17 December 2005

The layout-room is finally nearing its completion!

I have been dreaming of my very own room in which i could build my dream layout for many many years, and now the goal is finally in sight. In the first floor of my home there has been an incomplete second livingroom for almost ten years now. Finally I have been able financially to complete this room, and it will house my first layout; the Grimstad-line. In a couple of weeks I hope to have the room ready for my Grimstad modules and the construction of the rest of the line can commence.

15 February 2005


This is not the final trackplan, but I think it shows quite good what my plans are - at the moment. Like all real railroads it has a point-to-point configuration. The railroad starts from the coastal town of Grimstad and goes up to Rise via Rykene on its way. The track goes two times around the peninsula on its way up to Rise which is 15 centimeters higher than Grimstad. During operating sessions a fiddle yard will be added on the end of Rise.


In the local newspaper in 1908 the following story could be read: "The train down to Grimstad was delayed several mintes one day. When he train driver upon arrival was asked about why this happened, he replied; a farmer wanted to send 40 eggs down to Grimstad, but when the train arrived he only had 39. We waited a for him a little bit so the hen could lay the last egg"

The Grimstad-line or G.F.B (Grimstad Frolandsbanen) opened in 1907 as a privately owned narrow gauge (1067mm) railway. The 22 kilometers of track went from the port in Grimstad up to Rise where it met the NSB's (Norwegian State Railways) line from Arendal to Treungen. It's main revenue was passenger services and transport of timber and agricultural products from the surrounding communities. GFB struggeled to make ends meet right from the start as most of the freight traffic was transported down to Arendal instead of Grimstad. Because of this NSB took over the Grimstad line in 1911. Discussions about closing the line down started already during the 20's, but luckily it survived and was converted to standard gauge track in 1936 at almost the same time as the line down to Arendal. The last train left Grimstad in 1961 and the track and most of the railway buildings was torn down the following years. The line from Arendal to Nelaug however, still exists today.

I try to make my 1:87 version of the Grimstad-line as true to prototype as possible, but will be making some compromises and changes to meet my interests - after all it's my railroad now :) My layout-room is only 335x275cm, so i have chosen to only model a small portion of the line. Rise and the outside world will be represented by an unscenicked fiddleyard at one end that will be removeable when not in use. Unlike the protoype my port is bustling with activity and much of the freight that in fact was transported to Arendal is shipped out via Grimstad instead. Iron ore from Treungen is transported in large quantities and so is wood and timber. To add to the operational interest of the layout, I will add spurs leading to a couple of the larger industries in the Grimstad area - "Rykene Brug" and "Fuhr". Rykene Brug make raw materials for paper, and Fuhr produce wines and apple juice. The industries existed in real life, but the spurs didn't.

My dreams, and main objectives with the Grimstad Line-project is to capture a small piece of railroading history that is now long gone, and to be able to have fun operating the railroad prototypically with good friends.

Grimstad station in the 50's