Penlowry

Chronicling the development of my 5-gauge 4mm scale model railway with a few off-topic insights thrown in for free

Small but perfectly formed

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Module 3: Arlesdale Railway

Possibly the first new build preservation loco, although since the chassis already existed I think the Square holds that title

Possibly the first new build preservation loco, although since the chassis already existed I think the Square holds that title

I’ve always had a soft spot for the Ratty. Ever since we went to the Lake District for “summer” holidays as kids. We always climbed a lot of mountains in the rain but on a sunny day we’d go for a trip on the line. It helped my Godfather was Vicar of Gosforth, Nether Wasdale, and Wasdale Head. We used to stay with him but most of the time camped, sometimes at the farm at Nether Wasdale IIRC- unpasteurised milk on cornflakes nigh on straight from the cow – yum! Proper green top. (Remember those days – silver top, red top, blue top, gold top, and green top). The food at the Wasdale Head Inn was always good too especially after a day in the fells.

Anyway back to the railway. Of the locos, ‘Rock was always my favourite although I quite liked Mite too.

It occurred to me that I could include the Ratty in my railway using Z gauge. Just recently I picked up a z gauge loco cheap at Wheels of Steel behind Bond Street station in London. When he heard what I wanted it for I got an extra fiver off. Too banana! It is a 2-8-2 tender loco so Mite it will be. I got hold of a copy of the 7mm Narrow Gauge Association drawings and scaled them on a photocopy to 4mm. This allowed me to measure up the models against the drawings.

7mm Association R&ER Drawings

7mm Narrow Gauge Association R&ER Drawings

The tender is bob on dimensions wise and the front and back end of the loco is spot on too. Unfortunately the coupled wheelbase is too long so to keep the appearance right I’ll boost the diameter of the boiler so it looks the right diameter for its length.

The ever popular opens. Home to lovers of cinders in hair and ash in eyes.

The ever popular opens. Home to lovers of cinders in hair and ash in eyes.

For stock I intend to use a Parkside Dundas FR carriage 38 as the basis for some bashing to make a semi open. I’ll probably also do a couple of opens and a saloon with a bit of scratch building / more bashing all of which mounted in z gauge bogies.

The Parkside Dundas model of this will form a good starting point for some semi opens

In the model the railway will be short- just the terminus and a short bit of main line. Passengers for the MSR will have a short walk from the Ratty terminus, which has swung off the old formation to the right, to the MSR station which will be on its original trackbed.

I’ll probably look to automate this section to try and keep it simple…!

As you can see I also haven’t decided whether it’ll be Arlesdale Railway or Ratty. Probably a mixture. It’s my railway after all.

Next up – the Rail Research Unit…

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Author: Chris H

Now in my fourth decade, I am a rolling stock engineer and have worked in many different locations including a 7 year spell in Sydney, Australia, where I arrived with a suitcase and left with a wife and a son. I am now based back in my home county of Yorkshire where I juggle full time work, being a Dad, and trying to fit in railway modelling and visits to volunteer on the Ffestiniog Railway. In addition to my heavily railway themed life, I am interested in rugby, cricket, reading crime novels, falconry, and medieval re-enactments.

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