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Glover

Pettigo Co Donegal

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One of the challenges, and pleasures, of modelling a real location is trying to find items which best represent the prototype.

This water crane at the Bundoran end of the Down platform is a Mikes Models kit of a L & Y crane, painted in CIE green.image.jpg

 

You might also spot some railings at the end of the platform. These are very visible at the Junction end of the platforms and I have included them. However, I only noticed recently that they were also at the Bundoran end. Strange how you can look at photos over and over again and still see something new.

I originally thought that they were to prevent passengers crossing the tracks at the platform ends but I'm now inclined to believe that they were intended to prevent passengers evading the Customs men. Pettigo was preceded and succeeded by stations in Northern Ireland ( Kesh and Castlecaldwell) and was thus, in the parlance of the time, a Frontier Post.

Similar fencing also appears at Ballyshannon.

 

On the plan of Pettigo in Fermanagh's Railways (Friel & Johnston) there is a very short siding which runs into what is described as the PW Lorry Shed. I've never seen any photos of any such vehicle but I have read that it was used every summer by the GNR bus mechanic who serviced the fleet of buses which the GNR laid on to transport pilgrims from Pettigo to the embarkation point for the Island in the middle of Lough Derg.image.jpg

 

This little structure has caused me some grief! I have only one b/w distant photo of it and thought originally that it was brick built and made it as such. It might appear in this guise in some photos. However, I now think it more likely to have been constructed from concrete blocks and so, after quite a while trying to track down a packet of Wills plastic sheets, have rebuilt it. Can't say that I'm very happy with my representation of the colour of concrete. The roof is from something I built years ago but I suspect it should be mineral felt or tiles.

All in all, I should probably have a second go at this, possibly with the shed doors open and a mechanic in oily overalls.

 

Glover

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What a lovely layout, I love the scenery.

 

Agree it is fabulous. Reeks of atmosphere.

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Once again , my sincere thanks for all your kind comments.

I think two more 'chapters' should finish the saga of Pettigo.

The goods yard is very basic; a road into the goods shed and one on the other side of the loading bank, which also served the cattle pens. Both are accessed via a head shunt running off the up platform.image.jpg

 

This view, only available to the camera, makes the SMP Code 75 track look rather crude ( and under scale gauge!). The track to the right, line to Bundoran/storage yard is unballasted as it is not normally in view.

The Peco above baseboard point motors are a result of the initial decision to operate the points using 'wire in tube' but unfortunately I couldn't get it to work. My incompetence !

As the track was laid at that stage, it wasn't possible to excavate under the points to mount below baseboard motors.image.jpg

 

The shed itself is a simple structure. I had no drawings but it was relatively easy to get the proportions about right using the available photos. The structure itself is still standing, as is the station building but now private property.

 

We exit the layout at the signal controlling onward progress towards Bundoran.image.jpg

 

The GNR often mounted signals on telegraph poles. Such was the case at Pettigo. The signal arm (non-working) is from a Studio Scale Models etch.

 

I'll finish off later with some notes on the back scene.

 

Regards,

Glover

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The Peco above baseboard point motors are a result of the initial decision to operate the points using 'wire in tube' but unfortunately I couldn't get it to work. My incompetence !

 

Actually, I was relieved to see how well they blended in, as I've got a dozen of things, as yet un-used, upstairs.

 

As you say, digging holes in the baseboard is no fun, but worse is getting the wiring done. I did manage it once, courtesy of Oliver, my younger son - he's a lot more pliable (and patient) than I.

 

Leslie

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The "PW Lorry" referred to earlier was nothing more than a push-along hand-cart 4-wheeled flat trolley. They had them at various locations, according to staff involved.

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Thanks for the clarification jhb re the PW lorry shed.

 

I'll finish the notes on Pettigo with a look at the back scene.

This was my first ever attempt at such a project and, at approx 13 feet in length by 2 foot high, it was rather ambitious!

For guidance, I used a two part series of articles by Martin Goodall in the Model Railway Journal in 2013.

I followed his basic advice to trace out the main elements of the back scene from photos and then paint.

I was lucky in finding, on the web, two photos taken I would say in the early 1900s from a position overlooking the station and the village. This viewpoint corresponds very closely with the layout itself.

