About 8 years ago Brian scratchbuilt a "compressed" version of Abercynon shed which was located in the South Wales valleys just north of Pontypridd. For purely nostalgic reasons, passing it in the distance from the old A470 road, still with working steam, when travelling around the area with his father when he was 9 years old.
The building never had a layout for a home until now.
After selling his old layout "Ranson Bridge " in November 2012, He thought he would build a micro/small layout for exhibtions that would fit in the back of his car in one piece
The dimensions are 40 inches long by 16 inches wide. The track is SMP code 75 (the first time he has ever used it), there are no points. All fiddling and turning done by an atlas turntable hidden in the 8 inch fiddle area.
The layout is DCC with sound
Hence Abercynon Fach was born
The track plan has been rationalised as is the scenic break and background but it gives a flavour of the place as he remembered it.
Chewton Mendip was a small intermediate station on the Somerset & Dorset Railway's little known Priddy Branch. Built during the latter part of the 19th Century, the branch left the Bath Extension at Chilcompton, passing Emborough and Chewton Mendip, then on to Priddy. Never much of a success, with the residents of Priddy finding it easier to travel the shorter distance by road to Wells, the quarry at Emborough and the Brewery at Chewton Mendip provided the branch with its main traffic. As a result of economies during World War One, passenger services beyond Chewton Mendip were withdrawn, the line on to Priddy only remaining for the sheep fair and a small amount of freight.
The layout was constructed with SMP finescale track and handbuilt pointwork mainly on copper clad sleepering. Buildings were mostly from Wills and Ratio kits - with some modifications - or scratchbuilt using Wills components. Scenery was a mix of Woodland Scenics, Hornby, Noch and Heki with mainly Heki trees and Hornby Skaledale stone walling.
Locomotives and rolling stock were mainly kit built from a variety of manufacturers with carriages made of plastic and locomotives made from etched brass. The layout has a boxed presentation and is front operated for ease of home use.
In the 19th century, Dunvant, a small community a few miles northwest of Swansea, was a thriving place of collieries, quarries, brickworks, surrounded by agriculture.
It lost the railway in 1964 and today is more famous for it's rugby team and male voice choir. The layout is as it might have been in the period 1925-1935, the LMS period, however for this show we have borrowed some LNWR stock and moved the period back to about 1900,where we can run GWR trains for a short while, as the line was used as a diversionary route due to the collapse of Cockett tunnel in1899.
We have condensed all the activities into this period The line from Swansea Victoria to Gowerton was opened by the Llanelly Railway in 1867, the LNWR took it over in 1871 and the LMS in 1923. Certain aspects of the old LNWR still appear in the form of wagons and signals, with the occasional appearance of a loco and coaches. The track plan is fairly accurate, information gained from old maps.
The brickworks and quarry were owned by Samuel Jones and freelance modelled based on the sparse remains of two sites. The occupation bridge is based on one still standing in Mid Glamorgan at Deri Near Bargoed. The colliery slant was actually there and we have built it from the only two photos we have. The overbridge is ficition,based on a bridge which stood at Deri near Bargoed. The pointwork is built from C&L components, the plain track is SMP, We have 3 working signals from MSE/Ratio kits as well as point rodding. Points are operated by Peco motors, the slips are Tortoise.
The station buildings are made from Plastikard, ply and card and the fencing from Plastikard strip. Most of the locos are scratch built, the wagons mainly Ration, Slaters and Cambrian Kits. Coaches are a mixture of kits, modified Airfix and Mainline. My thanks to Sandy Croall for the use of his rolling stock and locos.
We think this is how the LNW period might have looked,you may see the occasional GWR train,as stated earlier the line was used as a diversion to gain access to west Wales while the Cockett tunnel was under repair in 1899-1900
The group are always on the lookout for photos, if you know of any please let us know.
A Somerset & Dorset Railway fiction in 4mm/P4 by the East Dorset Gang of Four.
The layout represents the end of a fictional spur running to the south west from the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway (S&DJR) at Sturminster Newton. Thomas Hardy's novel "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" provided the name and the location, but the layout portrays the picture as it might have been in the late 1930's when the S&DJR was being run jointly by the London Midland and Scottish and the Southern Railways. The scenic aspects attempt to represent the chalk terrain of the supposed location and the main railway buildings have been based on a variety of S&DJR examples.
Trackwork is a mixture of scratch-built (ply sleepers and rivets and C&L cosmetic chairs) and C&L flexible lengths. The signals have been constructed largely from MSE components. Control of trains leaving the fiddleyard lies with the operators behind the scenic section of the layout, while trains moving to the fiddleyard are controlled by the fiddleyard operator.
