Narrow gauge through the night

Rob Reinders

This project is about model railway photography in the darkness. Some years ago I saw images of trains that were photographed at night. Fascinating work of American photographers like O. Winston Link, Richard Steinheimer and others. One evening I tried to photograph a model train in a similar way. I was pretty happy with the result in the first image, and my fascination for this type of photography grew. After a while I decided that this should be my next modelling project.

For many photographs I create specific scenes. Sometimes this is a completely decorated diorama (the ‘Mostviertel’ scene in the third photo is an example), in other cases it is a much simpler set-up. Usually these 'photo sets' are torn down as soon as I have made the picture. The trains that appear in the photographs are my favourite Austrian narrow gauge models, most of the time. However, Dutch, German, French, American and even Chinese standard gauge models have been the subject in some images.

The photos can be viewed in larger size in the album, at the bottom of the page.

Goods train hauled by an ÖBB 399 (Chivers Finelines). A first attempt. A chapel in the foreground. This scene might have been on the Waldviertelbahn, the Mariazellerbahn, or the 'Krumpe'. H0e.

Departure of a goods train, hauled by an HF110c (Roco). The timber clad water tower was built over 10 years ago. This image came out first in a photo challenge published at .

'Mostviertel' spring scene depicting fruit trees in full bloom on the Mariazellerbahn.

The same spot in drab autumn weather.

Sattelbachgraben. A short distance from the Austrian town of Waidhofen an der Ybbs there is a bridge crossing a small tributary to the River Ybbs called the Sattelbachgraben. The Ybbstalbahn crosses the tiny stream by a stone arch bridge. The photo shows the Stängl model of ÖBB 2095.008 on the bridge. 1:87 scale, H0e.

This photo of the real thing, taken on the Ybbstalbahn in June 2005, inspired the previous photo.

Strassenbauhütte. An early morning school train (Liliput ÖBB 298.55) passes a permanent way cabin. Model of a Steyrtalbahn example.

Source of inspiration for this image was "Train No. 17, the Birmingham Special, gets a Highball at Rural Retreat, Virginia" van O. Winston Link. I just moved the scene to the Austrian Waldviertelbahn, in the 1990’s. Another Stängl model of ÖBB no. 2095.

View in larger size