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.

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.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Field Trip

It's been a beautiful day, so after shopping in Dolgellau we headed towards Ganllwyd for a spot of research and photography. I love autumn when the dying embers of summer manage to warm, trees and bushes laden with fruit and berries and the sense of nature readying itself for the harshness of winter. Here's all this with the beauty of southern Snowdonia and a hint of the Ganllwyd Tramway's course in the bushes to the right of the road.

Pressing on further to the stretch under consideration for my model, I spent some time scrambling round this bridge trying to get a reasonable photo. The lush trees and undergrowth meant that there was only one viable angle, leading to a scramble over a wall and carefully picking my way through some scrub. Originally both road  and rail shared the bridge, though the road was more of a track than metalled highway, today only the road remains.

Friday, 3 September 2010


To this day there is evidence of railway activity in the Ganllwyd valley. At Glasdir mine some rail remains embedded in concrete, bridge buttresses reveal where once the line ran and the site of the incline can be picked out through the trees. It's a beautiful, magical place, made more intriguing by the remains of the mine's hydro electric power house.

It doesn't take much to have me speculate on what might have been, in this case a ready source of electricity will see the mine branch operated by overhead electrics. A brace of Koppels have been started, component parts lie on my workbench waiting completion.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

In the begining ...

The story starts with furniture, or maybe it starts with our move to mid-Wales three years ago. We moved from a small terrace to a converted chapel, and even though we stored a friends furniture and belongings while he sorted out his new house we rattled about a place that felt big and empty in comparison to our previous home. Bit by bit more furniture was collected from junk shops, saleroom and the local recycling skip where anything can be had for a fiver at most and often less. Perhaps the best bargain was a five pound, Edwardian mirror backed sideboard. It's only real fault were a couple of small holes in the back, and missing drawer handles. I found it on the day I was going to pick my wife up from the train after a visit to her daughter. In fact I only just made it to the station on time as it took a few minutes to work out the best way to get both bits of a big piece of furniture into a Ford Focus.

I'm not the fastest or most enthusiastic diy-er, the missing drawer handles waited for motivation to strike. It  took nearly two years for me to start looking for replacements on e-bay. As I wanted to cover the ghostly outline of the original handles, I took one of the drawers out to measure more easily. When I came to put it back I noticed a crumpled piece of paper or card stuck in the framing behind. The foreign object was a photograph, faded and torn with one word on the back, Ganllwyd.