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Limerick Junction track layout/ signalling plan 1975-85

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Junctionmad
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Hi folks, Im a newbie, new to this forum, but am thinking of returning to the hobby after many years absence. I'm on the fine scale end of things, but all the new Murphy Models stuff has me drooling.

 

Im thinking of doing a version of Limerick junction in around the period 75-85, centred on 1980. This is a period where I passed though the station regularly on the Limerick Waterford run, ( park-royals and 141's) . As many have said looking back this period was the heyday of loco hauled stock, and reasonable freight traffic. (even though at the time it was all doom for CIE,if I remember)

 

Im not going to attempt to re-create all 1500 feet of platform, obviously that will be shortened in the model and arranging the waterford crossover is a challenge ( getting the track back around etc )

 

Couple of things people might be able to help, excuse all the questions, I was thinking of joining the IRRS etc as to see what they had ( anyone know if their journal featured Limerick Junction)

 

(a) Anyone have track diagrams from around that time , essentially very few mods were done to LJ, until recent rationalisation, with the exception of the addition of the "limerick curve ". While I have the basic track layout from pictures and memory, Im unclear as to the exact arrangements on the East side ( engine shed to headhunt etc )

 

(b) I have most of the signals sorted, several questions remains

 

b.1 I seem to remember a coloured light facing each way on the platform ( mounted under the canopy roof) , midway between the old 1 and 2 platforms, protecting the scissors crossing and acting as a starter signal. I see evidence of it in photos around the nineties, but less evidence in earlier ( 1983) photos, I know the old starter signal which poked through the canopy roof was long gone by the late 70s.

 

 

b.2 The colour light gantry on the Dublin end of platform 1 , was added some time after 1983, I have photo evidence wasn't there in 83, just the tubular starter signals for dub and limerick lines. There was a ground mounted colour signal shown at that time, adjacent to the 'Up' Line , I think maybe the gantry replaced this ( sight lines etc ) Any Ideas?

 

b.3 I have one picture of the signals south of the road bridge, ( three home signals,) , but has any one any definitive signal layouts of photos of the approach to LJ from Cork.

 

b.4 I have the few coloured lights sorted , except memory fails me as to the distant signals , protecting "Keanes " points, and also the UP and Down distance, I presume these were all coloured light as was typical on CIE at the time.

 

b.5 the southern/eastern aspect of the north box is often photographed. Has anyone any pictures of the west and north aspects , I also can't remember where the staff transfer platform was for the water ford line, my memory is it was just north of the cabin , but can't place it

 

b.6 photos of the south signal cabin are rare , I have only a few long shots . any sources anyone knows of.

 

 

Heres a few operations questions.

 

 

There was a connection between the platform 4 ( waterford bay) and the mainline, at the end of platform 4) yet I never saw it being used, ( yet the rails were shiny ) , Did it ever get used and what was its purpose ( maybe it just acted as a loco release)

 

Ive never heard a convincing reason why the bizarre layout of LJ came into being. was there a good historical reason

 

 

As to the model.

 

I think LJ offers fabulous modelling opportunity, ( And I don't know if its been seriously attempted , but it must have been ), Its offers lots of engine runarounds. Shunting in an era of block trains, plenty of through traffic, even obscure Permanent way stuff was often there. For me the signalling is fantastic, with many roads signalled in both directions !! ( not to mentions loads of shunting signals)

 

Right now Im just trying to build sources of information ,pictures, accurate track plans and signalling layouts

 

Im thinking of EM gauge as a half way house to 21mm. Ive build an awful lots of fine scale track in the past , and really think Im past that, thinking of using C&L fine scale EM track, Wheel flanges could then remain as 00, allowing tighter curves, which may be necessary to get the layout to fit. all DCC from the get go.

 

 

And A final question, This would make a fabulous club layout ( DCC etc ), is anyone considering a new layout for a club,? has anyone attempted this layout in fine scale or pseudo fine scale with a approximate track plan.

 

 

Thanks, in anticipation

 

 

dave

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Where to start?!

 

Limerick Junction was the closest to where I was reared, and from memory there were no track changes from the eighties until the recent car park blitz that occurred.

 

http://steverabone.com/RailwayPhotographs/ click on Ireland on the left and scroll down one third of the way or search "Limerick Junction" - pretty much every question is answered as it's 1984. I have a really ropey CAD plan of Lmk Jct from around 1998, but it's not really fit for publication.

