Some of you will probably know that I have been involved with the former Liverpool Model Railway Club "Dolgellau and Penmaenpool" layout which the club sold to the Town Heritage Group (and the guys kindly erected for us!), and which is now on permanent exhibition in the historic listed Capel Ebeneser just off the main Eldon Square in Dolgellau. We're a small group and open it up to the public on Easter and August bank holidays with trains running. The presentation is aimed at the general visitor who perhaps didn't realise the town once had a well used station, and we have exhibition boards with old photos, maps and information to give more background.
We had two trial openings last year and the project is still developing, but if any of you are in the Barmouth/Dolgellau/Tywyn/Fairbourne area over the Bank Holiday weekend we will be running trains on Saturday 26th between 10am and 5pm, Sunday between 12 and 4pm (so as not to disturb the Chapel service with train whistles!) and Monday 28th between 10 and 5pm. No admission charge but we do invite donations which are split between the cost of keeping the layout going and making a donation to support the historic Chapel who kindly let us use their downstairs vestry to house the layout.
The layout, for those who didn't see it when the LMRC exhibited the layout on the circuit, is a near faithful recreation of Dolgellau station in 1960, together with Penmaenpool station and the George III hotel. It is DCC and contains many accurately modelled buildings many of which still exist to some degree. The station was famous for having two distinctly different buildings, the Cambrian Railway building (a standard Cambrian design with the distinctive "Fish" canopy still to be seen at surviving Cambrian stations on the Coast Line) and the later GWR building on the opposite platform, and until the grouping, the station had two station masters as well. On our open days we tend to concentrate on running a variety of trains rather than indulge in shunting and we don't run to timetable as the idea is to entertain and inform the public, but as we get more used to the layout and build up our stock, we'll try to do more varied activities, such as a pick-up goods or shunting in Dolgellau yard.
Stock is mainly RTR, modified, although I've recently acquired a sweet little kit-built Cambrian Sharp Stewart 2-4-0 tank, DCC fitted, in GWR livery which will be making a debut this August.
For those of you without a wasp up your knickers about Facebook, there's a page with some video, photos, more info on the stock and times and dates for opening at https://www.facebook...forddDolgellau/