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Cysgod-y-Fedwen


mdjr78
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Hi all,

Welcome to the topic of Cysgod-y-Fedwen. This is a new layout by three club members of the Eindhovense Modelbouwvereniging (EMV). This will be a layout which can operate separate or as part of the 'Britse ModuleBaan (BMB)'. This is a modular layout by some Dutch men whose interest lies with the railways of Britain. This modular layout consists of individual scenes, separated by black boxes. You can see the principal in the video following this link. This meant that some of the choices like the double track and the position of the track near the black boxes are given.

Back to the layout:
Cysgod-y-Fedwen is a small station in the south-east of Wales, probably on the Hereford to Pontypool line. It will be set in the British Railways era (1950 - 1965). The station will serve a small community a couple of miles from the station. The station is situated near a small river which will be crossed by a girder bridge. There are some (goods) sidings for operational interested and the station will be fitted with working signalling. Enough talk for now and to business, the trackplan:
31571209370_6dfba9439d_z.jpg

And a 3D view (landscape will be on a slight slope)
31104313824_f968da0e9e_z.jpg

Regards,
Werner

Edited by mdjr78
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We were looking for a nice Welsh name. I came across the name Cysgod-y-Dderwen (shadow of the oak) on a Ordnance Survey map. One of our members has three large birch trees in his garden. So he lives in the shadow of the birch.

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We were looking for a nice Welsh name. I came across the name Cysgod-y-Dderwen (shadow of the oak) on a Ordnance Survey map. One of our members has three large birch trees in his garden. So he lives in the shadow of the birch.

One small problem. Due to the peculiarities of the Welsh language, the name should be spelt Cysgod-y-Fedwen, with an F (pronounced like a V) rather than a B. One birch-tree name that crops up a lot and can be used as an example, is Pant-y-Fedwen (Birch Tree Hollow)

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One small problem. Due to the peculiarities of the Welsh language, the name should be spelt Cysgod-y-Fedwen, with an F (pronounced like a V) rather than a B. One birch-tree name that crops up a lot and can be used as an example, is Pant-y-Fedwen (Birch Tree Hollow)

 

Quite, but it's a lovely name, and Kudos to the Dutch guys for at least trying.  I like the trackplan as well, illustrating the fear of facing turnouts apparent in many Victorian station trackplans from the days before interlocked fpls.  I will be following this with interest; the Hereford-Pontypool route is a favourite of mine in reality and is rarely modelled, never mind in 00 by people from parts forrin.

 

Trying to get a mental image of an imagined reality from the simulation; the name puts it firmly in Wales and the border is the River Monnow north of Pandy, so if I assume that I am looking north, towards Hereford, the ground sloping away to the east puts it somewhere between Pontypool Road and Penpergwm river bridge, the area occupied by Little Mill and Nantyderry in real life, a switchback of a route with embankments in the dips and cuttings at the summits.  Assume the viewing side to be the downhill, eastern one with the mountains in the background, if they base the buildings on Nantyderry and exhibit it, I'd bet someone would claim to remember it and talk about getting the train to school from it.

 

On the other hand, If we are looking south towards Pontypool, then the stretch between Llanfihangel and Penpergwm  comes to mind, and a good bit of that was occupied by the two stations at Abergavenny.  The location now looks to be between Abergavenny Junction and Llanfihangel, just up the bank from Triley; again, the curvature fits and the backdrop is The Skirrid.  

 

A good biodiversity of WR and LMR stock used the line, steam and diesel, and this has the potential to be one of those layouts only limited by the size of it's fiddle yard.  I intend to follow with interest!

Edited by The Johnster
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One small problem. Due to the peculiarities of the Welsh language, the name should be spelt Cysgod-y-Fedwen, with an F (pronounced like a V) rather than a B. One birch-tree name that crops up a lot and can be used as an example, is Pant-y-Fedwen (Birch Tree Hollow)

 

Thanks, Jane. The name has been worked out using Google Translate, knowing that there were peculiarities with the Welsh language but not which ones. As the name is not entirely set in stone yet and we like to be accurate, we might make this slight change. I will talk about this with the guys.

Edited by mdjr78
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@ The Johnster:

 

Thank you for dreaming with us. We have the Nantyderry station building in mind (among a few others) to be modelled. But the model will probably also contain some features of other railway lines in the area, like the Wye Valley lines.

 

Do you know any nice reads (books or internet) on the line? And with reads I actually mean something with a lot of pictures ;).

I know that there is a Middleton Press book on the line from Newport to Herefort, but are there others?

