The Design of Small Model Railways

Shunting in Legoland

Shunting in Legoland
 Crane track

Summer 2009 we visited Legoland in Günzburg, Germany. Especially Miniland, where you can see complete cities and landscapes in scale 1 in 20 built with Lego bricks, was fun to see. Even for railway modellers this is a good place to take a look, certainly when you’ve a garden railway. The planting of the miniature landscape is right on scale. A lot of modellers have had a Lego train during their childhood. So did I.

There isn’t much to see for the railway enthusiast in Legoland. Most trains only run around loops or only move to-and-fro. But in a corner of the harbour of Hamburg you can find a small shunting yard. And not so bad at all. of course all train movements are automated, including the coupling and decoupling of a goods car and the use of a turntable. The people of Lego really paid attention. The track plan itself is OK. Even when used at home, this design offers possibilities. You can build it without the automation. Or with automation, when you’re proficient in programming. In h0 of smaller, the plan could fit on a plank. The layout should be transportable. But also in the larger scales 0, 1 of 2m this design could be realised on a reasonable surface area. And, of course, as a Lego layout, but in that case you’re forced to build the turntable yourself with Lego bricks.

The track design itself is rather old-fashioned without any virtual connection to the outside world or a hidden space where trains can be stored. But you can add these features at the right side of the plan. The lower spur at is only connect by the turntable . This should be changed, because now only one car can be moved at the same time. You can also situate the plan in a different environment, it doesn’t have to be a harbour. You may leave the S-Bahn (city railway) out. I know designs of small railways which contain a piece of dummy track. You can place static models on those pieces of track. The S-Bahn visually splits the layout in two parts, causing the layout to look larger. After all this is a plan with enough potential to have fun with at home, with or without the suggested modifications.

Photo gallery (2009)
Shunting in Legoland: Detail (1) Shunting in Legoland: Detail (2) Shunting in Legoland: Detail (3) Shunting in Legoland: Detail (4) Shunting in Legoland: Detail (5) Shunting in Legoland: Detail (6)

 As an extra gift two photos of the other scenes of the harbour area at Miniland. At the left the station of the S-Bahn next to the shunting yard, at the right side the container terminal.

Shunting in Legoland: S-Bahnhof Rothstein Shunting in Legoland: Container terminal
Film (2009)

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