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Colin R

Donegal Railway

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Hi I though I would start this off as a general chat about all the Donegal lines.

However I am doing some research into the Donegal Station at Stranorlar, So far I have about 50 odd photos from various sources and I have a few more to come, what I would like to ask is if anyone has any unpublished photos of Stranorlar in the late 1950's and early 1960's just after the railway closed or before the buildings where demolished.

I have already realised that a 4mm  scale style model is possible (20ft x 8ft),  but on looking at different photos, I have come across a number of unique Donegal make do and mend buildings around the Carriage and Wagon Works.

While some of the buildings can be build as per a photo much of it will still be guess work.

I would like to thank the Donegal Heritage group for a whole lot of help so far, any information I get I plan to donate it all to the CDR Trust at Donegal at some point.

I think a visit later this year is now in order.

 

Colin Rainsbury

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Hi Ernie

They are great, I have to admit that it was one of your photos which got me thinking about Stranorlar as a model, the more photos I find the better my understanding of the station becomes.

For instance I did not know that part of the carriage works where just covered tracks made out of old rail and corrugated sheeting and that the C&W building was the old transfer shed in the days of the dual gauge operation.

Its the little bits which make this so interesting.

 

Colin Rainsbury

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I see the copyright is one James Payne. It’s not a new photo - it appeared in Dr. Patterson’s Definitive history of the CDR which was published about 1969 or so. 

I wonder where the rest of his collection went?

 

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20 hours ago, jhb171achill said:

Colin, did you ask the IRRS for any unusual views?

Hi John

No I haven't as yet, but I have asked the Donegal guys for some help and they have come up with about 60 photos so far.

I will have to ask them at some point once I have all those photos I know about in one place.

Colin

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3 minutes ago, jhb171achill said:

I see the copyright is one James Payne. It’s not a new photo - it appeared in Dr. Patterson’s Definitive history of the CDR which was published about 1969 or so. 

I wonder where the rest of his collection went?

 

It would be interesting to find out, it is worth keeping a look out on eBay for photos and other such stuff. The only problem is that some sellers think they can make a lot of money out of Irish Railways, i was once offered a Donegal to Ballyshannon return ticket for £50.00  uk pounds i had to break the news to the seller that the heritage center in Donegal was selling the same tickets for 1 Euro at the time.

Somewhere i have a box full of Donegal tickets which i picked up years ago for a £5.00, I think they are remainders and have not been issued or used, if you have a used ticket, well that is another matter and could be worth a few bob, but the condition and the places named on the ticket will make all the difference.

 

Colin R   

 

 

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Yes, I’ve been following railway artefact prices for forty years, buying and selling the odd thing.

Prices on eBay for such stuff - including tickets and photos - are grossly overpriced far more often than bargain-based.

The IRRS archive contains much stuff, but it’s only open on Tuesday nights, so research really requires time spent in Dublin.

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For what it's worth, I bought a copy of Michael Bunch's Donegal Railway Diary, Part one, at the weekend. Must admit that, initially, I was very disappointed, because the quality of the photos is poor. Overall, I would say close to 50% are grainy, or simply out of focus, while another 25% are poorly composed. However, I'm now warming a little to the book, because if nothing else, it is a unique archive of hard to find views of the more obscure elements of the CDR. It also contains a wealth of generic details, such as platform clutter, piles of parcels, line side and track details, close ups of wagons and coaches, etc. It is just a shame that so many of the pictures are poorly composed/exposed/focussed. Sift through though and there are some real gems, while the price at 15 euros is pretty cheap for an A4 album of 148 pages.

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Thanks John that is one photo I already have. I see the value has gone up over 1000% if there is such a thing, I got a copy from the London branch of the IRRS a few years ago for about £3.50.

 

Colin

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That's the trouble with ebay, Colin!  I had a look among jhb171Senior's stuff, and there's nothing from Stranorlar that's "off the beaten track" as such. For the times he travelled on the CDR, he didn't take many pictures, unfortunately.

 

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I guess you have Roger Cromblehome's book, "County Donegal Railways Companion" published by Midland Publishing in 2005. It has numerous photos drawings etc of the Donegal including Stranorlar. If you havn't cheapest source is Amazon UK £9.99 plus £2-80 postage.

