The Blue Polder (2002)

Rob Reinders

Three narrow gauges on one layout

Back in 2002, in an area of 150 x 50cms, an h0e brickworks layout was taking shape, inspired by the area around the Dutch town of Wageningen, where up to a few decades ago several brickworks could be found. The furnace was to be based on one at the works site ‘de Bovenste Polder’ in Wageningen. The engine house of this brickworks was also to be modelled. The furnace building is still in existence and being used as an artists' workshop. A clay skip at the entrance reminds you of its former purpose. The layout was called 'The Blue Polder' which was a combination of two real locations.

On the layout, memories of another brickworks called 'De Blauwe Kamer' were recalled in the motor barge 'Voorwaarts', the track plan around the jetty, the cattle creep and the loco shed. An interesting feature of this site was that there was a siding belonging to the Ooster Stoomtram Maatschappij (OSM), a steam tramway operating in the area. The real site has now been transformed into a nature reserve still incorporating the abandoned remains of the former narrow gauge railway, including some track and the engine shed.

In the municipal archives of Wageningen I found useful information for building construction, the track plan in the floodplain of the river, and the motor barge.

Apart from 9mm track, the layout featured 6.5mm and 12mm track (see photo of home built dual gauge crossing). Most of this was going to be laid by hand, but Peco 009 points were used where possible, using wire in tube operation. The rolling stock was by Roco, Egger, Jouef and Chivers Finelines. A steam loco model based on the O&K 0-4-0WT Yvonne, which is preserved at the Valkenburg museum, needed a new chassis. In gthe end, I never added the tramway stock, as the layout was axed half way through building, due to lack of space.

More photos