In recent years, the Polish model railway club “Polska Makieta Modułowa H0 - Grupa Modelarska” and its members have surprised visitors at international model railway exhibitions with extremely detailed and lovingly designed HO scale model train layouts. A member of the club, Leszek Lewiński, is an expert on the history of railways in Pomerania and a true model railway enthusiast. At the magnificent model railway exhibition called “On TraXs 2023” (Utrecht, Nederlands), he presented a Polish narrow-gauge model rail diorama in museum quality.
His model railroad layout is called “Over the Roofs of Kwidzyn” (“Nad dachami Kwidzyna”). Kwidzyn is a town in northern Poland on the Liwa River, approximately 70 kilometers (43 miles) south of Gdańsk and 145 kilometers (90 miles) southwest of Kaliningrad. Leszek Lewiński’s model railway layout is dedicated to a very interesting and untypical railway line for Poland, namely the old narrow-gauge railway from Kwidzyn to Mareza, which was operated by the “Marienwerder Kleinbahnen” (Narrow-Gauge Railway Company of Marienweder) in the early days.
Before he started building the model railway layout, Leszek Lewiński did extensive research for several years by collecting hundreds of photos, old postcards and even historical film footage. Finally, historical maps and analysis of the remains of the former railway line were the fundamentals for building this modular train layout, which depicts a section of the line between the stations of Kwidzyn and Mareza. By the way, Mareza is a village within Kwidzyn County, Pomeranian Voivodeship, in northern Poland, approximately two kilometers (1 mile) west of Kwidzyn.
The result of Leszek Lewiński’s railway modelling work is a faithful reproduction of the railway line that ran in Poland in the 1960s and 1970s. The main focus of the HO scale layout is the place where the railway line crosses the Liwa River running on a viaduct literally above the buildings in the suburbs of the city of Kwidzyn. In addition, there are several residential and industrial buildings and, of course, the famous Kwidzyn Castle, a 14th-century castle and cathedral complex. As in the real world, the HO scale tracks were laid in ascending and descending curves.
It should be noted that work on this model train layout began ten years ago. First of all, the buildings were reproduced true to the original in 1/87 scale. Then the constructions of the bridge over the Liwa River and the viaduct were prepared. At the end, loving details, nature, trees, bushes and the correctly scaled background wallpaper were made by hand. Of course, the rolling stock also had to be reproduced. Narrow gauge models were built by hand from standard gauge locomotives and cars to depict typical Polish rail transport from the right era.
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