Making a MQR Postcard

I had a lot of fun putting together this homage to the Penrhyn Quarry Railway.

It all started when I found an online scan of this old postcard while searching for images of the Penrhyn Quarry Railway:

I don’t have a good idea of when the post card was made, but I suspect it would be some time between 1910 and 1950.

I built the MQR version up in PowerPoint, using some photos I had of my Marchlyn rolling stock.


  • Penrhyn Railway Red: R:242, G:68, B: 79
  • Penrhyn Railway Dark Gray: R:83, G:78, B:78
  • Penrhyn Railway Green: R:151, G:211, B:183

The toughest part to recreate was the logo. In the end, I decided to just do a simple two-colour logo with just the Marchlyn Railway name.

MQR Design – Revised Again

I continue to tweak and adjust the plans for the MQR, more recently focusing on the benchwork. A recent post in the Model Railroad Hobbyist forums that led me to a pdf put together by Richard Smith back in the late 2000’s: “Evolution of the Port Orford Coast Railroad: An Experiment in Raised Platform Garden Railroading“. Looking through my hard drive, I found I had downloaded a copy of it back in 2009 but had forgotten about it.

The design keeps the track layout of Version 5 (Piko R3 radius curves with a single passing track) but replaces the deck construction with a simpler 2×4 frame covered with hardware cloth and landscape cloth. The frame is then edged with a 2×4 “fascia”. Roadbed is formed from splines cut from cedar 2×6’s. I am thinking of using foundation screws to anchor the legs in the ground rather than digging holes and using concrete.

What I like about this benchwork method is that it is more more scenic than a deck and it is possible to grow some small plants on the layout proper.

The MQR at a Glance

Scale: 7/8″ or 1:13.7 (45 mm gauge track as 2-foot gauge)
Prototypes: Penrhyn Quarry Railway & Talyllyn Railway
Locale: Wales
Time Period: late 1950’s
Size: 10 x 14 feet
Layout Style: Loop
Layout Height: 48″
Benchwork: Raised Platform (pressure-treated wood) 
Roadbed: Cedar splines
Track: Peco
Minimum Radius: 6′
Maximum Grade: none

Here’s a rough visualization of what it would look like: