Terms of business

These notes set out the procedures that are used when accepting and processing jobs from customers. They are published here for guidance and may be updated at any time. They are only subject to variation by consent by each customer for each job. If a customer agrees to place a job with Rhos Helyg Locomotive Works (RHLW) then the terms set out here will be adhered to by both the customer and RHLW. A model's arrival at RHLW implies the customer's acceptance of these terms without question.


Quotations for work are handled by email. An exchange of emails will take place and the exact nature of the work required will be agreed. Unless otherwise specified, a price for only the labour component of the job will be provided with materials and components not included and subject to additional charge. The quoted price will not include the cost of returning the completed model(s) back to the customer.

The quotation price is valid only at the time it is sent. It may be subject to review when work is about to commence due to changes in circumstances during the sometimes lengthy time period between provision of the initial quote and starting of work.

Miniumum charge is currently (January 2024) £50 per loco.

The RHLW phone number and postal address are deliberately not publicised to any great extent but these details will, of course, be provided to any customer who would like RHLW to do a job for them. Please note that phone calls will only be accepted from 10:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday and not at other times, including weekends.

Booking in a job

Following the acceptance of a quotation, the job will be added to the list of jobs awaiting their turn at RHLW. Jobs are normally processed in a first-in, first-out sequence and there is no queue jumping. However, every effort is made to turn around quick and simple jobs (for example, fitting a chuffer pipe) in the shortest possible time. A customer may request an update on their queue position at any time together with an estimate of when they should send their model for work, although the latter is not binding.

Unfortunately, the strict queueing system means that work cannot usually completed to a specific deadline. Jobs will be processed in queue order, and they will be finished when they are finished.

Addition of a job to the RHLW queue does not form a contract of any kind but does indicate that the customer consents to the terms and conditions on this page. Until the model requiring attention arrives at RHLW there is no commitment by the customer for the work to go ahead, and the job may be cancelled by the customer at any time without penalty.

Advance deposits for work are not requested or required. If a job requires the buying-in of many or expensive components before it can go ahead then an advance payment may be required to cover their cost.


Unless agreed otherwise, the complete model should be sent to RHLW, if possible, in a fully-assembled condition so that there is no need for guesswork during reassembly. All loose parts such as the dome cover, cab roof, safety valve bonnet, etc., should be enclosed and they should be wrapped in small packages to avoid scratch damage and loss. If a model is fitted with radio control then the transmitter will usually need to be sent - please check with RHLW. Unless they are special or exotic, and to reduce weight, there is no need to send loose batteries as the usual sizes (AAA, AA, PP3, etc.) are kept in stock.

PLEASE do not be tempted to think "He won't need that" and not send some component that proves to be essential.

If the model is to be shipped by post or courier then it will need to be packed with care. Attention will also have to be given to the maximum size and weight of package accepted by the chosen carrier. For example, Royal Mail Special Delivery (RHLW recommended shipper) have a size limit of 61cm x 46cm x 46cm, meaning that some Accucraft outer (brown) loco boxes are too big to be used.

Steam locomotives MUST have their boiler drained of water and their gas tank emptied before packing. It is not necessary to drain the lubricator of oil but the filler cap and drain plug must be securely closed.

Loose parts included with the loco must be bagged and not left loose amongst the packaging material where they can be missed during unpacking or cause damage to paintwork during transit.

The best packing method is to pack the model (singular) tightly and securely inside one cardboard box and then pack that box inside another larger cardboard box with another packaging layer (such as bubblewrap or screwed-up newspaper) between the two boxes. Cardboard is more resilient to knocks and impacts than plastic, metal or wood boxes as it absorbs energy as it deforms. Ideally the inner box would be the box that the loco was supplied in by the builder. After packing the complete package should be given a good shake and if anything can be heard or felt moving inside then more packaging material is required.

Remember too that the outer box has a top AND a bottom. Be wary of making a beautiful job of taping the box top closed when there is a real risk of the contents falling out of the bottom.

If sending by post or courier please do not send the model in rigid plastic, metal or wood crates. Cardboard is best.
Please do not use shredded paper or any kind of chippings for packing your model. Both are extremely messy to deal with. Their use may also cause the accidental loss of included parts.
If these materials are used they will be disposed of and a charge mayl be raised for their replacement.

When all is well, and to comply with the insurance conditions, mark the box clearly FRAGILE.

It is the responsibility of the customer to pack their model for safe shipping to RHLW and to arrange sufficient insurance cover with the carrier. If in doubt, please contact RHLW for advice.

It is also advised that the customer arranges suitable and sufficient insurance cover for the model's time at RHLW. "All Risks" cover by the customer's household insurance company may be sufficient. If in doubt, the customer's insurance company should be consulted for advice.

The same packaging materials will be used to return the model to the customer, and there will be a charge for its replacement if the packaging supplied is not suitable for re-use. RHLW will not take responsibliity for any damage caused during return if the packaging supplied does not meet with the "box in box" recommendations given above.

