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Everything posted by jhb171achill

  1. Dugort Harbour

    At last, a new year and a new layout, after a gap of many years with a garden railway dismantled some 6 years ago, and the Austrian 009 in boxes for longer. I'm really starting from scratch here, and plan to show bits and pieces as this develops. It truly is at start stage now, as all i have are two coach kits, a signal cabin kit, a 141 and a J15. The layout will be based on an imaginary GSWR outer terminus, something like Valentia Harbour, inspired by Westport Quay, Baltimore, and the like. The idea is that there's a long branch from somewhere civilised, where the Dublin trains arrive, and this outer outpost was probably built in 1890 with thoroughly unrealistic expectations as to how busy it would become! Result - it's become a backwater off a backwater, surviving only because of beet and maybe (like Westport Quay) to bring an oil tank full of diesel for CIE buses down every so often. It's the mid 60s, and the line hasn't long left - it will eventually succumb to the 1967 round of closures which killed the Mallow-Waterford and Thurles-Clonmel lines. That's the setting. I had agonised for quite some time as to whether to resurrect my 009 stuff, as German and Austrian narrow gauge has always been a big interest of mine. Using 9mm gauge would have allowed a significantly sized terminus for long distance trains - a Corris-type thing with a few tiny slate wagons was never of much interest to me personally. On the other hand, as Leslie, Murphys, SSM and others here brought out more and more "proper" Irish stuff, I became tempted. Trouble was, like so many others here, space was at a premium, and the only way to do a "round-and-round" 00 gauge was to go into the garage. This place is used by daughter's car, so it would be necessary to have it on some sort of electric hoist when the car was in. After some consultation with one of our experts here, it became clear that this is only going to happen when i win the Euromillions. Since I don't buy tickets, I have to concede that this is unlikely to happen any time soon. So it was back into the house. A chance conversation with someone in the 009 Society (of which I am a member) suggested selling the lot of Austrian stuff - in fact, I advertised them here too. I am also a member of the Austrian Railway Group, and I advertised them there too. So it was back to the area once reserved for an 009 layout. It became clear that a shunting / fiddle yard layout is all that's possible here, so there it is; the genesis for the idea. What it will lack in operational possibilities (in terms of a continuous run and terminus shunting), it will hopefully make up for in other ways. Small outer termini like those referred to above tended not to change much through their lives. We see Arigna Road, Bantry and so on - you could put stock dating from typical scenes in the 1930s there, and 1960s, and neither would look out of place. Thus, to provide interest, I intend to eventually have a set of stock around 1945 (GSR maroon gives way to CIE dark green era), another set to deal with mid to late fifties; this allows laminates, early diesels and Park Royals to appear, and by degrees, we're out of the grey'n'green era into the black'n'tan. So what it lacks in operational variety, it will hopefully make up for in rolling stock interest. Things like J15s and six-wheeled coaches will span all of these periods, as will many wagons. I'm currently in discussions with Baseboard Dave and others - updates will be posted as things develop during the year. I post this initially as I'm aware that there are others here with issues about space, and thoughts on how to deal with it. I did consider N gauge, but until and unless there are a good range of high quality kits, or better still, RTR stuff, this isn't going to happen for either myself or many others. Maybe, in ten years time, there will be enough N stuff - for example, one might expect 3D printing to improve drastically in quality, but we'll see. I intend to have this finished to a high exhibition standard and displayed. But that won't happen overnight, and will involve me perusing in great detail the scenic works of a number of maestros, like the Holmans of Arigna, for example.
  2. Dugort Harbour

    Dugort Harbour takes shape. Highly impressed after a visit to Baseboard Dave in the distant lands of Deepest Edenderry....
  3. C.I.E. Last Steam Train Driver passes

    I think there are still a small number of GNR and UTA / NIR men alive. Frank Dunlop and Barney McCrory spring to mind.
  4. David's Workbench

    The CVR stuff certainly appears to be a mix. CIE narrow gauge wagons ended up in a deplorable state - thus, rust. A few CDRJC wagons appear to have had some black ironwork, but others all grey. When jhb171Senior visited the CVR in 1937, nothing black was to be seen on any wagon ironwork - at least, not by him. However, I have certainly seen photos showing black on some stock at least, so it is likely that the policy changed at some stage. As Mayner says, however, on the NCC, UTA, GNR, GSR and CIE, ironwork was never picked out in black. Nor on the BCDR. Exception: the BCDR had eight private owner wagons belonging to C Ritchie. Initially at least, these had black ironwork. The East Downshire wagons also look as if they may have had black ironwork, but photographs are inconclusive given weathering and rust. In reality, black and white photos are highly unreliable for colour shades - very obviously!!
  5. David's Workbench

