Poul Betak's Railway
     Our first visit to Poul’s garden railway, was in May 2006, when he held an open day. It is an amazing railway, being built raised up from the ground. The area for the railway is not what I would “large” but despite that, it is not possible to see all of the railway from any point in the garden. This really made an impression on all of us. Also despite not being a large area, Poul’s track layout manages to give a long run. Trains meander through the landscape, disappearing behind strategically placed rocks, bushes, and around unexpected bends. The railway mostly runs around the outside of the plot of ground, with a section climbing through the centre, and crossing over the outer track and then turning 180 degrees so as to drop gradually down to ground level and couple up to the main line again. The picture on the right, shows Poul’s Roundhouse Katie climbing the central section of track.
     The picture on the left, gives a fair impression of the size of the area Poul’s garden railway occupies. There are passing two stations on the outer circuit. One of them can be just seen slightly to the left of the centre of the photo. In the centre foreground one can see the small cement blocks, that Poul has used as a retaining wall, to raise the railway from ground level. That wall puts my boulder wall to shame... worst still, he got all those blocks FREE ! If one looks carefully, just behind the top of the wall, just behind the tracks, is an “ancient monument” .... probably inspired by Stonehenge ! Some, if not all those stones originate from Scotland, where Poul found them whilst on holiday.
   Poul is incredibly talented at finding bits and pieces, and adapting them to suit the railway. One example is his creation of building from breeze blocks, as seen in the photo on the right. This is the brewery, which no garden railway should be without, otherwise the result would be a lot of disgruntled locals. The left hand building of the brewery is made from a breeze block, the other part (which was not completed at the time the pictures were taken in May 2006) is a grave stone ! Please don’t start thinking that Poul makes late night visits to cemeteries, it was one that a stonemason had rejected !

     In the foreground one can see the passing loop belonging to the other station on the line. From the centre left just before those small bushes, the track that climbs up through the centre of the layout, can be glimpsed.
     The photo on the left, gives a better view of the small station, shown in  the overall view of the railway area. This was the first building Poul built from a breeze block. The superb Roundhouse Darjeeling locomotive belongs to Jesper Bo Nielsen, and is showing a nice plume of steam as it rounds the curve after leaving the station. The small bushes and plants that proliferate on the railway create a wonderful, atmospheric landscape.
     In the magnificent scene depicted in the photo to the right, Frede Nielsens Accucraft superior trundles past the “scenic view point”. I guess this is where a passenger train would stop to let it’s passengers alight from the train and take in the scenic beauty of this section of the railway.

     Again, Pouls modelling abilities are shown by the beautifully built decking which hangs over the edge of the pond, Each plank was cut individually and then attached to the structure.
     The photo on the right, shows the station yard, with watering and coaling facilities.

     Poul’s Roundhouse Katie, pauses at the station. The driver probably wondering how on earth that Darjeeling loco (far right, background) ended up on the platform.

     The guy at the water tower also pauses from shovelling coal to wipe the sweat from his forehead.
     Eyes to the right ! Here we have... yet again.... A BREEZE BLOCK BUILDING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     The goods shed, yet another of Poul’s “block” creations. This is a very effective and inexpensive way to provide buildings for one’s railway. The planks and rusty oil drums really do add that extra convincing bit of atmosphere to a model.
And lastly, a closer view of the station and Jespers Darjeeling loco. Well that just about wraps up the visit to Poul Betak’s neat little railway, I hope you enjoyed the peek at his garden railway !
On the right is a video trip around Poul's railway in June 2010.

    In June 2010 we were invited to a steam up at Poul’s railway. Despite it being a bit of a rainy day, with occasional showers, we all managed to run our loco’s without getting wet. It may be noticed in the video, that a few things have changed on the railway. A loco shed and yard have been developed, at the place where the small white station building was. The station has now ended up in the area of the original brewery. A new brewery ( The Black Sheep Brewery) has been built near the pond. Sadly the beautifully made “veiwing” balcony and station at the pond has also disappeared. A few new buildings have been added.
Despite the changes, the railway still oozes charm and atmosphere !
 
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