David Hennessey

Fablewood (Coed y Chwedlau)

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Three years after doing Tarvin Heights MPD, I feel the time has come for me to embark on a new serious project. Only this time, it's a totally different ball game. Having previously covered N and 00 scales, I'm taking up modelling in 009 as a new challenge.
 
My hopeful intention is to create a 4ft by 2ft narrow gauge themed railway, going by the made-up title of Prenchedwl (Fablewood); a product of some tomfoolery on Google translate! The idea of the layout will be basically be a small station with a passing loop and two sidings, set on the outskirts of the fictitious North Wales village of the same name. The era will be set in the present day, where a long-established preservation society is in control of the line. Passenger services will be the norm, but demonstration goods and a bit of coal traffic will appear occasionally. The locos and rolling stock will be a mixed bag of Ffestiniog, Lynton & Barnstaple, War Department and a few other types.
 
Here is the trackplan, as it looks on paper (a bog standard Microsoft Paint job, and subject to alteration):
 
post-262-0-21578100-1420156608_thumb.jpg
 
Some track and pointwork has already been acquired for Christmas (standard Peco Code 80; a mixture of flexible straights, yY-turn points and some left and right hand points). It just remains for me to see if the track plan can be put together, after a baseboard to the fore-mentioned specifications has been acquired.
 
For now, what do you reckon to this? As usual, comments and/or suggestions gladly welcomed.
Edited by David Hennessey

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Hi David

Looking at the plan as drawn,.

run the lower left siding right to the edge of e board and add a second siding this will provide a point of extension for later and a two siding goods yard

loco shed somewhere ??

Perhaps the right hand corner could be a small fishing harbour or canal basin with rail connection

I would also suggest a three or four track fiddle yard you will end up with more stock than you need to operate the layout.

To be decided is to me obviously the village proper.

Remember you need just enough traffic to keep the line border line bankrupt or only just making a miniscule profit.

That should give you something to think about :D 

The main road is likely to be a narrow minor road if the line is still in business rather than a preserved line

regards John

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Hi David

Looking at the plan as drawn,.

run the lower left siding right to the edge of e board and add a second siding this will provide a point of extension for later and a two siding goods yard

loco shed somewhere ??

Perhaps the right hand corner could be a small fishing harbour or canal basin with rail connection

I would also suggest a three or four track fiddle yard you will end up with more stock than you need to operate the layout.

To be decided is to me obviously the village proper.

Remember you need just enough traffic to keep the line border line bankrupt or only just making a miniscule profit.

That should give you something to think about :D

The main road is likely to be a narrow minor road if the line is still in business rather than a preserved line

regards John

 

Many thanks for your suggestions John. A few small points to be made:

1) The lower left hand turnout is intended to be the basis for a future extension anyway (but I'll consider adjusting it slightly, depending on how the rest of the trackplan works out). For now, it will act as a spare siding to store any locos and stock when not on active duty.

2) I don't think I will have much room for a harbour or a canal basin.

3) No loco shed is intended; this is merely a passing point in the middle of a busy preserved line. The siding at the bottom left of the trackplan will be used to sable any random loco or rolling stock.

4) I don't know if there will be enough space to make a larger fiddle yard.

5) The station is to be set a few miles outside the fictitious village, with perhaps a few small buildings close by. Granted, there might be a war memorial or a village green set in there somewhere, but other than that, I've no idea.

6) The traffic is to be predominantly passenger, with the odd demonstration goods train turning up now and then, and also a random delivery of coal. The layout is intended to be set in the 'preservation era', with tourists being the only source of income.

7) I don't yet know how the road will turn out (I intend to throw in a few scenic features), but we'll have to wait and see.

All of this depends on if (and how) I can get it all on a 4ft by 2ft baseboard. Thanks all the same!

Edited by David Hennessey

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Hi David

Having a three or four track fiddle yard and hiding the fiddle yard is the easy bit.

