Jump to content

Tmd/ssm mgwr "e" / gsr j26 / cie 551 0-6-0t

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

The nature of loco building these days is that people take on additional projects before finishing the ones they've already got. I'm no exception. :dig:


Whilst working out various schemes for the "S" class inside motion, which is proving more difficult to render accurately than I had first thought, another Irish kit popped up on eBay. This was the old TMD kit for the MGWR "E" 0-6-0T in original form and, joy of joys, it had a full set of Sharman P4-profile driving wheels (long unavailable after Phoenix Paints bought up and then effectively killed the range) plus trim-it-yourself axles for 21mm gauge, and a full set of spacers for 21mm gauge.


Initially offered at £50, nobody wanted it and it promptly reappeared at £42. An entire week went by, and still nobody wanted it. About 10 seconds before it went begging for the second time, I took the bait and it was knocked down to me. :banana:


This is what turned up:






Fortunately it came with a full set of the original instructions, which referred to a (missing) nickel silver chassis - superseding the old etched brass chassis. At this point, Des at SSM (who now produces the kit, pretty much unchanged) stepped in and kindly agreed to supply the missing etch plus some extra boiler fittings from another kit for not a lot of Euros, so payment was made and hopefully these are now in the post and coming this way.


For anyone contemplating 21mm gauge Irish steam, you can't get much simpler than a nice 0-6-0T to start you off. You will learn loads about suspension systems and weighting.


The question for me is what to do with the thing. Those who know me in P4 will be aware that I only try to model preserved stuff, engines and stock that I can go and see, so doing an engine which hasn't been with us since 1963 is going out of the comfort zone, and Professor Hawking's Brief History of Time isn't a key to travelling in time back to an age when Church and State ruled Ireland and were frequently in each other's pockets.


If you build the kit as designed, and remember it was designed as far back as 1981 when CAD was just a glint in Des's eye and only big companies had access to the burgeoning world of design software, you get a very competent model of a Martin Atock engine, at least one of which served on the old Achill Branch for a few years after the line opened. Nameplates and numberplates for two of the class come with the kit.


What the kit does not do is fully cater for the later GSR & CIE career of the class, so you don't get any rivetted smokebox and you don't get lowered boiler fittings. Des can fix the latter to a certain extent, but not the former, which you will have to make yourself. Neither do you get the extended cab fitted to those engines which served on the self-contained Waterford & Tramore line.


Drawings for the "E" are very thin on the ground, certainly nothing for the inside cylinders and motion, and there don't seem to be a great many photos of the class at work either. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places.


I've no idea how long this will take to build, given that I've been doing two jobs until relatively recently, and modelling time is very thin on the ground. I do want to use CSB suspension, so will have to buy in a full set of hornblocks, bearings and spring carriers from High Level. There won't be any inside motion in this one, so you're quite safe; I have no drawings. But it will be built as a GSR / CIE engine, and it will take shape somehow.....

Edited by Horsetan
Capitalisation of initials
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 82
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Those locos were by far the main power on the Achill line from opening (1895) until the D16s took over about 1905. They were also used on the Killeshandra, Athboy and Kingscourt branches a lot.


In GSR / CIE days, I'd say a bit of plasticard might suffice for the Tramore "extension" to the cab. 560 retained its cast GSR number plates to the end. The others all had painted numerals in CIE days.


No issues with fancy lining if that's your era, of course! Plain grey all round.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's what John means, there is no need for lining, as they were all painted in the GSRs battleship grey



I remember interviewing the late Billy Lohan, former GSWR fireman and later GSR driver. I asked him what his first memory was of the railway. "There were six J15 in Tuam", he told me, "and I had to polish them until the lining shone".


I thought he's old, he's confusing it with something else. Then I realised - he's talking about 1914! The all-grey appeared some time after 1918 and stayed until the end of steam.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember interviewing the late Billy Lohan, former GSWR fireman and later GSR driver. I asked him what his first memory was of the railway. "There were six J15 in Tuam", he told me, "and I had to polish them until the lining shone".


I thought he's old, he's confusing it with something else. Then I realised - he's talking about 1914! The all-grey appeared some time after 1918 and stayed until the end of steam.

Would this have been a black or green livery? Sehr interesant, Herr Beumont( very interesting ya boyo Beaumont)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have two of these locos the 1st built nearly 30 years ago with the original brass chassis which actually works, the 2nd with the revised n/s chassis awaiting a new set of coupling rods.


Assembling these kits is probably nearer to scratchbuilding without having to cut out the metal than a modern kit with pre-formed parts, slot and tab construction and multi layer detail.