 

Werner

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As one on the C-y-F builders, let me introduce myself a bit. My wife and I visited Wales for the first time in 2008 (Crickhowell) and we - after many vacations in the south of France - lost our hart in this part of the UK.  A second week stay near Btws-y-Coed (still don't know how to pronounce the name) in 2011 confirmed that loss :yes: After joining the EMV ( www.eindhovenmodelbouw.nl ) in Holland, I met some enthusiastic guys who were addicted to OO. April this year I stumbled into Osborn's Models in Bideford, finding myself  leaving the shop with a nice looking class E4 of the LB&SCR an hour later. The day after, I bought some books in the station of Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Company and on the way back home a first (Osborn) magazine. Amazing the amount of second-hand books there.

 

I would like to share our progress with you by photographs and maybe some video, but moreover, learn from the comments and suggestions we hopefully receive from you.

 

SeeYouLah, Jelle

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Thanks, Jane. The name has been worked out using Google Translate, knowing that there were peculiarities with the Welsh language but not which ones. As the name is not entirely set in stone yet and we like to be accurate, we might make this slight change. I will talk about this with the guys.

The name has been changed to the proper Welsh grammar. :)

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@ The Johnster:

 

Thank you for dreaming with us. We have the Nantyderry station building in mind (among a few others) to be modelled. But the model will probably also contain some features of other railway lines in the area, like the Wye Valley lines.

 

Do you know any nice reads (books or internet) on the line? And with reads I actually mean something with a lot of pictures ;).

I know that there is a Middleton Press book on the line from Newport to Herefort, but are there others?

 

Werner

 

Architecture on the Wye Valley is a little, though by no means radically, different; a location between Pontypool and Hereford will have buildings originally commissioned by the Newport, Abergavenny, and Hereford Railway, later absorbed into the GWR.  The model ideally needs to reflect this, and Nantyderry is an ideal inspiration, with signals and signalboxes being pure GWR and the other buildings reflecting the NA&H heritage. Penpergwm, and Pontrilas  St Devereux and Tram Inn further north, are also good surviving examples,   They are built in local sandstone, while Wye Valley structures look a little different and were in limestone, although of course the GWR veneer of signals and boxes is common to both areas.  The sandstone looks reddish brown whereas the limestone is grey, as a sweeping generalisation if we are describing well weathered stone.  Little Mill, next station south of Nantyderry, is still a junction for the now truncated Pontypool-Monmouth branch, which is now the rail connection to the Glascoed Depot, an ex military arms depot which still has a life as an indutstrial complex.  

 

Monmouth was of course the junction for this branch and the Wye Valley branch, but was a world away from the NA&H's restaurant car expresses, through freights, and 60 wagon coal trains hauled by big tender engines.  Monmouth and the Wye Valley were the haunts of 14xx auto trains, or pickup goods' with 57xx, a delightful but bucolic backwater where station cats slept undisturbed by expresses or coal trains thundering past every few minutes 24/7.

 

Can't really help with the books apart from the Middleton Press one you already know about, but there was one some years back written by a Pontypool Road locoman about his experiences which might have some stuff of use to you; don't ask for the details, I am old and forgetful and my brain is made of swiss cheese, so stuff falls out through the holes...

 

All the best with this excellent project mdjr78, and Pinkelpa.  Bettws-y-Coed comes out as something like 'bet oose er coyd in phonetic English, but I am unable to help in Dutch...

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@ The Johnster:

 

Thank you for dreaming with us. We have the Nantyderry station building in mind (among a few others) to be modelled. But the model will probably also contain some features of other railway lines in the area, like the Wye Valley lines.

 

Do you know any nice reads (books or internet) on the line? And with reads I actually mean something with a lot of pictures ;).

I know that there is a Middleton Press book on the line from Newport to Herefort, but are there others?

 

Werner

 

Hi Werner,

 

First off, I think it's fantastic that a group of Dutch guys are going to do a model of this area. You will doubtless "see it through different eyes" to us. I wish you well and hope you'll keep us posted.

 

As "The Johnster" has described, the Wye Valley lines and "North & West Route" (the double track mainline on which Nantyderry is situated) are very different in character. The former were delightful, bucolic, single track branch lines served by light tank engines. The latter was a double track mainline and a principle artery of the network. It carried huge quantities of coal from the pits of South Wales to the North. In the Summer it carried lengthy passenger trains of holidaymakers on interminable journeys from the industrial North to the South West in an era before jet travel. One thing the two had in common however is that they both ran through some exquisite countryside!

