Well this is it. I'm starting a layout and a blog at the same time. I know a bit about railways but not so much about computer trickery so it could be interesting to see where this goes.
The layout is set in Bethania, a real hamlet alongside the Afon Glaslyn up the valley from Beddgelert in an area known as Nant Gwynant. Today it has a chapel that's been converted into a tea shop, a bunkhouse, a few cottages and a car park as it sits at the start of the Watkin Path up Snowdon.
At the end of the 19th century the North Wales Narrow Gauge Rlys gained the rights to build a rly from Porthmadog to Betws Y Coed through Nant Gwynant and Capel Curig. Bethania assumes that this line was built and a success and Bethania had a private line to the South Snowdon Slate Quarries. Sitting at the foot of the Watkin Path up Snowdon it will also have a small tourist appeal. At the minute I'm not sure whether to set it around 1910 (clean-ish locos and stock) or in the early 1920s assuming there has been a resurgance in slate and tourist traffic (clean-ish locos and stock and some ex-WD stock).
The track diagram gives an idea of roughly how it will look. The masterplan is to be as accurate to history as I can. The chapel and terrace will be modelled, NWNGR locos and stock will be used in NWNGR livery. This will be a bit of a challenge as it was influenced so much by the Portmadoc Beddgelert and South Snowdon Rly and later the Welsh Highland Railway, none of which would have existed had the NWNGR been a commercial success. That said Russell will be an allowed compromise, as will the assumption that a link was built between Beddgelert and Rhyd Ddu.
Hopefully more to follow!