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GWR, Great Western Railway, British Railways, Flying Scotsman, Station track, Caternary set, Steam locomotives, Deisel locomotives, Electric locomotives, Passenger cars, Freight cars, Trucks, Scenery kits. The man who first put steam engines on rails was a tall, strong Cornishman described by his schoolmaster as “obstinate and inattentive”. On February 21, 1804, Trevithick’s pioneering engine hauled 10 tons of iron and 70 men nearly ten miles from Penydarren, at a speed of five miles-per-hour, winning the railway’s owner a 500 guinea bet into the bargain. Perhaps because it was the birthplace, Britain can boast more railway attractions per square mile than any other country. But it is North East England that is known as the birthplace of railways for here, around Newcastle, the world’s first tramways were laid and, later, the world’s first public railway between Stockton and Darlington steamed into life.


At nearby Beamish, the open-air museum of North Country Life – where the past is brought magically to life – there’s an opportunity to see one of the earliest railways re-created. Richard Trevithick (1771-1833), who learnt his craft in Cornish tin mines, built his “Penydarren tram road engine” for a line in South Wales whose primitive wagons were pulled, slowly and laboriously, by horses. He was 20 years ahead of his time – Stephenson’s “Rocket” was not even on the drawing board but Trevithick’s engines were seen as little more than a novelty.
The figures are impressive: more than 100 heritage railways and 60 steam museum centres are home to 700 operational engines, steamed-up by an army of 23,000 enthusiastic volunteers and offering everyone the chance to savour a bygone age by riding on a lovingly preserved train. Though small in stature, these narrow-gauge lines are real working railways, originally built to haul slate and other minerals out of the mountains, but now a wonderful way for visitors to admire the scenery, which is breathtaking.
Feel the wind – and steam – in your hair as you travel in open carriages behind a working replica of a pioneering engine such as Stephenson’s Locomotion No.1, built in 1825.


There are eight lines to choose from and one, the Ffestiniog Railway, is the oldest of its kind in the world. Part of Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry is situated in the world’s oldest passenger station; and the ‘Thinktank’ museum in Birmingham contains the world’s oldest active steam engine, designed by James Watt in 1778.
We’ve created a list of blogs, written by model railway lovers, that follow their creative pursuit to reproduce the railway world in miniature.Rhyd DduRhyd DduThis blog describes the planning, woodwork and track laying as well as the wiring, scenery, and rolling stock of one man’s recreation of Rhyd Ddu in miniature.



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Category: thomas the train table set up | 21.07.2015


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