 

Ernie Brack has also cataloged lmk junction around 2000, again I don't think there are significant track layout changes.

 

1947 track layout - http://maps.osi.ie/publicviewer/#V1,586405,638636,7,9

 

Hope that helps. Richie.

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Welcome to the site Junctionmad, lots of helpful advice on here, & we like pictures or videos,

 

Juntionmad (LJM) is a good pal of mine and yes he is 'Limerick Junction Mad' :) We met up last Sat for a play with a new MM 071 class, and we were both stunned at its fine running and scale detail. Think it wet his appetite to get back into the hobby as has MMs Irish stock revitalised my interest in the hobby. :)

 

LJM, I can see now from the track layout on the old OS map why you are so interested in Limerick Junction. EM gauge would be very tasty but that might mean the superb MM Bachmann bogies won't be an option.

 

Noel

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Junctionmad, here is the layout as depicted in the Quail book from 2004. I don't think that there were any huge changes to the track layout betwee the period you are thinking about and the one shown here. One change that did take place was the per way tidying up the area around the old loco shed. The links in Glenderg's post above might give an idea of what the area looked like in the 1970s/80s. As far as I remember, there were two sidings between the shed and the down main and the, I think, four roads inside the shed.

 

Lomerick Jct 2004.jpg

 

N.b. the full text of the words 'Dublin Heuston' at the bottom left is 'Miles from Dublin Heuston'.

Edited by josefstadt
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Junctionmad, here is the layout as depicted in the Quail book from 2004. I don't think that there were any huge changes to the track layout betwee the period you are thinking about and the one shown here. One change that did take place was the per way tidying up the area around the old loco shed. The links in Glenderg's post above might give an idea of what the area looked like in the 1970s/80s. As far as I remember, there were two sidings between the shed and the down main and the, I think, four roads inside the shed.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]14834[/ATTACH]

 

N.b. the full text of the words 'Dublin Heuston' at the bottom left is 'Miles from Dublin Heuston'.

 

Thanks very much, yes I had looked at those pictures before as they are from 83. And are the closet to the period I want to model

 

Yes the shed was four roads , the southern end goods track work was the original small goods shed, which unusually seems to have been demolished

 

Anyone any pictures of the area around Keane's points.

 

Thanks everyone

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Junctionmad:

 

There are several good quality steam era photos and a pre-67 track layout in "The Waterford and Limerick Railway" CEL Feyer Oakwood Press 2000.

 

It looks like the loop at Keane's Points was originally a siding, probably as a shunting neck for trains to an from Waterford while the section from Oolaor or Dromkeen was occupied.

 

The station layout is similar to other single sided stations from the early railway era with up & down trains sharing a single long platform. The whole layout was designed around adding and removing coaches and vans to and from passenger trains with a minimum of shunting.

 

I am not convinced of the merits of EM over OO for a layout of this nature. C&L & SMP both do OO gauge bullhead flexible track & Markway standard and custom built pointwork. OO has an advantage of a smaller minimum radius than either EM or 21mm in terms of curves and you are spared the chore of re-wheeling and possibly widening chassis. I work in both EM &21mm.

 

Going back to the direct curve there may have been a subsidiary instrument out at Keane's Point's to allow a staff to be remotely released from the North Cabin for movements from the Direct Curve towards Limerick, or someone simply walked out with the staff.

Edited by Mayner
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Going back to the direct curve there may have been a subsidiary instrument out at Keane's Point's to allow a staff to be remotely released from the North Cabin for movements from the Direct Curve towards Limerick, or someone simply walked out with the staff.

There was indeed a sub instrument at Milltown in a hut.

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Junctionmad:

 

There are several good quality steam era photos and a pre-67 track layout in "The Waterford and Limerick Railway" CEL Feyer Oakwood Press 2000.

 

It looks like the loop at Keane's Points was originally a siding, probably as a shunting neck for trains to an from Waterford while the section from Oolaor or Dromkeen was occupied.

 

The station layout is similar to other single sided stations from the early railway era with up & down trains sharing a single long platform. The whole layout was designed around adding and removing coaches and vans to and from passenger trains with a minimum of shunting.

 

I am not convinced of the merits of EM over OO for a layout of this nature. C&L & SMP both do OO gauge bullhead flexible track & Markway standard and custom built pointwork. OO has an advantage of a smaller minimum radius than either EM or 21mm in terms of curves and you are spared the chore of re-wheeling and possibly widening chassis. I work in both EM &21mm.

