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Fermoy Branch C.I.E

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G'day all,

from w-a-y down South in Tasmania:)

The Fermoy Branch is a classic station to fiddle yard design, so beloved of British GWR modellers, but with the added refinement of a "hidden" continious run.

It fits around the walls of a roughly 16' x 10' bedroom The actual station is on a 9' 8" x 2' 3" board and is set in the 1970's. The baseboards around the other 3 sides of the room already exist as part of my existing On30 layout. On these boards the scenery will mostly remain as is, with the buildings, vehicles, etc., being swapped for OO scale ones. This should work out OK as a 7mm tree just becomes a bigger tree in 4mm scale.


Talking of TREES,

One of my pet peeves with the layouts I see are the tiny little fiddling trees on them, little more than bushes. Trees are BIG things. When I lived in Queensland we had two magnificent trees in our back garden between 100' and 125' high - actually nothing exceptional in REAL trees. Think about it, in 4mm scale a 120' tree is 480mm ! thats almost 19 INCHES. Compare that with the fiddling little 4" high "bushes" you see on 99% of layouts ! So my layout will have BIG trees.




The idea is that the Fermoy Branch was a typical reasonably busy steam-era branch. CIE have decided to modernise and rationalise it. Sweeping away most of the old steam-era buildings, the fairly big loco depot and the goods yard. The Cattle Pens still remain in use for the monthly Fair and a small coal yard remains in use for household coal, BUT their days are numbered.

CIE are developing Fermoy as a railhead for the area with distribution centres for Cement, Fertilizer, agricultural products, oil & petrol & household coal. There is a small container depot for local distribution and outward bound traffics are Sugar Beet (seasonal) timber, and track ballast from a quarry under contract to CIE. Also the output from a Caravan manufacturer. It's planned to put in a small storage yard for the engineers.


The plan is what I'd like to do, but it's not written in stone ;) If, as I build it I find a section is a bit overcrowded, I'll simplify it.


Looking at the plan, the RH line runs down to a small halt where a Bulk Cement distribution depot will be built and on to the fiddle yard + a "disused" siding will run off to the right.

The LH line is an extended siding to serve a loading bank for Sugar Beet (from October to January) and the loader for track ballast from the quarry. A "disused" siding will run off to the left.

The two "disused sidings" will join up and form a continious run. Used for running in locos, and when I just want to sit back and watch the trains go by i.e. 'playing trains' :o


I'll add photos as soon as there is something worth photographing.;)


I'll welcome advice/criticism/brickbats, etc. I hope there are not too many anomolies in the thoughts of Chairman Patrick:((

But please be gentle with me :((

The last time I was in Ireland and on an Irish train was in 1968, when I went over to Co. Meath to meet my future in-laws:x

We travelled from Sligo to Dublin by train and then on the Dublin suburbans. So 99.99% of my information comes from books and videos, so, hopefully, I won't get it too wrong :confused:


You may ask why Fermoy. Actually my prototype interest is mainly centred further North around Sligo. But the answer is Sugar Beet. I've been interested in harvesting beet for many years and it has featured as a traffic on several of my Narrow Gauge layouts - so, it HAD to be in sugar country.


BTW, I know about the line from Mallow to Waterford which went through Fermoy. But they were on the other side of town and we try to ignore them :tumbsup:


Cheers for now,

Patrick F. Savery,

District Manager, CIE Fermoy.

Fermoy Branch (C) 001.jpg

Fermoy Branch (C) 001.jpg

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I'm very much into "Operating" in the American Model RR sense.You may have seen the sort of thing. Instead of just shunting whatever wagon takes your fancy, each wagon has a Card with a pouch which holds a waybill which directs the wagon to a certain industry or business to be unloaded then turning the waybill specifies wether it's to be loaded, what with and to a new destination or maybe it's just to be an empty to be returned to the nearest yard (eg Limerick Junction).


If shunting is your thing, it adds an awful lot to the fun. Moving a wagon has a purpose.


There was an excellent series of articles in the July - November 2010 Railway Modeller entitled 'Operating Branch Line Layouts' by David Cox. There is a fantastic amount of information and ideas in these articles, covering passenger traffic, freight traffic, timetables, generating traffic, etc. A really good investment in RM Back Numbers.


Of course, this sort of operation is really suited to "Old-Fashioned Railways" the modern day block trains going from A to B and back again don't give much scope for 'operation'. Which is why I set my railways around the late 60's - 70's.


