The Talyllyn Railway in mid-Wales is probably too well-known to need any introduction here (see Wikipedia:Talyllyn_Railway if you want some background information). It’s an obvious subject to model in Rail3D, and indeed there are still quite a few stock and scenery models around from Rail3D Classic days (built by Phil Easton and Richard Southey).


Not wanting to do anything too obvious, and having just read J.I.C. Boyd’s book on the railway in pre-preservation days, I thought it would be interesting to model the line as it was somewhere in the early part of the Haydn Jones era, ca. 1920, perhaps, with the Bryn Eglwys slate quarry still in production and only the original two locos, four coaches, one van and assorted slate wagons in use. In particular, I wanted to model the interesting shunting operations involved in getting empty wagons up to the quarry and full ones down to the Wharf, whilst operating two mixed trains a day.

Of course, with a project like this, there’s a great temptation to get sidetracked into spending time on scenery and terrain, so it may be a while before I get all the shunting working as I would like…

In the current version there are no timetables, the train just runs backwards and forwards along the line, shunting at Pendre to propel the full wagons to Wharf, and at Abergynolwyn to propel the empties to the incline foot.


The existing model of No.2 Dolgoch is old-style Rail3D Classic (square boiler, etc.), so not really usable. I’ve knocked up a slightly more convincing No.1 Tal-y-Llyn and still want to have a go at No.2.

Phil’s coaches are much more detailed, but a few things need changing, like buffers that are far too small and air-brake gear that is incorrect for the period I’m modelling. There is no model yet of the booking office/brake van, the one vehicle that was included in absolutely every Talyllyn train.

Richard’s slate wagons are perfectly usable as they stand, thank goodness!


http://www.markhodson.nl/rail3d/2kdlayouts/talyllyn_06.trp (5.7MB, 11.10.2008)

See also

  • The Tal-y-Llyn Railway, J.I.C. Boyd (Wild Swan Publications, 1988; isbn 0 906867 46 0)
  • Railway Adventure, L.T.C. Rolt (umpteen editions available)
  • nn has built a fictional layout based on this area — see Talyllyn Lake

Mark Hodson 05.10.2008