Modern Welsh Flag

Llanmynach & Tawel-llety Railway

Modern Welsh Flag
Welcome to the Homepage of the Llanmynach and Tawel-Llety Railway, a 009 4mm/1ft scale model narrow gauge railway. You have chosen to visit the railway on a warm and sunny day in August 1952 and the L&TR is in the full swing of its Summer tourist season. The line is maintaining a regular local goods service and is still transporting a significant albeit dwindling amount of slate. The line was originally opened in 1875 as the Sychnant Valley Railway to carry slate from Ichel Groes to the town of Llanmynach, with the extension to Tawel-llety opening in 1880.
Over the years as the demand for slate steadily dropped, the railway began to concentrate more on 'general carrier' services. Now the railway is operated mainly for local passenger and goods traffic and the enjoyment of ever-increasing numbers of holiday makers.

The line runs from Llanmynach, a small but self-sufficient Victorian-developed town on the Cambrian Coast and across open farmland in the Ffernol Valley before entering the Sychnant Valley where it climbs steadily towards Rhyffedd Coed. On departing the station at Rhyffedd, it enters the woods, crosses the sylvan Sychnant Ravine on a three-arch viaduct and then continues high on the exposed hillside towards Mynydd-yn-Bwlch, where the quarry and mine workings are still in operation. The main line to Tawel-llety diverges and enters a tunnel, emerging to arrive at the remote station of Moel Ffynnon before continuing on its journey, eventually reaching the village of Tawel-llety, which is situated peacefully amongst the trees at the head of the valley.

Now for a few words about the model. I should comment that the quality of the images will vary quite considerably. Some are scanned from monochromatic and colour photographs, in some cases of dubious quality. Others were taken with digital cameras of varying resolution. In the following passages you'll find various live links which will take you to all parts of this website.

I'll first direct you to the interactive plan of the railway which can be used to take you on an illustrated journey up the line. It is now slightly out of date, as the coast road has been re-routed and Llanmynach Station has been rebuilt to include the yard it always deserved.

The desire to build a narrow gauge model was fired as many are, by visits to the Welsh lines and the concept of a layout of this kind had been forming in my mind for a couple of years. I really started developing the design in 1974 and then in January 1975 with the aid of a recently acquired decent draftsman's board I produced a set of drawings for the railway's building and structures. Over time I discovered the delights of all rural lines and especially the narrow gauge in England so the railway has gradually evolved and taken on more of a 'common carrier' atmosphere. Its major inspirations have been the Talyllyn and Festiniog lines but there are elements of the Welshpool, Rheidol and a whole host of others as well. However, the character of the Talyllyn Railway and its quiet little valley remains my favourite inspiration by far.

The first bits were screwed together in July 1975 and services were running some time later that year, albeit only to Rhyffedd Coed. The ravine was built that Autumn following a visit to the Talyllyn where I finished measuring the viaduct. The completed circuit was ready by Christmas 1977 and the line was by and large complete structurally, scenically and electrically some time early in 1978. Once the layout was basically complete and operating I started to concentrate on building (and maintaining!) rolling stock, which is where most of my effort towards the railway has since been aimed. In the late '70s I became involved in the Model Railway Club's 'O' Gauge layout and from 1980 to 1994 I led the 'O' Gauge group, becoming leader of the project team which built the Club's layout 'Happisburgh'. Then during the 1990s I started to become more involved in the OO9 Society and my local area group layouts. With all this extra activity, development of my own layout since the late '70s has varied from steady to sporadic, sadly becoming more sporadic as time goes by..

Most of the original rolling stock around which the layout was designed, although serviceable, is no longer in use and a record of these vehicles may be found in the museum section. Meanwhile the present service fleet is illustrated in the rolling stock section.

As time has passed I've occasionally tried to consider the prototypical aspects of the railway. For instance, many years ago I produced a set of gradient profiles for the line. In more recent times I devised a complete set of timetables for selected periods of the prototype railway's life and these can be found in the timetables and operation section.

The history of Wales is inseparable from that of dragons and as a bit of light relief a more whimsical note has been introduced with the railway's acquisition of three of the creatures. Following the link will take you to tales of the Llanmynach dragons.

The re-development of Llanmynach allowed me the space to install the chapel which I'd always desired and because this was relatively recent I was able to make a detailed record of building the chapel. Llanmynach yard is still under re-development.

In connection with my membership of the 009 Society the L&TR has seen a number of special events and has also played host to a variety of visiting rolling stock.

The 009 Society was formed in 1973 with the aim of catering for all aspects of small scale narrow gauge railway modelling. My enjoyment of 009 modelling could not have been possible without the society and the friendships I have made in the society and the Buccabury Branch. Follow the links for more information. Further photographs of the L&TR appear in the members' layouts section of the 009 Society website.

I'm greatly indebted to the Buccabury Webmaster, my good friend Andrew Hall for the immense amount of time he's spent in building this website for me. All I've done is provide the material and some ideas but it's Andrew who's put it all together and linked it up. So if you'd like to say nice things about the website, please contact Andrew; otherwise, please feel free to contact me if you'd like to discuss the railway.

The Welsh emblems on this web site are used with permission gratefully received from Flags of the World, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Finally, I am dedicating this site to my parents, Norma and Bill Burleigh who not only tolerated my interest in and enthusiasm for railways but actively encouraged it at every opportunity. Without their support the L&TR would never have been built.

Last Updated 5th April 2010.
© 2009 Buccabury or The L&TR General Manager