I blew these up on a photo copier until they seemed about the right scale, using my actual station building as a reference point.

image.jpg

 

This view shows the main elements of the village: the main commercial centre on what is now the Republic of Ireland side with the bridge over the river Termon connecting to what the locals apparently call the High Street on the Northern Ireland side. It's official name is Tullyhommon.

image.jpg

 

Churches however are scattered around in a random pre Border fashion.

 

I curved the back scene at both ends, using flexible MDF.

This helps, I think, to achieve a reasonable transition between the actual scenery and the back scene.image.jpg

 

It's obviously not a work of art but it is based on the actual location and therefore portrays the rather ordinary archicture of the local buildings and also helps to tell the railway story of this otherwise unremarkable place, hidden in an almost unknown corner of south-east Donegal.

There remains some work to be done but as a first attempt ( after 40-50 years of false starts!), I have to say that I'm quite satisfied with the result.

I'll update the work bench thread from time to time.

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Glover

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Well done Glover. Excellent results. Layout looking fab. It reeks of real place atmosphere. I can almost imagine the 'Railway Children' running across the meadow to wave to passing trains.

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Ideal location for Provincial Leslie Wagons, and the new U and UG locos, cheque book permitting!

 

Had CIE taken over the GNR, we might have seen the ubiquitous GSWR J15 as far afield as Bundoran, Antrim and Derry!

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I have been enjoying the ongoing tour of Pettigo over the last few weeks and look forward to more, epically more photos of rolling stock. I am also glad that you raised the topic of layout height. Each consecutive layout I have built has become higher. It sometimes seems modeller are septical about layouts with narrow benchwork which are built closer to eye level and need to see one to be convinced of how effective they are. If in doubt set up a scene on a high shelf with a section of track, a building or two, a improvised backdrop, a few details and some rolling stock to see the effect. Does your layout have a continuous run or a fiddle yard at both ends?

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When I 'closed the book' on Pettigo this afternoon, it did occur to me that some might be interested in the back stage bits; I know I always try to peer over screens to see what's happening out back on exhibition layouts!

 

The layout is circular, in a space about 13.5 feet by approx 7 feet.

The line from the storage yard leads off in the direction of Pettigo. In other words, it represents Bundoran Junction, Enniskillen and all points east.image.jpg

 

I did actually give some thought to how much storage was required. I remember David Jenkinson making this point many years ago. The two reverse sidings are intended for less used rolling stock.image.jpg

 

I allowed enough siding length for a 5 coach Bundoran Express, a 10/12 wagon freight plus two branch line passengers; one CIE and one UTA.

 

You might notice in both photos that there is a line in the background climbing upwards.

This is/was intended to be the continuation of the line to Bundoran itself.

These two photos might explain better:image.jpg

The entry to the storage yard is on the right, the A class is exiting Pettigo, heading towards the Junction while the coaches ( a Hornby LMS coach repainted into UTA blue and cream and a scratch built GNR coach in UTA green) are on the incline towards Bundoran.

This line climbs all the way behind the Pettigo back scene and emerges at the other end:image.jpg

 

The 121s ( Old metal MIR kits on Ahern chassis; the Black and Tan one needs repainting into grey to fit the 1963 time frame) are almost at the top of the climb but I haven't actually built anything beyond this yet.

The C class ( Q Kits......you don't want to know any more than that!) is on the main line while the open wagons are on the off scene section of Pettigos' goods head shunt.

 

I would certainly support Patricks' point regarding layout height, certainly for nailed-to-the-wall-home layouts. There are additional benefits; plenty of storage space underneath and space for a workbench.image.jpg

This view might help.

 

I should take this opportunity to congratulate Patrick on his layout. The American layout design approach is especially suited to modelling branch lines and, for me, is one of the most interesting and innovative layouts on this site.

 

Noel mentioned the Railway Children. Funnily enough, I do intend to replicate something I saw in a photo many years ago: children sitting on an embankment watching the comings and goings on the railway. There are a number of photos, especially on the County Donegal narrow gauge,of children enjoying their summer school holidays in or about the trains. Certainly not to be encouraged nowadays but it seems it was a common sight, particularly on rural lines in times gone by.

 

To jhbs' point about running rail tours, it has occurred to me to run the famous 1964 tour a year early!

 

As always, many thanks for the kind comments.

Glover

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Thanks for the 'behind the scenes' shots, I, like you, enjoy these scenes nearly as much as the layout view itself.

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