    I absolutely love this ongoing work of art. An aside, in the photo; this is where modellers have in the past assumed black painted ironwork; rust on same, despite being originally painted body colour! This will appear darker in black and white photos. (You can see one end member in better unrusted order). I always presume that this common misunderstanding is behind the "zebra stripes" on Whitehead's "Ivan" (though it doesn't excuse the cream inside balcony ends on it, also responsible for misleading modellers! Dunno where they got that one.....!)
  6. Travelogue of Northern Ireland

    Interesting stuff..... with its main line railcars, the NCC was well up to date - easy, when you had a parent with deep pockets.
  7. C.I.E. Last Steam Train Driver passes

  8. barrow street

    Warb, I am speechless. How has this one remained secret! Your layout is among the top masterpieces I've ever seen. An urban setting is rarely done with convincing scenery. Everything about that - the setting, proportions, atmosphere and accuracy is absolutely top class. Well done! Maybe more about your locos and stock?
  9. IRM Plough Preordering Now Open!

    I've been to the doctor, Noel. There's good news - if you have an infestation of bogies, the antidote is a pair of filthy J15s and a green "C" class. They'll shunt them into a shed, allowing proper four-wheeled goods stock to take their place.
  10. Patricks Layout

    Damn!! Todd Andrews at his work again......! He'll be shutting the West Cork and the Harcourt Street lines next!
  11. Ballyercall (New Irish Layout

    Very promising type of layout - and that track looks so much better than older types.
  12. GNR Signal Box

    Yes, the NCC cabins were very distinctive with their large roof overhangs. NCC and GNR cabins would be quite incompatible with layouts based on the other company; indeed, NCC cabins in particular, being unique in design, would fit in nowhere else, like DSER ones.
  13. GNR Signal Box

    I'd be interested in it, PaulC.
  14. murrayec's Projects

    Ahhh sure they're philistines, Eoin. See what it looks like in Translink "red bull" for the craic.......
  15. murrayec's Projects

    Wowww!!! (Just needs lined blue paint now, and a big "G N"!)
  16. 4 wheel timber wagons?

    They look it, yes. The 201s always seemed a slight shade lighter, but I never compared them up close. The difference is probably exaggerated a bit in the photo, as 084 is straight out of the paint pot, while 218 is a bit worn.
  17. OOn3 layout ideas

    That's the one! And a mighty good condition one too, by the look of it. Snap it up, it's a rare gem!
  18. CIE Locomotive Grey specification

    'Tis true indeed, prototypically, but in this case the contrast is too great; the rest of the loco looks to clean to match the way the smokebox is.
  19. CIE Locomotive Grey specification

    It's BS18 BS29 Raven, I'm reliably informed. This is what is on 186 currently, and when painted this way all eye witnesses who saw her, and who remembered the original, agreed that it looked correct.
  20. CIE Locomotive Grey specification

    Excellent.... and if you look at the wheels in the lower pic, you can see what it looks like when oily. The upper pic shows a rare thing - what it looked like when clean in working days! Note the smokebox. It looks much darker, and it is - but this is far from prototypical. The RPSI correctly painted it grey like the rest of the loco, but because some volunteers simply thought it "didn't look right" (always a fatal mistake in historical accuracy in preservation), they "allowed" it to darken through not polishing it clean.
  21. OOn3 layout ideas

    That book was Fayle's "Narrow Gauge Railways of Ireland", published in 1947. A very rare beast indeed, with many rare photos. I have a much-prized copy in my catacomb-like archive......

