Tanat Valley III

Tanat Valley III is not actually a member’s layout, but that of a friend of the club, Peter Drost. Peter has kindly agreed to let the club show TV3 in its behalf at the Association of Model Railway Clubs Wales & West of England 54th Bristol Model Railway Exhibition, Thornbury Leisure Centre, May 3rd to May 5th 2024

The layout depicts a fictional branch of the Cambrian Railways’ Tanat Valley in the years after the Great Western took over operation.

It is built to ScaleSeven standards i.e. a scale of 7mm/ft and a gauge of 33mm. More can be found out about modelling in ScaleSeven on The Website of the ScaleSeven Group.

How Peter described the layout

When the “33” competition was announced it acted as a spur to deal with a big problem – CATS! They had used the outside loop of Tanat Valley 1 as a short cut to get over the fence and in climbing up ripped the felt covering to the baseboards, tore up the track and pulled down the busbars so that it ended outside running. Because of this I had been thinking about a new inside line for some time to give access to three sides of the layout without ducking under, as well as ideas to speed up erection/dismantling time and better shaped base boards for an improved track plan I wanted to develop. So, after some time with paper and pencil four base boards with an overall length of 13ft 9in with widths varying from 2ft 6in at the station/yard end, 2ft 0in in the middle to 2ft 3in at the fiddle yard end were designed, this gives a total area of just over 30 square feet, well within the limit and importantly fitting the space available. The spare area may be used to provide either/or both a scenic end stop behind the station or an engine release in the fiddle yard.

So, Tanat Valley 3 (Tanat Valley 2 is another story) goes like tins: to the southwest of Penybontfawr, the last but one station on the line, runs a valley leading to Hirnant about two and a half miles away on a rising grade of about one in fifty, the whole area for several square miles around is covered with indigenous and plantation woodland and also has as a lot of mixed farming. The original station being built in a very confined valley bottom making the provision of a tandem point necessary to give access to the yard and with just a run round at the station. However, as happened at Welshpool some miles to the south, I propounded that a sawmill was developed at Hirnant which became eventually the very successful “Welsh Black” Match Co with the railway from Penybontfawr bringing in the necessary staff, coal and chemicals and removing the output including other timber and farm products. With the increase in traffic with the development of the match factory even more tandems were required to give access to a bay for milk and the trial of rail motor working as well as a loco shed and sidings to the factory.

Construction is traditional 3in x 1in dovetailed sides with 9mm ply topping with built in folding legs and split hinges and bolts at joints. Track is 2mm ply sleepers with code 90 nickel silver flat-bottom rail held with “u” copper wire clips. To simplify erection and dismantling the control panel is split between the two centre boards so there is only one plug to each half to connect/disconnect and all point control rodding is dedicated to the points on each board – it does mean the controls are more spread out but again no connections across joints, Scenery is traditional polystyrene/Polyfilla and the left over flock from the previous layout, buildings looking suspiciously familiar being borrowed from TV1 but with a new range for the factory to hide the fiddle yard.

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