The Branch Line Society


City of Newport Model Engineering Society
Saturday 19th March 2016

24 participants from the Pontypool & Blaenavon visit made the 30-minute journey to the 'Glebelands Miniature Railway', where they were joined by another three who had travelled especially from Eastbourne, Gillingham (Kent) and Reading. It is not the sort of place that anyone would stumble across by accident (or find without detailed directions). Glebelands Park is in a loop of the River Usk with the M4 cutting it off along the south; the Newport to Hereford railway is to the east. It was surprising how many trains passed during the mid/late afternoon visit and your reporter was not alone in never having noticed the miniature from a passing 'big' train before. A range of motive power and trains were available for participants to ride. Even steam was running on the elevated 3½"/5" circuit. Some fast runs were made around the well laid ground level 7½" gauge outer circuit, and more gingerly over the inner cut off circuit in the southwest corner.

Some of the participants at the rare platform.
[© Steve King 2016]

Rare track was available in the form of the connection to the 'other' ground level station platform line and, something which no one present had done before, was setting back up the incline to the elevated steaming bays (or should that be raised steam-ing bays?). These trips reached the end of the embankment, beyond which it was literally 'light engines only' (as in no driver even). The new bays themselves were connected by a rather broad-gauge traverser worked by a hand crank and chain. Participants could have as many rides as they wished before making for the clubhouse for the promised 'light refreshments'. These turned out to be a positive banquet, and easily enough to feed twice as many. Fortunately, there was a good turnout of club members for our private running to assist! Participants socialised and learnt about the well developed plans for railway expansion here (now 2,000ft) and took in the interesting projected visual display. A very friendly and accommodating railway; the perfect accompaniment to the P&B trip. Running days: usually (check first) first Saturday in the month subject to weather.

The outer loop, passing a narrow gauge wagon
[© Kev Adlam 2016]