Welcome to the Chronicles of Penhydd, I hope you enjoy your visit and gain some inspiration for your own modelling projects.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Shunting The Yard

A few days later 3217 arrived again to shunt the yard at Penhydd. The goods stock is a mixture of kit and rtr,some are compensated others not. To be honest if you have a good baseboard and well laid track I don't think compensation of coaches and wagons is needed in EM. However I do believe in having my locomtives compensated to some degree to aid electrical pickup. Reliability with locos starting  first time is a must for me.
My favoured couplings are S&W operated by electro magnets,once set up they perform well and don't look that bad when chemically blackened.
All the stock is weathered to some degree and run on Alan Gibsons wheels.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Penhydd to Presteign Local Passenger

Here we see the local passenger from Penhydd to Presteign via Titley Junction departing. Sometimes an autotrain is on this service but today W32W is in charge.
This is a much modified old Lima model which was easily converted to EM using an Ultrascale replacement wheel pack,she is another reliable performer.
Full buffer beam detail has been added,the moulded handrails have been replaced with wire and those missing added. The carden shafts have been extended into the engine compartment and since the pics.were taken the front shafts have been removed just as they were on the prototype in later years.

The drivers cab detail now includes controls, and the seats are in the correct place. Flushglazing is a mixture of the SEF product and some hand cut from clear plastic sheet. New shell roof vents have been fitted in place of the strange Lima mouldings and the addition of lamps & irons just about completes the model.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Collet Goods 3217 gets the road

Collet Goods 3217 gets the road and departs for Titley Junction. This much modified ex Mainline Model was my very first EM locomotive and is still going strong. She has fully compensated Comet chassis under both loco and tender. Wheels are by Alan Gibson which are the standard spec.for all my models. A Comet 38:1 gearbox is coupled to a Mashima can motor resulting in a lovely smooth controlable model. The body has a Gibson chimney and smokebox dart. Extra pipework and wire handrails are fitted together with steam & vac pipes, ATC shoe and lamp irons. The tender has also been detailed having Gibson axlebox and spring castings fitted in place of the original mouldings. Replacement brake standards, tender frame gussets and rivets tool boxes and a water scoop complete the improvements. I must have been really lucky as she ran well from the word go and with twenty years service she is now nicely run in !
An ex GWR railar arrives from New Radnor with a local passenger service W32W was based at Worcester in 1955 and so could have been seen at Penhydd. The local service runs between Penhydd and New Radnor via Titley Junc. where connections for Hereford and Worcester via Leominster can be made. A direct service from Worcester also runs daily.
The Collet goods however is a long way from home as 3217 was an Oxford engine and a relic from my old model of the Fairford branch. She is waiting in the loop for the single line token. Penhydd was the last station to be shunted on the branch and so the main part of the train would be left at Titley Junction whilst the yards at Presteign and Penhydd were shunted.

The Penhydd Hall Arms

The village pub is the only other building on the layout and is the most recent addition. As usual it is scratch built but unlike the other buildings it is not based on any known prototype. Instead it is a marriage of architechtural features taken from various buildings which I find attractive. It is made from Wills Limewashed Stone with roof slates,doors,windows and rainwater goods from the same manufacturer. The bow window is made from C&L window mouldings, three were cemented together and left to set for over twenty four hours. The resulting window was then taped around a curved former and plunged into boiling water. Other detail such as the porch support brackets came out of the scrapbox.
The wooden fence and old stable block, which is now used as a store for logs and empty cask are made from 1mm ply. The whole lot was stained with wood dye and weathered with thinned Humbrol Gunmetal Metacoat,I owe that tip to Simon Dunkley.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Journeys End

As we pull into the platform we can see a water tower,cattle and end loading dock.The water tower is a cut down Ratio kit and modelled from photographs on the one at Hemyock. The small hut behind it is the pumphouse. At many locations one of the duties of the loco crew was to pump water from a well up into the water tank using their engine. The next picture is taken from the loading dock,looking across to the platform. The large store is scratch built and the small one is the Wills lamp hut.
I have always liked the combined roof and canopy of Chalford station building and as I had the Prototype Models card kit in stock decided to use that as a starting point. I scanned the complete kit and printed the image onto paper which was then cemented onto Plastikard using MEK. This gave me a sheet of plastic components to use saving a lot of measuring out. The phonebox is from the Skaledale range,fencing is the Ratio GWR spear type and the seats by Coopercraft.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Station Bridge & Signal Box

Just before entering the platform we cross over the station approach road. The bridge made from parts of the Wills occupation bridge kit is becoming a trademark on my layouts. The inspiration for this scene came from Grange-Over -Sands station in Cumbria. Passengers wishing to catch the Barrow train have to pass under the railway by a low narrow bridge which also provides access to the promenade. At Penhydd it is both wider and higher allowing small vehicles and a Bristol L5G single deck bus to pass under.
The signal box started life as a Ratio platform mounted kit but in the end only the front upper panel and windows were used. With the benefit of hindsight I wish I had used etched windows. It is modelled on Cardigan box and has full interior detail.


