Narrow Gauge North


Gilderdale Mine

A 009 layout by Peter Hogarth
Scale 009 (4mm/1ft)
Gauge 9mm
Size 5’ x 2’

In the late 1800’s , early 1900’s there was a great deal of mining activity in the South Tyne Valley. Gilderdale Mine represents what might have been developed near Gilderdale Moor towards the top end of the South Tynedale valley.

This is not far from the town of Alston, home of the current South Tynedale narrow gauge railway. The South Tynedale narrow gauge railway now runs on the trackbed of the old Alston to Haltwhistle branch line, running from Alston to Gilderdale.
Sometime in the past, the mining company developed a small narrow gauge system to get their minerals, mostly galena and fluorspar to a transfer siding, on the standard gauge Alston to Haltwhistle branch, as did many mining operations along its length.

The lead was found to have a high silver content so the operation of a railway has become viable.

In later years a stone quarry was developed near the mine providing ballast and stone for building creating extra revenue for the railway which runs mostly mineral/mine traffic with the occasional workmen’s coach for the quarry or the mine.
The railway operated mostly steam in the early life of the railway in and around the early 1900’s . A mixture of steam and diesels are operated at a later period, followed by purely diesel in the latter years of the life of the railway. You will find running on the layout a number of kit built loco’s, steam and diesel, on N gauge chassis as well as mostly kit built mineral wagons and vans. The buildings are mostly modified standard 00 kits with one or two buildings scratch built, the scenery is built up using polystyrene, plaster, flocks, and paint.

The layout was designed to show what could be achieved in a small space. It is an attempt to capture the spirit and atmosphere of a typical narrow gauge mineral railway built to serve a very real industry which provided much wealth in the past. The scenery attempts to reflect the type of scenery found in the South Tyne Valley in the Pennines.

Finally, I would like to thank all my friends in the 009 Society for their advice and encouragement. The layout has appeared in a past issue of ‘009 News’.