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Glover

Glover's workbench

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On my layout thread, Pettigo Co Donegal, JHB mentioned the ever shortening list of Irish wagons which are not available, either RTR or as kits. One was the Palvan.

This can actually be made relatively easily, using the Parkside Dundas BR Palvan. I seem to recall that John Mayner has also followed this route. In fact, I've built two but don't ask me why they are different shades of grey; I possibly built them at different times. That might also explain the difference in buffer heights ; damm modern cameras! image.jpg

The major change is to the sliding door although I fitted larger buffers; MJT BR buffers.

Reports from the time say that there was a shortage of components to manufacture the ends and hence there were three variations. I have attempted to demonstrate this point.image.jpg

 

These vans were introduced in 1964 and hence are marginally out of period for my layout which is set in 1963; serious offence!

I use S&W couplings on most of my freight stock, which might explain the hole at the end of one van; never noticed it before!

 

Glover

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Correct Nelson.

They are MJT BR heavy duty wagon buffers, 1 ft 8".

Product code is 2350.

They have a footstep on one side but I usually rotate them so that this feature is on the bottom and not visible.

 

Cheers,

Glover

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There may actually have been four or five variants Kirley!

While looking for photos to respond to your point I came across a Flickr site with two photos of these vans: one with a corrugated end more or less as I have modelled and one with what seems to be bracing on a plain end. However, the doors on both are different to each other and different to what I have modelled.

I thought these things were straight forward!

Not sure how to link but if you put "Flickr Brian Flanigan Irish Rolling Stock" into Google, it should bring the site up immediately.

Apologies for the slightly involved directions.

Regards,

Glover

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While Irish passenger trains of the 1950s/1960s, especially on CIE, could be described as a

'clattery collection of carriages', goods trains, again on CIE were quite uniform: primarily covered vans, most of them of the standard H type.

 

I've been building up a van train over a long number of years ( some of the Parkside kits based vans were bought from Kings Cross Models which I used to visit when using the original Ryanair service to Luton).

This is what I've got so far:image.jpg

 

In truth, this is probably too varied and will need a degree of weeding out, to achieve a more standardised appearance.

I've shown the Palvans already so I'll focus on some of the others, starting with the 'easy' wins, in terms of modelling Irish goods vans.

 

Between 1954 and 1956, the GNR built a series of vans to carry bagged cement, an important traffic for them given the cement plant at Drogheda. On the break up of the GNR in 1957, all rolling stock was divided equally between CIE and the UTA. This left both operations with surpluses and shortages. This led to a swop agreement between the two companies whereby CIE gained all of these wagons while the UTA received some spare BUT railcars.

image.jpg

 

The Parkside British Railways 12 ton van with plywood sides ( product reference PC08A) is to my eyes a virtual replica of the GNR van. I suppose like most kit builders, I couldn't build it without some modification. I added some strengthening strips to the roof plus I added a small 'n' after the number; CIE did not renumber any ex GNR stock. I should also 'distress' the GN lettering a little more, to suggest a van which has not been repainted since new. I should say that their career as bagged cement carriers seems to have been relatively short ( the 'bubbles' took over much cement transport from 1964/5 onwards) and can therefore be used as general merchandise wagons.

Leslie McAllister, Provincial Wagons, produced a run of these using a Dapol model as a basis.

I think I'm right in saying that it was Leslie's first project.

 

The next is an actual Provincial Wagons kit of a GNR 10 ton van.image.jpg

 

It's a very nice kit, with added weight embedded in the chassis. It's lettered as a GN van on one side but on the other, I've over painted the lettering, as CIE did with quite a number of GN wagons.image.jpg

 

I have to say that I'm somewhat disappointed with my own work on this. The grey is too dark

( I think I was closer to the mark with the bagged cement wagon) although the roof is not as white as it appears in the photo. Also, the weathering is a bit crude; must do better!

 

Anyway, these two vans plus the previously featured Palvans are a relatively straight forward way of achieving Irish goods vans, suited to the 1950s to early 1970s.

