Hi all, I have started construction of a small layout modern dutch railway in N-scale. These are my visual observations of the railway line. The passenger service is run by the NS (dutch railways), their colors are yellow and blue, the colors have been choosen carfully so when they become dirty the dirt won't show. Which seems to work The dutch railway is clean and pretty high tech. Most of the passenger lines are electrified as are most trains. Also I have never seen a re-railer on the dutch track, nor a normal de-railer (a half finished point, which I have seen on the belgium railway). I have seen a sort of de-railer that is a steal red box with a raised yellow stripe on one rail, which can be removed using a standard point motor. The signals are the simple green,orange,red kind, which is positioned on the right side of the track. There are 3 seperate reflectors possitioned before a signal, possibly for giving visual cues to the driver during breaking. There are also small green,orange,red signals (in a triangle form) on the right side of the track, near the ground. These are used at stations and near stations. There is also a speed signal, which is a number in white lights, this number times 10 is the speed in kilometers per hour the train is supposed to go. A raised white light with the letter "V" above it on the stations platform signals that the train may leave the platform. All crossings in the netherlands are guarded with a white slowly flashing light for "save" and two fast alternating red lights below that for "train is comming", including with this a bell and possibly a moterised boom on the right side of the road. On crossings that are for use with railway personel, near stations they use a white flashing light for "unsave", when the light is turned on continuesly is is "save". Block detection (as I have been told) is by having a low voltage across both railes, a train shortcuircuits this. You can see that rails near points have insulators between them, and wires from both side of the insulator run to somewhere. The block is guarded with a red signal, and the blocks surounding this are guarded with an orange signal. The trains themself have protection that it will break before it crosses a red signal, if the driver doesn't do it, likewise if the driver is going faster then the speed limit the train will break to. A driver can force the train to cross a red signal by going slower then 30 kmph. most points are also heated during winter, the rails are heated on the outside of the point where the point-knives touch the rail. These are natural gas heaters. The lines to the heaters are orange. I do not know if the heaters at the point are themself burning or that heaters are warmed by the box on the side of the railroad. The sub-roadbed in the netherlands are high, such that bridges over road and water are flat. most stations therfore are also raised above street level. Although in some cities the tracks are at road level, this is what I'm building, because it is easier to make and because of the vertical room I have. Because I have little space in my house I made a bookcase above the bed. The bottom shelf is used for the train. It is 2 x 0.6 meters on the long side of the L shape, and the short side is 0.6 x 0.30 meters. It will hold 4 passenger stations, 2 of them will be long anough for intercity trains. and 2 industry stations. I am using Peco code 55 track. Here are three images where you see the bookcase and the cork glued to the surface. The points are not glued down, there are just to show where they will be.