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When Pilentum visited the great model railway exhibition “Modelspoor Expo” in Belgium on the last weekend, he met Jan Martens, a very nice Belgian model railroader. I guess, Jan is fascinated by trams, tramways and narrow gauge railways. So he decided to create a nice model railroad layout of a former tramway in the province of Namur in Belgium. He calls his model railway display “Le Vicinal á Vresse”. This means something like “The tramway line at the city of Vresse”.
You have to know, the “Tramways Vicinaux” or “Buurtspoorwegen” were a system of narrow-gauge tramways and local railway lines in Belgium, which covered the whole country. In the last century, these tramways had a greater route length than the mainline railway system. The model railway layout of Jan Martens was inspired by tramway line no. 553 of the national Vicinal tramway company, which was opened in the beginning of the last century.
The layout is more of an impression of “how the railway line could have been” than an original presentation of “how the railway line really once was”. However, the intention is to show the atmosphere of the Ardennes in the 1930’s with the tramways cruising between small villages and beautiful landscapes.