A 45mm Gauge Railway built by
Ray and Brenda Waters
All photographs courtesy of Ray and Brenda Waters.
.... and now the earlier news ....
It seems that Ray and Brenda either have good "inside knowledge" or a "crystal ball" as their model of the FR Baguley-Drewry Harlech Castle has pre-dated what now appears to be the actual prototype ...
(link provided by Tony Willmore)
In the wake of some very wet weather during the earlier part of the winter, and which turned the top part of Ray and Brenda's garden into a quagmire, an ingenious solution has been found to enable their train services to keep running ....
Rheilfford Pen-y-Llyn is a 45mm gauge line with continuous running and shunting facilities and is a ground level railway. The steam up bay is at a raised height of approximately 800mm above ground level and is gained via a rack railway assisted slope. There is now also a ground level "railing siding".
The line has a minimum track radius of 4ft 6ins at the points but with 6ft radius on the main line. The loading gauge clearances are 165mm width and 180mm height. There is no track power on this line. There are variable gradients on this line with a maximum slope of approximately 1:30. A short section of 32mm gauge line is also modelled with a mixed gauge interchange siding.
For health reasons (asthma) Ray and Brenda ask that visitors do not bring dogs when visiting the line.
Rheilffordd Pen-y Llyn Keeps Running
We've found that we can use one foot square, catalogue bought, plastic stepping stones to protect the lawn so that we can continue winter running on our end to end industrial railway.
This gives scope for further imagination in the guise of a regular passenger service to overcome the continued reduction in local bus services (Well, that bit's not imagination anyway!). All of which gives the opportunity to progress and test various unfinished projects.
Originally the passenger train was to consist of an ancient, Brandbright or IP Engineering, bogie coach I was given many years ago (that's why the windows are yellow) run as a 'push pull set with our Harlech Castle (a Roundhouse Criccieth Castle painted in Harlech Castle colours). However, the coach didn`t take kindly to our LGB R3 points so it was re-wheeled with the 25mm curly spoked wheels that Swift 16 market specially for LGB track.
Below, the new passenger service is now in operation.
The new tipper train is seen on the raised 'railing siding', below.
The next problem was our 'Harlech Castle': you see, our main line is much steeper than the steepest gradient recommended by Roundhouse. This makes our Harlech Castle's trains progress downhill in a series of short rushes that are not conducive to passenger comfort, or prototypical operation. To overcome this a working brake van (manual operation) has been added to the train and all's well for the present. Unfortunately, this may not be the case with traditional 'pathfinder loco' Lorna (an ancient Echo Classic Rail Loco). She narrowly escaped disaster (broken motion rods) when her piston rods became disengaged, and the management is seriously considering retiring her to guest appearances on special occasions, like open days. That means we'll need another loco … Hmmm??
Below, Harlech Castle 'banking' Lorna up to our railing siding.
Rheilffordd Pen-y-Llŷn ...
... Spring 2018 Approaches
Yes, spring's coming; believe it or not! Our winter running has been a great success compared with summer 2017. We seem to have ended up with a surfeit of winter rolling stock, so the open truck that brings sacks of ground slate to Porthmadog has been added to the 'pathfinder' PW train. The brake gear on this new truck fell off and caused a derailment, but 'hey ho' it already had a PW brakesman on board so the brake gear went into the spares box. Also, the passenger train, mentioned last time, has been combined with the waste slate tipper train (see below). These combinations make running sessions a practical length.
Our two Echo ClassicRail locos handle these trains ('Lorna's' latest bodged wheels are holding up) plus the slate train, which the management deemed to be long enough already. Neither loco has the adhesion to bring these trains back up the inclines to the elevated 'railing area'. So our version of Harlech Castle is employed as Porthmadog's 'banker'. On the subject of this loco, Tony's observation (see below) that the prototype's shape is to be brought into line with our version (a Roundhouse Criccieth Castle painted in the Ffestiniog Railway's old PW livery) has caused some mirth. Unfortunately, our guess is that they will paint the prototype green. So we'll end up with the shape right and the colour wrong!
Below, one of the Echo ClassicRail locos hauls a long slate train from the quarry transhipment area.
And finally, how do we know spring's coming? Well, the picture, below, shows Brenda's 'tourist' charter train that she ran recently. It now includes a new Swift 16 small carriage and is drawn by her Bag-Drew which bears the name Criccieth Castle …. well even spare name plates aren't wasted on our line.
Must stop now and start clearing the bottom half of the line that was abandoned for the winter.