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Italian ETR 250 "Arlecchino"

Charlie's H0 Italian Layout in Pennsylvania

The centerpiece of Charlie's layout is a selectively-compressed model of the long causeway that crosses the lagoon connecting Mestre on the coast with Venice. Venezia (it's Italian name) is built on a series of islands in the lagoon and this causeway, in reality shared with automobiles, is the only land connection to the city. This photo shows the Mestre end of the viaduct.

The other end of the causeway opens out to the multi-tracked Venice station. A slew of passenger trains visit Venezia each day, and there are also facilities for handling freight. Adjacent to the real station is a large parking lot that represents the 'end of the line' for vehicle traffic. All transportation in and around Venice is by foot or boat.

Second only to the ETR 300 Settebello and ETR 250 Arlecchino, the ETR 240 Elettro Treno Rapido was once the pride of the FS fast fleet. Today only one or two units remain in special excursion service. Here, ETR 242 pauses at Mestre to discharge passengers not continuing on to Venice.

A brace of vintage piggyback cars passes a centuries-old church on Charlie's Italian-themed H0 layout. Charlie is one of only a handful of Americans modeling Italian Railways and much of his rolling stock was produced several decades ago by Pocher and Rivarossi during the 'golden era' of Italian model railroading.

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