This is an example of the expensive damage that will occur if these instructions are not followed:

At the front of the queue

Once a job approaches the front of the queue then the customer concerned will be contacted and asked that the model is sent or delivered. This will happen before work can start and ensures that the model is here when the workbench is clear.

Confirmation of safe delivery will be sent to the customer as soon as their model arrives at RHLW.

If absolutely necessary, and usually only for exceptionally large models, customers may deliver and/or collect their models from RHLW. However, the model MUST be supplied with sufficient and suitable packaging for its return to the customer to be made by post or courier.

An initial inspection will be performed to ensure that the work agreed in the quotation is feasible and in accordance with the work plan agreed with the customer during the quotation process. Any variance will be discussed with the customer and a further plan of action agreed, together with a revised price for the job if necessary. Again, the customer may choose to cancel the job at this point without penalty but they would be liable for the cost of return shipping.

Work commences

Work will commence on the model as soon as possible, and work will be completed in the shortest possible time. Progress reports, photographs and links to YouTube videos (as appropriate) will be sent to the customer by email. Any problems that arise or questions that need answering will also be sent to the customer by email and, if necessary, work will cease while matters are resolved.

The desire is always to Get It Right and leave the customer delighted with the work.


On completion of work the customer will usually be sent one or more high-quality photographs showing the completed job. Provided the customer is happy with what is seen in the photographs then an appropriate invoice will be produced and sent by email.

Payment may be made by bank transfer or PayPal (non-UK customers only) with instructions for each method provided on the invoice. Payments made by by PayPal will incur an additional charge to cover PayPal's fees.

Payments by cheque cannot be accepted and, other than for small amounts, cash payments also cannot be accepted.

Unless otherwise arranged, payment in full is required within seven days of the invoice date. Arrangements to return the model to the customer will only be made once the payment has been received in full.

Models are returned either by Royal Mail Special Delivery Next Day or by a reputable courier. The customer will need to provide details of an address where a "signed for" delivery can be made, and a telephone number if a courier is used.

Sufficient insurance cover will be arranged that exceeds the monetary value of the model. RHLW cannot be held responsible for a loss in transit. Should a model be lost then RHLW's liability only extends to the insurance value.

RHLW is NOT responsible in any way for the following:
 - Delays or poor service attributable to carriers.
 - Replacing the model in the case of total loss.
 - Any loss or damage however caused if the customer chooses to use a non-insured service for the return of their model.

Photographs and videos of customer models remain the copyright of RHLW and may be used by RHLW for publicity purposes, although customer details will always remain private unless arranged otherwise. Customer photos of their completed models are always welcomed for inclusion on the RHLW web site with suitable credit. Unsolicited comments received may be used by RHLW on the Customer Comments page of this web site but will only show the customer's initials (not full name) and the month and year.

Storage space at RHLW is limited so RHLW reserves the right to charge a daily (per day or part thereof) storage fee for completed models that are awaiting payment or collection two weeks after the invoice date.

If a job is completed and payment is not received within three months then the model, parts and everything else associated with the job become the property of RHLW to do with as RHLW see fit.


Any damage arising during shipping from RHLW to the customer must be reported to RHLW immediately, and RHLW will take the appropriate action to make an insurance claim and/or arrange for repair.

All work is guaranteed for three months from date of return to the customer. In the unlikely event that a problem arises at any time in that period, or if the customer is unhappy with the model as received from RHLW, then the customer should contact RHLW immediately and RHLW will endeavour to find an acceptable solution to the problem. This guarantee is not transferable should the model have a change of ownership during the guarantee period.

For customers based in the United Kingdom: The model would probably have to return to RHLW for further attention. If the problem proves impossible to resolve then a refund will be given to the customer, less the cost of any parts bought-in and fitted to the model.

Should there be a problem with a painting/lining job which proves impossible to resolve then a refund will only be given after the paint and/or lining applied by RHLW has been removed. The model will be returned to the customer in bare metal (or equivalent) condition, i.e. not necessarily in the condition in which it was received by RHLW.

The customer will have to cover the cost of shipping to RHLW, but a refund will be given for this. RHLW will cover the cost of returning the model to the customer.

RHLW would like the opportunity to correct any problems, as soon as possible, but that can only happen if the model is returned to RHLW. Unless otherwise arranged, failure to return the model to RHLW within two weeks from the date of problem notification will result in RHLW assuming that said problem has ceased to exist and no further action will be taken.

For customers based outside of the United Kingdom: Every effort will be made to advise on the correction of any problems found, but due to the cost of shipping to and from RHLW these will be discussed on a case-by-case basis.

This guarantee does not cover accidental damage to the model due to damage in transit, careless handling or operator misuse.

NOTE: Garden railway social media (egroups, forums and Facebook pages) are regularly monitored. Should a problem arise, the guarantee will be put at risk if the customer makes mention of the problem on social media BEFORE informing RHLW or BEFORE giving RHLW reasonable opportunity to correct said problem.

This page was last updated on 11th June 2024