You run the fiddle yard at the back as per the plan then build your hill over it right to the back of the layout.

it may mean your cottages are on the hill and the back of the hill will need to be open to access the fiddle yard.

granted the space is small.

It will be a bit of a challenge but I think you should be able to get an OO9 layout you will be happy with in the space.

Either that or you might have to add a few inches to the width.

My OO layout is only 4'6" square so If I can get a layout I am happy with in that space.

A narrow gauge light railway should be practical in a smaller space may be, to be decided should just be country side

so things don't get over crowded.

regards John

 

 

 

 

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In such space a NG layout can fit comfortably, Try to put down a "more faithful" sketch of what you have in mind, in need I have a good stock of old magazines to take inspiration.

This was I have envisaged, but is subject to alteration as I've already stated. And I am doing a little scouring through magazines and internet pictures to get ideas as well. I'm also considering joining the 009 Society for more inspiration...

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And while I'm racking my brains for inspiration, here's a little something for you all to have a gander at (available in both English and Welsh!)...

 

 

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE FABLEWOOD (PRENCHEDWL) LIGHT RAILWAY

 

 
Somewhere in North Wales, lies a small village going by the name of Fablewood (or Prenchedwl in Welsh), served by a narrow gauge railway of the same name. The small station is just a five minute walk away from the village, which holds an open market once a week.
 
In the late 1860's, a narrow gauge railway was built to transport slate from a local quarry that operated just up the North of the Vale of Prenchedwl, and coal from a small colliery a few miles South of the village. As well as that, locals and tourists took advantage of using the railway to go to and from the small village, whether it was market day or just a day spend visiting.
 
General goods were also carried on the line, but the traffic was predominantly slate and coal; the latter came in by road from the mine, for transfer to rail for the journey up and down the valley. Slate trains generally passed through loaded in the South direction, to be brought back up empty.
 
Prenchedwl station consisted of a waiting shelter and two tall buildings; one was used as a booking office, waiting room and buffet, while the other was retained as private quarters for the station master. A small signal box was also used, to control the pointwork of the station area and the small coal siding.
 
As well as Prenchedwl village, a small branch line from the station also served the Blue Nose lake (or Llyn Trwynglas), where tourists would go to sit and admire the beautiful lake, or go for various walks in the surrounding hillsides.
 
In the inter-war years however, the railway's fortunes took a nose dive; the coal mine was closed during the great depression of the 1930's, and the traffic from the slate quarry eventually went into decline as well. The passenger service, which by now was dwindling as cars and buses became fairly common in the area, kept on going before being abruptly suspended in 1939 when the Second World War broke out. With road competition outnumbering both the goods and slate trains, the railway was finally abandoned during the conflict. The permanent way and rolling stock was simply left where it was, exposed to nature, the weather, and the odd souvenir hunter.
 
In the 1950's, as railway preservation was just beginning to blossom up and down the United Kingdom, one such group was started up and managed to acquire the line for restoration to it's former glory. The line reopened in 1955, and soon, tourists and locals were once more using the railway to visit Prenchedwl.
 
The station was quick to see a renaissance; the buildings, boarded up during the war, were smartened up, the platforms resurfaced and tidied, and the small signal box got some much needed attention as well.
 
The railway's mixed fleet of steam and diesel locomotives (based on Ffestiniog, Lynton and Barnstaple, War Department and other types) is kept busy during the Summer months bringing in locals and visitors to and from the village. Although freight is no longer carried, a demonstration goods train runs occasionally, and the coal siding still sees use, albeit with coal now coming in by road from South Wales, for the purpose of refuelling the steam locomotives.
 
As for the Llyn Trwynglas branch, part of the track is presently used as a spare siding to store any locos or rolling stock that might be taking a breather from active duty. It is intended to eventually restore the line to Llyn Trwynglas, but that's another story...
 
