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Ffrwd Locks

34403 Views 70 Replies 28 Participants Last post by  Ruffnut Thorston
I humbly submit a few pictures of my Ffrwd Locks station.

Ffrwd Locks.

This layout is based on fact. The GWR had a line from Wrexham, up the Moss Valley to the Ffrwd Ironworks (also served by the LNER).

Ffrwd is a small village or hamlet North West of Wrexham, near Cefn-y-bedd.
The area was very industrial, with coal mines, brick works, iron works and quarries.

A canal (The Ellesmere Canal) was planned to run from a place on the River Mersey near Whitby, to near Shrewsbury on the River Severn. This canal would pass through Chester, pass very near to Wrexham (at Poolmouth), and pass by the industrial areas around Ruabon on its way south. A branch was to run from Poolmouth to a large reservoir at Coed Talon, via a flight of locks at Ffrwd.

This canal was not built as planned, largely due to the inflation in the economy after the Napolionic wars causing construction costs to increase substantially. What was built is now known as the Llangollen Canal, and part of the Shropshire Union Canal. (The place near Whitby is now known as Ellesmere Port.) A part of the branch was also built at Ffrwd, and remains can be found, despite part of the canal being built over by a railway, which is now also derelict and lifted. (The Great Central Railway Westminster Colliery Branch, which also served Ffrwd Ironworks.)

This is the inspiration for the Ffrwd Locks model railway.

For the purpose of the model, it is assumed that the Ellesmere Canal was completed as planned, and the settlement at Ffrwd grew large enough to warrant a passenger service (the GWR lines in the Moss Valley only had a passenger service as far up as Moss Crossing.) I have called the station "Ffrwd Locks" as the station at Ellesmere Port was originally known as "Whitby Locks".
The Ironworks prospered instead of Brymbo Works, and other industry has also had its "lifetime" extended into the early 1950s.
The GWR Moss valley line was extended to Coed Talon (Instead of the Brymbo Line) and was a joint line with the LMS from Ffrwd Locks Station (Instead of Brymbo) to Coed Talon.

So, the line from Wrexham (using the line of a former tramway) comes in under the LNER Mineral Railway bridge and the adjacent canal aqueduct into the station. The Coed Talon line leaves over the level crossing and head Northwards. There is a branch to Ffrwd Ironworks (Freight only) which leaves alongside the line from Wrexham, but soon curves sharply to the "left" and climbs to cross the canal on a swing bridge, and so into the works. There is a junction with the LNER branch here.

The Level crossing and the aqueduct/LNER bridge are the "scenic breaks".

This model has had a long existence, the first Ffrwd Locks was a collection of Superquick card models, but a permanent baseboard, etc. never happened. A batch of Ratio plastic kits was acquired, but except for reading the instructions, remained in their boxes until early 2008.

The current model has a board made from two pieces of plywood (about 6mm) on a softwood frame, with another piece of ply under the joint. The backscene boards are also plywood, as is the "box" which covers the model (A front and a lid.). All timber was recycled.

Cork has been stuck to the plywood (both Tiles and the Hornby Cork Roll.) The track has been laid using Gaugemaster Ballasted Underlay, and is all second hand Peco Streamline, with a mixture of live and "insulfrog" points. More ballast has been added using PVA glue, mainly between the underlay to fill in the gap.

Most buildings are Ratio and Wills kits, most from the batch that I had acquired earlier. Most have some modifications, to make them a bit different.
The station platform is softwood faced with Wills brick sheet, and surfaced with fine wet and dry ("Tarmac" areas) and Metcalfe paving slabs. The station building is on a "base" made from scribed 1mm plastic card. Fencing is Ratio Spear fencing. Name boards are by Coopercraft.

The coal bunkers are built from separate sleepers, and were made some time ago. I think they may be SMP parts.

The Aqueduct carrying the canal over the road and railway is made from "corn flake" packets, and is based on part of the Pontcysllte Aqueduct, at Trefor.

Some of the "groundworks" are "corn flake" packet card and more softwood strips.

What little greenery has appeared so far is Lichen, and various scatters, and PVA glue.

Rolling stock is mainly second hand, and the small collection from the first Ffrwd. Mainly GWR motive power, but with a J72 from the LNER (connection at Ffrwd Works with the LNER), and a 3f tank from the LMS (For model purposes, a joint GWR and LMS line runs from Ffrwd to Coed Talon, but at the moment is "out of use". The line to Coed Talon is "out of use" as there isn't enough room on the allocated board!)
GWR locos include 45XX tanks, 2721 Pannier tank, 57XX Pannier tanks, Dean Goods and Collet Goods 0-6-0 tender locos.
There is a collection of coaches, including "B" sets and an Autocoach, and a selection of wagons.

The model is still under construction, progress is slowed at present by the overhaul of several Hornby Dublo and Tri-ang locos and stock, etc, for our "other" railway (Which has no board as yet!)