The OO section of the Cardiff Model Engineering Society is presenting Hardwick Grange. The layout was designed and built by Frank Dyer who also exhibited Borchester Market. The layout is 30 feet long including the fiddle yard but just 16 inches wide because it had to fit its original home in Frank's loft. There are six boards each leaning against its neighbour, only the station board has two legs.
The fiddle yard is open for viewing for the interest of modellers. It means that the stock is on view as many locomotives don't appear in action for long periods. The main aim of the layout was to show train working typical of the Dukeries area in Nottinghamshire.
The points and signals are operated from brass lever frames with linen twine and return springs. Tying the knots in the twine needed a steady and precise hand. Frank used two pairs of tweezers to help his task.
Polarity of the crossings is switched by spring wire contacts soldered to the copper clad sleepers. Uncouplers are either worked in the same way as the points, with twine raising ramps on pivots against a return spring, or in some cases are permanent made of strips of clear plastic sprung from below.
The coupling system uses a curved bar across the buffers with sprung hooks of fine piano-wire with droppers that can be lifted by the ramps. This system is very much of its era, but gives reliable propelling moves over tight pointwork as the forces are transmitted through the train at solebar height.
Arrivals, departures and shunting is in the hands of the station controllers at a two seat station control panel using conventional cab control with GPO switches so either driver can work any section. Power is from an H&M Duette with the lever frame for points and signals. A small separate lever frame controls the points and disc signals for the loco stabling point and the carriage siding, which are beyond a baseboard joint from the main controls.
The fiddle yard operator has plenty to do turning trains round, removing or placing stock, changing engines and operating the hidden end of the colliery lines. The colliery line has full wagons departing and empty ones arriving via the sidings behind the signal box.
All train movements are guided by a detailed schedule for each operating position with colour-coded instructions for cab-control sections, setting points and signals, and a precise train formation, as well as the correct headlamp codes. The timetable works to a digital clock that is manually advanced when the current moves are complete. This is just as well because the controllers control the time rather than the other way around.
The arrivals and departures are heralded by authentic bell codes exchanged between the station and the fiddle yard representing block working of the era. In effect between the signalmen at Hardwick Grange and Elkesley, the next station towards Tuxford Junction. There is also a separate buzzer to alert the operators when coal wagons are placed for collection on the colliery hand over section. A display for the public shows what movements are in hand.
At the end of the timetable all the stock is back at its starting point ready to go through another day ... after the operators have taken some time out to catch their breath.
The Shrewsbury & Hereford Railway Company obtained an Act of Parliament in 1846 to build a narrow gauge (4' 8½" gauge) railway from Shrewsbury to Hereford. The line covered a distance of 50.5 miles and work commenced in 1850. The line opened from Shrewsbury to Ludlow on the 21st April 1852. The Hereford section of the line opened on the 30th July 1853 for goods traffic and for passengers on December.
In 1862 the Shrewsbury and Hereford Railway was jointly leased by the London & North Western Railway (LNWR), the Great Western Railway (GWR) and the West Midland Railway (WMR). By 1871 the WMR had amalgamated with the GWR, so the LNWR and the GWR jointly acquired the Shrewsbury & Hereford line.
In 1887 the traffic levels on the line were increased by the opening of the Severn Tunnel and in May 1892, the conversion of the broad gauge lines to standard gauge to the west of Exeter meant even longer distance through services on the line.
A station was built to the south of Dinmore tunnel, Dinmore, which was closed in 1958. The layout is based on a fictitious station that is assumed to be at the north end of the tunnel, close to the village of Hope-under-Dinmore.
The Track is to EM gauge (18.2mm) using a mixture of C&L plain track and hand built turnouts. Turnouts are operated by "Tortoise" point motors.
Signals are based on LNWR design and are operated by "The Bouncer" system which utilises programmed model aircraft servos.
There are two signal boxes that are based on the signal box at Leominster. The station building is a mirror image of that at Dinmore that still exists as a private house.
The layout is set in the pre-grouping period 1904 to 1920. Trains are operated to a schedule and are a mixture of LNWR and GWR.
Llawryglyn is a small village in the heart of mid Wales, and lies approximately five miles from the Cambrian Railways main line station at Caersws, between Newtown and Machynlleth. Caersws was the junction for the Van Railway line that ran from Caersws to the Van lead mines. In my version of history, in the years prior to World War One, there was another lead mine operating on the other side of Van Hill from the larger, more prosperous and better-known Van Mine. This smaller mine was served by a branch (or twig?) off the Van Railway. The model represents the station at Llawryglyn in the years around 1910 - 12, when the Cambrian, never a well-off concern, was probably at its most successful. The start of WW1 saw passenger services withdrawn, with public goods services finishing three years later. Little or nothing remains of the railway today; although the nearby smithy was dismantled in the mid-1970s and re-erected at St Fagans National History Museum, Cardiff, where it can be seen today.
