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Peter

Curragh layout

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Hi folks,

 

I'd love the hear your thoughts on my idea for an n gauge layout of the Curragh siding in Kildare. At the moment the layout uses set track, but I will use streamline for the actual layout. The inner loop will continue all the way around as well.

 

Attached is the plan I made using Railmodeller Express. You'll have to zoom in to see it properly. I've also attached 2 photos of the siding and 3 map images of the Curragh, including the ballast pit, and fox covert I want to include.

 

Thanks,

Peter

curragh.jpg

curragh siding.jpg

goods shed and grandstand.jpg

Curragh siding.jpg

Ballast.Pit.jpg

Fox covert.jpg

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Hard to see even zoomed. How much room do you have to work with relative to the track plan? Gentler curved points for the mainline and to the platforms would look realistic.

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An interesting concept for a layout. Any variety of locomotives under the sun, whether in GSR, CIE steam or CIE diesel days. Myriad types of old six-wheelers and random selections of wooden and occasionally modern carriages; a carriage fan's paradise layout! And, of course, horseboxes galore, something rarely seen on layouts.

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Nice idea. I presume it serves the race course rather than the army camp. Do you know when it was last used?

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Yes Noel,

 

This line was for the Race Traffic. The Army tended to us the station at Kildare and this explains why the Up Platform there is on a loop line. Embarking and disembarking Military Traffic was handled at the Up platform, thus, a stabled Military Troop Train did not interfere with through up line traffic.

 

I do not know the last date of use for this short branch.

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Barry Carse's book (Irish Metro-Vick Diesels) has a photo of the platforms from the other end to your shot in 1970(p.37) Not too much of the architecture to be seen due to a 5-piece ex-GNR BUT in maroon in one and A51R, 4w luggage &5x craven special in the other

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The first year I went on a runabout ticket was 1975 and I think it was just about still in use then - the mainline was certainly. I was into the siding with RPSI's 186 in 1972, so it was definitely in use then. Must look it up. Suffice to say, no supertrain ever went in there! Cravens would have been the most modern thing. At a pinch you might have got a loco in supertrain livery, but this siding belongs to the black'n'tan era - C's and A's probably were the main thing.

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Wonder if it was used in 1978 for storage off the main line during the filming of the 'Great Train Robbery' movie (Sean Connery, Donald Sutherland, Lesley-Anne Down)? I watched some of the sequences when the steam train ran through the curragh.

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Dive, I want to keep the layout small, it's my first proper one to model. I'm thinking 5' x 3'. I plan to use gentler points for the layout.

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I plan to use the valve 3d designs and adapt locos to Irish diesel.

 

I don't know when it was last used. It was a passenger stop for the race course.

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Posted (edited)
Nice idea. I presume it serves the race course... Do you know when it was last used?
The first year I went on a runabout ticket was 1975 and I think it was just about still in use then - the mainline was certainly. ........ but this siding belongs to the black'n'tan era - C's and A's probably were the main thing.

Reports suggest it was used until 7/3/1977 "Irish Railway Stations" (Bob Ayres)

 

Wonder if it was used in 1978 for storage off the main line during the filming of the 'Great Train Robbery' movie (Sean Connery, Donald Sutherland, Lesley-Anne Down)? I watched some of the sequences when the steam train ran through the curragh.

Don't know but it was not lifted until 1988 (Ciaran Cooney)

 

I plan to use the valve 3d designs and adapt locos to Irish diesel. It was a passenger stop for the race course.

It opened in 1875 so you're spoiled for a timeframe. Consider a divider and a yard on the back of the loop for additional rolling stock. Horse boxes as JHB said. I wonder if they were able to use the siding? It stops behind the grandstand

Edited by DiveController

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Dive, you read my mind. I am planning on using a divider and showing the countryside on it. A yard is a good idea as well. Thanks.

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Posted (edited)
Reports suggest it was used until 7/3/1977 "Irish Railway Stations" (Bob Ayres)

 

 

Don't know but it was not lifted until 1988 (Ciaran Cooney)

 

The connection to the racecourse 'branch' was removed in January 1978, so nothing is likely to have worked into the racecourse from then onward according to the IRRS Journal. One of the last normal race day workings was in May 1976, possibly the only occasion the racecourse branch was used under the then new CTC signalling system, but this was complicated and may have been one of the factors leading to the branch's closure announced in March 1977, the main line platforms having taken precedent.

 

The branch was an interesting location to witness a form of 'top and tail' working not too common on Irish railways, when occasionally branch trains, complete with loco, were hauled out onto the main line usually by a 'pilot' locomotive (from Kildare) during shunting manoeuvres. In addition to a Mk2 AC set in September 1973 the branch was now and again visited by the weed sprayer. It was lifted 1988-89 along with other semi-derelict lines of the time, but the platform and trackbed was largely undisturbed until a road realignment a few years ago.

