Cheltenham Model Railway Exhibitions

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Description based on material supplied by the layout owner

Dave Spencer OO gauge 4mm scale

Penrhos is a fictitious rural community set somewhere in a relatively remote part of rural Wales served by a BR (WR) branch line. It location has deliberately been kept vague so that motive power and rolling stock that would have been seen right across the former GWR system in this area in the 1950s to 1960s can be run.

The layout was built to capture time and place. This has meant getting the 'right' locos and rolling stock for the area and period. In addition, the appearance of the natural landscape and the human imprint upon it has received a lot of attention. The aim has been to make the railway look as if it has been engineered through undulating terrain. By not treating scenery as an afterthought, the railway has been integrated with the natural and built environment.

By and large, Penrhos sees five types of branch line train movement:

Quarry stone

Empties are brought in, and propelled under the loader. Removable stone loads are placed into the wagons, which are then drawn forward to the entrance to the quarry sidings ready for removal.

Mixed freight

Some short branch freights run straight through Penrhos, others stop to set down and pick up loco coal, oil, and general merchandise.


Rakes of empty and loaded ballast and spoil wagons are occasionally supplemented by elderly vans and 4-wheel coaches transferred to the engineers' fleet.

Stopping passenger

These services are provided by diesel railcars or DMUs, steam hauled push-pull units, and occasionally loco-hauled coaches plus a van.

Light engines

Some run straight through - with or without brake vans; others leave or return to the loco shed at the beginning or end of their rostered duties.


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