 

You may have heard of "Railway Roundabout" which was a TV programme made by the BBC for railway enthusiasts in the late 50? Fortunately the intrepid Railway Roundabout team of Pat Whitehouse and John Adams visited the Wye Valley lines and recorded it on professional 16mm film shortly before closure. You can enjoy it today on YouTube:-

 

 

One station on the old Wye Valley line has been preserved for posterity and is open to the public. I've visited a few times and enjoyed a nice cup of tea and some cake. Sadly, the railway itself is no more.

 

http://www.tinternvillage.co.uk/seedo/tintern-old-station/

 

To model the Wye Valley lines you would need very little rolling stock: Bachmann 57xxs and a Hornby "B Set" plus the new Hattons/DJM 14xx with an auto coach.

 

Nantyderry and the "North & West Route" is a different proposition all together. You can justify a very large range off locomotives and carriage types. In the period you are modelling (1950s) it saw the Pacifics (Britannia Class) as well as other express passenger classes from the former Great Western Railway ("Castles", "Counties" and the occasional "King") as well as the former London Midland  Scottish Railway ("Royal Scots", "Patriots", "Jubilees"). The North & West route had been at one time jointly run by the Great Western and the London & North Western Railway (LNWR). For that reason it was one of the last haunts of some LNWR engines. Railway Roundabout did another programme featuring the last days of some of these venerable machines on the North & West Route at Abergavenny:-

 

 

In terms of books on the "North & West" I have no hesitation at all in recommending the superb series by Mr. John Hodge. You need Volume 3A "Hereford to Abergavenny Junction". These books feature superb reproduction of archive photographs and are thoroughly researched. It appears to be out of print at the moment but at least one copy is on eBay!

 

As it happens I also intend to model a the southern section of the "North & West" and have collected around 50 locos with that in mind. Nearly every class that worked regularly on the line in the 50s is available in OO gauge, the exceptions being the Stanier 3P tank locos and the 43xx moguls.

 

Best Regards,

 

Andy.

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" You need Volume 3A "Hereford to Abergavenny Junction". These books feature superb reproduction of archive photographs and are thoroughly researched. It appears to be out of print at the moment but at least one copy is on eBay!"

 

 Doh! Correction. Nantyderry is covered in Volume 3B "Abergavenny Brecon Road to Maindee Junction" NOT Volume 3A as I wrote above. My apologies.

 

The book shows a plan of the station and surrounding area from the 1920 Ordnance Survey map together with some photos of the station especially the signal box.

 

The Johnster made reference to a book written by a Pontypool Road engineman. I have a copy of it. It is called "On the footplate" and was written by a gentleman called John Drayton and was published by Bradford Barton. It contains some fascinating insights into life working for the GWR and is a good read. It discusses some of the working practices along the line and includes some wonderful reminiscences of, among other things, driving an express through Bristol during a Luftwaffe air raid at the height of the Blitz! Wonderful social history, and of some use to the modeller if only in terms of understanding working practises.

 

Andy.

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Thanks for the information, Andy.

 

Actually the Wye Valley lines would fit better with my current collection, as i've a couple of panniers, B-set, autocoach, class 14 and baby warship already on the shelves. I've only got a Grange as a 'big steam engine'. And Paul (the third member) recently bought a Jubilee. So enough to put on the wishlist ;).

 

I've found two pictures in 'Steam in the Welsh Landscape' by Michael Welch. One of an express and one of a mixed freight, both pulled by a Hall Class. I've also found a picture of a Castle overtaking a WD 2-8-0. Seems that a lot of different traction would be possible.

 

Some additional questions:

Which loco would drive the stopping service? A Pannier Tank?

Which loco's served the line after the introduction of  diesels? WR Hydraulics? Of MR loco's (24, 25, 37, 47?)?

 

Regards,

Werner

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Thanks for the information, Andy.

 

Actually the Wye Valley lines would fit better with my current collection, as i've a couple of panniers, B-set, autocoach, class 14 and baby warship already on the shelves. I've only got a Grange as a 'big steam engine'. And Paul (the third member) recently bought a Jubilee. So enough to put on the wishlist ;).

 

I've found two pictures in 'Steam in the Welsh Landscape' by Michael Welch. One of an express and one of a mixed freight, both pulled by a Hall Class. I've also found a picture of a Castle overtaking a WD 2-8-0. Seems that a lot of different traction would be possible.

 

Some additional questions:

Which loco would drive the stopping service? A Pannier Tank?

Which loco's served the line after the introduction of  diesels? WR Hydraulics? Of MR loco's (24, 25, 37, 47?)?