I met Roger once on Limerick station and think he is the chap who does the Alphagraphix kits and buildings.

 

Ernie

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12 hours ago, jhb171achill said:

That's the trouble with ebay, Colin!  I had a look among jhb171Senior's stuff, and there's nothing from Stranorlar that's "off the beaten track" as such. For the times he travelled on the CDR, he didn't take many pictures, unfortunately.

 

Hi John very true and thank you for looking, I hope someone has a photo of the following item which has so far provided to be somewhat elusive in photos, this  one building which up to now has only lurked in the corner of the odd photo is the old Carriage and Wagon workshop, at the Strabane end I am convinced that it was the old Transfer shed when Stranorlar was duel gauge, over time this was modified and a learn to type of build was added.

Going to the Donegal end, I have only so far found part of a photo which shows the sheds to be made of corrugated tin and possible old rail used as upright post's.

What is interesting is that while Dr Patterson's book gives a track plan for Stranorlar, if you then look at the photo evidences which is about, it does not line up with so far any fixed date of operation.

There are a number of things which have changed over time, one notable building is the old loco shed older photos show this to be made from wood, yet by the time of closer this had been rebuild in some sort of stone and or breeze block.

Another thing is that most Donegal stations only got whitewashed (some photos show this to be more of a cream colour rather than whitewash) in later years, I am not sure as to when this happen, but some photos I have show the station building in plan stone finish. My best guess is this happen when the Red and Cream livery was introduced.

Unless I wanted to build a dead scale model of Stranorlar at a fixed point in time, then the best I think anyone can do is to build almost a freelance version of the station, but with all the bits that take your fancy.

Colin

4 hours ago, Irishswissernie said:

I guess you have Roger Cromblehome's book, "County Donegal Railways Companion" published by Midland Publishing in 2005. It has numerous photos drawings etc of the Donegal including Stranorlar. If you havn't cheapest source is Amazon UK £9.99 plus £2-80 postage.

I met Roger once on Limerick station and think he is the chap who does the Alphagraphix kits and buildings.

 

Ernie

Hi Ernie,

Yes I do have the book and I have also been in contact with Roger, I have been trying to get him to do some more Irish buildings, but he tells me he is very busy at the moment, I have also asked him to do some Isle of Man buildings as well (Douglas as a starter).

I have to admit that the dream layout is a bit bigger than the back of the proverbial fag packet which started this all off years ago.

Colin 

 

 

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Colin, first of all well done if you have a go at modelling the County Donegal. Most Irish narrow gauge railways were supercharged with character, from our modern perspective, although the actual local environment in the 1950s and before would have been dominated by other factors. Also, at least as far as Co. Donegal was concerned, the railways were THE transport system - useful to bear that in mind. But from my comfortable, warm armchair nowadays, they were simply fantastic railways.

However, what I meant to say was to support your conclusion of not trying to build a 100% exact model of a particular station, but rather apply a bit of artist's license when you cannot find pictures for all the buildings and details. Most railway companies seemed to build according to their own style, which is logical, so if you do not know the details of the Stranorlar carriage workshop except that it was made of wriggly tin, then why not scour the available photographs for similar sheds and sketch up an approximation from what you find? Personally I would go for something that is 3/4 accurate, but including as much of the right character as possible. Good luck!

 

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Hi Merlin

Thanks for the above, I have had a chat with a few local modellers over here and all the usual comments like you are mad to take on such a large design, etc. 

One thing I will do and if I see something which is very close to the prototype then I might use it on the model, but so far I have a few items I can use, I am currently looking for a building which is almost like the general stores building which in on one of the platforms, I was thinking in terms of using a couple of the Dapol Engine shed kits as a basis, but I haven't had a good look at what is out there right now.

Colin

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Just a Word to the Wise, emphasising what JHB said - there are folk out there who think people will pay any amount for anything! Where TICKETS are concerned - a few do make impressive prices at auction, but the Co Donegal and the Swilly (particularly) are pretty common - most are what the ticket men call "audits" - i.e. returned as unused. A Euro is probably a good price for a seller to get for them. USED tickets are a different kettle of fish.

As for photos .....  That view of Stranorlar station is not hard to come by so asking thirty quid for it is just having a laugh.

Edited by leslie10646
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