A platelayers hut stands opposite the goods yard, this is the delightful Coopercraft kit. The Railwaymens cottages can also be seen. These are modelled in perspective in an attempt to give a feeling of distance and depth. Made from Plastikard they have a render finnish, to achieve this the whole building was painted in grey primer and whilst the paint was still wet silversand was lightly sprinkled on top. Windows,doors and rainwater goods are all from the Wills range. I rather like this last picture, if you look closely at the backscene you can see a church steeple in the background. I was unaware of this until the picture was uploaded for the first time. Dashing back into the modelling room I rechecked the scene as I just had not noticed it before!

The Goods Yard

After passing under the bridge the small goods yard comes into view. The yard crane is scratch built in microstrip from plans in the old "Ericmodels Plan Book" The winding gear was salvaged from an old Wills kit and the fine chain was lifted from the jewellery box but it's loss has still not been noticed two years on. It is mounted on a small stone platform made from bits found in the scrapbox. A small precast goods store is provided, the original was accidentally burnt down and BR replaced it with this store on the cheap!! It is of course the Ratio Provender store kit and built as intended which is rather rare for me as I usually modify kits in one way or the other. I plan to replace it in due course with a corrugated iron structure based on the one which stood at Hemyock. A small office stands at the end of the store which is used by the local coal merchant who also has a small coal dump at the end of the siding. The weighbridge and hut is also provided at the yard entrance. There is still lots of detail to be added before the area is complete.

Penhydd Hall Lane Bridge.

Continuing out journey we pass under "Penhydd Hall Lane" bridge. This uses parts from the Wills Vari-Girder kit, the remainder is scratch built from Plastikard and overlaid with embossed stone sheet from the same source.

The long grass is Silflor,hanging basket liner and static grass all blended together. This combination of materials is used through out the layout. Fencing is from Ratio concrete post and Microrod but I am not entirely happy with it. It will most likely be replaced at sometime in the future.

Monday, 12 October 2009

A Cheap Day Return To Penhydd.

On leaving Presteign the line sweeps to the right skirting "Offas Dyke"and the River Lugg. Shortly before reaching Penhydd the line enters a cutting, on emerging from it we pass Penhydd Creamery on our right.
The creamery shown here as a rough sketch is still in the planning stages. A full size card mock up is currenrtly under construction. The actual model will be in the form of a lightweight removable cassette.The branch line will continue behind the building to form a storage siding for a railcar or autotrain.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Radnor Valley

Penhydd is located in an area known as the Radnor Valley or Walton Basin. A rather interesting website describing the area and it's history can be found here.
A maltings was situated at Presteign and so I decided to build one for Penhydd. These days it is used by a feed and seed merchant who also repairs and supplies farm machinery.
A trade in timber also provided employment for the locals and traffic for the railway.Herefordshire is also known for it's fruit and dairy produce and so it is quite likely that a dairy could have been built to cater for the needs of the dairy farmers and a seasonal fruit traffic for the railway. It is assumed that Penhydd Creamery was the main reason for the line staying open due to the narrow country roads being unsuited to heavy goods vehicles.
As for passenger traffic you can travel from Penhydd to Leominster,a local service between Penhydd and New Radnor also operates providing a connection at Titley Junction for Hereford vis Eardisley.


The idea behind the model is to portray the life of the branch from the early fifties to it's eventual closure in the mid sixties. This will give me the excuse to run a selection of my favourite locomotives and rolling stock to suit each year I choose ,but of course not all together. I see this as my last layout and plan to develop and improve it over a period of time, much in the same way that Peter Denny has done with Buckingham G.C and Jas Millam with his Yaxbury branch.
The model is presented in a run down state because don't forget the country was still recovering from a war and rationing had only just ended.So the paintwork on the buidings is faded and peeling,weeds cover the sidings and an air of decay is present.
Rather than provide a trackplan the following birds eye view of the layout should suffice before we take a journey along the line.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Location of Penhydd

Penhydd is a fictional market town situated on the Welsh Borders between Herefordshire and the old county of Radnorshire. It is assumed that the branchline from Titley Junction to Presteign was extended with a view to forming a Junction with the LNWR at Knighton. However like so many of these early schemes it never came to be and the line terminated at Penhydd.
So let us take a look at the real railway network in this area. The story starts in 1857 with the opening of the Leominster & Kington Railway. This 13 mile line was the first part of a plan to drive a railway westwards across Herefordshire from Leominster to Aberystwyth. On reaching Kington the whole scheme came to a halt. It was in the 1870's before anything more happened when two branch lines were added from Titley Junction to Presteign and from Kington to New Radnor. Another line went southwards from Titley to Talyllyn Junction via Hay-On-Wye. The GWR absorbed all these lines in the 1890's and they lasted until 1951 when the lines started to be closed. Freight managed to last a little longer into the mid 1960's