Ffrwd Locks. (To be set around 1952-1953)
This layout is based on fact. The GWR had a line from Wrexham, up the Moss Valley to the Ffrwd Ironworks (also served by the LNER).
Ffrwd is a small village or hamlet North West of Wrexham, near Cefn-y-bedd.
The area was very industrial, with coal mines, brick works, iron works and quarries.
A canal (The Ellesmere Canal) was planned to run from a place on the River Mersey near Whitby, to near Shrewsbury on the River Severn. This canal would pass through Chester, pass very near to Wrexham (at Poolmouth), and pass by the industrial areas around Ruabon on its way south. A branch was to run from Poolmouth to a large reservoir at Coed Talon, via a flight of locks at Ffrwd.
This canal was not built as planned, largely due to the inflation in the economy after the Napolionic wars causing construction costs to increase substantially. What was built is now known as the Llangollen Canal, and part of the Shropshire Union Canal. (The place near Whitby is now known as Ellesmere Port.) A part of the branch was also built at Ffrwd, and remains can be found, despite part of the canal being built over by a railway, which is now also derelict and lifted. (The Great Central Railway Westminster Colliery Branch, which also served Ffrwd Ironworks.)
This is the inspiration for the Ffrwd Locks model railway.
FFRWD AREA MAP 1REAL LIFE HISTORY.
For the purpose of the model, it is assumed that the Ellesmere Canal was completed as planned, and the settlement at Ffrwd grew large enough to warrant a passenger service (the GWR lines in the Moss Valley only had a passenger service as far up as Moss Crossing.) I have called the station Ffrwd Locks, inspired by the station at Ellesmere Port which was originally known as Whitby Locks.
The Ironworks prospered (instead of Brymbo Works, and other industry has also had its lifetime extended into the early 1950s.
The GWR Moss valley line was extended to Coed Talon (Instead of the Brymbo Line) and was a joint line with the LMS from Ffrwd Locks Station (Instead of Brymbo) to Coed Talon.
So, the line from Wrexham (using the line of a former tramway) comes in under the LNER Mineral Railway bridge and the adjacent canal aqueduct into the station. The Coed Talon line leaves over the level crossing and head Northwards. There is a branch to Ffrwd Ironworks (Freight only) which leaves alongside the line from Wrexham, but soon curves sharply to the "left" and climbs to cross the canal on a swing bridge, and so into the works. There is a junction with the LNER branch here.
The Level crossing and the aqueduct/LNER bridge are the "scenic breaks".
FFRWD AREA MAP 2 FICTIONAL.
This model has had a long existence, the first Ffrwd Locks was a collection of Superquick card models, but a permanent baseboard, etc. never happened. A batch of Ratio plastic kits was acquired, but except for reading the instructions, remained in their boxes until early 2008.
Original Track Plan. Ffrwd Locks.
The current model has a board made from two pieces of plywood (about 6mm) on a softwood frame, with another piece of ply under the joint. The backscene boards are also plywood, as is the box which covers the model (A front and a lid.). All timber was recycled.
Cork has been stuck to the plywood (both Tiles and the Hornby Cork Roll.) The track has been laid using Gaugemaster Ballasted Underlay, and is all second hand Peco Streamline, with a mixture of live and insulfrog points. More ballast has been added using PVA glue, mainly between the underlay to fill in the gap.
Most buildings are Ratio and Wills kits, most from the batch that I had acquired earlier. Most have some modifications, to make them a bit different.
The station platform is softwood faced with Wills brick sheet, and surfaced with fine wet and dry (Tarmac areas) and Metcalfe paving slabs. The station building is on a base made from scribed 1mm plastic card. Fencing is Ratio Spear fencing. Name boards are by Coopercraft.
The coal bunkers are built from separate sleepers, and were made some time ago. I think they may be SMP parts.
The Aqueduct carrying the canal over the road and railway is made from corn flake packets, and is based on part of the Pontcysllte Aqueduct, at Trefor.
Some of the groundworks are corn flake packet card and more softwood strips.
What little greenery has appeared so far is Lichen, and various scatters, and PVA glue.
Rolling stock is mainly second hand, and the small collection from the first Ffrwd. Mainly GWR motive power, but with a J72 from the LNER (connection at Ffrwd Works with the LNER), and a 3f tank from the LMS (For model purposes, a joint GWR and LMS line runs from Ffrwd to Coed Talon, but at the moment is out of use. The line to Coed Talon is "out of use" as there isn't enough room on the allocated board!)
GWR locos include 45XX tanks, 2721 Pannier tank, 57XX Pannier tanks, Dean Goods and Collet Goods 0-6-0 tender locos.
There is a collection of coaches, including B sets and an Autocoach, and a selection of wagons.
The model is still under construction, progress is slowed at present by the overhaul of several Hornby Dublo and Tri-ang locos and stock, etc, for our other railway (Which has no board as yet!)
UPDATE June 2011: A Home move has happened. The model will be re-located "soon", and then I can get at it and do some much needed work.
UPDATE Feb 2012: Ffrwd has been re-located. Work is being carried on.
The setting will be changed to 1952-1953, as the Royal Mail stuff I have is marked EIIR...
UPDATE DECEMBER 2017....photos are being replaced! This may take some time....
This incarnation of Ffrwd Locks may have to be re-built to fit the current location.....
UPDATE JUNE 2018...photos are being replaced! Again!!! (Due to a hosting site changing the links without warning or asking! ) This may take some more time....
Edited by Sarahagain, 09 June 2018 - 18:51 .