    Very many thanks for that, Noel....I couldnt agree more. As a regular user of Galway (and other) stations nowadays, I see absolutely nothing of what inspired me in the past. Progress, no doubt, as many will say - a modernised railway is better than none at all. Doesn't make much consolation for oul fossils like me who remember steam, flying snails, green things, and the black'n'tan era from birth to death.......! Didn't get pm, by the way....maybe resend?
  23. PRE-GROUPING AND GSR COACHES IN THE CIE ERA FOR MODELLERS The purpose of this article is to provide a brief summary of the types of wooden stock to be seen on the CIE system between 1950 and 1975. I’ll do it in two parts. This bit gives a bit of background to the wooden bodied vehicles still very much alive and well into the black’n’tan era, and in a few cases just past the “Supertrain” era. A few wooden bodied bogies of ex-GSWR origin could be seen alongside Mk 2 air-con “Supertrain” coaches for an overlap period of barely 2 years, 1972-4. The next instalment will concentrate on what Ratio / Hornby or other vehicles can be approximated to some of the actual types in existence in the post-1955, i.e. diesel era. Prepare yourself, what follows is a dry dusty and long winded piece; I did say I’d little else to do today! I’ll do the second bit over the next few days. I hope that it is of interest. Particularly with younger modellers in mind (to me, that’s anyone under forty!), it is important firstly to bear in mind how the average train on the average railway differed in times past. With the growing popularity of the “grey’n’green era” (1945-62) and the “black’n’tan era” (1962-72), it is easy for those seeking accuracy to see the past through the eyes of the present. Since the “Supertrain era” (1972-87), plus more modern times, it is the norm for a passenger or goods train to comprise a long line of a single type of vehicle. The opposite was the case almost from the dawn of the railway age. Many layouts today have this feature because today it IS accurate – it is prototypical. But in creating accurately a scene from any time prior to 1975 or so, even a long train could barely have two vehicles alike. Today, different types of trains have different couplings, different electrics, different corridor gangways (unless IE have sealed them over with tin foil). In the very recent past, EVERY vehicle on EVERY line, originating with EVERY company, had EXACTLY the same couplings. There was no such thing as “you can’t couple this to that” until the 1970s, when we find that Cravens or laminates can’t be mixed with Mk 2’s in traffic as the corridor connections weren’t compatible, and NIR’s 80s and Castles* weren’t compatible unless one was hauling the other dead. (* They were never called “450”s, still less “thumpers”, when in use!) So, during the black’n’tan and grey’n’green eras and before, if accuracy is the goal, we need to rethink entirely what’s on our layout. Instead of the common theme of trains of a number of identical vehicles – a “rake” of this and a “rake” of that – hauled by a variety of engines, it’s the other way round. Most lines had only one or two different types of loco, but rarely had two wagons or carriages behind them that were the same! So many GSWR branches rarely saw anything but J15s, thus a model would have half a dozen of them and nothing else, but no two carriages alike. Against all of this background, we might look at the bewildering array of carriages types, ages and origins pre-1970, or more so pre-1960. This is what the following will attempt to unravel. In 1925 all companies whose lines were entirely within the Irish Free State would amalgamate into the GSR. This excluded lines within the 26 counties which had a cross border element: the LLSR, CDR, SLNCR, DNGR and of course above all the GNR. Some of these companies were tiny, and possessed no stock of their own, being worked by a neighbour. Others (e.g. the Waterford & Tramore) had only a few vehicles, whereas the overwhelming majority of the GSR’s coaching stock was previously owned by the DSER, MGWR and GSWR. The distinctive curved-ended stock of the erstwhile WLWR was by now already included in GSWR stock, following their earlier takeover of that concern. The CBSCR had a reasonable stock of elderly relics of their own. There’s a lot more to the overall story than this, but suffice to say, as far as the modeller is concerned, what was still running in the 1950s onwards is probably of most interest. The purpose of this tome is to illustrate what is possible to represent in varying degrees of accuracy, at the top end of which is obviously a total scratchbuild from original plans. Many existing kits can be made to look like many prototypes – and there’s practically a prototype for everything. Carriages were built in small batches – often, as one-offs or a pair or trio. Take the “Pullmans” for example – they are not known to have ever run in one train, so a “rake” of them, possibly suitable for Britain, was most certainly not the case here. Instead, they’d put one on each of several trains. The rest of the train – anything and everything. Firstly, the design features. The Midland, like the GSWR, had two distinctive roof profiles, in each case the older “flat” (low curved) and the later “elliptical” (high curved). Each company had a distinct profile for the higher version, the MGWR one being somewhat flatter on top. Window heights and shapes, and door handle designs, gave away the company origin too. DSER stock had its own window design, but was often characterised by a visibly wider chassis, and a high-pitched curved roof. Midland stock was distinguished by windows with square bottom corners and curved top corners. WLWR stock usually had curved-in ends, like the English Midland Railway; the WLWR being the only Irish company to include this design feature. After CIE took over in 1945, they inherited a motley collection of museum pieces. Apart from the “Bredins” (as we now know them) or “steels” as they were then known, it was basically the same ageing stock inherited twenty years earlier by the GSR. However, from 1951, CIE started building their own stock (very much modelled on the “Bredins”) and this led to increasing withdrawal of the older types, the average age of which was now about forty five years. By 1950, most DSER types had been withdrawn. By 1955, only 19 ex-WLWR vehicles survived. These included the only six bogie vehicles that company ever owned – two each of thirds, composites and brake composites, all 48ft long. That’s 192mm body length in 00 scale. By 1959/60, only 7 were on the books. PASSENGER CARRYING BOGIE In traffic 1955 In traffic 1970 GSWR GSWR (Ex WLWR) 188 6 26 0 MGWR 16 0 DSER Unknown - few 0 CBSCR 4 (see note below) 0 PASSENGER CARRYING 6 WHEEL GSWR GSWR (Ex WLWR) 82 13 0 0 MGWR 68 0 DSER Unknown – possibly nil 0 CBSCR 2 0 NON PASSENGER CARRYING BOGIE GSWR GSWR (Ex WLWR) 15 0 7 at least, possibly 11 0 MGWR 0 as far as known 0 DSER 0 as far as known 0 CBSCR 0 0 NON PASSENGER CARRYING 6 WHEEL GSWR 63 1* GSWR (Ex WLWR) 0 as far as known 0 MGWR Some in use but number unknown 0 CBSCR Possibly 1 0 *This was the last six-wheeled vehicle ever to operate in traffic with CIE. It was No. 79, dating from 1887. The last passenger carrying six-wheeled coaches were withdrawn officially in 1964, but were last used in 1963. It is believed that the last ever use of one of these was an ex-MGWR example in which a party of Cork area IRRS members travelled from Glanmire Road to Albert Quay and back in that summer. Mail vans are not included. Several ex-GSWR mail vans were in use a few years longer in the 1970s. For the West Cork system, nineteen vehicles were on the books in 1955, though most would be withdrawn in 1957. By 1959 / 60, four remained. Two were six-wheeled, one being of interest in having its origin on the LLSR before it had been converted to narrow gauge. The other two were very short bogies, 37ft and 48ft long. These non-standard products of the West Cork’s workshops at Albert Quay were for the sharply curved Courtmacsherry branch, where such relics lived on because newer coaches were too long for the curves. None strayed into the non-Cork world, thus models of these are only historically appropriate on a West Cork-based layout. Almost every Irish company had 30ft as their standard length for six-wheeled coaches, including the GSWR, DSER, WLWR and MGWR. So a 30ft scale chassis would be a good thing to have available even as a kit. That’s 120mm body length. The BCDR was different with several longer variations. Vehicles of ex-GSWR and WLWR origin just had their number inherited from GSWR days. Ex-MGWR carriages had “M” added, thus MGWR No. 124 was now 124M, while ex-Bandon stock had “B”, and DSER stock “D” after their numbers. Construction of some of the very first coaches technically introduced by the GSR had been started by the GSWR, and their “architecture” would be continued for several years – thus the very few coaches completed by the GSR are identical in design to GSWR types. Only after the “steels” came in, did a distinct GSR style emerge – very closely like the English LMS, whose lined maroon livery Inchicore would copy almost exactly from 1933. Early CIE types introduced 1951-3 would be similar to these “Bredins”, with the later “laminates” built between 1956 and 1959 being developments of these. I have not included details above of ex-GNR types which came into CIE stock in 1958. That's for another day. And then we’re off into the era of the Cravens, and after that it all went downhill fast as we stopped building, and started importing standard BR tin cans....... The Supertrain era is born! And jhb171achill slips into a coma; too old to hear new chimes, as yer man said. It has been decreed; all trains forever hence will have a standard rake of exactly the same type of vehicle, for ever and ever, amen. And they all lived happily ever after. Now finish yer cocoa. JB 060118
  24. Photographic Website Updates

