Earl travelling past the mill

Melin Dolrhyd is a mill on the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway. Built long before the railway, the mill was on the banks of the River Banwy and when the line was actually built the line was threaded between the mill and the river, creating a very recognisable stretch of line.

Modelling an historical location has had its challenges. There is plenty of information to be found in the books referenced on the resources page but there are limited views of most faces of the mill around the early 20th century which is the period I have attempted to model.

The mill still exists today, as a residential property, and can be found through Google Maps.

Rear of the mill

The primary feature of the layout is the mill itself. Whilst several photos exist, I have not been able to confirm what the construction was and what was added to over time. I have not come across any pictures of the mill prior to the railway being inserted and so I have had to take a best guess of some of the features.

There are pictures of the mill in the 1950s that show it being rendered on the left wall and that rendering is coming off. There is no data to say whether or not the building was originall rendered. I chose to model it without the rendering which still left me having to model stonework, timber cladding and half timbers. The half timbered wall is towards the rear of the layout and is not often seen.


The original railway had two almost identical engines known as The Earl and The Countess. They have a very unique wheelbase which makes them a challenge to model. Golden Arrow used to sell a kit and I, like many others, are waiting either for it to be re-released or for unbuilt kits to come on the market. Nine Lines produce nearly all the wagons and the coaches are available as scratch aids from Worsley Works.

With such limited stock being needed, I am adding to the roster, some of the preserved items that are in use on the line. Here is the Wasp maintenance railcar crossing one of the sluices. Joan is also available as a kit and will be seen in service on the layout.

Read the blog Read the Facebook page Download the flyer Drop me an email

Articles about Melin Dolrhyd have appeared in the following publications

Melin Dolrhyd is scheduled to appear at the following exhibitions:


If you are interested in having Melin Dolrhyd at your exhibition then here is some useful information for exhibition managers.

Name Melin Dolrhyd
Gauge 9mm
Scale 4mm to 1 foot (009 Narrow Gauge)
Size 6′ 6″ x 2′ 6″, operated from behind
Insurance £5,000
Power 1 x 13 amp socket
Expenses Cost of fuel plus accomodation where necessary
Location Reading, Berkshire
Operators 2

Exhibitions already attended

  1. Swallowfield, May 2019
  2. Pewsey, Aug 2019
  3. Reading, Feb 2020