Both the original and revised frames are unusual in that they were designed to be assembled with the axle bearing for a rocking or sprung axle running in a slot or circular hole in the main frame, rather than separate etched or cast hornblocks commonly used in 4mm scale modelling practice.


The original chassis may be a better starting point for a sprung chassis than the later n/s version


The original brass chassis appears to have been designed with slots for a standard 1/8" top hat or compensated bearing. I used Sharman Flexichassis Brushes for a compensated chassis. The loco is a reasonably good runner despite a 30 year old DS10 motor and a slight waddle, which indicates that the original drafting of the artwork was accurate.


The later n/s chassis was designed for compensated assembly using top hat brushes and equalising beams. I found that the axle holes for the rocking axles were etched oversized for the collar of a 1/8" top hat bearing. The coupling rods appear to be different centres and more fragile than the original brass version, I managed to destroy one of the rods during the final stage of assembly of the second loco :((


I will probably get around to finishing it some day.


If you fancy a day at the races as far as I recall parts for the extended W&T cab roof and sides are in the fret, and I may have a suitable riveted smokebox somewhere.

Edited by Mayner
Link to comment
Share on other sites

...as far as I recall parts for the extended W&T cab roof and sides are in the fret, and I may have a suitable riveted smokebox somewhere.


The W&T "garden shed" cab is not present on the etches I have, which are untouched. It wasn't my intention to build the W&T variant, as it happens.




The rivetted smokebox would be very helpful.


In respect of the two types of chassis, the brass one does look friendlier towards CSB suspension, but I can only determine this once I have the later n/s version to compare it with. I will be using my usual coreless motor (RG4) to power it; can't stand worm gears.


Here is the castings pack, applicable to the original "E":




Note the tall chimney that seems to go on forever, and the unusual "Y"-strapping on the original smokebox door.


It is said that Martin Atock was as much an artist as he was a locomotive designer, giving not much time to the styling conventions of the day. Had he lived in a later era and worked in the car industry, I like to think he would have fitted in very well at Citroen prior to the PSA takeover.

Edited by Horsetan
Photos added
Link to comment
Share on other sites

J26 Fret.jpg


The small rectangles beside the rear spectacle plate appear to be the Waterford and Tramore bunker sides. More in the way off a set of scratchbuilders parts than a complete kit.


The safety valve and smoke box door castings are suitable for the period from building up to re-boilering immediately prior to WW1, when the locos appear to have been fitted with more conventional smokebox doors, ejector pipework and ross pop safety valves, but retained their long cast Iron funnels and smoke box wrapper flush with boiler cladding. The later GSR style riveted smokeboxes and built up chimneys appear to have been fitted during the Emergency.


Great Southern Railways by Donal Murray (Ian Allen) has several photos of these locos on branch line workings in GSR days.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Must concur with Mayners comments on the kit.I didn't use either of the chassis but the side frames done by Alan Gibson and MJT hornblocks.Mines built as 552 in the 30's for next layout(Courtmacsherry).Though it does make guest appearances on Valencia just to give a bit of variety from J15's.See it at Warley.All the best Andy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Found a couple of reasonably clear views of 553 only just fitting on the turntable at Tramore:






Of interest are the "inset" footsteps (catered for in the kit), and the almost Wainwright look of the smokebox door (twin handles, instead of the more common wheel-and-handle) and strapping.



Best pints in Clare indeed. Fawls, Old Ground, The Diamond, Steeles, Brogans, Powers. Roll on the weekend.....


Minogues, and An Teach Ol, in Tulla for me. Happy memories of winter lock-ins during the hunting season :cheers:

Edited by Horsetan
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looking through my little collection, the following books have J26 photos:


Great Southern Railways Donal Murray

61, 56 41 20


Rails Around Cork and Kerry Michael Baker

75 68 20


Locomotive Compendium Colin Boocock



Irish Traction in Colour Derek Huntriss

95 94 84


Midland Great Western Railway of Ireland Ernie Shepherd

Front cover


Cork Bandon and South Coast railway Ernie Shepherd

107 67 52


Irish Railways in Colour V1 Tom Ferris



Irish Railways in Colour V2 Tom Ferris

34 36 37 39

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ideal for a layout as they were very well travelled after the 1925 amalgamation.... Castleisland, Fenit, Albert Quay, Courtmacsherry, Clonakilty, Kingscourt, Athboy, Killeshandra.... Possibly Banagher, Ballinrobe, Mitchelstown and Newmarket too..... they shunted in Dublin and Cork, both Glanmire and Albert Q.


And of course, Waterford & Tramore.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use