst in this hobby will be transferred to a new generation.
DSC09094  The day started with a very familiar face: Hagen von Ortloff from     Eisenbahnromantik DSC09107b DSC09102b DSC09101b
DSC09105  A Shay peeks from under the trestle DSC09108b DSC09106  Impressive!! DSC09113b
DSC09111  Always some talkin' ado DSC09112b DSC09114b DSC09115  This man seems to have an appointment
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DSC09122b DSC09123   "Kapelleke in den bosch"   This is a layout af Belgian origin by     model railroad club Het Spoor      It impressed especially by the very natural depiction of the buildings, though unfortunately they do not appear so in the photographs. DSC09125b DSC09129  A disused track, rarely modeled
DSC09130b DSC09131  I don't know if this was on purpose, everybody seems to be in the middle of an earthquake DSC09132  further in the backgrounds thing are no better DSC09133
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DSC09138  A local tramway steam loco shunting on the main yard DSC09139  The station building of Rhenen DSC09140b DSC09141b
DSC09142   De Bossche Tram  A nice depiction in large scale of the tramway of 's Hertogenbosch DSC09143  Two neat wogons DSC09145b DSC09147   Nettlecomb  Well, as far as I am concerned, Nettlecomb was absolutely the top of the show. I couldn't find the story of the layout on the internet but I presume that this layout, like its sister layout     Kingston Regis     is situated in the tens of the previous century
DSC09146  These minute loco's ran absolutely silky. Look at the tremendous detail of the coal wagons, keep in mind they are only centimeters long DSC09148b DSC09149  The ramsbottom safety valve stands out. Note the interior of the signal box!! Is this really OO9??!! DSC09150  An auto coach service just arrived on the front platform and on the other side of the platform a holidaymakers train is just filling up.
DSC09151  In the nearby village everyday life flows on unnoticed, just another day in those innocent years. Who would have thought that two wars and technological progress would slash up this world forever? DSC09153  Brooming the house (da houz, in new English) DSC09155  This photo is technically all but perfect, but I liked it so much I included it anyway DSC09156  Nettlecombe in its full glory. Look at the realism of the thatched roofs.
DSC09157  Testimony of the shows already attended. Rightfully this layout has been awarded a "best of show" distinction for at least five times (Royston 2005, White Web Museum 2006, Croydon 2006, Letchworth 2006,  Folkstone 2008). I voted for this layout to be the best one of OnTraxs, though I must admit it having stiff competition from........ DSC09161   Sutton Wharf  A very small layout indeed, in this photo you see about half of it. The builder took full advantage of the possibilities of the large 1:25 scale.   Forget the purple glow in the lower part of the photo, this is a lighting effect I could not avoid. DSC09162b DSC09163  A feast for the eye
DSC09164 DSC09165  This is the right half of the layout DSC09166 DSC09167
DSC09168  Again: stunning DSC09169 DSC09159b DSC09175b
DSC09181b DSC09191 DSC09173b DSC09184b
DSC09180  Though not a very sharp photo,  it is very atmospheric DSC09194b DSC09190  The layout held a surprise which people did not fail  to notice. Amazement all around. A diminutive  diesel loco shunts a cart with a crate around. The sound was well audible and realistic (over a separate speaker system). The loco emerged from a building on the left side, crossed the open space and entered a building at the otherside... DSC09172b
DSC09183b DSC09200   Conclusion  I had a great day. I have seen layouts that can be counted to the very best of Europe. OnTraxs managed to surpass all existing main yearly fairs (Eurospoor, Rail and Nederlandse Modelspoordagen) in just two editions. Next year I'll be there again.