Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Progress Report 94

Well! I can't believe my last progress report was three months ago! In many ways, so much, and yet so little, has happened. 

At this time of year, most of my modelling is indoor, rather than braving the elements outside on the garden. As mentioned in my previous progress report, I have become interested in creating an indoor representation of the Glyn Valley Tramway (GVT) in 7mm scale. Quite apart from the fact that the site of the GVT is less than an hour's drive from here, I have always been fascinated by its rolling stock and its rationale - serving the slate mines and granite quarries in the picturesque valley of the Ceiriog Valley.

Source: NGRS WJK Davies Collection

To this end, I have now created not only one of the locomotives but also two styles of coaches, a van, a guard's van and an open wagon. These have been 3D drawn in TinkerCAD and several copies printed out on my 3D printer.

 In addition, I have completed another instalment in my video history of the PLR and created another video explaining what prompted me to create a garden railway.

Other than that, my productive output has been limited to tinkering and tweaking. There is always something to do on a garden railway and, of course, in the garden and house.

The Glyn Valley Tramway project

Whether it's my imagination or an effect of climate change, our winter weather seems to be changing. We have fewer frosty mornings but we seem to have a lot more wind and rain. Those latter conditions are not ideal for running a garden railway. In the past, I have usually managed to organise some partial running sessions during the winter months, but this year fewer opportunities seem to have arisen. This has prompted me to explore the setting-up of an indoor line in the workshop. Rather than G Scale, or 16mm scale, I decided to venture into 0-16.5 scale (ie 7mm (0) scale models running on 16.5mm gauge track). This equates to roughly 2' 4" gauge which is what the Glyn Valley Tramway used.

There is plenty of information online about this delightful railway which was ostensibly built to transport output from the granite and slate quarries around Glyn Ceiriog to the canal and mainline railway at Chirk. I have always been attracted by the four wheeled coaches and compact locomotives which ran on this railway, but a further attraction is that Chirk is around an hour's drive from where I live.
Source: NGRS Collection

Locomotive "Glyn"

I decided to start by constructing one of the line's three Beyer Peacock locomotives and opted for the slightly larger version named Glyn.

I figured out how the loco could be broken down into segments suitable for 3D printing and then drew the respective parts using TinkerCAD - a freebie online 3D drawing package which I have found to be the easiest to use of all those I've tried.

The parts were then printed out using my recently acquired resin printer and glued together.

The body was made to fit on a Hornby Smokey Joe 0-4-0 chassis ......

 and so a two wheel bogie (or more accurately a pony truck, as the locos always ran cab-first) was also designed, drawn and printed-out. 

The electrics were then wired-up, using two mobile phone lipo cells and a Deltang Rx60 receiver/controller for radio control.

The loco is awaiting a coat or two of paint and finer detailing.


So far, two designs of coaches have been drawn, printed and constructed; a closed third .....

..... and an open coach.

I will eventually produce all the coach variants which ran on the railway.

Goods stock

Up to now, the line's distinctive style of granite wagon has been drawn and printed .....

.... and a brake van.

Next on the agenda are slate wagons, vans and flat wagons.

When I have finished drawing, printing and constructing the stock I need in 0-16.5 scale. I will probably re-scale the drawings for 15mm or 16mm scale. I quite like idea of having a rake of GVT coaches running on the PLR. 

Eventually, the .STL files will be made available as downloads on Thingiverse.

The track plan

I haven't finalised a trackplan for the railway as yet. I might keep it very simple and just have a passing loop such as that provided at Pontfaedog. Alternatively, I might opt for a simplified version of the Chirk terminus and somehow include a complete circuit of track.

I'm also trying to figure out if I can somehow also retain the 45mm test track which I completed last year - see How I made a test track in the workshop

History of the Railway Part 5

Having put together four previous videos charting the history of the PLR, I have now brought the story up to date by making another video showing what has happened on the railway over the past year.

I will now continue this practice of making another video at the end of each year. They say a garden railway is never entirely finished and so it is likely there will be another few years' worth of video histories yet to come ....

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