Shunting is my thing, and I've tried to give myself plenty of destinations to deliver wagons to, etc

I sat down and worked out what I thought was the sort of traffic I could reasonably justify on a layout like the Fermoy Branch. I came up with :


Anticipated traffic from Limerick Junction to Fermoy:

IN Bulk Cement, aggregate, Gypsum, etc to Bulk Ready Mix Concrete Depot

Containers for local area delivery

Engineers Stores

Household Coal

Guinness casks and crates to distributor

Bagged Cement to Distribution Depot

Palletized Bagged Fertilizer to Farmers Co-Op Depot

Components to Caravan Manufacturer

Sawn timber to L/R Timber Yard

Parcels, etc to Parcels Depot


OUT Cattle from Monthly Fair

Sugar Beet to Mallow - October to January

Logs to Sawmills in Limerick and Wexford

Railway Ballast in Engineers Hoppers

Empty Guiness Casks


Caravans from builder


Anticipated Passenger Traffic :

Branch train consisting of 141/Open Coach/Generator Car shuttling between Limerick Junction and Fermoy and return.

Sometimes replaced by 2 car DMU set

Morning & Afternoon trains to Waterford & return for shoppers & schoolchildren

Once daily train to Dublin out early morning return evening

Fairly frequent RPSI weekend steam excursions

Special trains for football and hurling matches

I'll have to study my guide books and see If I can find a religious location in the area to justify Special Sunday Excursions for pilgrims.


There should be enough traffic there to keep me occupied (:-)

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Fantastic Frank, though I'm scratching me head over the caravans. Perhaps a Rathkeale special for those products?!:)


I'll have to study my guide books and see If I can find a religious location in the area to justify Special Sunday Excursions for pilgrims.


Our Lady's Island Pilgrimage, a few miles from Rosslare Harbour.



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Thanx Richie,

I've just had a look at their website and they seem to have out of season Pilgrimages from May to September with a main season from August15th - 8th September.

I think we could build up a lucrative business running excursion trains to be met at the station by a line of coaches.

Carry on like this and we might even start to make a profit :tumbsup:

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Glad to see that you have opted for the 1970s CIÉ era. If you were to update it to the current era you would have to close all the freight facilities and rationalise the station layout so that there was only one platform with no run around loop! Could save a lot on trackwork costs, but you would have to fill up all that empty space with lots more trees.=))


Seriously though, looks like a great layout with serious operating potential. Congratulations. Looking forward to seeing it progress. By the way, what program did you use to draw the track diagram in your first post?

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Thanx Josefstadt,

Yes, I think worldwide the 1970's were about the end of traditional railways, it's been downhill ever since.

I see 6 or 7 container trains pass by my railway room/back bedroom every day, and while I'll always watch them go through, they excite about as much desire in my breast to model them as do the trucks that pass along the road at the front of the house.


Mind you, everyone to his own, I don't know about Ireland, but in Australia N scale modellers, particularly American prototype modellers, seem to derive great enjoyment in running 4 loco lash ups on 40 wagon block trains running around 4 track main lines ~ definitely not my cup of coffee, though :tumbsup:

Maybe it's an age thing ?


The track planning program I use is American made by RR-Trak - http://www.rrtrack.com/

It has it's limitations but I find it very easy to use and quite relaxing, I must have designed hundreds of 'dream' layouts over the years. Basically it has libraries of ready made track & pointwork that you use, Peco, Fleischmann, Bachmann, etc., but, with a bit of pratice you can make custom track sizes as you would use flextrack.


I tried a British system (which I think was a relabelled German system) but it had me tearing my hair out in frustration because the damn thing wouldn't do what I wanted it to.

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Forget The Fermoy Branch See the NEW, EXCITING Loughrea Branch, C.I.E.:banana:

Hi Guys, Just as I was getting settled into Fermoy, a new job has come up and I'm moving up to County Galway to be the District Manager, Loughrea Branch, CIE.:D


I've just got my copy of "Rails THrough The West" from Colourpoint, via the RPSI, and I was up half the night devouring every page and every photo ! What a revelation, I've learned an awful lot in a short time.


The big attraction of Fermoy was that it was in 'sugar beet country'. I knew about the Sugar Beet factory at Tuam, but I wrongly assumed that siting it there was a political decision, spreading the employment around with the beet coming up from Wexford for processing.


I didn't realised that the Galway/Mayo areas were 'sugar beet country' too :-bd

So I could operate in my favourite area and still model the sugar beet industry - what more could one want ?

When I read about the Lead/Zinc mines at Tynagh it was just the icing on the cake.

Wikpedia tells me that ~ The town expanded in recent years as it increasingly becomes a commuter town for the city of Galway

Tynagh was for 15 years (1960–1975) the most important zinc and silver mine in Ireland

This line was Ireland's last operational rural railway branch line, having outlasted most other country railway lines of this type by 10 – 20 years, and even surviving to have diesel trains used on it.

Could I ask for more ?

So, as I'm stuck in a 1970's time warp, moving north quickly became a foregone conclusion. As we speak I'm busy packing up the old Bedford truck for the move up to Galway:ROFL:

So for the future, please follow the adventures of the Fermoy Branch on the NEW, BRIGHTER Lougrea Branch, C.I.E. thread.

Patrick "Frank" Savery

incoming District Manager, Lougrea Branch, C.I.E.

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