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How to build a small model railway layout in H0 Gauge? It should be a magnificent landscape, two main lines including fiddle yards, but all based only on approximately four square metres in size. Carlo Viganò, a railway modeller living in the Italian town of Germignaga on Lake Maggiore, has solved those rail modelling questions with his dreamlike layout, which is called “Plastico Ferroviario Vallecasanuova”.
When Carlo was three years old, his father gave him the first train set and since then he has been fascinated by the passion for model trains and railways. As a child Carlo and his father built a model railway layout on a standard plate. Later, they built a garden railway based on LGB models in G scale. During these years, however, Carlo was influenced by Josef Brandl, an artist and railway modeller from Germany. So he decided to imitate the artworks of Brandl: He wanted to use the last available space in his cellar for building a model railway layout where nature, landscape and trains should dominate.
Carlo’s layout consists of two levels, i.e. of two track networks. There is a double track main line for international traffic, which is mainly used by Italian passenger trains. There is also a single track line for freight traffic. Finally, there is a branch line for public transportation, where the famous Italian diesel motor car “FS Class ALn 668” is still in service. All trains move on an area of just 3.5 x 1.5 metres. Furthermore, each railway line has fiddle yard at the back of the layout, where a total of eleven complete model trains are parked.
The trains travel through a valley crowned by a medieval castle belonging to the lords of “Casanouva”. Around the castle there are woods and a vineyard. There are also 152 trees that reproduce the typical landscape of Lake Maggiore. There are only a few buildings; only a hut, a small house at the railway embankment and the castle. Italian locomotives and trains of the “Ferrovie dello Stato”, known as “Trenitalia”, are in the centre of attention as well as tunnels, portals and retaining walls.
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