Rail transport modeling, model railroading and railway modelling are very popular leisure activities in Belgium. Therefore, it is not surprising that we often can discover some of the finest model railway layouts or model railroad layouts built by Belgian model makers and model building artists. One of these superb layouts is Ivo Schrapen’s detailed scale model of Hasselt railway station in HO scale. After more than 100 visits to the railway station of Hasselt in Belgium and after taking more than 1,000 photos, Ivo Schrapen started with the construction of his miniature world in 2003.
His layout depicts the station, the tracks, the trains and the railway operations at Hasselt railway station as they were in 2002. The track field in front of the station has been reconstructed true to scale: In reality, the dimensions are 1.6 kilometres and the diorama has a length of 16 meters. The model railroad is a modular layout, the station part consists of eleven segments, each module is specific but each segment fits without screws on the next one. At the back, behind the scenes, there is a large marshalling yard (fiddle yard) consisting of seven tracks for parking the model trains and model locomotives. All tracks can be driven in both directions. This complexity can only be achieved with a fully automated digital approach. So the whole layout is equipped with DCC interfaces, decoders and networks.