Happy New Year! What a wet and windy start it is here in Mid Wales. Thankfully we’ve been making the most of the good weather in the last days of 2014, spending Monday at Llangollen for a first trip on the new extension to Corwen. It was a beautiful clear blue sky day, very cold but the mulled wine and mince pies served en-route helped! It’s also the first time I’ve seen 5199 in steam after seeing her in the works earlier in the year, paired up with a set of crimson and cream stock. This was the perfect day to experience the line, the sun warming the south facing hillsides and the lee sides in hard frost.
I spent New Years Eve with friends in Rhayader and our last outing of the year was to walk part of the Mid Wales line north towards the remains of the Wye bridge and Marteg Halt. I’ve only seen the track bed from the road before so it was interesting to see what was left of the line, if anything. The biggest surprise was what I think is remains of a concrete distant signal post, about a mile north of Rhayader. Some cast iron kissing/crossing gates were a few yards further up the line, along with a few piles of bricks from a demolished plate layers hut in the undergrowth. Before we turned back we took a look at the remains of the old Wye bridge, the concrete stanchions still standing tall either side the river.
Today I’ve finished the replacement pipework on 5726. For the injector overflow pipe I’ve used slightly smaller washers, reamed out to fit the copper wire as I think they look a little more to scale than my previous effort. For the steam heating pipework I fancied having a go at creating the effect of cloth cladding so I’ve experimented with some surgical tape. Micropore has a fibrous texture and I think might be just about fine enough to look something like the real thing.
The handrails have also been completed, using Markits short 1.6mm knobs, not Alan Gibson as I’d originally thought. Final job now is the whistles and shield before painting finally!