>Nederlandse versie

The Railway

A Norwegian outsider The Orkhavn-banen is unique in more ways then one. The line was constructed with a width of 760mm (2"6') and electrified from the start in 1912 with 6600 Volts /25 Hz AC power. That makes the Orkhavnbanen one of the earliest adopters of electric powered railways in Europe. The track went from the small coastal town of Orkhavn on Norway’s rugged coast in Central Norway to the city of Øtta, 32 km (20 miles) inland. In Øtta passengers could change trains to Trondheim or Oslo. However, when constructed, the railway was intended to serve a much greater area, but it failed to find the financial backup it needed after the initial opening of the line. Although Norway remained neutral during WW I, it was affected by it.


In period from 1925 until the mid 1950s the line had significant influence in the regions commerce and prosperity, transporting products from the fish-processing factory in Orkhavn further inland. Passenger transport was also in high demand as there were hardly any roads capable of handling the traffic in Norway’s countryside. From the 1950s onward however, demand for transport of goods and people dimised because of the lorry (truck, if you like) and privately owned cars. In 1970 the last train ran and the line was closed, abandoned and broken up. No rolling stock survived.
The above story is completely bogus. Yes, we made the whole thing up! The Orkhavnbanen only exist as a model railway. It's a project of two builders who fancied a mountainous layout with steep rocky cliffs, waterfalls, tunnels and scenery. Many layouts are build to a Swiss, German and/or Austrian prototype and these experienced modelers didn't want to build yet another one of those. So instead they choose one of their favorite holiday destinations: Norway. And as narrow gauge takes much less space then standard gauge, we choose h0e, 1:87 scale, with 9mm track.

Our aim was to design and build a free-lance layout, with no particular prototype in mind. The electrified railway begins in the fictitious 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 for the Orkhavnbanen we stumbled across the Thamshavn railway near Trondheim and it turned out our fictional layout actually exists! During construction this little railway became more and more our 'prototype' and inspiration. On these pages we'd hope to show you our achievements and how we build it. Please have fun!

For comments and questions, mail us at orkhavn(at)scholtze.demon.nl