The world is a big place and the world's railways offer a huge variety for railway modellers. Such a huge variety that many interesting possibilities for layouts and other modelling opportunities are unknown to most people. This topic is to promote suggestions. I'm sure we all have more ideas for layouts than years in which to fulfil them, this is a place to share the ideas that we will never get round to fulfilling ourselves. However, given the forum, this topic should be restricted to non-British prototypes.
To kick this off, I suggest the narrow gauge steam tram lines of Gelderland (NL)
What are they?
These were 750mm gauge lines built at the end of the 19th century to open up the "Achterhoek", an area of Gelderland lying East of the river Ijssel between Arnhem and the German border. The lines were built by different companies but they combined after WW1 into the Gelderse Tramwegen Mij. The lines carried both passengers and freight, and towards the end freight was the more important. The last line closed in 1957.
Where can I find information?
The internet is a good place to start. Google "Doetinchem tram" or "Doesburg tram" and click "images" and a whole number of pictures of the tramways will be found. Then there are books, all in Dutch unfortunately but treat Google Translate as your friend.
Stoomtrams in Gelderland - H.G. Hesselink, is a small volume to get you started.
De nadagen van Neerlands Stoom en Motortrams - J, Voerman, has a major chapter on the GTM
De Stoomlocomotieven der Nederlandse Tramwegen - S. Overbosch, provides descriptions and some drawings of the locomotives used
De goederenwagens van de Nederlandse Tramwegen - A. Dijkers, has line drawings of most of the goods vans and wagons as well as sketch maps of the line through the towns of Doesburg and Doetinchem
De rijtuigen van de Nederlandse Stoomtramwegen - A Dijkers, has line drawings of the passenger carriages, including the diesel railcars used in the late 20s and early 30s
The Gelderland provincial archive (www.geldersarchief.nl) also has a fair number of documents but I am not sure how useful many are. Quite possibly there are track plans and drawings of buildings, there usually are in provincial archives. Local archives in Doetinchem and Zutphen might have more.
Locomotive No 13 "Silvolde" is preserved in the Railway museum in Utrecht
Why would I want to?
It's a narrow gauge network that offers a variety of train possibilities and more than one engine in steam operation. A famous photograph taken in 1942 shows five steam tram trains lined up ready to leave Doetinchem in quick succession. Tram trains run on reserved tracks, at the side of the road and in the middle of the street in true tram style. Locomotive types include 0-4-0T boxy tram types and both 0-6-0T and 0-8-0T end cab locos - Gelderland is relatively hilly by Dutch standards and there were some stiff climbs. Some internal combustion railcars were used as well.Scenery and architecture are generally pleasing and, for those interested in boats, transhipment of goods from river barge to goods tram was a major part of the business
Why wouldn't I want to?
There is virtually nothing available either as off the shelf RTR or as kits.
Has it been done before?
Once or twice.
Edited by whart57, 16 August 2017 - 15:09 .