Narrow Gauge North

2021

That Dam Railway

A 009 layout by Chelmsford Model Railway Club
Scale 009 (4mm/1ft)
Gauge 9mm
Size 9’ x 4’

The layout depicts the building of a dam in Wales around the turn of the last century, It included the massive dam wall, which is in the near completed state with cranes on the top, and an authentic temporary tunnel through to the far side. A tall "Blondin" crane is located just behind the dam to bring materials to the top. Further travelling and swivelling cranes work on their broad gauge line at the top of the dam.

The stone quarry and dressing shed are the source of the materials and the line zigzags up the confines of the valley side to gain access to the plant for mixing cement and stone crushing. The high line also provides access off scene to the interchange with the mainline much further down the valley, and access to the other dams being built further up the valley.

Down by the river the workers accommodation, school and chapel together with their water supply, are modelled.

The rock faces and the realistic scenic work are appreciated by many who study the layout, and help set the scene of the little engines making their way up the steep gradients.

The model was inspired by accounts and pictures of the dam building in the Elan Valley and at Grwyne Fawr near These dams and reservoirs are still in use and evidence of the railways and the works and buildings can still be seen. These projects used the temporary heavy transportation of the time - narrow gauge railways with steam engines. Also they were very long term projects in remote locations, and required that the workers and their families lived on the site. Typically a school, hospital and a chapel were provided in addition to their living accommodation, as some of these villages existed for 20 years.