 

Going back to the direct curve there may have been a subsidiary instrument out at Keane's Point's to allow a staff to be remotely released from the North Cabin for movements from the Direct Curve towards Limerick, or someone simply walked out with the staff.

 

 

Any photos of the ground Frame setup at Keanes, any photos of the setup signalling etc

 

 

PS, Actually I agree re EM /OO. I am considering 00-SF , The main thing is that in effect HO track looks very very wrong in 21mm. sleeper spacing is terrible, The advantage of EM is the gauge begins to approximate 21mm better and there is standard track available from SMP and C&L/Exacto this avoids the huge chore of building track for out scene , like fiddle yards and the like. Ive scratch built lots of track over the years and don't fancy doing it for a layout this size. The fall back is PECO 75 , with all the webs cut, proper spacing and the points reworked to look better ( tie bars, frog switching or juicing !)

 

As to stock, I have the advantage !! of starting from ground zero with irish stock. The only advantage I see is 00 would allow friends stuff to visit.

 

I was set on EM. but OO-SF also look goods, if visually appalling as a representation for 21mm.

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Glenderg, does that track layout drawing extend to cover the whole station , ( is that a planning permission drawing)

 

On that drawings the sidings look cramped (

great find , what's the planning file number

 

 

ta

 

Unfortunately the drawings only cover the car park piece to the south. There were works a number of years ago to do with masts and rearranging stuff adjacent to the limerick branch, so there might be a pp to go with it.

 

Tipperary County Council site - 071526 - and used Iarnrod Eireann as applicant to get a list of all works.

 

R.

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[ATTACH=CONFIG]14841[/ATTACH]

 

what amazed me re the track work is the "kink" in the up line as it diverged into platform 2

 

 

 

See the branch off the up line, into the station where it meets the siding, most unusual. normally that would flow in

 

I don't ever recall anything coming in off that up line until it hit the scissors and then met the platform, but it's one of the most inelegant track layouts I've ever seen - possibly what makes it so fascinating.

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I don't ever recall anything coming in off that up line until it hit the scissors and then met the platform, but it's one of the most inelegant track layouts I've ever seen - possibly what makes it so fascinating.

 

Agree the curved points off the main line on that could have been constant radius curves placed slightly future south rather than reversing angle for higher speed ops. The whole track plan with all the reversing and shunting to get on and off the waterford platform seems crazy, not to mention the scissors instead of a down mainline platform on the other side. I wonder why the Limerick-Waterford line was not laid to converge parallel to the mainline and then diverge again rather than an almost right angle cross over. The time saving on operations would have been so much easier and with a less expensive track layout. This was the practice at most UK junctions where two counrty lines were crossing at right angles to each other.

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As to stock, I have the advantage !! of starting from ground zero with irish stock. The only advantage I see is 00 would allow friends stuff to visit.

 

So does that mean I can call around with my die-cast metal Hornby-Dublo GWR 'Castle' class - where's the turn table? :)

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Agree the curved points off the main line on that could have been constant radius curves placed slightly future south rather than reversing angle for higher speed ops. The whole track plan with all the reversing and shunting to get on and off the waterford platform seems crazy, not to mention the scissors instead of a down mainline platform on the other side. I wonder why the Limerick-Waterford line was not laid to converge parallel to the mainline and then diverge again rather than an almost right angle cross over. The time saving on operations would have been so much easier and with a less expensive track layout. This was the practice at most UK junctions where two counrty lines were crossing at right angles to each other.

 

Probably goes back to some historic reasons when it was a crossing point between the Great Southern and the Waterford and Limerick railways. While the scissors crossing was odd it did allow an up and down train to be stopped on the platform and leave the main line free, not such a big deal in CTC days but in pre ctc days when everything was signal box to signal box it was probably useful .

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Bang on snapper. A report in 1880 suggested building another station 400m south for the W&L such was the disharmony between the two, hence why there are sidings so far south - or were. They could marshall their butter wagons which came from tipp without interfereing with the GSWR. They could then be readied for the the dublin line for transport onward.

 

There was another scheme in the early twenties under GSR to sort out the layout, culled by cost and the Milne report under CIE suggested something similar. "The inquiry team were of the opinion that whilst there was strong justification for improving the layout there, it was recommended that the plans be reviewed and a modified, less costly scheme be prepared" . This resulted in the direct curve to limerick and some other alterations, but the reversing lark with the waterford train remained.

