A 45mm Gauge Railway built by
Ray and Brenda Waters
The Latest News Update:
Our railway has reverted to its winter role of an end to end industrial line using the upper half of our garden circuit. This arrangement makes it only a ten-minute job to leaf blow the track clear for slate trains to travel from the Mamodofferen Slate Company sidings to Porthmadog. This year a few more buildings are braving the scene to add credibility to my imaginings.
So what’s new?
Well, the industrial railway also plans to transport waste slate to the Minffordd Powdered Slate Company works. Therefore an, as yet unpainted, ‘hybrid Binnie tipper’ has been seen on test.
Then Lorna, our much loved ‘Echo Classic Rail’ plastic loco, has gained a sound unit from Peter Spoerer. This works well and at least drowns most of the grinding noises from her electric motor. However six loaded slate wagons are beyond the limit of her adhesion so she is confined to the ‘early morning’ PW/passenger ‘pathfinder’ train. In fact the generally damp weather means that to pull rolling stock up the incline to the train shed we have to employ the LGB rack system. The intention was to employ the rack loco to do all the hauling of slate trains as it was already ‘in steam(!)’. However, Lost ‘n Bodge are still struggling to get our electric Double Fairlie to behave reasonably on the railway’s considerable gradients. So this will haul slate trains whilst being tested.
Lack of adhesion has also caused problems on the small 32mm mine railway. Odin, our Mamod with a powered tender, simply can’t cope with the mine’s undulating track. So the Slate company has acquired a small diesel loco that appears to be a cut down IP Engineering Ezee Daisy railcar. Strangely enough, the basis of this vehicle appears to be what was Odin’s powered tender!
And Brenda? Well, Lost ‘n Bodge have fitted Roundhouse buffers to her Timpdon Engineering Ffestiniog hearse van. Also they’ve built up a second small Swift 16 open wagon (with their LGB suitable wheels) to transport another platoon of soldiers. Both of these will, of course, be added to her WW1 train. Hopefully she will soon take delivery of some Cain Howley buildings to paint; and meanwhile some sacks, of what will be powdered slate, await the attention of her paint brush.
Below, the hybrid Binnie tipper wagon is seen with the new small Swift 16 open wagon that will be used transport WW1 soldiers.
Above, the Mamodofferen Slate Company's new small diesel locomotive.
Below, The electric Double Fairlie on test with slate wagons.
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. It has a minimum track radius of 4 ft. 6 ins. at the points but with 6 ft. radius on the main line. The loading gauge clearances are 165 mm width and 180 mm 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.
My intention to run regular winter slate and tipper trains over the top half of our line has rather sunk in the mire of continuous rain and chilling winds. We haven`t been flooded, just put off by raw weather and in places the line is below the water table. However there has been some action in the workshops. As the pictures, below, show two more modified slate wagons have been out-shopped.
With the loco (our electric Mamod), and indeed permanently joined to it, is a sound wagon carrying a Peter Spoerer sound card and 9v battery so that I only had to run 2 wires from the loco motor connections to the wagon. The justification for this wagon is that it is a slate wagon converted to carry extra supplies of the special coal the loco needs to steam efficiently. The only modification the loco needed was to turn the driver round for bunker first running.
A ‘The Lineside Hut’ 45mm slate wagon is used and it is boxed-in using 3mm plywood with planking marked on it by the ‘laser process’. ‘The Lineside Hut’ supplied me 300mm lengths of inscribed, plank material. As usual with my wagons Swift 16 ‘suitable for LGB track’ wheels are used (any one want some Binnie 20mm spoked wheels?).
The other modified slate wagon is an imaginary creation with a seated brakesman, whose hand hovers over the brake column. I know this isn`t prototypical but it satisfies my desire to have braked rolling stock at each end of my loose coupled trains. The basis is a 45mm gauge ‘The Lineside Hut’ flat wagon that is fitted with a Binnie slate wagon body moved forward to give room for seating the brakesman. In this case Binnie axle boxes have been used and of course the wheels can be removed if necessary
There are also rumours that on one occasion a slate train was seen being pulled by an ‘uprated’ version of our Electric Double Fairlie. And that the train also had a manually operated working brake van…..hopefully more news soon.