Nant Gadwen is a small V shaped valley in the west of the Llyn Peninsula, Gwynedd. It is home to a very lovely beach and an incredibly interesting mineral history. Mining for Manganese goes back a long way here, and the main reason for it’s interest here is the 3 foot gauge mineral tramway that passes through it en route to Porth Ysgo. The tramway begins at the Benallt Manganese mine above the village of Rhiw, and passes through the valley avoiding the workings of Nant mine. There was at one point an 18″ gauge railway here too, serving the latter phases of Nant mine when it was worked for Iron Pyrites.
Anyway, that’s the real place. This is about a model. I chose Nant Gadwen because I wanted Welsh, I wanted 3′ gauge and I wanted simple. There is nothing much to the Nant Gadwen tramway system so it fits the bill perfectly. Basically it’s more of a diorama to showcase modern modelling methods and to experiment a bit, but at the same time look good! I do not like layouts for the sake of running trains, I prefer to model a complete landscape with a railway passing through it, and that’s exactly what you’ll get here – there is one turnout, a small locomotive shed, and that’s it! The rest is embankment, stream and backscene!
So these modern modelling methods – what are they? Well the tramway calls for a Bagnall 7×12 0-4-0ST, a small machine. In order to make this miniature I’m employing all the latest technology – 3D printing, photo etching and laser cutting could make an appearance, not to mention coreless micro motors and very, very small geartrains!
So there’s your introduction, doesn’t give much away does it? Keep your eyes peeled for more developments as they happen!