The locomotives come from a variety of sources, with both kit built and scratchbuilt examples running. The coaches are mainly built from Ratio GWR and Midland Railway coach kit sides - cut up in various ways, and with scratchbuilt ends and underframes, they have made a selection of Cambrian vehicles. Goods stock is from a variety of kits. Uniquely among Welsh railways, the Cambrian also had a wagon adapted for the conveyance of dragons, which has been modelled complete with a suitable load.
Rhydypenderyn is the second 16mm scale model railway layout built by Gaynor and Tony Bird; the first Rhydypenau Light Railway attended 80 exhibitions both in the UK and mainland Europe over 18 years and later became the basis of a much larger layout named Westfield.
The current layout is a modular design that allows it to be erected in nine different sizes between 20ft x 8ft 6ins and 26ft x 14ft 6ins. All the track work is scratch built using brass flat bottomed rail pinned to wooden sleepers.There is an inner and outer running track and some of the points are connected together to make it a little easier to change from one track to another. All the buildings are scratch built and are based on structures seen on various Welsh narrow gauge railways. Most of the model locomotives that run on the layout are steam engines with a few battery powered electric ones that are used while the steam models are being serviced.
Sherton Abbas is my 7mm scale representation of a Great Western Railway branch line terminus and is set in the Edwardian era circa 1905. Although modelling a real location has some appeal I didn't want to be constrained by modelling a prototype station. The layout is consequently a composite of a number of prototype stations and buildings arranged into what I hope is a convincing Great Western scene
The name Sherton Abbas comes from Thomas Hardy's novel "The Woodlanders" which is set in Dorset, quite what he would have made of my railway is anyone's guess! The buildings and lineside structures are all scratch built from plastic card and painted using enamel paints. The station building and goods shed are based on structures designed by an architect/building contractor called William Clarke who built a number of stations in the mid-19th century. The track was built using wooden sleepers with chairs and rail from C & L products and is set to 31.5 mm gauge.
The signals were built using components from Model Signal Engineering and are operated using miniature servos
The locomotives and stock are built from etched brass or plastic kits with compensated chassis running on wheels and axles from Slaters.
The landscape was carved from Polystyrene sheet glued in position on top of the base boards. This substructure was then covered in a mixture of static grass fibres, rubberised horse hair and ground foam scatters.
The North Somerset Light Railway was opened under the auspices of the Light Railway Act in 1905 to serve the coal mines of the Cam Vally, its route for the most part following that of the Somerset Coal Canal. The eastern terminus, set in the beautiful Horsecombe Vale, served the tiny hamlet of Tucking Mill.
The former flock mill, adjacent to the rapidly silting up canal, now servered the Fullers Earth works whose products were sent out all over the country. Timber, for use in local collieries, was also despatched from the station
The gated private siding led to a wharf where high quality oolithic limestone was loaded, being brought down by tramway from the quarries on Combe Down. Bath stone for buldings was in great demand in London and elsewhere.
The model sets out to depict the station as it might have looked in the 1920s. Freight receipts are just about sufficient to keep the railway in profit although the meagre passenger service is hanging on by its fingernails. It is bulit to the finescale standards of the 2mm scale Association with almost everything being either kit or scratchbult.
The layout packs a lot of detail and operating interest into just a 4ft by 2ft6inch and features an entire village bought from car boot sales and charity shops. The buildings are resin cast cottages sold as collectors items including 'Tetley Tea folk' houses. They are to slightly varying scales and are used to "force the perspective" on the layout by using the larger ones at the front and smaller ones at the back to increase perception of depth.
The most any of these buildings has cost is £1.50. The station buildings and other railway structures are scratch built in plasticard based on Midland Railway and Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway prototypes. There is a small harbour which serves Mardy Frozen Foods warehouse and Mardy marine ships handlers.
Three trains can run simultaneously two on the lower track and one on the high level branch line.
The track is a mix of Marklin and Peco and all points are electrically operated. The lower tracks are fitted with overhead catenary.
Rolling stock is a mixture of diesel, electric and steam based on Marklin chassis and includes class 47s,56s,90s and HSTs. Steam outline includes LNER A3s and A4s. Rolling stock is a mix of scratch built and repainted Marklin items.
Hidden on the layout (and very small indeed) the good folk of Midsomer Mardy are up to their favourite pastime, murder!
Midsomer Murders is a popular TV detective show in England set in a sleepy village full of thatched roofed houses. See if you can spot the murders that have or are about to happen.
The layout is quite ground breaking in representing the U.K rail scene in Z. Any questions from the public are always welcome.