Prototypes for an INGLENOOK SIDINGS shunting puzzle layout

ASTI (Piemonte)

Asti is the capital of the province of Asti, located in the Piemonte between the Alps and the Gulf of Genova. Serving as a provincial rail network hub, Asti has a fairly large railway station on the FS (Italian State Railway) with multiple lines to the West (Torino), South (Alba), East (Alexandria) and South (Casale) and a good number of sidings for the stabling of engineering and maintenance equipment.

There are two separate yards at Asti, one running parallel to the main station lines and one to the West, separated from the station concourse by a road bridge. It is this second yard which features a perfect example of a prototype Inglenook Sidings.

The yard to the west of the station concourse at Asti, seen from the road bridge in July 2002

In July 2002, a gang of workmen had just finished with a patch of fresh tarmac - just one of many scenic features this yard has to offer in terms of modelling ideas. One of the tracks is heavily overgrown and host to a number of rolling stock of older vintage, while tracks 2 and 3 show a selection of modern stock together with a small diesel shunter.

Trackside loading/unloading is under way at Asti

The view above shows how loading and unloading on a simple Inglenook layout can be done: road and loading vehicules simply draw up next to the track, a simple access road being quite enough. Note also the worker in the foreground putting down his shovel against the buffer stop - the pose is remarkably reminsicent of certain figures of model workers...

Asti also offers an interesting idea for a backdrop to an Inglenook Sidings layout. This view shows a lengthy storage shed with two lines running parallel to it. Normally the tow lines would be dropped in order to cut down width, but they would in fact make a nice scenic feature where rolling stock such as the track maintenance equipment seen here could be stabled permanently. Also of modelling interest is the concrete fencing in the foreground with a gate (open in the picture above) providing access to the yard. The parked car would make another nice modelling mini-scene.

Of course, this type of yard layout could be used to portray any (European) prototype, but somehow Italian rail planners seem to have a strong inclination towards Inglenook Sidings type track configurations...

More information on the railway lines in the province of Asti can be found on Angelo Accomando's website Treni e ferrovie. It hasn't been updated for a while, some links are broken, but it's a nice site (in Italian).

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Page created: 12/DEC/2002
Last revised: 25/JAN/2005