    Amazing the amount of growth round GVS now. I remember how barren it looked when it opened over twenty years ago.
  25. "Well, I was standing on the platform - it was a sunny evening" What was happening? "A goods engine was shunting cattle wagons, and there were a lot of them in the station, as there was a fair somewhere the next day" I thought you used to go fishing at that time of year? Would it not have been in the evening? "I had an early start the next day, so I watched the shunting for a while and went home" Where was home? "Up the Chanterhill Road - the railway owned the house. The Sligo Leitrim's traffic manager lived next door, but I doubt if the Sligo Leitrim owned the place. It was at the top of the hill behind the station and you could hear the early morning shunting" So what happened? "Well, the engine stuck a few Sligo Leitrim wagons onto the front of the train, making it up to maybe forty wagons. The rest were Great Northern, maybe a couple of CIE, because on fair days they'd borrow them now and again. The van was on the end. He coupled up to the lot and got the road - that was a shunt signal, of course. When he opened the regulator, off went the engine with the coupling off the leading wagon dragging behind it. The wagons stayed put!" What happened? Did the guard have the brakes on? "Not at all! The train was ready to move. The leading few wagons were Sligo ones and I had noticed were as rotten as anything I'd seen. They were falling to bits!" So what happened? "They just took it off, and had a good look at the other Sligo ones, and told Manorhamilton to come and take it away!" .......... This story was told to me years ago by jhb171 senior, and is almost a mirror image of what had happened to a sand train in Lisburn some ten years earlier!

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