‘00’ – BARRY & PENARTH MRC
Situated somewhere in the Forest of Dean, Bicsdale is a fictional place where one of the typical drift coal mines is operating in the Forest in the 1950’s. Originally built to serve a somewhat remote nearby small township, the mine has a connection from the Ross and Monmouth railway and there is still plenty of passenger traffic with station facilities and a timber merchant also on hand. The extension into the yard through the bridge to the side of the tunnel entrance was formed when Bicsdale number 1 drift (this now closed entrance can be seen close to the coal drops) was found to be capable of producing sufficient coal to export via the railway. Later on the mining operation was transferred to number 2 drift, and the tramway runs off-scene towards that entrance which is still in use. Regular services both passenger and freight run from both the Chepstow and Pontypool directions normally with ex-GWR locos and from north of Ross with ex-LMS stock, still maintaining the joint running of pre-nationalisation days.
Pointwork is all hand-built using C&L matched to their flexitrack. Operation is completely DCC, including point control, managed by JMRI, and normally controlled using tablets and smart-phones. All stock is fitted with Kadee® couplings for ease of shunting.