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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 I'm intending to model the 1947-54 period so the track formation will be out of date but one of the other rules of the DJLC competition is that the layout must contain at least one point so it stays.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!
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
With Covid-19 affecting us all in one way or another, I decided it was time to get off the sidelines and dip my toes into a bit of modelling to pass the time and develope my skills! I had bought this SLNCR cattle wagon kit from Leslie (Provincial Wagons) at a show some years ago. I have no experience of building a resin kit, nor much more in the modelling world tbh. So following the instructions, and spending an hour or more each night over the last couple of nights, this is the end result! I have a small portable workbench, some sanding files, Swann Morton scalpel, steel right angle, tweezers, Loctite glue (the small 3 pack glues), good lighting, etc. With these I set about the task. I found it a really enjoyable experience, and learnt a lot from it - (this was a trial run for me before I attempt the first of 10 kits of the CIE cattle wagons, also from Leslie). So to some of the points I picked up, and things I would do differently next time: I should have painted the full buffer casting before fixing it in place. Much more difficult to do when it is stuck in! The gloss black also looks wrong I taped over the barrel of the buffers to keep the chrome appearance of the working element, but I failed. Ended up painting them all black. Pay more attention to aligning the sides and ends before gluing. There are gaps between the roof an the body which are noticeable on the ends. But this adds to the charm of the van in my view and i think I will leave it as is! The roof needs to be painted a darker colour - that will have to wait for another day when the shops are back open! I hope to fit Kadee couplings soon So to anyone thinking of having a go - just go do it! It is great fun and more importantly you'll learn a lot. There are lots of inspirational modellers on this site, and if I can develope a smattering of their talents over time to come then I'll be more than satisfied! All comments, tips, tricks etc welcome! Thanks Eamonn