 

Glover

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The darker grey, Glover, is actually absolutely correct for GNR or pre-1956 (or so) CIE, as well as NCC. BCDR vans were if anything, very marginally darker still. The lighter grey that most of us remember on "H" vans was introduced about 1961 or so, and extended to "palvans" and some wooden opens. This lighter shade was much the same as - if not exactly the same as - that applied to new 121s. Your whole collection looks just right. If I may, in a very constructive sense, though, suggest grey roofs, not white, While often painted the same grey as the wagon (and later brown ones the same brown as the wagon), it rapidly weathered darker with smoke and filth.

 

Incidentally, the shade applied to steam locos was just marginally darker than on that van immediately above, rather than the oft-seen "shade just under black".

Edited by jhb171achill

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The vans look great and nice weathering, i think one or two brown vans help

to break the grey up a bit and even some open wagons.

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Glover.

 

We both seem to be from the same modelling era, I used to make a bee line to Kings Cross Models and Victors most Saturday afternoons when I was living in London about 25 years ago. I built up a sizable fleet of Parkside wagons both BR & a few CIE H vans & ex GN bagged cement wagons.

 

The GNR vans remained in bagged cement traffic up to the introduction of the pallet cement wagons in the mid-late 1970s. Bagged cement was widely used on construction sites until the read-mixed suppliers introduced 'trowel ready mortar" in the mid 1980s.

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image.jpgTo jhb's point about the roof colour on my GN van, it is actually somewhat darker in reality; I'll take an outdoor photo on a brighter day. You may have to wait.....

 

John Mayner is showing some superb wagons on his work bench ( " tales from the carriage shop"). Some are conversions, others old cast metal kits.

The above are somewhat old technology but currently available; the Alphagraphix card kits.

The one on the right is a MGWR convertible wagon. I think the idea was that the canvas centre part of the roof could be rolled back when carrying cattle.

Until Leslie McAllister started up Provincial Wagons, these were one of the very few ways of achieving a realistic Irish wagon.

They are tedious to build but the end result is reasonable but now overtaken by Provincial Wagons.

 

Glover

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I mentioned that I used various Parkside wagon kits in an effort to achieve Irish type wagons.

I can't remember which kits I used but there was a fair amount of cross kitting, mostly to achieve the plain ends. To my knowledge, only the CIE sliding door pallet vans and the GNR bagged cement wagons had corrugated ends.image.jpg

 

None of them are quite there and, again, suffer in comparasion to the Provincial Wagons H van.

As has been remarked many times, the range and quality of Irish stock has improved by leaps and bounds in recent years but it does mean that those of us who have been bashing away for years now find ourselves behind the game. Progress has a lot to answer for, I say!

 

Glover

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I have to say, Glover, I think your models are absolutely top notch and really capture the atmosphere of the prototype better than most I've seen. The variety of them, the attention detail and above all weathering - look at any old photo of the era you are recreating and goods stock was always in a very down-at-heel state cosmetically. A rake of pristine clean wagons in those times, in all fairness, is about as accurate as 800 hauling De Dietrichs!

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I'm fascinated to learn how you made your models and envy the ability to look at a kit or RTR model and see the potentiate to convert to Irish Stock. Add to that the history of the wagons, it's all learning for me. Also John Mayner's post of his wagons is excellent.

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I have two guards van's, as shown below.image.jpg

 

The 30 ton van on the left is the Studio Scale Models brass kit, on a Airfix/Dapol under frame. I'm not that comfortable with brass although the problem here is the plastic roof; my fault entirely.

 

The 20 ton van is from Irish Freight Models. I bought the body part only and fitted it to a Dapol chassis. Trying to be clever/correct, I stretched the wheel base to eleven feet. Somehow I managed to make it actually 12 feet! I have no idea how I managed this and i have to admit I've made this mistake before. Concentrate boy!

The body is a resin moulding. The finish is a little rough but acceptable for a wooden bodied vehicle.

 

Glover

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Up to the early 1970s, cattle wagons were a very common sight on CIE.

The standard CIE wagon, a KN to railway men was a distinctive vehicle, unlike anything that ran on Britains railways.