 

Regards,

Werner

 

Hi Werner,

 

If you have a 'Grange' and Paul has a 'Jubilee' you already have a good start for a fleet representative of the North & West route! The largest shed at the southern end of the North & West was Pontypool Road. It had an allocation of Granges throughout the fifties ('Crawley Grange', 'Peterston Grange' and 'Hazeley Grange' seem to have been long term residents).

 

The 'Jubilee' is also appropriate for one of the most notable trains on the line. A Manchester (Longsight) engine, usually a 'Jubilee', would work a Manchester - Swansea train as far as Pontypool Road. There it would detach and be turned and watered. It would then wait the arrival of the 7:30am Penzance - Manchester and relieve the engine that had brought the train in before working back to Manchester. The local enthusiasts liked this train as it was a rare chance to see an 'Jubilee' deep in the heart of Great Western territory. Apparently the passengers aboard the train were treated to some high speed running as the Longsight crews were keen to get back home at the end of a tough shift!

 

I'd like to suggest some other locos that would give you a basic fleet that would epitomise the North & West route in the 1950s:-

 

Express Passenger Engines

 

Castle Class - The Great Western designed 'Castles' were still the dominant express passenger locos on the line in the 50s. Hornby's latest tooling of the class, dating from around 2008 is superb. There are also models from before that time based on the old Airfix tooling from the 70s. These are quite good and much cheaper and easier to obtain than the more modern ones. They do however have a more crude motor and are not as well detailed.

 

Britannia Class - The Britannias were designed to a be a standardised, low maintenance, efficient replacement for older pre-war express passenger locos. The name "Britannia" was chosen by a prominent British Railway enthusiast and reflected a sense of patriotism and resurgent optimism after the Second World War. Unfortunately they were not accepted by crews at most Western Region sheds. The one exception was Cardiff's Canton shed. Cardiff's Britannias were a frequent sight on the North & West throughout the 50s and usually kept in immaculately clean condition. The latest Hornby model dates from around 2007ish and is one of Hornby's finest models. There are also version from pre-2007 which are based on old Triang tooling which have the motor in the tender. These are cheaper and more robust but also less detailed.

 

Bachmann Jubilee - discussed above. The recent Bachmann model is an outstanding likeness of the class. They are not always great runners however in my experience.

 

Hornby Grange - They worked fast 'vacuum fitted' goods trains and also express passenger trains that did not justify a bigger engine such as a 'Castle' or 'County'. The Hornby models are usually very good runners but can struggle for adhesion as they are a bit light. Some people fit lead weight to them to improve traction.

 

 

Freight Engines

 

ex LNWR' Super D'(Class G2/G2a) - the North & West was operated for many years as a GWR/LNWR joint route. The 'Super D's were still hard at work on the North & West  throughout the 1950s and were a reminder of the joint origins of the line. Bachmann produce a excellent model which features in the current 2016-2017 range.

 

ex GCR/GWR ROD - The North & West was one of the last strongholds of the old ROD locomotives. These were locomotives with a fascinating history. The name ROD standards for 'Railway Operating Division', which was a branch of the British Army. They were an old Great Central Railway design that had been requisitioned by the Army during the First World War. Many of them were shipped to France during the war. At the end of the conflict they were surplus to the Government's requirements so were sold back (cheaply!) to various Railway Companies including the Great Western. These venerable machines were still plodding up and down the North and West route until around 1958! Bachmann do a very good model of the RODs and can be had new for around £80.

 

Great Western 28xx/38xx - The Great Western 28xx locos were arguably one of the best British heavy freight designs ever built. They would have pulled a great deal of the freight tonnage over the North & West. Hornby produce an excellent model of the class with tooling dating from around 2009. There is a also an older version with the motor located in the tender. Again, these older models are cheaper and more robust but not as good as the new model.

 

Stopping Passenger Trains

 

Werner, you asked if Pannier tanks worked the stopping trains along the North & West. On any normal line that would be a good assumption. Things were a bit different on the North & West however! Intermediate stations at the northern end of the line were served by Shrewsbury-Hereford stopping trains. Intermediate stations at the southern end of the line were served by Hereford-Newport stopping trains. In both cases those journeys could last over 1.5 hours and sometimes over two hours. For this reason corridor coaches seem to be have used instead of non-corridor coaches as 2 hours is a long time to go without the use of a toilet! Also, tender engines seem to have been used instead of tank engines. I guess this is because of the greater water carrying capacity of a tender loco. Shrewsbury-Hereford is roughly 45 miles - a pannier tank would have to stop to take water.

 

So, stopping trains typically comprised a 'Hall' or 43xx or BR Standard Class 4 tender engine pulling 4 or 5 corridor coaches.

