Penlowry

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


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Racking my brains

Following on from my earlier post about the mountain railway section, I have since got hold of some of the rack rail Fleischmann makes / made. This has tempted me to do a rack railway properly.

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I may be slightly mad but I think, just possibly, it may be possible using a Mini-chassis or by making my own chassis and adding a rack gear.

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I get plenty of time to think in my job as I hurtle up and down the ECML but not much time to do, so I should have plenty of time to work out if it’s possible before I actually get the chance to do anything about it!

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Small but perfect

Module 1: Peel Godred

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Module 1 was originally my whole railway. It started out when I was living in Australia. I wanted a test bed to run models I was building. Then I thought, why not make it scenic? Then I thought, why not make it dual gauge? Then I thought, why not cram as much into a small space as possible?

Dual Gauge track in the Czech Republic - (Copyright Michael Roots, accessed from Wikipedia)

Dual Gauge track in the Czech Republic – (Copyright Michael Roots, accessed from Wikipedia)

The size of the module is small – dictated by the size of the desk I was dismantling to make it – about 1m by 0.75m. Fortunately in designing Penlowry it fitted perfectly into the bigger picture. I hope to post a picture of the baseboard for it shortly. It is built, tracklaying being postponed by a 12,000 mile move, and I do have photos… somewhere!

The Concept

At Peel Godred the railway will run through the streets of the town, over the industrial area and swings over the standard gauge branch line and down to the station. Here the dual gauge section starts with a NG spur into the brewery and a separate standard gauge branch to the brewery and chocolate factory. The idea is that raw materials come in by the Mid Sodor Railway and the majority of the output goes out by standard gauge, with some going back over the hills to supply the thirsty people of the Mid-Sodor and Ratty.

Stock

As mentioned previously, Purple Moose Brewery opened a second plant due to demand. The brewery is a home for NG locos (thanks to the enthusiasm of the brewery owner), hopefully including vertical boilered Leary, and it also owns two standard gauge locos named Madog and Glaslyn. These were built low profile a la Alfred and Judy due to the original NG bridge over the branch which was built low to ease the gradient for NG trains heading out of Peel Godred.

The branch originally went to Peel Godred’s fledgling port where shipment to Scotland, the Isle of Man and Ireland was possible. The port came to nothing, goods were shipped out via the railway, and the branch now terminates at the aluminium works. With more powerful locos and Peel Godred being a request halt for the NG allowing trains a run up, a full height bridge has now been installed but the locos remain as an oddity.

Bagnalls Afred and Judy at the Foxfield Railway - (Copyright Norman Bates, accessed Great Central Railway)

Bagnalls Afred and Judy at the Foxfield Railway – (Copyright Norman Bates, accessed from Great Central Railway)

Just to prove there is occasionally some action and I don’t just talk about railway modelling, here is the bare bones of Glaslyn under construction.

Bachmann Bill (accessed from totallythomas.com)

Bachmann Bill (accessed from totallythomas.com)

The Bachmann Bill and Ben unfortunately are quite large. I am keeping the wheelbase (which is also a tad long) but shortening the chassis particularly at the front bringing the cylinders back to where they should be, lowering the cab roof, and lowering the whole body to “hunker down” on the chassis a bit more. The tanks are in fact thick enough but the paint job makes them look ridiculously thin. A repaint will make all the difference to this loco. Here is the chassis having had the front cut off with the cylinders lined up ready for shortening of the piston rods and slidebars.

Bachmann Bill chassis post shortening

Bachmann Bill chassis post shortening

Whether Madog will ever exist remains to be seen. Glaslyn has its plates thanks to N-Brass, and livery will be Glaslyn blue with Purple Moose crests above the nameplates and Porthmadog on the tank fronts.

The chocolate factory will have a NG and standard gauge link. It will be called Burgess’s (a family name) supplying their world famous irresistably delicious Snowballs (my wife’s family name).