 
(Footnote: The author of this document makes no apologies for any historical inaccuracies that may have been incurred!)
 
 
WELSH VERSION
 
 
Rhywle yng Ngogledd Cymru, yn gorwedd pentref bach yn mynd o'r enw Fablewood (neu Prenchedwl yn Gymraeg), a wasanaethir gan rheilffordd gul o'r un enw. Mae'r orsaf bach yn unig yw cerdded pum munud i ffwrdd oddi wrth y pentref, sy'n dal marchnad agored unwaith yr wythnos.
 
Ar ddiwedd y 1860au, mae rheilffordd gul adeiladwyd i gludo llechi o chwarel lleol a oedd yn gweithredu ychydig i fyny'r gogledd Bro Prenchedwl, a glo o bwll glo bach ychydig filltiroedd i'r De o'r pentref. Yn ogystal â hynny, pobl leol a thwristiaid yn cymryd mantais o ddefnyddio'r rheilffordd i fynd yn ôl ac ymlaen i'r pentref bychan, a oedd yn ddiwrnod marchnad neu dim ond y dydd yn gwario ymweld.
 
Nwyddau Cyffredinol hefyd yn cael eu cynnal ar y lein, ond mae'r traffig yn bennaf llechi a glo; yr olaf yn dod i mewn ar y ffordd o'r mwynglawdd, i'w drosglwyddo i'r rheilffyrdd ar gyfer y daith i fyny ac i lawr y dyffryn. Llechi trenau pasio gyffredinol drwy lwytho i gyfeiriad y De, i'w ddwyn yn ôl i fyny wag.
 
Gorsaf Prenchedwl cynnwys lloches aros a dau adeilad tal; cafodd un ei ddefnyddio fel swyddfa docynnau, ystafell a bwffe aros, tra bod y llall yn cadw fel chwarter preifat ar gyfer y meistr yr orsaf. Mae blwch signal bach yn cael ei ddefnyddio hefyd, i reoli pointwork yr ardal yr orsaf a'r seidin glo bach.
 
Yn ogystal â bentref Prenchedwl, llinell gangen fechan o'r orsaf hefyd yn gwasanaethu y llyn Blue Nose (neu Llyn Trwynglas), lle byddai twristiaid yn mynd i eistedd ac edmygu'r llyn prydferth, neu fynd am amryw deithiau cerdded yn y bryniau o amgylch.
 
Yn fodd bynnag y blynyddoedd rhwng y ddau ryfel, cymerodd ffawd y rheilffordd yn plymio trwyn; y pwll glo wedi cau yn ystod y dirwasgiad mawr y 1930au, ac mae'r traffig o'r chwarel lechi yn y pen draw yn mynd i mewn i ddirywiad hefyd. Mae'r gwasanaeth i deithwyr, sydd erbyn hyn yn lleihau fel ceir a bysiau daeth yn weddol gyffredin yn yr ardal, cadw ar fynd cyn cael ei atal yn sydyn yn 1939 pan dorrodd yr Ail Ryfel Byd allan. Gyda chystadleuaeth ffordd fwy niferus na y nwyddau a threnau llechi, rhoddwyd y gorau i'r rheilffordd yn olaf yn ystod y gwrthdaro. Y ffordd parhaol a cherbydau oedd yn syml gadael lle'r oedd, yn agored i natur, y tywydd, ac mae'r heliwr swfenîr od.
 
Yn y 1950au, fel cadwraeth rheilffordd ond yn dechrau blodeuo i fyny ac i lawr y Deyrnas Unedig, un grŵp o'r fath Dechreuwyd i fyny ac yn llwyddo i gael y llinell ar gyfer adfer i fod yn hen ogoniant. Ailagor y lein yn 1955, ac yn fuan, twristiaid a phobl leol oedd unwaith yn rhagor yn defnyddio'r rheilffordd i ymweld â Prenchedwl.
 
