1 For the seventh consecutive time the Dutch railway museum organised the Ontraxs exhibition. The goal is to gather Europe's best micro layouts. Large layouts are simply too cumbersome in the confined space of the far too small museum and focus is on the highest quality rather than quantity, and time and moneywise the two usually do not mix. There were 26 interesting layouts and dioramas present of which I picked a few to my fancy to show to you. There were two, I must say, I could not get to because I simply could not get trhrough the crowds gathered there. "Amsterdam 1955" was very impressive and Marcel Ackle was present with one of his magnificent creations. So I have no photos these. Speaking of which, I did not feel like going through all the trouble of working with my tripod and my DSLR so I left them home and worked with my cellphone's camera. With reasonable results but it does show here and there. Europe's best micro layouts, did the museum achieve its goal? I think increasingly less so. First it is difficult to maintain the standards it set in the first two years. Second the event is intended to draw couples with children rather than railway enthusiasts. So slowly Ontraxs is loosing its appeal. The museum seems to realise that as significantly the show was for the first not called Ontraxs as such but Modeltrein Expo (Model railway show) with the old Ontraxs name only as subtitle. There is change in the air.
2 Schoonhoven is a city in the mid-west of the Netherlands renowned for its silver industry. It had a standard gauge tramway connection to Gouda from 1914 to 1942. The diorama shows the Schoonhoven station. The station building and the depot shed are still in existance to day (see Google StreetView)
7 Though offically a tramway the line was operated with light railway engines, like this 8100 class.
12 Not quite in focus is this NS 6700, conceived for light railway operation.
13 The space between the boiler and the tank allow the staff to pass to carriages if it is running bunker first. The backside simply has a door to do the same when running forward.
14 Moerdijk (see this Google map) is a country-wide known industrial area in the south of the Netherlands with lots of chemical industries. Smeerdyk by Henk Wust is a wink to this (smeer meaning as much as smudge): an imaginary chemical industry of days long gone.
15 The diorama is so full of detail it is almost dizzying. Henk tolds us that he actually used photos of old chemical plants to get inspiration and sized it down to make it fit in the space available. Because of the amount of detail the diorama took six years to complete.
22 Fire brigade having practise
39 Variations on the US logging theme are endless.
54 How simple a rail related theme can was shown by this 1 gauge diorama. Just two spurs and no switch. Only just a lot of amazing detail.
62 A scrapyard is always good for an amazing amount of detail