This blog describes ongoing progress in the development of a G gauge Garden Railway from its inception to the present day.
As it is a blog, you can track the development of the railway by viewing the posts, which are presented in reverse chronological order.
Alternatively, you can access specific information through the Home Page, on which is presented a Categorised Contents List.
Finally, you can search for even more specific information by using the search box at the top of each page, or you can click on an item in the Index which is presented on the right hand side of each page.
An overview of the railway, its rationale, its hypothetical location, its rolling stock and how it is operated is summarised below.
The setting for the railwayThe hypothetical setting for the railway is beside the Peckforton Hills in Cheshire. Over the years, copper has been extracted from mines along these hills, though never in sufficient quantities to make it financially viable. In my imagined history of the area, a rich seam of copper was struck which spawned the need for a light railway. (see also Copper Mining at Bickerton and A brief history of the railway and its locality).
|Tipper wagons being loaded from the minimum gauge railway at the copper mine|
The route for the railwayThe railway supposedly runs from the (now closed) station at Beeston & Tarporley on the Chester to Crewe Railway, past Beeston Castle, through the villages of Beeston, Peckforton and Bulkeley to the village of Bickerton. A branch between Peckforton and Bickerton leads to the copper mines at the foot of the Peckforton Hills. (see The hypothetical line and A trip along the railway).
|Aerial view of the supposed route of the railway as it runs below Beeston Castle|
Traffic on the railwayThe period in which the railway has been modelled is 1932 - a difficult time for minor railways in the UK. In my imagined history of the railway, it has continued to survive whilst others perished because there was a continuing need for its services. In addition to daily trains of copper ore and spoil, there was a demand for the transportation of agricultural commodities such as feed, machinery, and livestock to the thriving cattle market at Beeston.
|0-6-2T Manning Wardle Loco No.4 Bulkeley departs Beeston market with the Down pick-up goods|
|Loaded copper ore train about to depart the mine sidings|
|Hunslet 0-4-0ST loco No. 3, Bickerton on the Down afternoon mixed leaving Peckforton station|
Rolling stockThe rolling stock on the railway has a variety of origins. Much of the goods stock is freelance, though based loosely on prototypes from the Southwold Railway and the Welshpool and Llanfair Railways. It is assumed that as other railways closed or sold off surplus stock, this railway would have acquired additional stock at bargain prices. (See Railway Stock List)
The locomotives are originally freelance designs and built from kits. These were originally based loosely on various prototypes (ie Andrew Barclay, Hunslet, Peckett and Fowler), but more recently, I have been constructing my own semi-scratchbuilt models based on Southwold Railway originals - namely a 2-4-2T Sharp Stewart and an 0-6-2T Manning Wardle.
|The expanding fleet of radio controlled battery powered locomotives|
|The former Southwold Railway 2-4-2T emerging from the railway's paintshop.|
In the past year or so I have migrated from DCC track power to radio controlled battery power (see Getting Started in battery power and an Evaluation of the Deltang Radio Control System)
OperationAlthough there are times when will take a train out and simply run it around the main circuit just to see something running, I try to ensure that I run a full, timetabled operating session a few times during the running season (which is usually from late Spring to Early Autumn). (see A Typical Operating Session).
|The railbus trundles past the River Gowy on the last Down passenger service of the day|
|The Up pick-up goods arriving at Peckforton, crossing the Down afternoon passenger train|
|0-4-0T Peckett locomotive No.1 Peckforton on a Market Day Sepcial|
|2-4-0T Loco No 2 Beeston awaits the all clear on the approach to Bulkeley station|