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Broad gauge track for the Arend

Measure Size (mm) 1:87 (mm)
Gauge 1,945 22.4
Length sleeper 2,900 33.3
Width sleeper 300 3.5
Distance between sleepers 1000 11.5
Longitudinal min 6000 69.0
Longitudinal max 10,000 115.0
Longitudinal beam width 240 2.8

The first railways in the Netherlands were constructed in 1,945 mm gauge. That seems an odd number but in reality the engineers chose a very logical width of 2,000 mm but measured this from center to center of the rails. That meant if the rails were to become heavier and wider the gauge would also change. When is became customary to express the gauge as the distance between the inside faces of the rails the gauge was established at 1,945 mm.

I have a model of De Arend ("The Eagle") in my collection. This was the locomotive to pull the opening train of the first railway between Amsterdam and Haarlem in 1839.

I did not have a fitting piece of rail to go with this engine so I made one of styrene.



Making the sleepers.

I took a halfround profile of 3.2 mm, slightly undersize but I took the closest I could get and I preferred smaller over larger. It all quickly looks too fat. I glued all sleepers on a sheet of styrene with ordinary household glue so I could later get them off again.


I made a few passes under my milling machine

A template for the correct placement of the sleepers.

The sleepers were glued on the printed result and the the logitudinal beams were glued on

Rails were installed and correctly spaced with three gauges of 22,4 mm

This photo shows the construction of the rail.

De Arend during gauge trials.

A first colour.

A detail of the rail contruction. The bridge rail is basically little more than a hollow square on a strip.

Dry brushing the wooden parts to get a grain effect.

Like so.

Then the rail was masked and reentered th spray booth for a coat of Revell 27004 gun metalcote.

When rubbed it turned glossy dark metal.

Left broad gauge, right standard gauge in 1:87

The final result.