 

Ernest Ahrons, a well respected railway engineer referred to Limerick Junction as being "one of the most extraordinary junction stations that ever existed, which may also be described as typically Irish". The man was right.

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Bang on snapper. A report in 1880 suggested building another station 400m south for the W&L such was the disharmony between the two, hence why there are sidings so far south - or were. They could marshall their butter wagons which came from tipp without interfereing with the GSWR. They could then be readied for the the dublin line for transport onward.

 

There was another scheme in the early twenties under GSR to sort out the layout, culled by cost and the Milne report under CIE suggested something similar. "The inquiry team were of the opinion that whilst there was strong justification for improving the layout there, it was recommended that the plans be reviewed and a modified, less costly scheme be prepared" . This resulted in the direct curve to limerick and some other alterations, but the reversing lark with the waterford train remained.

 

Ernest Ahrons, a well respected railway engineer referred to Limerick Junction as being "one of the most extraordinary junction stations that ever existed, which may also be described as typically Irish". The man was right.

 

Thanks for that explanation. That's classic.

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Agree the curved points off the main line on that could have been constant radius curves placed slightly future south rather than reversing angle for higher speed ops. The whole track plan with all the reversing and shunting to get on and off the waterford platform seems crazy, not to mention the scissors instead of a down mainline platform on the other side. I wonder why the Limerick-Waterford line was not laid to converge parallel to the mainline and then diverge again rather than an almost right angle cross over. The time saving on operations would have been so much easier and with a less expensive track layout. This was the practice at most UK junctions where two counrty lines were crossing at right angles to each other.

 

 

The Limerick-Tipperary section was opened in May 1848 two months before the GSWR line from Thurles. That single sided arrangement for large stations seems to have been common at the time Oxford, Cambridge, Bray is more convenient for passengers than crossing a footbridge and very handy for adding horseboxes, carriage, trucks and vans to passenger trains in era when most Irish passenger trains ran with a long string of vans.

 

Besides the W&L & the GSWR did not exactly have good relations with the W&L blocking GSWR attempts to run to Limerick or divert traffic away from Waterford.

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josefstadt , a question, how did the track work west of Keane's points work out was that a loop , presumably the direct curve then rejoined onto the Limerick line further west.

 

How /where did the single line electric train staff get handed over for a train taking the direct curve ?

 

Thanks

 

Junctionmad, sorry that I missed noticing that the Limerick end of the layout was missing (I was scanning Limerick Jct from the Dublin-Cork pages). Here is the scan from the Limerick-Waterford pageswhich shows the missing piece:

 

Limerick Jct 2004 - 2.jpg

 

As BSGSV says, there was a subsidiary E.T.S. instrument in a hut at Milltown. A signalman would walk out to that location (about ¼-mile) to either hand up or collect the staff from a train using the Direct Curve. Having the subsidiary instrument at Milltown meant that the section between Milltown and Dromkeen would have been occupied for less time than if the staff had to be transported to/from Limerick Jct North cabin.

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Thank you very much. Great great info I've now tied the track layout in the 75-85 period down and am working on the signalling , it's a wet dream as far as semaphores go, I wonder did anyone do a photo survey of the signals before they were all removed , there was a veritable forest.

 

I've just seen a summary of inside the boxes both north and south. The south box controlled up to and including the scissors . The loop behind the station was split between the two boxes. The north box had the engine sheds, Keane's , the flat crossing etc

 

 

The south box, seems to be an original from the 1800s. But the window style seems very modem, the original and quite beautiful. North box seems to have been replaced in 1967 ( around the tine the direct curve was added ?) with the very ugly 'modern' north box. That new box seems to have been moved closer to the station , possibly to allow both old and new boxes to coexist while they fitted out the new box. The pre 67 photos of the old box show it right beside the flat crossing, cie should have been shot for the design of the new one , especially the carbuncle that is the toilet ,

 

In fact the whole of the buildings at the junction are designed in a very austere and almost foreboding style, possible reflecting the fact that this station was seen as purely utilitarian with little connection to the hinterland

 

I'm now on the signalling layout , again an area that's confusing is around Keane's points/milltown mainly as it's an area not well photographed. I think I have the inner homes mostly worked put. There was a transition at some point from some of the main line semaphores on the Dublin side to coloured lights. Hard to tie down when it occurred

 

I'll try and publish as I go for comments. And I'm off to the national library to view sone signal box photos next week ( I happened to have a reading card )

 

As I said any help on trying the signals down would be great

 

The more I look at it the more I just love this as a model layout, like all layout it will have a few (!) compromises, shortening the platforms will be the obvious one as will probably not carrying the layout beyond the inner homes , but that's weighted against the advantages of low buildings count, little town modelling , and interesting almost bizarre train movements , especially in the block train era , where shunting was almost non existent.