Mae'r orsaf yn gyflym i weld adfywiad; yr adeiladau, ffenestri dan goed i fyny yn ystod y rhyfel, yn cael eu thacluso, mae'r llwyfannau wyneb newydd ac yn tacluso, a'r blwch signal bach got rhywfaint o sylw mawr ei angen hefyd.
 
Fflyd cymysg y rheilffordd o locomotifau stêm a diesel (yn seiliedig ar Ffestiniog, Lynton a Barnstaple, Adran Rhyfel a mathau eraill) yn cael ei gadw yn brysur yn ystod misoedd yr haf gan ddod yn bobl leol ac ymwelwyr i ac o'r pentref. Er cludo nwyddau yw bellach cario, trên nwyddau arddangos yn rhedeg o bryd i'w gilydd, ac mae'r seidin glo yn dal yn gweld eu defnyddio, er gyda glo bellach yn dod i mewn ar y ffordd o dde Cymru, at ddibenion ail-lenwi y locomotifau stêm.
 
Fel ar gyfer y gangen Llyn Trwynglas, rhan o'r trac yn cael ei ddefnyddio ar hyn o bryd fel seidin sbâr i storio unrhyw Locos neu gerbydau a allai fod yn cymryd seibiant o'r gwaith gweithredol. Y bwriad yw y pen draw adfer y llinell i Lyn Trwynglas, ond mae hynny'n stori arall ...
 
 
(Troednodyn: Mae'r awdur yn y ddogfen hon yn gwneud unrhyw ymddiheuriadau am unrhyw wallau hanesyddol a allai fod wedi cael eu codi!)

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Hi David

I don't know if it's relevant to your line history.

But the slate trade also took quite a battering during WW1 with the loss of the very large German market this would not have helped your railway or the quarries it served.

The welsh slate trade roofed the world well just about.

During WW2 it is more likely the line did well ish due to petrol rationing and the need to get goods into the area, it is also possible the line may even have got some government support.

If it was vital to the areas transport needs  and some hush hush vital war effort activities where taking place in the area "sorry if I tell you what it was I will have to shoot you" :D

Now we know what's on the station Tourist information board :D

regards John

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Hi David

I don't know if it's relevant to your line history.

But the slate trade also took quite a battering during WW1 with the loss of the very large German market this would not have helped your railway or the quarries it served.

The welsh slate trade roofed the world well just about.

During WW2 it is more likely the line did well ish due to petrol rationing and the need to get goods into the area, it is also possible the line may even have got some government support.

If it was vital to the areas transport needs  and some hush hush vital war effort activities where taking place in the area "sorry if I tell you what it was I will have to shoot you" :D

Now we know what's on the station Tourist information board :D

regards John

I see your points John, but this was actually an unofficial and made-up story, parts of it loosely based on the fortunes of narrow gauge railways such as the Ffestiniog, prior to the preservation era. (And to repeat, I make no apologies for any inaccuracies occured!). I just wanted to give the layout a little bit of historical background, whilst depicting the preservation-era it is intended to be set in.

However, if I were to re-write the story, I would have to sow the seed of the railway's downfall during WW1, where as you said, the loss of the huge German market would not have helped matters. The slate traffic would've continued to run, till the middle of WW2 at least. The coal traffic will have already been gone inbetween the inter-war years; the great depression of the 1930's killing off the coal mine with the loss of jobs.

 

As for the government's help during war time? I never knew such a theory existed; granted the railway would've helped with the war effort (by scrapping any unnecessary metals and using second-hand stock leftover from the War Department), but given the downturn at this point, the line was not going to last beyond 1945 anyway; the final blow coming with the slate quarry being flooded...

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Following some advice from various sources on Facebook, I downloaded a handy application known as AnyRail5, and got to work designing a more better track plan. Here is a screenshot of how it looks:

post-262-0-56101500-1420571311_thumb.jpg

 

(Presumably the grids represent the measurements (in feet) of the baseboard)

 

Again, comments and suggestions welcomed.

