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Steam era prototype information

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David Holman

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As a relatively new recruit to the Irish scene, chasing prototype information is proving considerably harder than when I modelled BR. It seems there is always a book or three on any chosen subject for mainland Britain, with any number with drawings of wagons, coaches etc. Much less so for the Republic or NI, even with new books coming out all the time & it is the details that I am finding hard to come by. Hence am hoping some of you might be able to point me in the right directions.

My project is the Sligo, Leitrim & Northern Counties Railway, in 7mm scale, 36.75 [ish]mm track. Check out my latest photos in the Layouts section. I have the Neil Sprinks photo album, plus most of the railway books published in the last 10 years for Ireland in general. SLNCR modellers are also fortunate in that the Alphagraphix range of card kits covers many of the prototypes & I have made extensive use of these as colour plans for scratchbuilding. However, I am not sure that the height of some of the box vans and cattle vans is accurate, especially the GNRI vans & despite scouring all available photos have been unable to find anything conclusive. Neil Sprink's album shows that SLNCR vans varied between 10 and 13 planks in height, but does this mean the planks were different or the vans taller? Indications are that most vans came level with the roof of the 'small tank' 0-6-4T cab, but models I have made come up short by about a scale 10 inches. Equally, these are the 7 ton version, so maybe the larger vans were taller?

Any answers welcome, please.


Other issues I've been pondering are:


Brake gear - were SLNCR wagons [and GNRI for that matter] braked on one or both sides? Likewise, on the open wagons I've made for my coal train braked on all 4 wheels or just two?

SLNCR Large Tank 'Sir Henry' [and siblings] - thus far all attempts to source a drawing for this loco have failed. Would dearly love to have a go at building one, so if anyone knows of a source, please let me know

Other Irish wagons - would be happy to know of any sources of drawings, other than those already on this website, likewise any photos showing details of brake gear, buffers etc. Have long since stopped worrying too much about the latter, as there seems to be ample evidence of wagons with different buffers each end, but the devil is in the detail as they say!


Seems clear that there is wealth of knowledge out there, so any you can send my way will be much appreciated.

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As regards loco drawings have you tried contacting the manchester science museum for drawings? A quick search turns these drawings up which may or may not be what you are looking for http://emu.msim.org.uk/htmlmn/web/pages/common/imagedisplay_mosi.php?irn=15486


In addition the magazine New Irish Lines (alan o'rourke) may contain some suitable wagon drawings within the archives ( well worth joining anyway). There is also the IRRS and the UFTM which are generally rather helpful for drawings.

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Many thanks to you both - have tried the Manchester site before but couldn't see how to navigate the archive of Beyer Peacock stuff & kept coming up with lovely but not very useful diagrams of injectors & the like. Detail is good, but I am not that pernickety...

Lovely Sligo pics too, several I have not seen before. Interesting to see that the brake van is definitely lower than the cattle vans, but the latter are the same height as the coach - which is not the case in the Alphagraphix card kit. Am still happy to believe there were varying heights, especially as I scratchbuilt 5 of the things and am in no hurry to alter them, which would not be easy anyway. Must join other societies too, especially as seem to remember one group is in the process of doing a book on the Large Tanks.

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