CTC was the worst thing to happen to irish railways -grr ( and bizarrely I helped as I was involved in CTC data comms in the late 80 and early 90s ) ( all running on two DEC Vaxs ! )

 

All help with the signalling much appreciated

Edited by Junctionmad
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I don't ever recall anything coming in off that up line until it hit the scissors and then met the platform, but it's one of the most inelegant track layouts I've ever seen - possibly what makes it so fascinating.

 

When I travelled through it regularity in the late 70s , platform 4 was quite often used by the cork to Dublin train , even though in the absence of trains in platform 1 that was the preferred stopping place for both the up and down trains, probably cause of closeness to the limerick platform

 

Platform 1 is signalled in both direction, whereas platform2 was only signalled in the up direction, primarily because I don't beleive a crossing existed to get the train back onto the down line , that far south. ( nor would there have been any traffic advantage )

 

In fact on several occasions , I remember the two locos facing each other at platform 1 and 2

 

The other rather bizarre issue is that all awful lot of goods trains had to shunted into platform 1 , and the engine run around. This must of tied up that platform a lot

Edited by Junctionmad
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One wonders what was behind the thinking at miltown and the way the direct curve attached to the limerick line , were they anticipating a double track arrangement that was being mooted for Limerick around that time ?

 

Heres the original north box

 

image.jpg

Edited by Junctionmad
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My understanding is that Limerick Junction North didn't get moved/replaced. It was bricked up to provide a relay room (for the Direct Curve panel) and, possibly, the additional weight on the operating room of the panel etc. Moving the cabin location would have meant disconnecting the signals from the frame, and I don't recall seeing anything about such a disruption, but I stand to be corrected.

The timber cabin at LJN is a typical GSWR hipped-roof cabin, extensively used for civil war replacements.

 

http://jandjcottrell.zenfolio.com/f630709027

Some pictures here seem right in your period. Just the one Harper's in LJN, towards Dundrum to the north. The section between LJN and LJS had control levers. One of the photos shows two of these black/red/blue pulled forward.

 

Limerick Junction South does seem to have been an old cabin, although even by 1980 the windows had been "got at" with aluminium replacements.

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Fantastic picture resource. Thank you very much Funny they didn't get the same detail inside the south cabin ( but I found another one for that )

 

The diagram confirms my memory that the outer signals on the Dublin side were a mix of semaphore and colour light by the late 70s

 

I think I can start that track and signal plan now

 

Any info much appreciated

 

PS when I mentioned the moving of the north cabin I meant like 20-30 feet. But it could be just illusion

 

 

Anyone have a picture of the signal board in the south cabin around the period in question

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One wonders what was behind the thinking at miltown and the way the direct curve attached to the limerick line , were they anticipating a double track arrangement that was being mooted for Limerick around that time ?

 

Heres the original north box

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]14846[/ATTACH]

 

To me it looks like it was done to prove sufficient signaling overlap / protection so that a train from Dublin could be signaled into the direct curve at the same time a train was signaled into Limerick Junction from Limerick.

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To me it looks like it was done to prove sufficient signaling overlap / protection so that a train from Dublin could be signaled into the direct curve at the same time a train was signaled into Limerick Junction from Limerick.

 

Not sure how that would work, I mean the direct curve joins the passing loop very near the limerick end, effectively forcing trains to hold on the direct curve, and there is evidence that on occasion that was done ( IPRS rail tour for example) I can't really see what the passing loop was for, other then to provide a Limerick to Junction train to wait for a train the opposite way to get by. i.e. its was a passing loop for the Limerick line rather then anything specific to the "direct curve"

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I wonder did anyone do a photo survey of the signals before they were all removed , there was a veritable forest.

All help with the signalling much appreciated

 

I took these about 12'ish years ago - apologies for the fuzz in some, crappy nikon first generation digital camera...pfff.

 

Hope they are of some help.

 

http://irishrailwaymodeller.com/album.php?albumid=88

http://irishrailwaymodeller.com/album.php?albumid=89

 

Richie.

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