Sunday, October 3, 2010

Recent developments

I have gotten rather unhappy with my micro tram layout lately. Not only because some rolling stock doesn't like the tight curves, but also because of some design errors like the curved platform (causing huge gaps) and the limited room for buildings, giving the layout not quite the look as I wanted it to have.
Well, I decided that I won't finish it the way it was intented, but instead use the layout as a base for a new layout in G9 scale (1:22,5, running on 9 mm track). Read about these developments in the thread I've started on the Gn15 forum. Now I just have to find a nice prototype to model :)

On the N tram front meanwhile,  I'll go for the modular approach, using 15x35 cm modules which together will form a small tram network. This allows me to work on a manageable, small project at a time, while not having to compromise on urban look, curves radii and platformlenghts. I have just started on the first module, depicting a downtown scene, with a double track tram line in the front. The buildings in de background are just 3.5 cm deep. I'm very happy with the way things are looking so far!

The story*
As I think every layout needs a story behind it, here's mine:
Alfred Mongy is known for constructing the grand boulevards between the french towns Lille, Roubaix and Tourcoing, giving the towns a connection by tramway. However, little known is that he also did a similar project in Lileau, a town with roughly 50.000 inhabitants on the French/Belgian border. Finished just before the beginning of the 20th century, the boulevard and tramway (althought slightly less wide as in Lille) connect the city center with its suburbs.
Originally, two-axle vehicles drove the line, which were later replaced by 4-axle units. In the 1970's it became clear that much had to be invested in new trams, to replace the aging stock. However, the city counsel made plans not to do so and replace the trams by cheaper city buses. An end had come to 80 years of tramway history in Lileau...
...if it wasn't for the Lileau people. They were outraged and absolutely weren't going to lose their beloved tram. By the smallest possible majority the plans were rejected and the tramway was saved, be it that not much money was invested in maintenance and rolling stock. The community transport authority had to purchase trams second hand from many European and even a few US cities, making Lileau a favorite city for tram enthousiasts. Düwags, Tatra's and even PCC cars can be seen operating on a single network.
Things have been looking good for the tramway recently. Although mostly second hand stock is used, rumours have it that the transport autority will be investing in brand new light rail vehicles. A tram from Toyama has even been spotted during test runs...

*This story is completely fictional and not by any means final. It may be changed without prior notice ;)


  1. That's a great story, and until I read your disclaimer I was totally convinced it was 100% true! I like what you've done with the building fronts on the new model, this is a great idea!

  2. Thanks Jerry! Just a little history-as-it-could-have-been ;) I'm currently working on my other Artitec fronts, will update as soon as they're finished.