I have been lurking on this site for a while now so it’s probably time for me to come clean about my current project which is Bawboy Road station on the Cavan and Leitrim.
I have had a fascination with the Irish narrow gauge from a very early age. My father had a copy of Harold Fayle's "Narrow Gauge Railways of Ireland" and I spent many hours studying it. Two family holidays to Ireland in the mid-sixties as a teenager served to increase the interest as, although the lines were all closed by then, we did find many remains. By coincidence it was on one of those holidays that I also bought a copy of the April 1964 issue of the Railway Modeller containing the late David Lloyd's description of his Augher Valley Railway. That article made an enormous impression on me and I decided that I would have to build my own model of the Irish narrow gauge. There have been many distractions since then: university, work, marriage, family as well as 009, P4 with the Cambridge Area S4 Group and American h0, but I could never shake off the Irish narrow gauge bug. Finally redundancy and the ensuing early retirement provided the impetus to bite the bullet and build something. Even so it has not been that easy. I have discovered that retirement is not all it is cracked up to be as regards modelling time, especially when grandchildren and even great grandchildren intervene.
I had decided some years ago that my chosen line would be the Cavan and Leitrim and I made a start planning a model of Arigna. Then along came Andy Cundick with his layout which he had interpreted almost identically to my plans so I turned my attention to Mohill. I spent some time researching the station and its surroundings but slowly the realisation dawned that it was too big a project for me to tackle alone. The layout would have been over 20ft long and that meant a lot of modelling and problems with storage, transport and even in being able to set it up at home. (If anyone is considering tackling Mohill - please get in touch). I have finally settled on Bawnboy Road which has a much greater prospect of being completed in my lifetime.
So where am I at? I have drawn up a plan that will fit neatly into the corner of a room. I have never come to terms with Templot and although there were offers to help I have used it only to generate the point templates and have connected these with my favoured CAD package. The first baseboards have now been laser cut for me by my friend David Barham, “Fen End Pit” on another forum, and some track laying looms although I have a number of issues to sort before that begins. Over the years I have not been totally idle and I have built up a collection of rolling stock courtesy of the various kits that have been made available. I have also built a Backwoods 4-4-0T, although I’m not happy with its looks, and Alan Edgar, well known in these parts, volunteered (I think) to build one of the Branchlines Hunslet 2-6-0’s for me. 6T was my best Christmas present by a country mile!
Any layout based on the C&L mainline in 1957 has two “must feature” items – the ex-CB&PR 2-4-2 tanks and the Inchicore built “bus-coach”. The 2-4-2 was important in the layout design process as its ability to go round curves rather defines the layout’s geometry. Never-the-less taking the Worsley etches to my Scalefour area group and asking “How am I going to get this to go round corners?” was always going to be dangerous. The result was another friend, Brian Page, designing a new, fully sprung chassis with working radial trucks – and while we are at it let’s do a new body too! The chassis is undergoing ‘refinements’ but the superstructure is going along well, even taking into account my soldering skills. I am also looking at designing an etched ‘bus-coach’ with printed ends.
I will try to keep you updated, mainly to encourage me to keep the layout progressing.