Martin is a family man from the Netherlands and shares his model railway passion on Instagram as h_0_trainiac with a large international community.
For this layout presentation, he pulled out his favorites, tells what the sugar beets are all about, and why the overhead line is a very special challenge for him.
How did you get into the model railroad hobby?
I picked up the model train virus from my grandfather. He had a large Märklin H0 model railroad in the attic, as was common at the time, with lots of tracks and no real prototype.
For my 5th birthday, my grandparents gave me my first Märklin model railroad: 2 steam locomotives, 10 cars, and M-tracks.
I still have the two locomotives (No. #3000 and #3087) and never thought of giving up the hobby. In my life, the model railroad has actually always been present.
Do you have a favorite series?
I have a favorite train: the Rheingold from 1962! The plan is to recreate the shunting operation of Rheingold and Rheinpfeil in Duisburg. I want to switch the cars between the two trains according to the timetable of that time.
Apart from that, I also run all kinds of era III trains from Deutsche Bahn and I try to put together my trains as prototypically as possible.
Does the track plan come from a prototype or is it your own development?
My track plan is self-developed.
First I made a list of wishes: I wanted to be able to run long trains, a D-train with 10 to 12 cars should be able to run over the track and stop in the station. There also had to be a possibility for shunting.
I searched the Internet for types of cargo. After looking around a bit, I became more and more interested in the transportation of sugar beets. On the Internet you can find a lot of information about loading sugar beets - from the farm wagon to the O-wagon, but how it goes on in a sugar factory, there is little to find about it. Nevertheless, I managed to create a complete plan of it.
The plan of my railroad was created completely from sketches, doodles and pictures in my head. I simply found out directly during the construction if I still have to adapt or improve the plan. So far, I've been able to build everything I imagined.
The layout consists of 2 staging yards, a divided main and branch line, a 10-track main station, a branch station with a connection to the sugar factory, and a slaughterhouse with a siding.
On the lowest level I have a staging yard with room for 8 long trains. On both sides is a spiral to reach the next floor. On the left side is the branch to the siding. This is the first visible part of the track. On this level there is also the second hidden marshalling yard, where 16 trains of different lengths can be parked.
The third level is the visible part. Here, hard work is still being done to complete it. The largest space is occupied by a station. This station comes from a friend of mine. He built it a long time ago for a modular layout, and it has been shown at many model railroad shows. Due to circumstances, he no longer had the opportunity to do so, and we decided together to build the station in my attic rather than tear it down or sell it. Now this station is built up in my attic, and occasionally we run the trains together.
What is still missing on the layout or should be improved?
There is still a depot planned on the left side. I hope that I can build it next winter. Behind it on the right are the tracks of the branch line with the sugar factory and the slaughterhouse.
Here you can already see what it will look like, but the landscape is still in its raw state:
Which digital control unit is used?
The layout is digitally connected with the Intellibox IR, 4 boosters and many decoders from different manufacturers. Everything is controlled from the computer via Windigipet 2012. In the middle of the room I built a desk for the computer with 2 screens and integrated Intellibox.
I can have the trains run fully automatically or select which train should go to the destination I want. Sometimes I just want to sit and watch, other times I want to shunt like with the Rheingold and the Rheinpfeil.
Is there a favorite part of the layout?
My favorite place on the layout at the moment is the crossing at the main line. There, I'm currently working on the scenery to be able to start with the overhead line.
Attaching the overhead wires seems to be quite a job. On the internet I see many people attaching their pantographs directly under the wire, so attaching the overhead wire is a little less precise.
This is not what I want. I want the pantographs to slide against the wires.
When do you estimate it will be completed?
I assume that the layout will never be completely finished. I think there are always things that can be improved.
What tips do you have for model railroaders with a similar project?
You have to make sure that you enjoy building. In my experience, if you have to do the same boring job for too long, you lose motivation. I take turns! Connect a few switches, build on a piece of scenery or put up signals.
We appreciate the insight and say thank you!
In the gallery you can see all the pictures again:
More from h_0_trainiac
Follow Martin on Instagram: here you will find inspiration, documentation of the construction progress and lots of driving fun!
Also on YouTube he is active and regularly posts updates of his layout with valuable tips for implementing own projects.