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No, NOT about Riley cars, but DICK RILEY a famous English photographer whose photographs have adorned many books in the past. In this new volume, Michael has selected about 80 photographs (published one per page) taken by Dick Riley during a single, busy, week-long visit to Ireland in May 1950. It was the only visit Riley made to Ireland and he made very good use of his time. The photographs are from the Transport Library collection and are well reproduced in this small hardback landscape book. Riley journied from Belfast (BCDR, NCC and GNR) through Dundalk, touching the DN&GR, the three main sheds in Dublin, Bray, the Cavan and Leitrim, Clones, Enniskillen, Sligo, Strabane, Co Donegal, the Swilly, the NCC lines from Derry and finished in Ballycastle with a couple of nice photos taken six months before the end of that narrow gauge line. Michael has provided an informative, readable caption for every photograph, full of technical, historical detail with a fair sprinkling of anecdotes. Only available directly from the publisher - https://totempublishing.co.uk/product/riley-in-ireland-by-michael-mcmahon/ Highly recommended. Leslie
Groan ! I've been pondering what direction my Irish modelling should take, I like to have an ultimate aim as this helps shape research and model construction. Until last year other than a fleeting interest in the SLCNR I hadn't given much attention to the Irish Railway scene, however, I decided to produce a small module (600mm x 225mm) for the 2mm Scale Association Diamond Jubilee Layout competition based on Dromahair Station on the SLNCR. The limited size of the module will restrict interest once the competition is over and it would be a shame to waste the stock built by not taking my Irish modelling further. Obviously the SLNCR shared tracks with the MGWR for the last few miles into Sligo and in the course of reading about the SLNCR my research has extended into the MGWR, a prototype to which I am become increasingly drawn. A model of Sligo Station is become a very attractive preposition. The time period will be early to mid 1930s (which I will deal with in another post). Whilst it is several years off being started (the majority of the stock will have to be scratch built and a core amount of stock will be required before the layout is viable) I thought I would start a topic to enable discussion and assistance to ensure the model is as an accurate representation as possible. The thread will also serve as a way to sort and capture the information for future use, and I hope, provide a useful resource for others. Working out the how and why and what was used by the real railway, for me, is a key part of any model build. So why Sligo? It fits in a nicely model able space, I reckon 9' x 1'6" will give enough room to model the station, engine sheds and junction down to the goods yard/quay in scale distance. I've already worked up a proof of concept Templot plan based on the 25" to the mile historic map available. A bit of shortening through the engine shed could be done without compromising the integrity of the model. The drawing above still needs a bit of work to correctly position the pointwork and achieve the smooth curve through the station approaches. The Engine shed is conveniently positioned to form a nice view blocker for the fiddle yard exit and the curve through the approaches and the station will remove the parallel to the baseboard "model" look. Whilst being a main town station there is little built environment in the immediate vicinity helping focus on the railway (and avoids the need to model time consuming urban buildings). The Station was built on embankment which gives an imposing look, quite different to most locations (as seen below in this extract form Google Street View. Apart from being the terminus of the SLNCR from Enniskillen it was operated by the MGWR from Dublin and the WLWR (later GSWR) from Limerick. Large quantities of freight from the GNR came in over the SLNCR along with the occasional passenger coach on excursion so lots of variety of stock which included the majority of my favourite Irish prototypes. The was no run round facility in the station which will add to operational interest. Although not as intensive as main city terminal the convergence of three routes did give a good number of trains working (I think 24, 12 up and 12 down, in the period modelled, more anon). Train lengths were relatively short ( and model able). I already have quite a few of the main texts dealing with Sligo but any pointers to the less obvious sources or photos would be appreciated. I do intend to get over for a visit at some point in the next few years, hopefully with my bike so I can cycle the SLNCR route. I can take some detailed photos and measurements of any structures that remain. Thanks for your interest. Angus
The time has arrived to start a workbench thread for my projected MGWR branchline terminus layout, where I'll be building wagons, carriages and eventually locos, plus of course structures and the other little bits and bobs that go into creating a hopefully convincing model railway. The period I'm interested in is 1900-1905. This is the timeframe I usually go with, and my other projects are almost all set in this period of transition from Victorian to Edwardian eras. My standard gauge projects, Great Western Railway in Somerset and Cambrian Railways in mid-Wales, will be to EM Gauge Society standards. I'm a member of that Society, and for consistency's sake I want to stay with EMGS standards but using the correct gauge for 4mm/1ft scale of 21mm. While I applaud anyone who can create a convincing model railway, no matter the scale or gauge, personally I think its particularly important to use the right gauge as this is such a characteristic feature of Ireland's broad gauge railways. I've always found that one of the more difficult aspects of model-making is setting the standard to work to consistently. Unfortunately, I'm not a fast worker - continental drift is quicker - which means that while I strive for excellence I don't want to take forever to achieve it! Thus, I've reached the point where my specification for A N Other Goods Wagon will be: 21mm gauge, EM Gauge Society standards Etched axleguards with whitemetal, plastic or 3D-printed axlebox/spring assemblies Rigid underframe (fit inside bearing compensation unit if necessary), although I may compensate.....moving the goalposts already! Improved brakegear if a kit Sprung buffers Couplings - ? - I haven't decided yet but they must be unobtrusive So that's the preamble out of the way, and we can move on to something that's hopefully a bit more interesting!
As I'll be moving house next week I will no longer have space for a layout. I do however have a few kits to keep me going until I again have the Space. I also, of course, still have several sketchbooks to fill. Shown below is a plan for a layout set on the coast in County Mayo out beyond Louisburgh at the port of Roonagh. This has always been an idea at the back of my mind due to many holidays in the area and a general interest in the railways of Ireland, especially those of the MGWR. The track plan is loosely based on that at Achill with a couple of deviations. The buildings would be taken from those at Westport, Castlebar, Ballina and others. Track would be 21mm. Of course this is all just conjecture but once I'm back living with space for a layout then I can add this to the list of possibilities...unless someone else fancies building it first... Nestor