 

Does that mean your pannier is useless? Not at all. Panniers worked some of the "pickup" freights along the line and would work branches off the N&W mainline. Pontypool Road had a huge allocation of them and they must have been doing something productive!

 

You ask about diesels along the line. Here I'm afraid I know a lot less. I do know that "Warship" diesel Hydraulics worked along the line in the early 1960s. Class 37s wouldn't have appeared on the N&W until at least 1962 (the early ones went to the Eastern Region!) and the first Class 47s didn't enter service until 1962 also. I think the only significant use of diesels along the line prior to 1960 would be the 'Swindon Cross Country units' which appeared in 1958. Apart from that the only major diesel presence were the fabulous AEC/GWR diesel railcars dating from the 1940s. Pontypool Rad had one for several years:-

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GWR_railcars

 

Hopefully someone else on RMWeb can give you a more detailed picture of diesel activity on the North & West.

 

Andy.

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Guest 7007GreatWestern

Hello again Verner,

 

I have some more resources for you which hopefully will be useful.

 

Firstly, there is an outstanding O gauge model of Pontrillas station, also on the Hereford-Newport section of the N&W. The builders chose to name their layout "Bucks Hill" for reasons explained on their website, but it is by their own admission, unmistakably, Pontrillas!

 

http://www.buckshillmodelrailwayin7mm.com/surroundings--p-way.html

 

Modelling to that standard is beyond my wildest dreams, but it is at least an inspiration of what is possible!

 

I have also found some interesting photos on Flickr. Apologies if you have seen these already:-

 

Nantyderry station:-

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/martin289/4702607421

 

Warship diesel Hydraulic 'Glory' near Nantyderry in 1963:-

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/taffytank/5967506163

 

Also, there are original timetables from the 1950s courtesy of Micheal Clemens website. This will paint a picture for you of how the line was actually used:-

 

http://www.michaelclemensrailways.co.uk/?atk=595

 

Another favourite website of mine is called Shed Bash UK. This is just a compilation of sightings made by enthusiast when they visited a particular shed. In the case of Pontypool Road for example they have records from 1938 to 1965. This is painting a picture for you of the locos you are likely to have seen at Nantyderry:-

 

http://shedbashuk.blogspot.co.uk/2016/08/pontypool-road-1938-1965.html

 

There are also Shedbash entries for Hereford, Worcester, Bristol Bath Road, Shrewsbury all of which sent locos regularly alone the N&W. Sadly, there appears to be no Shed Bash entry for Cardiff Canton.

 

Hope these resources are of use.

 

Andy.

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Looking forward to seeing how this develops.  My parents live at the The Bryn, the village where the North & West route makes its final crossing of the Usk before it heads towards Abergavenny and then the climb up to Llanvihangel.  If you base the model north of Abergavenny then all the LNWR/LMS freight to/from the Merthyr, Tredegar & Abergavenny (MTA) line can be included. The LNWR did run some freight south of Abergavenny but there was a pooling arrangement between the LMS and GWR around the 30s, this may have stopped the LNWR locos running south. 

 

Until the early 50s the LMS had a stud of Super Ds and Crabs at Abergavenny for mainline freight.  No LMS passenger trains worked north of Abergavenny except for excursions - Blackpool or the Cadburys factory were two popular destinations.  There are eye witness reports of 12 wheeler dining cars on the Blackpool excursion traffic.  In the early 50s when the boundaries between the LMR and WR were being established the LMR whisked away all the LMS types from Abergavenny except for a few Ivatt 2-6-2Ts and replaced them with a load of Super Ds, I expect as a present for the WR who took over the operation of the shed there.

 

One specialise traffic train that is possible for you to run whether you are north or south of Abergavenny is the ICI Dowlais to the North West Ammonia train.  These had a tight timetable as there was a life limit to the ammonia so had to be moved quickly.  The original route was from Dowlais over the MTA to Abergavenny and then on from there over the North & West to the North West and over the Pennines to the North East.  On the withdrawal of freight on the MTA there was a period when the tanks went via the Brecon & Merthyr and Hereford and Brecon. After that route succumb the train was routed down the Taff-Bargoed branch to the Taff Vale Extension then eastwards across the famous Crumlin Viaduct and onto the N&W at Pontypool.  

 

I'd highly recommend the John Hodge books.  Get both books based on Abergavenny as the pictures will give you good inspiration.  The book on the Vale of Neath line gives a bit of the background of the building of the NAH.  

 

regards

post-360-0-46820700-1483400633.jpg

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Thanks, Philip. That Ammonia train would be a very nice train to model. I presume that they changed motive power at Pontypool Road. I've only seen pictures of this train in charge of a pannier tank.

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