Chronicling the development of my Cambrian and Narrow Gauge 4mm scale model railway

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The Barge

Some recent discussions on a Facebook group have made me realise, to crack the old digital joke, that there are 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand the Barge, and those that don’t. 

The Barge, for the uninitiated in Ffestiniog folklore, is the Alco 2-6-2PT Mountaineer. 

Within these two categories, I reckon you can do a further split by those that have experienced it, and those that haven’t. 

By experienced, I mean been crew on it on the 1600 with a BR connection, with the nine end of the 8-9 carr haulage rating, 10 down delayed by the dawdling David Lloyd George with regular driver on the down, and with indifferent fuel. The happy few have had that experience and absolutely loved it. 

You used to see them get off the loco at the end of the day with that glow which says” bring it on again tomorrow”. 

I’m pleased to say I can count myself among those. And without a current ticket for the FR (both me and the loco), I can say they were some of the best turns I’ve had. 

When I did its last solo trip, with a hole in the superheater that felt like it was the size of a fist, one of my contempories came up to me at Tan-y-Bwlch and asked “Best gig ever?”

Yes I have a 009 model of it, work in progress like so much of my stuff. But nothing will ever beat the feeling of the real thing. Being one of two in snyc with their machine alone in our task of getting the best out of it, on the side of a mountain in Wales. 


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Well the world has turned upside down with the arrival of Mini-me2 last week. This means Mini-me got his present from Mini-me2 that I’d been working on and reported in earlier posts. 

Worth mentioning that T’missus was, and is, awesome. 

I think we boys get it easy. Although to improve on Robbie Williams’ description, it is like watching your favourite pub burn down knowing that you are the arsonist responsible…


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The big sort

I am slowly sorting through the boxes of STUFF. Everyone has boxes of stuff. T’missus called one of them “The box of doom” but frankly that one was child’s play compared to some ice had to contend with over the last couple of days. I am refusing to put anything in the loft without looking at the contents first. I think this is a sensible plan in the long run but the pain in the short term is pretty bad. 

Occasionally, however you do come across some gems. 

The picture shows one of the ‘box diagrams for Allan Garraway’s railway. In my earlier post when Allan passes away, I posted my incomplete diagram which I had started drawing to replace the ones he’d drawn years previously. Here is a photocopy of the original which I was copying. 

I’ll put this up one day in my man cave. Not because it has any value, but because it reminds me of some great times. I’d say they were JGF but they were too good for that! 

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Moving up in the world

(Not really up in the world – more a lateral shift from the north to south side of the house, so down in the world really)

The pre-baby manoeuvring continues at full pace. One benefit of all this change is that I get a new railway modelling cubbyhole, built into an old wardrobe space (complete with wardrobe rail made out of lead pipe until I removed it for use on Col. Mustard.) 

This will be a much better space with much more storage. Downside was I had to build it from scratch. Upside, I took a day’s leave today and did it. 

So now I’ve got the happy task of organising my work space. 

After I’ve built the cot.