This was an earlier attempt at achieving something to run in a 10/12 wagon cattle special.image.jpg

 

It's the old Mainline LNER wagon but with the doors modified. Whatever else it might be, it is not a CIE van.

As Samuel Beckett said: Try. Fail. Try again. Fail better.....

 

Glover

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Now that we have fertiliser wagons, bubbles and above all "H" vans, the CIE cattle truck is one of the last major omissions! I believe Leslie is bringing one out tomorrow..........................................................................!!!!!

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Weren't the roofs part tarpaulin ?

 

No - never on cattle trucks. Originally they were open roofed until Board of Trade regulations made railway companies cover them some time after 1900. (Didn't stop the T & D using open ones until the end, though!).

 

The vehicles with the "part-tarpaulin" roofs divided roughly into thirds, with the middle section open, were otherwise normal goods vans. Officially "Convertible Vans", they were more normally known as "soft tops" because while they could be used as cattle vans with the tops open, they were more normally used for general goods with the open sections covered by tarpaulins, which were held down by ropes going over the sides and secured either side of the central van doors. Virtually all Irish railways had them, both standard and narrow gauge. None survive.

 

The last ones in traffic on the 5ft 3 were probably mid to late 50s, as once the "H" vans started to be built en masse, they disappeared, just as the energetic prodiction line of Park Royals and laminates sent the passenger six wheelers to the scrap man in pretty short order. I think that the West Clare and C & L may have had them almost until closure.

 

I believe that "soft tops" were a uniquely Irish idea.

Edited by jhb171achill

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There is an easy route to modelling an Irish cattle van or the GNR version anyway: the Provincial Wagons kit (or RTR) from the hard working Leslie McAlister.

I should say that two of these are Leslie's kits; the one on the left is the old Model Wagon Company white metal kit. Mayner has displayed four of these on his work bench ("tales from the carriage works").image.jpg

 

I bought the kit from that old atmospheric ( the pipe tobacco!) model shop in Monck Place,

Phibsboro.

The 'problem' is that they are not really suited to a layout set in 1963. GNR wagons seemed to have a very short life when CIE took over, especially the cattle vans. Understandable I suppose given that the CIE vans were newer and this particular traffic was declining. Therefore, the CIE round logo on one van is highly improbable; my excuse is the very limited space for the Flying Snail.

 

So, the search for a suitable CIE KN goes on.....

 

Glover

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The GSWR/GSR built similar 14' cattle wagons that lasted into the late 1950s the main spotting difference was the GSWR/GSR wagons had different end detail and nearly flat sheet steel or iron roofs.

 

The final MGWR convertible wagons built after WW1 were a soft topped version of the Irish Standard covered wagon produced by Provincial wagons rather than the traditional 14' round roofed convertible wagon http://www.studio-scale-models.com/img/k14.jpg

Edited by Mayner

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I must say that I am delighted with the information which has been brought forward, especially by jhb and Mayner in responding to my scribblings. Thank you gentlemen.

 

When Parkside released their kit for an LMS cattle van, I had a very close look at it. The fact that the diagonal bracing on the sides was a separate piece suggested that one problem would be eliminated. There was also the possibility of reducing the length by removing one panel either side of the door. This is the starting point (for once, I took a couple of photos while the project was in progress):image.jpg

 

This photo shows the major work required: remove one panel either side of the door and remodel the door itself.image.jpg

 

The floor/chassis also required shortening.image.jpg

 

The end result is as follows:image.jpg

I have slightly hidden the van on the right; somewhere along the way, I managed to get the wheelbase wrong! The bars over the upper body openings are a bit wonky: larger diameter wire the next time, I think.

I have to say that this piece of kit bashing does show promise and, in the absence of a proper CIE KN, may be the only way forward.

An excellent modeller of Scottish railways who goes by the name of Ben Alder on RMweb has modified a fleet of these. Obviously, less surgery is required but one idea he had was to use the internal partitions in some parts of his project.

 

Glover

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I can't think that there was any particular need for horse boxes on the Bundoran branch; this part of the country is not exactly noted for breeding race horses, although a few show horses might have travelled to the Spring or horse show at the RDS in Dublin.

