Thursday, January 17, 2008

Island or Hallig?

Ockelützwarft, Hallig Hooge. The land in the foreground is flooded during spring tides. The houses are clustered on the small hill or Warft to keep them above sea level. Source: Wikipedia.

In my last post I was muttering about changing Westerooge from a deserted nature reserve to an inhabited island. I still like the idea of the nature reserve, but I’ve realised that for a whole host of reasons, one with people is probably easier to start with. I wasn’t going to make a plan until the track arrived, but I was getting distracted by ideas for the next project which I’ll inflict on you sometime, and I wanted to focus on the box file a bit. I sketched out an idea on the Gimp, which I'll inflict on you as well.

Here was my dilemma though: should it be an Island or a Hallig? A Hallig is a very low-lying patch of land, just barely above the sea, and left over from the days when the sea destroyed the coast in the Middle Ages. Instead of being ringed by dykes they are left open to flooding while any houses stand on a man-made hill, called a Warft, which keeps them just above the waves at spring tide. Thats a very rough definition anyway. For a more in-depth definition and history of these places, have a look here.

Luttmoorsiel-Nordstrandischmoor railway looking towards the Halligen in the distance.
Source: Wikipedia

In some ways the two Hallig railways are more interesting because they are the only connection to the mainland and the locals all have their own little railcars. They –the railways that is- are also flooded when there is a spring tide. And there was the problem: I wanted a building, and you don’t build those on flood plains. On the other hand, a building, however small, would dominate the model, so I’m going with Westerooge as a Hallig. No buildings but plenty of open space. Well… sort of.


zabdiel said...

Halligen are interesting. I like the idea of a narrow gauge railway on a causeway. Having a layout which ended which the track going under water would be different.

Andy said...

Hello Zabdiel...

I've wondered about one line disappearing underwater- it would provide an excellent reason for the trains to stop. I'll see if I can fit it in...