I’ve been asked to place these photos of Festiniog and Penrhyn Quarry railway chairs on the site for everyone’s information.
The hardware was supplied to me by Adrian Gray when I showed a willingness to produce brass masters of them for castings in 7mm. scale. I also decided to do them in 1/32nd scale, should anyone have the space for a chaired tracked layout in that fine scale.
Here are some photos I took in June 2006 on the Vale of Rheidol railway in Wales at Aberffrwd station. Note the substantial nature of the track (c. 60lb/yd) and modern pointwork which is typical of modern preserved NG railways in the UK.
The weights of flat bottom rail used in typical prototype 2′ narrow gauge railways ranged from 20lb-30lb (per yard) for small industrial use up to 60lb for ‘main’ lines. Nowadays some of the modern restored railways use even larger weights. Flat bottomed rail of these lower weights typically have square dimensions, in that the height of the rail matches the width of the rail foot, whereas the larger rail sizes such as used on modern standard gauge railways tend to be taller than the foot width.
Most model rail is a representation of a mainline rail size in a smaller scale so when used as narrow gauge rail in our scale it will either be too tall or too narrow. Usually the head width is noticeably too narrow as well.
The attached table of British NG rail and sleeper sizes (PDF) shows the main (flat bottom) rail weights and sleeper sizes and spacing for some of the principle British narrow gauge railways at various stages of their existence.