Anthony Ashley Page (2)

Anthony Ashley is in the process of building a large N gauge model railway layout covering the areas of Bangor, Penmaenmawr and Conwy.

Similar to Chris Evans' layout of Llandudno Junction, with a shortened branch to Llandudno, housed in a bedroom
of his home, Anthony has built a large shed
 which is to house his layout of the North Wales coast main line from Bangor to Conwy.

Anthony is in the Australian army at present but plans to retire between 2015 - 2018 and the
layout is to become his retirement dream.

This page will show the progress of the layout with regular updates and hopefully eventually a working model railway layout
of a large section of our main line which will complement Chris Evans' layout of 6G.

Anthony gave a detailed background for his reasons to choose our area for his model layout, on the NEWSPAGE ( November 17th 2012) and
I have used his text from there (below) to introduce this page along with several photos of the shed, that will house the layout, and the
progress  of the project up to date.

Anthony's email address is anthonyashley@tpg.com.au and he asks for readers to get in touch with any comments or encouragement.


As a child of about 8 years I had a fairly eccentric great uncle. He owned many Hornby items from the mid 60s and earlier in O gauge.
He had a room in which these treasures were stored on shelves at least 2.5 metres wide and extending to the ceiling.
At the age when I was talking and visiting him he was in his 70s and no longer able to climb on a ladder to access his marvellous collection of models.
I was given a privilege of climbing around the room, pull-out a model, show my uncle only to be told that he had not seen that model for at least 30 years.
This provided many afternoons of entertainment for both myself and my uncle.
We were both equally delighted with the models. One of his models was the Flying Scotsman, which I thought was a great model.

I am now 53 years of age and have been in the Australian Army for nearly 30 years. I have moved around Australia for most of these
30 years. We have finally moved into the last house my family will occupy, as I shall retire in the next 2-5 years.
Hence I was able to build the shed which allows me to build the 36X16 layout. I have been interested in railways since my childhood as explained above.

I originally intended to model Peterborough, including both the LNER and LMS part of the station and lines.
When I attempted to do the track plan for it there were real problems in modelling the approaches to the station, the track layout
was absolutely huge and the surrounding county was relatively flat and boring.

I spent an afternoon with a friend of mine in Brisbane looking for a Mainline that included a couple of smaller stations, ran an expansive
number of passenger and freight operations and included a large station capable of being modelled, while providing
a challenging freight environment for shunting operations and fantastic scenery.

We looked through a number of books on stations pre Nationalisation. I found Conwy, Penmaenmawr and Bangor
in the book Chester to Holyhead Railway by V.R. Anderson and G.K. Fox.
The stations are attractive as Conwy has the fantastic castle and medieval town wall to model, is on a river, has 3
fantastic bridges, a small freight shunting area and a few hills.

Penmaenmawr is on the sea, is a picturesque holiday town, has a fantastic mountain right next to it which includes
a marvellous rail and road viaduct between the ocean and mountain.
I am also going to slightly distort reality and operate the light rail facility which moved the granite for the mountain to the main line rail service.
I understand that this closed some years earlier but will take some licence, as it will give me the opportunity to model a Welsh quarry light railway.

Bangor is a great station to model given its position in a valley with tunnels at either end.
It is quite large And from my reading was a hub for rail freight traffic in the area in the early 60s, allowing a great variety
in the types of goods subject to movement to and through the station.
Given it was a primary station on the route to Ireland, this would also provide varied freight requirements.

I have been modelling Napoleonic miniatures for the last 35 years. I have a collection of 3,500 hand painted 15 mm figures
which I have put a lot of detail into.

The challenge of producing a model railway layout of a specific location for a specific period is
challenging, given the amount of research required to accurately model the stations.

I have been told by numerous modellers that I have no hope of completing this task, but I have always been determined and
am expecting to spend 15 to 20 years in completing the whole layout.

I shall divide the venture into 3 to make the task more manageable and resist burn out.

I believe constructing base boards of sufficient quality for a layout the whole layout would see me conducting this task
for many months with no variety and little satisfaction that I had really moved forward.
Accordingly I shall begin with Conwy to the stage of building the base bards, laying track, ballasting
and completing at least a fair proportion of the scenery. Once completed I shall move onto Penmaenmawr.

My Army career has taught the value of properly planning.
I have been planning now for 9 months and will need to continue this process.
No plan remains totally static and should be subject to amendment.
Realistically my completion date for the whole layout is 15 to 20 years, but Conwy and then Penmaenmawr are a much closer objective.

I am recruiting local railway enthusiast to assist in my layout.

 I am not Welsh but decided on a layout in the UK due to the great Flying Scotsman model I saw about 45 years ago.

The great thing is that as a result of seeing the 6G website and Charlie Hulme's (North Wales Coast Railway)  website I realized that both
the Flying Scotsman and A1 Pacific, Blue Peter 
visited the North Wales Coast main line in 1966. My great Uncle would be very
impressed if he were alive today.

This means that I can legitimately have both of these LNER locos running a holiday excursion train on my layout while retaining a sense of reality.

I also plan on having some conserved LMS maroon engines as well!


June 1st 2020

The following photos cover the storage yard at the bottom of the layout, some hills around Bangor, and the mountain at the bottom of the layout.


 Coffee grounds provide the earth effect for this hill next to one of the Bangor tunnels. It will be covered with vegetation once completed but the
 coffee provides a good effect for the ground. We have been saving coffee grounds for a year or so!!

The above hill again


The other side of the scenic divider dividing Bangor and Penmaenmawr sections. The mountain with paper mache.
 The flat section with the small vehicle on it in the foreground is the road which use to be used above the Road viaduct.


 The paper mache has been painted and there is a wagon on the road to provide scale.


The underside of the mountain. Painting it in white was an extremely messy process as the wire flicked a lot of the
 paint off the brush before it would apply to the paper.
 I ended up with a very painty hand and arm.


The mountain with the railway bed at the bottom of the mountain.


Start of the process of covering the mountain with scree. I smothered the painted paper liberally with PVA glue and then
 threw crushed concrete at the mountain.
 It was quite therapeutic compared to them more difficult wiring and other quite tricky tasks.


The rail and part of the road viaduct are in place. Both require much more work. The rail viaduct needs to be covered with the appropriate brick and
 stone surfaces while the piers and covering to the road viaduct needs to be done.


Aerial view of the uncompleted viaducts.


Round the other side of the mountain with only chicken wire and the road beds in place (Closer to Penmaenmawr)


The shorter of the 2 avalanche shelters. It still needs to be painted and covered in stone in some places.


 Looking towards Penmaenmawr around the corner, the mountain under development.


 Further around the mountain towards Penmaenmawr.