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This superb model railroad diorama in scale 1/43 was built by the French model train club, called “Club de Modélisme de St. Michel sur Orge”. Some members of this railroad club have a passion for field railroads, industrial railroads and narrow-gauge railroads. Therefore, they decided to build a former paper factory from East Germany.
The focus is on the rails and locomotives which are using the industrial railroad lines in front of the factory. Locomotives are perfectly weathered. Additionally, there is a catenary. On the industrial site, there are also the typical old vehicles from East Germany. An industrial railroad is a type of railroad that is not available for public transportation and is used exclusively to serve a particular industrial site. So the paper factory, which is called “VEB Hoppenbach”, uses its own industrial railroad both for the delivery of raw materials and for shipping the finished products.
The main reasons for industrial railroads in East Germany were normally onsite shunting and consolidation: Part-finished products or goods require movement between different parts of the factory site to enable them to be manufactured, or made-ready for shipment. Industrial railroads were once very common in East Germany, but with the rise of road transport, their numbers have greatly diminished.
Industrial railroads or narrow-gauge railroads are railroads with a track gauge narrower than standard 4 feet 8 1⁄2 inches. Most narrow-gauge railroads are between 1 foot 11 5⁄8 inches and 3 feet 6 inches. Since narrow-gauge railroads are usually built with tighter curves, smaller structure gauges and lighter rails, they can be less costly to build, equip and operate than standard-gauge railroads. In East Germany lower-cost narrow-gauge railroads were often built to serve industries where the traffic potential would not justify the cost of a standard-gauge line.
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