Design, Inspiration & Location


Tredethy Wharf track plan

A very simple track plan. I am hoping the layout will convey a spacious feel and not look cramped. The loop can hold three wagons and the siding seven wagons.

Inspiration & Location

The inspiration for Tredethy Wharf came from two photographs that kept catching my eye in a couple of books I have about the railways around Bodmin. One photograph was of a Beattie Well tank crossing the road at Hellandbridge crossing. The second photograph was again of a Beattie Well tank but shunting wagons at Tresarret Wharf. Both locations were on the Wenfordbridge branch in Cornwall.

Over the years I've had a growing interest in the railways around Bodmin and have gathered information and drawn many plans for models based in the area. One branch line that I'd been avoiding basing a model on was the Wenfordbridge branch due to it being a 'goods only' line. I then realised this might be an advantage. With the time I have available and the speed at which I work a goods only line does reduce the rolling stock requirements considerably. So I thought about creating a fictitious wharf by trying to combine the two images that kept catching my eye in my books. Recollecting that Tresarret Wharf had a siding removed in 1932 ... eureka ... If I create a Tresarret style loop at Helland and add a siding this might make a small starter layout with a little bit of shunting interest.


Why the title Tredethy Wharf? My alternative history is the owner of Tredethy Manor held a large number of shares in the Bodmin Wadebridge Railway at its inception. This enabled him to use his influence for a wharf siding constructed the other side of the river Camel from Tredethy Manor. I have set the model at Hellandbridge, but used modellers' license to move the wharf siding from behind the cottage to the other side of the road and added a loop like Tresarrett Wharf.

Traffic was very basic along the Boscarne to Wenfordbridge section of the line, consisting of china clay from the Wenford Clay Dries at Poley's Bridge; coal was required to fuel the Clay Dries; the goods terminus at Wenfordbridge received coal and general goods; along the line the wharf sidings received wagons as as when required by the local Wharfinger. Some timber was transported which was sourced from the woods along the Camel Valley. There was also stone traffic from the De Lank Quarries, which had a rail connection to the sidings at Wendfordbridge.

The layout is not set in a particular time frame, as most of the line did not change much from opening in 1934 until most of the wharf siding were closed by 1970. The line finally closed for china clay traffic in 1983. These facts help to give me an opportunity to, eventually, build a small but varied locomotive and wagon fleet.

Page updated 03-04-2020