Vale of Alyn

Stuart Robinson's branch line layout

Vale of Alyn track diagram

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries there were plans to revitalise the lead and zinc mines to the West of Mold. Part of the revitalisation was a railway into the Vale of Alyn. The railway would have run south from a junction with the London North Western Railway near Rhydymwyn to Llandegla. As well as the mines the railway served agriculture and quarries: slate, limestone, sand and gravel. The range of activities in the Vale proved a boon as the last mine closed in 1919. The mines provided most of the traffic at Gwernaffield and Pantymwyn. So in 1921 its loop was removed and goods facilities reduced to a siding. In the winter of 1947, the need for coal economies caused the suspension of services on the nearly defunct freight only line from Llandegla to the Moel Y Faen slate quarry. Services were not recommenced and the track was removed in 1948. In 1964 as part of the 'Beaching Axe' the passenger and general freight services were withdrawn from the Chester-Mold line and the Vale of Alyn. The three and a half miles of track from Pistyll Gwyn to Llandegla was closed then lifted. The Stations at Loggerhead, Llanferres and Pistyll Gwyn were closed. The line from Hope Junction to Pistyll Gwyn was operated as a siding. In 1983 the quarry traffic finally ebbed away and the line was closed.

The Vale of Alyn is unusual as it modelled in British HO, an increasingly popular scale. Pistyll Gwyn Llanarmon-yn-lat is HO LMS/BR[MR] with a HOn9 quarry feeder. Pistyll Gwyn by the 1950s is the main source of traffic on the railway. Llanarmon-yn-lat represents a small rural station.

[This layout has been retired. The exhibition details were as follows: "Name of layout: Vale of Alyn. Prototype and period: BR (LM) 1946-1964. Gauge: 16.5mm & 9mm. Scale: HO & HOn9. Type of layout: Branch line with industrial (Pistyll Gwyn) and rural (Llanarmon-yn-lat) stations. One or two fiddle yards. Sizes: 8ft, 1ft or 16ft (as follows). 8ft by 2ft: Pistyll Gwyn or Llanarmon-yn-lat with a single fiddle yard. 12ft by 2ft: Pistyll Gwyn and Llanarmon-yn-lat with a single fiddle yard OR Pistyll Gwyn or Llanarmon-yn-lat with two fiddle yards. 16ft by 2ft: Pistyll Gwyn and Llanarmon-yn-lat with two fiddle yards. Height of baseboards from floor: 4ft. No barriers required. 3 operators required at any one time. 4 operators required in total. Approximate value of exhibit for insurance purposes: £3000."]

Pistyll Gwyn

Vale of Alyn - Pistyll Gwyn


Vale of Alyn - Llanarmon-yn-lat

British 1:87 Scale Modelling