7mm Penmaenpool in the late 1950s - Now Moor Street!

Discussion in 'Layout Progress' started by Focalplane, 14 February 2019.

  1. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Penmaenpool has been on the go for a year now and before that is was planned to be on portable baseboards as I didn't have a home for it.

    Well, now I have a "railway room with house attached" in a lovely, friendly village in Occitanie. The house is a three story village house and had a home cinema on the ground floor, as well as plenty of workshop space within the garage. The railway room is 7.5 x 4.5 meters which means that it will accommodate 1.8m radii curves.

    Penmaenpool in the late 1950s means that the LM Region had yet to take over and no Standard Class 4s had been introduced, but the excursion trains each summer did originate in LM Country, so there can be a interesting mix of stock as well as older locomotives not yet retired. As I spent a lot of my teenage years in and near Wales I do have a strong affection for the Cambrian and visited Oswestry Works and Shed on many a Sunday afternoon.

    I do not intend to post a lot of details, but rather updates. I shall also have a Loco and a Coach work bench which will support both Penmaenpool and other projects.

    As an appetizer, here is a stitched together iPhone panorama of the railway room at the end of last year. Not much has changed since then as I have been focussing on locos and stock during the winter months.

  2. Pencarrow

    Pencarrow Western Thunderer

    Welcome along Paul, good to see you posting here.

    Chris (2ManySpams / Pencarrow)
  3. NHY 581

    NHY 581 Western Thunderer

    What a splendid room in which to 'play trains'!

    Will look forward to updates.

  4. GrahameH

    GrahameH Western Thunderer

    Hi Paul,

    Good to see you here too,

    Nice to see the layout in the round at last and look forward to progress.

  5. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    All of the above!

  6. Peter Cross

    Peter Cross Western Thunderer

    Nice to see you posting here, I was following on the other channel, but don't think I commented.
  7. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Thank you, what a welcome!
  8. MartinWales

    MartinWales Western Thunderer

    Looking forward to regular updates!
  9. Ressaldar

    Ressaldar Western Thunderer

    Hi Paul

    welcome to WT, looking forward to seeing the progress/update photographs


  10. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    One of the problems of building a model of a real prototype is that all the buildings have to be custom built. As nice as all those laser kits are, not one comes close to anything that existed at Penmaenpool. So they have to be scratch built.

    I have already constructed most of the engine shed area buildings and they took most of a summer to build. But they are unique! The next challenge will be the station building which still stands as a modified annexe to the George Hotel. But right now the entire hotel property is fenced off while undergoing a big renovation. Measuring the existing buildings is therefore impossible. I do, however, doubt that the basic structures will be modified, so I must be patient until the summer.

    Here are some of the buildings that represent the prototype:


    From left to right, mess hut, coal stage and engine shed.

  11. Pencarrow

    Pencarrow Western Thunderer

    Nothing wrong with scratch building your buildings, particularly if you enjoy that side of the hobby. As you say it gives you something very different from the many other layouts using kits. The downside of course is the time it takes, they do eat many hours.

    With regard to measuring buildings you don't have access to, I've had a lot of success using the measure tool in GoogleEarth. I started by doing a trial on my own house and all the dimensions I measured off Google were within 2" - c1mm in 7mm - which I can live with.

    The downside is that it only gives you the plan dimensions not the elevations but it's a start and helps scale any photos you have.
    Peter Cross and Focalplane like this.
  12. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer


    A quick reply about measuring - I have one of those laser devices and did use it to scale off my paces along the Mawddach Trail outside the George Hotel at Penmaenpool and scaled the length of the original building (minus post-1960 extensions) at 20 meters. I then walked across the toll bridge and took a photo of the elevation facing the estuary and added a scale where each square equals 1 meter; I then found an equivalent old photo and added the scale to that:

    Screen Shot 2019-01-01 at 6.30.55 PM.png

    The ground floor of the hotel is actually about 50cm below the level of the old track bed. I was not able to measure the front to back dimension as noted in the previous post, but also used a rough scaling from both old maps and satellite images. This then gave me a footprint for the layout at 7mm to the foot. I was able to do much the same for the old station building.