Sky Window Black-and-white Grey Style

Property Building Train Window Urban design


Train Vehicle Rolling stock Track Window



The “Real Life” map of the area...

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Hi Sarah,yours looks great! there already is a section"on my layout" on here,mines on there,"Framington by the sea"its not as far advanced as yours though
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My OO9 layout likkle board is here .................................

its called whitmore vale and is nearly all hand made
even the railbus ........................

Then there is also

This is Chalingbrook MTD - OO Gauge modern Image....... Nearly all of that is hand made too - The shed has taken the longest as it is huge
and built exactly as a real modern shed is .............................

Hope you all like them.... I just love making things ...............................................

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Very nice Sarah. I'd be a bit wary about hanging my washing out there though.
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Very nice too - like the 'history'! I take it the canal aquaduct is the scenic break on the right-hand side of the layout? Wouldn't mind a closer view of it at some time as canals are also an interest of mine.

John Webb

PS - how is "Ffrwd" pronounced, please?
Lovely, and a nice little write up too. I love the colouring and detailing on the station building.

If you have any then more photos would be welcome.

Excellent work Sarah and obviously very well researched. I love the 'modellers licence' as to how things might have been. I'm from Wem originally so I know the area you are talking about.

Keep up the good work and lets have some more photos.
Hi Sarah

I like the backscene painting. Did you do it or have you a tame artist in tow somewhere ?

I to am curious about the pronounciation. I find the L's dificult but F's - have to be quick otherwise someone might take offece !
QUOTE (BobB @ 22 Feb 2009, 16:33) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I to am curious about the pronounciation. I find the L's dificult but F's - have to be quick otherwise someone might take offece !

I think it's pronounced 'Frewyd' though no doubt Sarah will correct me if I'm wrong.
Hiya Sarah,

Only noticed i forgot to say on my earlier post - well done, great bit of work!!!
Really liked your station building !!!

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Excellent work Sarah, I really like the little details. I look forward to more of the same.


I have finally found this thread after it was moved from the Hornby Magazine section. (I was unaware of this section, and thought it might get H M to put a readers layouts feature in the mag.)

Ffrwd is pronounced FROOD, and was spelt that way some time ago (English Spelling!).

I will sort out more pics.

Also, see my thread on NRM?

Ffrwd Pages Link.
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Very nice layout...

What sort of time scale did it take you to get it to his standard? Look very impressive

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excellent work, this is exactly the type of layout I love, compact, detailed, with a "history". Exactly the sort of layout I remember from my childhood reading through Railway Modeller.

Why do we not get these charming layouts printed anymore?


QUOTE (ijb2085 @ 23 Feb 2009, 20:14) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Very nice layout...

What sort of time scale did it take you to get it to his standard? Look very impressive


Ffrwd Mk 1 (1980s) was some Superquick kits and Hornby Railways track, some Hornby locos, Bachmann Wagons, and Lima coaches. Never properly laid out, no baseboard!

Ffrwd Mk 2 (1990s) was the above, plus a bit more stock from a "swapmeet". e.g. Mainline Locos and Airfix coaches. Some Ratio kits were also acquired, but nothing happened!

Construction of this layout (Ffrwd Mk 3) started with the Station Building, About March 2008. (I had some building kits in stock from about 1988 or 1989 (Sometime in the late 1980s!)

Then things started to come together, when I found a couple of bits of plywood, and "knocked up" a simple baseboard, with help from Alex.

Some Peco points and flexy track were obtained from Ebay, as was a selection of rolling stock, and some other scenic bits, etc.

The track plan was evolved to fit the space available. (Not as much as I really would have liked. Maybe Ffrwd Mk 4?)

Building construction continued, and track laying commenced. Work mainly took place in the lighter evenings of summer, and at "weekends". Most was "completed" during summer 2008.

Not too much has happened during the winter, but relocation of the board will help construction to resume this spring.

Ebay addiction had cut in, followed by the acquisition of some 1950s/60s Tri-ang and latterly Hornby Dublo 2-rail stock and track. Alex liked the idea of a tail chaser in the garden! (It may yet happen, with a portable board so it can go under cover!)

(For more details, please see the Ffrwd Pages on New Railway Modellers Forum, link in my previous post!)
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That aquaduct looks good! Thanks for the sight.

I can see you have both a towpath and the water in the aquaduct.

Hello Sarah.

When I moved the thread I thought I sent you a message teling you where it was. did you not get it?
I had noticed that you had not posted in this thread since i moved it and i was going to send you another message tomorrow to check that you had found it.
Sorry if I forgot to send a message but rest asured you were not being neglected!

I live about 5 or 6 miles away from the notional location of this layout, and have worked in the area extensively COUGHpostmanCOUGH.... I must add that this layout seems to capture the 'feel' of the area nicely. The GW, GC and LNW all built lines into the area to take advantage of the rich mineral wealth, resulting in the appearance of sometimes quite bizarre loco/stock combinations.

Nicely done!

Very nice Sarah. Does the green loco have two smoke generators in it or have you photoshopped the picture?
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