The Orkhavnbanen layout

Scale: 1:87
Dimensions: 200x200 cm (6"7' by 6"7')
Build: 2001-present

Taking part in an exhibition from time to time is great opportunity for fun and mingling with fellow modelers. After several years of exhibiting our previous layout "Handzaam Havenbaantje" (handsome harbour layout) we'd decided it was time for something new and in October of 2001 we began the construction of the Orkhavnbanen layout.

Important condition for this new project was that it wouldn't be too large, heavy, wide and complicated. That way we could carry the entire layout in a single car to exhibitions and keep the time we spend on building it limited. No of the above criteria were met however. It does fit in the car, but it would require us to go by train then ;-) Despite the simplicity of the track and minimalistic use of buildings or complicated scenery we haven't reached the level of detail where we'd like to be. But that's not a problem, it has to remain a hobby, right? ;-) We do have quite a number of (sometimes wild) ideas to incorporate into the layout. To get a first impression of the layout we made a cardboard and clay mockup, scaled down to see if we could fit everything we'd wanted on the space available.

Orkhavnbanen, a Norwegian narrow gauge railway
We fancied a mountainous layout with steep rock walls, waterfalls, tunnels and plenty of scenery. After all, the landscape was there first! Many layouts in the exhibition circuit have a Swiss, German or Austrian prototype, we decided to build a layout from one of our favorite holiday countries: Norway. Because narrow gauge takes much less space we opted for h0e, 1:87 scale on 9 mm track.
Our aim was to design and build a free-lance layout, with no particular prototype in mind. The electrified railway begins in the ficticious coastal village of Orkhavn and climbs up to a reverser station. In that the line diverges to disappear into a tunnel. In all, a simple layout, intended to show off our preferences for detail, scratchbuilding virtually anything, like buildings, rolling stock, trees and Scandinavian cars. We'd like to leave the misery of large layouts with high speed trains to others. During our research we found the Tamshavn railway near Trondheim and it didn't take long before we used it more and more as our source for inspiration.

Click here for more sites about the Tamshavn railway in Norway.




Orkhavnbanen Track Plan (PDF-file -1,5Mb)  
Digital schematics sorry, this page is not translated yet
Orkhavnbanen is controlled with DCC. Both manual and computer control are implemented, the latter offering a fully automated program for running the layout while we can work on our "social contacts" :-)
You can find what we used in the schematics The Orkhavnbanen layout