Either way, others might have some interest in or use for this little project.

image.jpg

 

It's basically the old Lima horse box, reduced in length with new ends and roof, mounted on a Mainline chassis. The end result is I think a reasonable facsimile of the GSR/CIE horse box.

 

I built it some years ago. If I decide to keep it, it needs a repaint and decals.

 

Cheers,

Glover

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This hardly merits inclusion in a workbench thread but I'll include it as the background research might be of some use to others. It's the Provincial Wagons GNR flat with bread containers.image.jpg

 

Apart from some weathering and removing the brake shoes from the right hand side, it's the standard product.

 

The GNR are reputed to have developed this as a new traffic post WW2, although the NCC also offered the service. The containers were loaded at the bakeries and brought to the GNR goods yards in Belfast and Derry for onward carriage on goods trains. They were then returned in the afternoon.

Pre the Anglo-Irish Free Trade Agreement ( mid/late 1960s), bakeries in Northern Ireland could not sell their products in the Republic of Ireland and vice versa. It was protectionism.

Therefore, while a bread container could be seen passing through Pettigo, it would have to be destined for a town in NI. The only town of any size after Pettigo was Belleek. The only photo I could find was a Brewsters' container in Belleek.

Brewster were I believe a Derry/Londonderry bakery while Inglis were I think based in Belfast.

On that basis, the Inglis container is probably inappropriate. I don't suppose we have any experts on the Northern Ireland bakery business on the forum........

 

Regards,

 

Glover

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Glover, yours are some of the posts on this forum that I particularly look forward to!

 

Inglis was indeed based in Belfast. For years, their standard batch loaf was marketed as "Mother's Pride" and for all I know may still be. Since I never liked white bread (I know, it's the gricer's staple diet, but I was always a bit odd), I used to refer to it as "Mother's Shame"......

 

However, however;

 

Inglis containers were certainly to be seen on the "Derry Road" and in the context of your layout being based about 1963 would have been very much part of the scene. Personally, I never heard of Brewsters, but someone from Derry-hi! or Donegal-hi! might be able to elaborate.

 

I could be wrong, but I THINK I saw a picture once of an Inglis box at Killybegs in the goods yard. Whether it arrived by rail or by road is open to conjecture, but it was in the CDR goods yard.

 

At Dunmurry, where the De Lorean factory was built, and nowadays all sorts of industrial units, this was previously a sports field. There's a 1963 picture of a dirty 171 with the Portadown-Belfast goods passing this spot in one of the colour album books, which shows this field in the background. Until the De Lorean fiasco* was built, two of those old Inglis containers sat at the side of the pitch in use as rusty dressing rooms, one presumably for each team. They were just shelters really, as the doors were off. So, as an aside, there's a modelling detail idea for someone with a northern-based layout (Nelson?) to have a small derelict hut in a corner somewhere made out of one of these!

 

(* I just knew it from the start.)

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Excellent post Glover. There is a picture of a Brewster's (Derry Bakery)container lying abandoned in Lisnaska Station 1967 in 'Fermanagh's Railways'

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Excellent post Glover. There is a picture of a Brewster's (Derry Bakery)container lying abandoned in Lisnaska Station 1967 in 'Fermanagh's Railways'

....there ye go; thus, both versions are fine for your area and era.

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I see that I have not added anything to this posting since March of this year but I have been busy!

In a previous post, I included a shot of a horse box, based on the old Lima model.

I had another one kicking around which I shortened a number of years ago and decided to complete it.

The planked ends are from the Evergreen #4083 sheet, the roof from a spare Parkside kit but widened while the under frame is again from Parkside.

Actually finding photographs of these vans is not easy; from my reasonably extensive library I could only find one useful photo. I used this to add a little detail to the body sides: strapping on the drop down doors and plating over some of the vents on the upper part of body.

I have numbered it 1023 on one side and 1035 on the other. Both vans were used in the Bertram Mills circus train in the summer of 1964 (source: Irish Railfans News October 1964).

That  train would make a fascinating project; it toured all over Ireland with GNR 20 ton vans being used to transport the elephants! 

 

Cheers,

Glover

image.jpeg

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