Das Alte Viadukt
To the famous Altenbeken's viaduct I have dedicated a picture-frame layout in a rather particular style.
Altenbeken is the German town where, for many years, one of the most important event for model railroading in Z gauge has been held: the Altenbeken Spur Z Weekend. It is a biennial meeting that brings together many enthusiasts, in a town that has close ties to the world of railways.
Here, in fact, there is an important railway line, the Hamm-Warburg which, at Altenbeken, passes over the famous 482m-long viaduct and its 24 vaulted limestone arches.
Many modellers have dedicated their works to this famous viaduct, but I wanted to do something different and particular. I wanted to pay tribute to the city of Altenbeken and its viaduct by reconstructing it as it was before the bombings of the Second World War, in its original appearance.
The viaduct was built between 1851 and 1853, inaugurated by King Frederick William IV, who was surprised by its high cost and during the inauguration said: "I thought I was going to see a golden bridge!"
During the Second World War, the viaduct was bombed for the first time between November 26 and 29 1944. Other bombings took place on February 9 and 22 and March 30 1945. The viaduct was then restored, with a single track working on May 1 1946. Until then, trains arriving from the two directions had to stop on the two sides of the trunks and passengers had to get off and back up to reach the opposite side using a 120-step ladder.
In the subsequent post-war reconstruction, the viaduct was restored and returned fully functioning on October 2 1950.
The Das alte Viadukt layout reconstructs the viaduct in a small space, in the state in which it was before the damages caused by the bombings. Obviously, a small portion of the viaduct is reproduced in the layout, since in reality it consists of as many as 24 arches.
The whole layout is made in black and white, as if to remember an ancient postcard.
As in all my layouts, the system is entirely managed by an Arduino board and is controlled via Bluetooth with an Android terminal (smartphone or tablet).
An important evolution as opposed to the Schwindeltal layout is the fact that here it is possible to have the movement of two trains, which allows to further upgrade the whole result, helping increasing the surprising effect to allow you to have a fully functioning track in a very reduced space.
The presence of numerous details and scenic effects makes this model unique in its kind, attracting the viewer's attention from a distance and accompanying its curiosity in the search for the smallest detail to be discovered.
The perfect reconstruction of the viaduct was made possible by an important contribution from a friend of mine, Michael Bahls, a famous craftsman who creates fine Z-scale rolling stock and is an expert of German railways.
Michael sent me valuable documentation of that past time, from which to obtain the exact measurements of the viaduct, as well as additional informative material, thanks to which I was able to reproduce exactly the structure and appearance of the viaduct. Thanks Michael!!!
Sources: Die Eisenbahn in Altenbeken - 150 Jahre! - Josef Högemann, Peter Kristandt