Machynlleth - The Cambrian Coast in N Gauge by Barry & Penarth MRC


The Barry & Penarth MRC purchased the basic layout in 2000. It had been built by an architect called Ted Henry and housed in a bedroom. On removal to club premises, various wiring was carried out and the layout used. After a few years, the layout fell into disuse. The N Gauge group cleaned and repaired the layout for the club's 2005 open day, and it was a great success.  After the open day the group (some left and others joined), did a representation of the work that was required to revamp and repair the layout to the club committee. The committee agreed and the work started to:

  • Replace the broken points
  • Build new ends (easing curves built for a bedroom)
  • A new fiddle yard
  • Improve the scenery.


After all these improvements it was a very successful open day in 2006. Discussion started straight away on how any more improvements could be carried out.

The Extension

After much discussion an extension was decided on, in keeping with the Cambrian feel: 

  • An estuary (Cambrian timber viaduct crossing)
  • A terminal station
  • DMU and loco fuel servicing point
  • Light industry


A place name was found (Porth Dinllaen on the Lleyn Peninsula)

 Historic Note

 If the Cambrian had extended to Porth Dinllaen and LNWR had extended from Caernarfon, an Irish seaport may have been built but not at Holyhead, maybe. With this plan, the committee agreed and work started on the frames and the boards were made in the usual way.


 On leaving the fiddle yard, you climb up from under the main layout where you enter the rolling hills of Mid-Wales with the sheep grazing. An equestrian centre was built where sheep dog trials can also be held. On entering the station area you're passing a loco shed, turntable, upper and lower yards, and gently coast into the main station.

 On leaving the station we pass over the road and lower level track (LNWR). Look up and we see the castle ruin complete with ghosts and cattle grazing on the hills. The route now divides to the left and returns to the fiddle yard (Aberystwyth) or right to the Cambrian Coast, we take the Coast route crossing the timber viaduct passing the RNLI inshore lifeboat station on a training exercise.

 A stone circle with Japanese tourists, Caravan Park and halt at Gors Fawr is reached. On leaving the halt, the junction with the LNWR line is reached, having travelled direct from the fiddle yard and now crossing the estuary on the lower level bridge. Looking over the tunnel of the LNWR line we see a village cricket match in play but most of the spectators have adjourned to the beer garden opposite.

 As we cross the junction, the nuclear flask exchange comes into view, followed by the brewery. On entering the typical brick built station of the welsh terminus, looking to the left we see the loco and DMU servicing point and the town to our right is the new industrial units that replaces the Irish sea cattle docks.


 Most of the stock is from the leading manufacturers Graham Farish, Dapol Peco, Lima. Locos that are all steam and diesel are from Farish and Dapol that ran on the line, some have detailed or are converted, other variants are kit built. Coaches are mostly Farish, some with TPM sides. There is a full VOSE Pullman set running on open and running days, correct Cambrian line stock is used in the morning, then in the afternoon anything goes. Loco and stock used was far to heavy for the Cambrian coast! We've also seen the German beer train arrive for the Shcultzenfest. The American Burger train follows...


 Thanks to all members of the club who have helped in many ways with hints and helpful information. Now let's finish the new control panel.

 Keith Mathews (10365) (Scribe); John Harding (9433) (Photographs); Roger Gullett (18190); Peter Mathews (18888); typed by Lisa Mathews

This article was published in Journal 2/09