Bethesda Sidings


Western Thunderer
I meant to ask if you could post a few pictures of the buildings, and bridge Tim. The are all lovely structures, the bridge is one of the most convincing models that I've ever seen, so hopefully you will manage to find room for it.

Captain Kernow

Western Thunderer
I can report that the chassis for my first new loco in three years is nearing completion, namely a Roxey 'Planet', which will form the 'modern image' motive power for the Vale of Radnor Light Railway. This features a scratchbuilt chassis (well, it's only a very basic 0-4-0) and a bespoke High Level gearbox that drives both axles. The body is also part-complete, but lots more to do on that.

Captain Kernow

Western Thunderer
Time has past since my last post on this particular thread.

No work has yet been done to start building the baseboards, but all the pointwork is complete and two locos for the Vale of Radnor Light Railway are also now done. One is the Roxey 'Planet' diesel referred to earlier and the second is a refurbishment of an older model that was originally done over 30 years ago.

That loco was an old Mainline J72, which I had re-sprayed into a green livery in the 1980s and given the name 'Jennifer', to represent a sold-out-of-service BR loco, that had been acquired by an unspecified light railway. At the time, I had no plans to build a light railway for it to run on, so it remained in its' box for years and the old Mainline split chassis gradually deteriorated to the point where it no longer worked.

In the intervening years I had also done up another J72, this time to represent one sold out of service to the NCB. This had acquired a compensated Perseverence chassis when its old Mainline one also failed. I used it on 'Engine Wood' a lot in the early years, until I acquired some more suitable examples of industrial locos.

The objective of refurbishing 'Jennifer' was to retain as much of the 1980s loco as reasonably practical, but also to replace the chassis with a Perseverence one and to weather it.

This is the finished loco, now waiting for it's outrageously improbable light railway to get built:


I've also featured some of the buildings for 'Bethesda Sidings' in previous postings. The goods shed and weighbridge office were scratchbuilt by Paul Iliff, who sold a lot of 4mm items a few years ago, when he (temporarily, I believe) changed to 7mm. They are exquisite models and I feel fortunate to now have them for my layout.

Last night I was lucky enough to acquire a couple of additional structures for the goods yard, which had come into the possession of our area group, but which were now deemed surplus to requirements:




Work is currently on-going moving the contents of my 'railway room' to another, slightly larger room in the house, where I will be able to keep 'Bethesda Sidings' put up to be worked on.


Western Thunderer
‘Jennifer’ has bags of character and the weathered finish kids the eye into believing she’s made of iron and of some mass. The finer wheels of the replacement chassis reinforces this skilled deception. Lovely.

You are indeed fortunate, CK, to have taken charge of these characterful little structures that while functional, seemed omnipresent in stations and termini across the land and when modelled to this standard, lend an air of the prototype to any model. I find them fascinating. They’re definitely worthy of further scrutiny with the ‘zoom’ option.

Good luck!


Captain Kernow

Western Thunderer
I've decided not to use the Paul Iliff stone overbridge as the scenic break to hide the exit to the fiddle yard, as it's at quite a skew angle and really takes up rather more space than I'd like, so I've started building a small girder bridge with brick abutments instead.

The plan for the stone overbridge now is to use it on another, smaller cameo layout based on the light railway itself.

This is the state of play on the new bridge this afternoon:

Captain Kernow

Western Thunderer
More gluing of baseboard components has been taking place, I'm hoping to fix the top on in the next day or so.

The overbridge has also progressed and the road deck has been glued in place. Further detailing work to follow, plus the wing walls etc.

Captain Kernow

Western Thunderer
Work has been progressing on the main baseboard:

I still have to attach some diagonal cross bracing underneath, however:

Note the arrangement at the curved back corners of the baseboard, to allow the backscene (which I hope to have laminated) to fit behind the scenic area. The backscene will then be supported by birch ply sheeting on three sides (not fitted in these photos):

In the meantime, work continues on the fiddle yard board:

Captain Kernow

Western Thunderer
The main boards are almost complete, apart from the proscenium arch. Note the 'groove' that runs round three sides for the removable backscene to fit into:







The overbridge is almost complete, apart from gluing the wing walls on and adding Archers rivets the girders and, of course, painting and weathering:



The engineers blue capping bricks on the abutment walls either side of the lane (really a farm track) were cut as strips from a sheet of black 60 thou plasticard and individually scribed, but at RailEx last weekend, I was able to obtain some laser-cut MDF ones. These are really too wide for the wing walls (scaling up to 18" long bricks), but I was able to cut them lengthways with a scalpel to a more suitable width and these will be glued to the wing walls before the latter are fixed in place on the bridge structure:

Captain Kernow

Western Thunderer
I am now almost at the stage where track laying and general layout work can commence.

This afternoon the almost-completed main baseboard was put up in the location where the work will be done and the positioning of the pointwork and track worked out, including the important location for the overbridge and the track into the fiddle yard:







The next thing will be to cut the hole in the end panel for the track to get into the fiddle yard and then track laying can commence, starting with the tandem turnout and the track across the board joint.

Captain Kernow

Western Thunderer
The girder bridge is now virtually complete and ready to be painted and weathered.

The Dapol B4, by the way, is a little gem. I hadn't planned to get one, but then was so impressed by reports of it on RMWeb that I decided to get one after all. It is one of the best running RTR locos I've bought in a long time and the level of detail is superb. The only real disappointment (too strong a word, really) is the lack of a separate smokebox door number plate, but that is easily remedied. It will probably be weathered and put into service sooner than certain other items that are 'in the queue' and will represent a loco sold-out-of-service by BR in the 1950s to the Vale of Radnor Light Railway.

Captain Kernow

Western Thunderer
Not done too much of late, but I have, however,spray painted the overbridge. I used Halfords Matt Black for the girders and red oxide for the brickwork.

The brickwork will now be brush-painted in proper, orangey brick colours with the capping stones picked out in Engineers Blue and a mortar colour added. The girders will be weathered and the rest of the brickwork given some weathering too. This is what it looks like in 'pristine' condition at the moment:



Captain Kernow

Western Thunderer
I have been working on the control panel for a few days now. The fascia is now complete and a start has been made on the wiring behind. The first things to get wired up today were the 16v AC inputs for the two controller options and their 12v DC outputs. As such, I was able to lash the new control panel up to my test track earlier and run a loco on it, from the new control panel.



Captain Kernow

Western Thunderer
Making a start on fitting the Cobalt point motors.

The 'spacer' pieces are 12mm ply (actually measures out at 11.5mm), which together with the thickness of the 6mm ply forming the baseboard top, is sufficient to ensure that the end of the Cobalt operating wire doesn't protrude above the tie bars (this was really by accident rather than design).