Edited by David Hennessey

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As an image explains more than thousand words I put here a page from Model Railway Constructor Annual 1979. It's just a proposal of layout and though it's a point to point  it gives many useful hints.

 

P.S. I had some trouble in attaching the image that you'll find in next message :wacko:. I like particularly the line that crosses the village!

post-531-0-37823300-1420619878_thumb.jpg

Edited by Franco

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If this is still just at the planning stage and you have not made much investment in buildings or rolling stock can I throw an idea in please? Instead of OO9 why not try O9? The larger scale makes building structures a lot easier because fewer of them are needed to fill the same area.

 

Allt-Na-Balt is O scale but just twenty inches in diameter, so getting the loop onto a 4x2 board is not an issue!

anb1.jpg

 

For something a bit less like a goldfish in a bowl Muston Sands is actually fiddleyard to fiddleyard but the line could just as easily be looped round behind the scenery instead.

mus-1.jpg

 

The larger size of the locos makes it possible to have more weight in them than with OO9, thus ensuring better running.

no-11.jpg

 

But I also run dummies which are pushed by motorised wagons, vans or coaches. This means that even bigger mechanisms can be used, particularly useful because N scale four axle diesels tend to run a lot better than N scale steam locos. The train in the A-N-B picture is powered by the stone wagon and the train in the photo of Muston Sands has the motor in the luggage van.

 

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If this is still just at the planning stage and you have not made much investment in buildings or rolling stock can I throw an idea in please? Instead of OO9 why not try O9? The larger scale makes building structures a lot easier because fewer of them are needed to fill the same area.

 

Allt-Na-Balt is O scale but just twenty inches in diameter, so getting the loop onto a 4x2 board is not an issue!

anb1.jpg

 

For something a bit less like a goldfish in a bowl Muston Sands is actually fiddleyard to fiddleyard but the line could just as easily be looped round behind the scenery instead.

mus-1.jpg

 

The larger size of the locos makes it possible to have more weight in them than with OO9, thus ensuring better running.

no-11.jpg

 

But I also run dummies which are pushed by motorised wagons, vans or coaches. This means that even bigger mechanisms can be used, particularly useful because N scale four axle diesels tend to run a lot better than N scale steam locos. The train in the A-N-B picture is powered by the stone wagon and the train in the photo of Muston Sands has the motor in the luggage van.

 

Thanks for the idea Bob; I'll bear it in mind for a future project. I'm sticking with 009 for now, and see how it goes.

 

 

PS - The slate trade would probably have picked up after WW2 because of all the air raid damage that needed repairing. ;)

 

A bit of a problem, as far as the quarry is concerned; an accidental flooding has forced the quarry to close, thus bringing the slate traffic to an abrupt end...

Edited by David Hennessey

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Yet again more tinkering with the plan in Anyrail5. Having finally managed to get the hang of setting the board size (1200 by 600 in Metric Decimal Units), I've drawn up another idea. I've moved the coal siding to the left of the plan (on the top of the lower loop), and extended the station loop in the hope that longer passenger trains can be accommodated.

 

post-262-0-55250700-1421492434_thumb.jpg

 

Thoughts?

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Hi David

When you come to build it try and skew the oval a little.

This will help create the illusion it is bigger and will look a lot more real as its not following the board edge.

regards John

Thanks John.

Been working on two more designs, to try and even out the bottom half of the oval.

Idea 1:

post-262-0-14833500-1422113398_thumb.jpg

 

Although the track is perilously close to the baseboard edges (on paper, thank goodness!), the station loop should more or less look even on either side. I've also decided to move the coal siding to the bottom left, on the inside loop.

 

 

Idea 2:

 

post-262-0-31560000-1422116140_thumb.jpg

 

As before, only I've moved the points controlling the bottom loop down a touch.

Any thoughts?

 

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