    For the engine shed I had no building to measure but used the size of the various locomotives to scale the front wall of the shed and then made the length to fit the layout as long as four locos could be housed with the front two having their smokeboxes outside! There was a photo of the engine pinned on the board in the hotel lobby which I photographed:


    This allowed scaling to be done against the 58xx (I have an MOK 14xx) and also confirmed that the ash pits were located in front of the shed. Some useful information for detailing is also present!

    Compton castle, PhilH, Alan and 2 others like this.
  13. Jeremy Good

    Jeremy Good Member


    If the building is undergoing a major refurbishment it is likely that the owner/developer would have applied for planning permission. If the Local Authority is moving with the times the details and therefore plans may well be available via the Planning Portal on the Local Authority website. They may only show the bits being worked on but that might be a starting point.

    Looking forward to seeing this project develop.

    Pencarrow, Number Cruncher and simond like this.
  14. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    A good idea, Jeremy, thank you! We are traveling tomorrow but I will look into it later.

    Regards, Paul
  15. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    I go along with Pencarrow in that the Google Earth measuring tool is handy for larger objects. I knew how many 64' 6" carriages the Up platform at Carrog would accommodate and a measurement off Google Earth gave a similar result. Therefore I used it to set the toe of the leading turnouts and checked positions of buildings in relation to other objects.
  16. Pencarrow

    Pencarrow Western Thunderer

    I also find local planning authority websites handy for planning application drawings. One word of warning about drawings showing the 'existing' situation is that they are not always accurate and can have a bit of artistic interpretation involved with their drawing. Nothing sinister it's just that nobody is really interested in the existing other than to set the scene, they therefore don't have as much time spent on them as the proposed drawings.

    Comparing one building I'd measured and drawn up, which had off-center windows, with the planning drawing was interesting. The overall dimensions were OK but the placement of smaller features was a bit varied. The off-center windows were placed centrally for instance.

    A good resource if used cautiously IMO.
    AJC likes this.
  17. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    Agreed. We use them (with the same provisos) all the time at work for help in describing historic buildings. The floor plans included in the various online property search engines are helpful - with the same limitations - in this regard, too.

    Pencarrow likes this.
  18. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Life is hectic, isn't it? Particularly when retired, for some reason. I have been rushing around like a chicken without a head for the past three days with little modelling to show for it. Happily we are going to celebrate our wedding anniversary in Lyon at the end of the month and then drive on to the "railway room with house attached". Priorities need to be established but I hope to get back to some scenic work on Penmaenpool including a paint job on the back scene and then setting up the framework for the undulating topography. I found a roll of unused chicken wire lying around in our self catering cottage in North Wales, so that is in the car. I have also sourced some rattle cans from Halfords but much of my list of things to buy has gone unchecked. That can only mean delays. But other things are happening. For Penmaenpool I can finish the David Andrews Dukedog and perhaps also finish the MOK 74xx that got stalled earlier this year. But the immediate priority will probably be getting some paint on my Sidelines coaches, described on a separate thread.

    So, silence until the middle of next week!


    PS A lot more photographs will be forthcoming, I promise.
    Lightman and Pencarrow like this.
  19. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    A major achievement in Lyon. Our hotel is next to four art shops, one selling canvases. Looking for tape to cover the joins on the back scene hardwood sheets, I saw a roll of canvas and worked out that I could cut it into 10cm wide strips and apply an adhesive to the backing. The lady in the shop spoke no English but we got by and 11 euros changed hands and I left well pleased. I had been looking for something for this job with no success at all.

    I can now progress the scenic side of the layout.

    Pencarrow likes this.
  20. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    So far, not much information on planning permission from Snowdonia National Park after I found out that they have the responsibility, not Gwynedd County Council. The approximate footprint will have to do for now. I think I will follow others who have made simple paper/card mock ups of the buildings to select the best positions for the two largest buildings. Then I can place their foundations and start on the chicken wire framework for the hilly backdrop.