Like the Plynlimon and Hafan Tramway, some thirty miles to the south, the Ganllwyd Tram was but a brief spark flung out of the white hot furnace of late Victorian industry and commerce. Looking at what little remains of the Ganllwyd Tramway today the casual observer could be forgiven for doubting that it ever existed.

Tuesday 10 April 2012

Back to the future

The steady accumulation of incremental growth seems to be the way that progress is made with this project. I'm quite happy to put it to one side for weeks or months until the mojo swings round to Victorian narrow gauge once more. I still keep a watching brief for the signs of how the complete entity may shape up, but for the moment I'm happy just to build the occasional jigsaw piece that will ultimately assemble into the complete picture. Sometimes it's good to get a glimpse of what that might be. Loosely inspired by the Emett designed railway at The Festival of Britain I've been constructing a station building. Though far from finished I couldn't resist the urge to mock up what might have been seen through the lens of a heavy plate camera more than a century ago.

There's a slight irony that this view of the past, gives the best insight into the future.

Tuesday 21 February 2012


I've mentioned in my last update about my growing interest in the DHR; as a consequence I've picked up a few early postcards of the line from e-bay recently. It struck me that some of them do have something of a look of mid-Wales about them. This one in particular goes some way to show how I visualise that Ganllwyd Tram's winding progress along the roadside.

Friday 17 February 2012

Dawdling along

Like all the best minor lines the speed of progress of the Ganllwyd Tram can best be described as ambling. So what's new? Precious little, is the answer I'm afraid. What has been done are the construction of a few wagons, a card mock up of the turbine house and the development of a simple loop and pin coupler.

Part of the reason for the lack of dynamism is that I've recently become distracted by the Darjeeling Railway, which with one of those weird parallels of fate originally went under the name of the Darjeeling Steam Tramway. Anyone for tea?

Monday 23 May 2011

Clueless about clothing

Having finished painting the first of my set of the Victorian inhabitants of the Ganllwyd district I couldn't resist posing this homage to the Railway Children.

Sorting out these figures has revealed the shallow depth of my knowledge with regard to the fashions of the times. The BBC series Snowdonia 1890 has been an absolute boon when it comes to filling in the blanks in my expertise (ha!). It's been most refreshing having to start from a low baseline of competance, the research being a very satisfying part of the model making process.

Thursday 7 April 2011

An educated guess

There's very little documentary evidence about the Ganllwyd Tramway, a Google search of the internet will only bring you back here. Much therefore remains as guesswork. For the moment I'm stock building, and though I've an idea what locos the line had, and built models as close as it's possible to get, given the absence of photos of the Fowler and one dishevelled image of the lines No. 1, the other stock remains a mystery. I have a possible lead to follow with regard to the mineral wagons, but the coaching stock is still an unknown factor. I took a guess at something like the early Corris four wheelers being appropriate, but I've become increasingly disenchanted with my model, it looks too modern. Its place will be taken by the rather lovely Meridian Models Talyllyn 'Lancaster' carriage. As the Ganllwyd tram shared the 2'3" gauge I don't think that poaching items from the Talyllyn or other similarly specified lines stretches credibility too much.

Monday 7 February 2011

Stocking up

Well after some time in the doldrums the Ganllwyd Tram is gathering some momentum. I've no doubt that it's mainly due to a possible d├ębut at this years Corris Model Railway Show (August bank holiday weekend), though I've also seen a rather natty photo of the Meridian Models 'Lancaster' coach in a fetching livery which I don't half fancy. Another prod in the right direction came from the acquisition of a Stenning kit of the Corris brake van. It's the van that's been the focus of this afternoons work. I decided that I wanted to model the van with the door open, so the first job was to cut out the door from the side with my piercing saw and tidy up the hole left.

Though the kit comes with a spare side, I chose to make a new door from scratch; one cut from the spare side would require a great deal of thinning down. I used a combination of scribed 20thou and microstrip for the new door.

Fitting the door to the side gave a pleasing impression of how the final van might look. I backed the portion of the door that overlapped its opening with a section of 40thou plasticard.

Not many more minutes work has brought me to the stage you see here, with the basic body complete. I have ideas for the interior, but that's for another day.

Sunday 26 September 2010


It's funny what a nice day can do. My Ganllwyd Tram coach has been one of those slow burn projects that doesn't seem to progress much and needs little to upset the onward march to completion. Yesterday evening marked a high point as I fitted the glazing units and applied the lower band of dark brown to the already ivory body.

There's much still to be done; painting the balconies, lining, and fitting couplings but I am now past the half way point and can foresee completion.