Edited by Eiretrains

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Very interesting. Thanks for the additional input especially the effects of the CTC. A51r in post #7 above was apparently the Curragh pilot o that day and brought the Craven set onto the branch. I presume the original loco would then bring them back out releasing the pilot loco. With at least 4 Heuston specials, and trains from Belfast, with only two platforms I was wondering where the additional rolling stock was stabled while awaiting the punters return?

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The knowledge you all have of the Curragh line is amazing. I'd like to read more about it.

 

I went down there to have a look recently. Not much remains of it now. One or two of the blue shelters remain at the station. There is one post still there from the level crossing, and a small cottage beside this. The man living there remembered when the siding was operational.

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The knowledge you all have of the Curragh line is amazing. I'd like to read more about it.

 

I couldn't agree more, this thread has been of great assistance and solving a few puzzles for me re Curragh siding, the ''top and tail'' operation explains a lot on slides I'm currently working on, cie supertrain did work into the siding, thanks to all the contributors, particularly to Eiretrains, you seem to be quite well informed.

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With at least 4 Heuston specials, and trains from Belfast, with only two platforms I was wondering where the additional rolling stock was stabled while awaiting the punters return?

I reckon they were probably stabled at Kildare and Portarlington, both these locations having reasonably long loops and formerly a lot of sidings in their yards.

 

The use of a 'pilot' locomotive for Curragh operations may have diminished from 1975 onward in preparation for CTC, it been reported the new method for operating the racecourse branch was that trains on arrival from Dublin propel back into the branch at a max speed of 5mph, which no doubt required a longer time for the shunt. The train then proceeded empty to Kildare for the locomotive to run around and returned to the branch. For the return working, the train propelled backwards out of the branch and onward to Dublin. The Curragh cabin was dispensed with in December 1975, with access to the branch from then on controlled by ground-frame, released using an Annett's Key obtained from the Newbridge stationmaster. Interestingly the Railfans News indicate the branch did have a loop between racecourse platforms and the main line connection, but it was removed, along with a small signal cabin, as long ago as 1960.

 

The Mk2 Supertrain set in 1973 mentioned in the IRRS Journal which ran onto the branch was reported as operating for visitors of the 'European

Transport Officials Conference' group. A lot of the information above comes from endless reading of IRRS Journals and Railfans, so it's great enthusiasts recorded it, as the racecourse branch closed long before my time. :)

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Kildare rings a bell, all right. I have an idea that Sallins was used at one time on the stump of the old Tullow branch. Don't know what the method was though.

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The Curragh cabin was dispensed with in December 1975, with access to the branch from then on controlled by ground-frame, released using an Annett's Key obtained from the Newbridge stationmaster. Interestingly the Railfans News indicate the branch did have a loop between racecourse platforms and the main line connection, but it was removed, along with a small signal cabin, as long ago as 1960.

 

The Mk2 Supertrain set in 1973 mentioned in the IRRS Journal which ran onto the branch was reported as operating for visitors of the 'European

:)

Your assistance has been invaluable, it's a hugh task matching details to slides, are you from the Kildare area, thank you for taking the time and sharing your knowledge.

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Randall, if it's of any assistance, eiretrains himself can assist you in terms of identifying less well known locations, plus what's in the IRRS (if you're already a member you'll know that anyway): also, there is the highly valuable collection of Jimmy O'Dea in the National Library in Temple Bar Photographic Archive. If only to browse (and I've done it) the whole collection is fascinating and freely available by appointment.

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Your assistance has been invaluable, it's a hugh task matching details to slides, are you from the Kildare area, thank you for taking the time and sharing your knowledge.

Glad it was of interest and use. No I'm not from the Kildare area, although my knowledge comes from having travelled around photographing and researching such railway locations, I must mention too, that I've learnt a great deal from more experienced enthusiasts, some who have sadly since passed on, along with their invaluable knowledge, but glad to have enjoyed their company and fascinating conversions about places like the Curragh racecourse etc.. :)

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I must mention too, that I've learnt a great deal from more experienced enthusiasts, some who have sadly since passed on, along with their invaluable knowledge,

I regret I never met any of these people, maybe my Dad did, I take it Ciaran Cooney/Eiretrains is your website which has a lot of good information and well reseached, I resently joined a couple of facebook pages but very few with good knowledge, idiots posting nonsense, I may call on you again for some advice, thank you.

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It begins. Image quality isn't great.

 

I picked up my baseboard from Dave on Saturday. Fantastic craftsmanship. I just put in an order with Hattons for my turnouts and extra flex track. IMAG0674.jpg

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