This week I spent three days at the National Slate Museum in Llanberis exhibiting, Arnold Lane Wharf, The Cheese Factory and Castell Coed in addition to representing the F&WHR with a marketing stand.
My three layouts
As well as the usual suspects in action down at the wharf a few less often seen locos made an appearance, also having a run out was the IoSR's steam railcar set - Nursie. This is one of the oldest items of rolling stock still in action and it dates back to the very first Isle of Stoner layout. It has had a few modifications over the years but is basically the same. It still works well and runs like a dream on its Bachmann 0-6-0 brick.
I came to the conclusion that Castell Coed is a hopeless case, trackwise. I love Minitrains locos and rolling stock and I won't hear a work said against Andreas and the marvels he has brought us... however the track system is not for me. Maybe I laid it badly or something but it is virtually useless on this little layout. This is a shame as the rest of it has come out quite nicely as a little train set. Oh well, lesson learned. The baseboard will live on as will the buildings etc. but the layout will not appear in public again.
If you haven't been to the National Slate Museum, I can wholly recommend it. Entrance is free and it is housed in the Gilfach Ddu workshops of the Dinorwic Quarries which surround the museum site and deserve weeks of exploration in themselves.
The workshops surround a quadrangle which today, display a wealth of quarrying and NG items
There are several resident locos, this being Una
Having spent so much time playing trains during the days I didn't feel like spending much time in the garage working on the scenery on the main layout. However, I did install the base for the road over the bridge at the end of the layout and had a fiddle about with some track panels for the Town Quarry.
6.5mm gauge tramway possible layout
I had intended to build a couple of kits during quiet spells of the show but there weren't really any so I didn't get started. I did however, put together this new brake van from a Dundas VoR brake van and a PECO wagon chassis. On one side I added the booking office window from the TR van kit as I love the little ducket casting.
Primed ready for painting
I made the van on Saturday and painted it on Sunday morning. The weather was so vile on Sunday afternoon that instead of taking the dog for a walk I sat in front of the fire and the TV and did a few jobs I've been meaning to do for ages. Firstly, I added transfers to a whole host of recentish rolling stock. A job I hate doing and have been putting of for ages, even though they make all the difference. They need some varnish now to make sure they stay where they've been put.
As I mentioned above, I tried out a few older locos during the show and had forgotten what good runners my two chunky Hunslets are. Both are based on the Langley WD 4-6-0, the older one is Doris an 0-6-0 and the other is Lord Stoner and has an 0-8-0 chassis; I think they are both Fleischmann, hence the great running. I decided that fundamentally they were ok the way they were but both have received RT PQR couplings and have had a bit of paint refresh and a few other details. I'm looking forward to running them on the main layout.
Doris and His Lordship