Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Tunnel Vision (1)

 Every Layout Must Have One!

Hornby Playtrains is a range of really "toy" trainsets for the very young. It includes a cardboard tunnel. For slightly older table top or carpet layout builders, Hornby once produced a cardboard tunnel with plastic ends (£10) ...
... and a lurid all plastic version (£17).
The German scenery manufacturer Noch has a straight tunnel at £20 ...
... and a curved tunnel for over £30.
All the above are for OO layouts, but similar products can be bought for N scale layouts.
As always, the more seasoned modeller would question why the engineers of these miniature railway routes would make a bee-line for the one lump of rock on an otherwise flat plain and go tom
the the expense of building a tunnel through it.

fbb's outdoor layout has a more substantial tunnel (in slight disarray below!) justified because most of the tracks are laid in a disused quarry ...
... partially inspired by Breedon on the Hill in Leicestershire.
But with more on top than at Breedon!

But fbb now has some very good news for those who must have an unrealistic tunnel on their layout.

There are such on real railways, admittedly a bit longer than the above examples, but, nevertheless, above ground tunnels with soil heaped over them. This one is in the Netherlands ...
... seen below awaiting its concrete roof and a subsequent covering of fine tilth.
To appreciate why this should be, we need to go back a bit.

Harwich was a busy ferry port for crossings to the Netherlands ...
... Berlin ...
... and further afield.
Back then, the crossing was exciting, almost romantic and full of anticipations (and, on the North Sea Route, sometimes full of sea-sickness!). The L N E R would take you by "boat train" from London ...
... and from the Hoek van Holland Haven station ...
... a stream of trains would take you all over Europe and even further.
But times have changed; and today we just have Stena Line shutting back and forth twice a day.
They are big boats ...
... with comfortable facilities.
But things are now very different at Hoek van Holland ...
... as we shall see tomorrow!

Another Opening!

Another Show!
fbb was hoping to review yesterday's Yesterday programme, the first of a series of 10 (!) about Hornby ...
... but it does not appear to appear on U K TV Play.
When, or if, it does, fbb will!

Tomorrow, more from The Hoek.

P.S. Ten Minutes Of Pure Nostalgia
This video of travel by ship on one of the North sea routes is wonderfully evocative of the 1930s. If you don't have 10 minutes to spare at the moment, please return - it is worth it!

 Next Metro blog : Thursday 14th October 


  1. Andrew Kleissner13 October 2021 at 07:32

    Wow, the calm before the storm as both the \Princess Beatrix and the Koningin Emma only entered service in the summer of 1939 - the Beatrix in July! So there are storm clouds lurking behind the sunshine!

  2. The "Harwich for the Continent" poster immediately brought to mind the time-honoured riposte "Frinton for the incontinent".

  3. Andrew Kleissner13 October 2021 at 10:07

    Other East Coast resorts are available ...