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  1. Hello! I've been contributing to RMweb for a while now on my various UK modelling activities and confess to knowing very little about the Irish rail network and history outside of the Sligo & Leitrim. A couple of my modelling activities owe their origins to my school library and the books available to me in my early teen years. The railway section was hardly extensive, from memory it contained an impenetrable text on Locomotive design by OVS Bulleid, an equally dull book on Locomotive performance by OS Nock and 3 bound annual volumes of the Railway Magazine 1962-65 all seeming to focus on the on-going modernisation of British Railways. It did stock another couple of books that were much more inspirational, John Thomas's history of the the Callander and Oban Railway and finally a copy of the Slight, Leitrim & Northern Counties Railway by Neil Sprinks. The later book was full of weird 0-6-4 tanks engines running on an unusual 5' 3" gauge (to my pre-teen eyes) across and rural land I knew nothing about, none the less it sowed a seed..... Forty years of dusty memory was recently brought back to life by seeing David Holman's superb Arigna Town at a couple of exhibitions and a trip to Dublin over the Easter break had me Googling and re-discovering the SLNCR again. On return to the UK the three books on the line were purchased (including the edition of original history of the line I had read back in school) and a 1956 edition of the Railway Magazine that also contain descriptions of a visit and a potted history of the line. One of the reason's for the sudden re-awakening of interest was the 2mm Scale Association's Diamond Jubilee Layout Competition (DJLC). This is due to end in June 2020 and restricts the veiwable section of any layout to 600x240mm, so not a lot to play with and I had been struggling to find anything worthwhile that interested me. Whilst Googling the line on holiday in Dublin, I found the Dromahair Heritage web-site and noticed the Dromahair track plan on the OS map had potential:- The black outline approximates to the base board size allowed and by moving the goods shed to the right I should be able to use this as a view blocker. It should be noted that the OS map above is obviously an early layout of the sidings as I have never seen the point forming the loop in any photo of the line. I'm intending to model the 1947-54 period so the track formation will be out of date but one of the other rules of the DJLC competition is that the layout must contain at least one point so it stays. Besides, it'll add interest. The layout will be built to 10.5mm gauge and I hope to get the track work underway in early June. I'll be picking up gauges and rail at the 2mm Association's Supermeet on the 8th June (in Tutbury Staffordshire UK if your around.....). The main board is built and a mock up tried, it'll be on with build soon. I haven't seen any other 10.5mm gauge layouts but it would good to understand anyone else's experience and what, if anything is available to to the 2mm modeller for Irish railways. I'm also hoping you'll set me straight should any UKisms creep into the build. I'll post more as it happens (assuming you're interested!) Thanks!
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