Tŷ’n-y-Coedcae is LBH’s second ScaleSeven layout. It represents a small goods yard and halt on the Caerphilly Branch of the Brecon and Merthyr Railway (B&MR), probably in the second decade of the 20th Century.

The layout 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.

Updates on layout development can now be seen in the the club blog here, once there click on the blue Tŷ’n-y-Coedcae tag to get the story.

Information for Exhibition Managers can be found here.

The Railway at Tŷ’n-y-Coedcae

The Truth

In 1861 the Rumney Railway obtained powers to convert itself from a tramroad into a modern Railway and in the same act a branch from Machen to Caerphilly was authorised. The branch connected with the Rhymney Railway (RR), an entirely separate concern, a short distance east of Caerphilly. A few years later the Rumney Railway was taken over by the Brecon and Merthyr Railway, and the branch had a quiet existence until it became part of a route whereby the Alexandra (Newport & South Wales) Docks and Railway (ADR) conveyed coal from the Rhondda and Dare valleys to Newport. To ease the flow of traffic part of the route was doubled by means of a loop line (shown dashed on the map) on a different alignment and more favourable gradients. In the early years of the twentieth century a number of halts were provided some of which were unusual in only being served by train running in one direction

The Fiction

In my history the loop line didn’t get built, but the halts did and the halt on the layout, Rhyd-y-Gwern Halt is meant to represent one of these.

Map showing the location of Tŷ’n-y-Coedcae and related railways.

Viewing the Model


As you view the layout you are looking north, with Machen and beyond that, Newport on your right and Waterloo Tinplate Works and Caerphilly on your left.


Ideally the trains that are operated will reflect those that ran on the Caerphilly Branch just before WWI, this would include B&MR local goods, through coal trains and empties operated by the Taff Vale Railway (TVR) or the ADR, and passenger trains operated by the GWR and ADR. Maybe one day we might see a Rhymney Railway Steam Railmotor.

At exhibitions other stock may be used from to time.

This is a extract from the GWR Appendix to the Working Timetable from 1931 covering some aspects of operation on the Caerphilly branch.

Surprisingly Rhyd-y-Gwern Halt is omitted form the list!

The Layout at an exhibition

This is how Tŷ’n-y-Coedcae looked at its first exhibition, in Monmouth, February 2024.
A GWR Pontypridd to Newport service rattles through Rhyd-y-Gwern Halt.
An ex-ADR Peckett tank hauls a handful of wagons towards Pontypridd.
A short video taken at the exhibition.

Layout Design

The Origins of Tŷ’n-y-Coedcae

LBH purchased the layour from local ScaleSeven Area Group member, Ian Roll, and until acquisition bore the name Pol Sands.

Pol Sands layout was a classic ‘shunting puzzle’ design and was the winner of the ScaleSeven ‘Challenge 33+3’ competition. Set in the 1950s and located at the far end of an ex-LSWR station in Cornwall, Pol Sands is the place where the Stationmaster sends all the pick-up goods traffic to be sorted into the correct order for onward shipment to their final destinations.

Here is Pol Sands at the Nailsea Exhibition in 2022.

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