The Little Model Tramway in the Province of Namur in Belgium by Jan Martens
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The Little Model Tramway in the Province of Namur in Belgium by Jan Martens

September 7, 2019

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” in
the English language. [ Music ] You have to know, these tramway lines
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. [ Music ]


  • Reply LightningMotionshot October 17, 2018 at 7:15 pm

    So damn gorgeous! But I am very sorry to say that I can't stand the new voice-over, I liked your videos better when they were silent.

  • Reply Iain Foxell October 18, 2018 at 12:44 am

    What a neat layout.

  • Reply Eliot Francis October 18, 2018 at 3:29 am

    Thank you for your commentary on this masterpiece. It gave me a understanding of the modelers intentions. You did a great job capturing the fine details of the layout.

  • Reply Sohail Anjum October 18, 2018 at 4:45 am

    It's beautiful boss I love it

  • Reply Luís Antônio Marrega October 18, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    Parabéns esta maquete é rica em detalhes. Abraço! Rio de Janeiro Brasil

  • Reply DE ZOLDERBAAN HO October 18, 2018 at 5:04 pm

    I have see you busy with to film. it was really worth it there. greetings from Belgium

  • Reply Wołodia Zbiniewicz October 18, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    Tout va bien sauf la caisse, comme on dit dans mon pais. Impressing layout but, just two questions. First, how did this tramways run without overhead wires? The second, more essential. Who sells these models? Are they available on the market? Many thanks already for any hint.

  • Reply Carlos Fuentes October 19, 2018 at 1:43 am

    ¡Una maqueta tan inocente como un pesebre!

  • Reply Greg Coates October 19, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    Beautiful layout. So realistic I felt as though I was on the tram. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply Sui Generis October 19, 2018 at 5:32 pm


  • Reply L Fewell October 19, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    How were the real trams powered ?

  • Reply wkruit1 October 19, 2018 at 11:54 pm

    Those Vicinal trams in Belgium were nicknamed “Boerentram” (Farmers’ Tram) in Flemish.

  • Reply Ricardo Juricic October 20, 2018 at 2:12 am

    Very, very nice indeed!
    Full of details no matter if any tram train was going by.
    Though I object the speed at which they move.
    The speed at which they move would be around 80km/h in real life way too fast for the trams. Therefore I believe if you'd reduce the present models' speed to around half it would certainly be more accurate!
    And when shunting down to a third of present speed or slower.
    Wish I could travel over there to enjoy it.

  • Reply James Barrett October 20, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    Cows walking down the street? This must be a model of Rock Ridge. Is this the real town, or the fake town to throw off Hedley Lamar's thugs?

  • Reply clangerbasher October 20, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    An English book on these tramways would be interesting.

  • Reply Wołodia Zbiniewicz October 21, 2018 at 8:02 am

    Thank you for your answer. Diesel trams and in addition in rural areas were until now beyond my imagination. Still, the model shown here is surprisingly similar to the German KSW form the wartime. On this basis were trams of my childhood in Warsaw build. Again thank you.The layout here is good for dreaming!

  • Reply Wołodia Zbiniewicz October 22, 2018 at 8:45 pm

    With all my respect to Dominique Guillaume's answer, I was still somehow surprised to learn about diesel powered countryside trams. A tram being for me synonymous with "city" , the Americans still say "streetcar". And, obviously, I was not the only one. Here has Jan Martens opened for us an important and very little known chapter in the history of railways, suburban connections and much more, all this called in Belgium for patrimoine. Thank ou very much indeed. I invite everybody interested to investigate further. Start with key words " vincinal" and "Vresse" .
    Start with this , by Jan Martens himself, (obviously no overhead wires!)

    Another good example below
    Still, obviously, there were some lines which were electrified, but not many
    Bonne chasse à tous!

  • Reply RAILsIMAGES October 24, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    Quelle merveille. Tout le décor est très beau, très soigné. Merci pour ces quelques minutes de rêve !

  • Reply Michel Dubuis December 6, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    Magnifique , et de la patience car il en faut , j'avais fait aussi un décor de train miniature Marklin , mais la toute petite échelle des mois et des mois de travail mais à l'arrivée, waow , j'ai aussi fait des miniatures de voitures à l'échelle 1/43è , transformée et complètement aménagée là aussi , waow , bravo à vous monsieur.

  • Reply Jean-Pierre Lobet April 15, 2019 at 3:08 pm


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