Garreg Wen (‘White Rock’) was built to satisfy two aims – to practice and develop new skills, and to provide somewhere to run models of older stock from a number of lines. The layout has been extended twice since construction to allow more scenery, including a new section (2022) extending around the corner.
The model is set in Snowdonia in the Victorian period (approximately 1880) and represents the modest upper terminus for passenger working of a former horse tramway, converted to steam a few years previously. The quarry extension leaves the back of the station to the foot of an incline located ‘off set’, but due to the gradient and the threat of runaway slate wagons, the passenger platform is on a separate line, as also happened at Bryngwyn on the NWNGR for example.
The quarryman’s terrace at the rear has been built with individual slate rubble walls, while there are a number of vertical slate slab fences typical of the Corris area as well as older dry stone walls. Track is ballasted above the rail base in contemporary Victorian fashion.
The intention was to produce a freelance model, but which remained credible to the period and general location. Sometimes this is called an ‘album layout’ allowing us to run models from a variety of real lines in the area. Prototypes from the Festiniog, Corris, Talyllyn, Penrhyn and Glyn Valley may be seen amongst others.
All pictures taken by and copyright Helen Kean