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Various things from holiday

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David Holman
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Just back from a 6 day tour of SW Ireland. Several soft days [inevitably!], but enough good weather to appreciate most of the scenery. Our tour started from Shannon & went north and west via the Burren & Cliffs of Moher on a lovely day when we quickly realised our [very] cheap hire car had not air-con and aerobic windows - the latter a neat idea, but one I can't see catching on... The carefully planned route also took in Moyasta Junction & although shut, I did manage to photograph a few things, including the steam loco and several industrial diesels, albeit with the former hiding in its shed. Am sure the interior of Moyata station will feature in a future model building, as it was a real time warp.

First question though - what is all the broad gauge stuff going to be used for over the road? As well numerous carriages, seemed to me there was either a C or an A lurking under tarpaulins.

The Shannon ferry was a bit of fun & of course soon after, we rolled into Listowell, only to find we had missed the last train by less than half an hour. They must shut up shop pretty quickly mind as nobody was about, so could only poke the camera lens through the fence to take a couple of pics of the track. Not anywhere on my modelling radar mind, though did meet a young chap at St Albans this year who was well on the way to creating a station scene with lots of superb track built from his own etchings.

That was Day 1, which ended in our base for three nights at a very nice hotel in Killarney. Day 2 was the Ring of Kerry, sadly spoiled by a white out from Kenmore pretty much all the way to Cahirciveen. Kenmore seems a fine town & presumably the station was fairly close to the centre as the church spire features in several Casserley photos. Presume it is now part of the supermarket? Had to visit the Valencia railhead, almost lost in the murk, but did see much of the old trackbed on the way back to Killarney. As for the 'Reeks', cloud base was below 100feet and in it, visibility below 50 feet, so that is twice we've missed the scenery here.

Day 3 was Dingle, which started a bit like Day 2, but at least cleared in the afternoon. My goodness, the peninsula is stunning, while tracing the route of the railway makes you wonder if the gradients were actually steeper than 1 in 29 in places? No problems tracing the route, especially with Castlegregory Junction so easily identifiable. Another question here though - what, if anything, is happening to the 'preserved' stretch from Tralee to Blennerville? Track in place, but very rusty & no sign of life as we passed.

Day 4 was a tour [with more rain] via Bantry, Skibbereen, Clonakilty and Kinsale [spell checker wants to put Kindle here!] to our final base in Cork. Hence stopped at Ballydehob for the Schull & Skibbereen viaduct. Nice to see it in such a good state of repair, but disappointed to find no references to its origins - just the birds & other wildlife you might see in the estuary. Am afraid we passed on the model village at Clonakilty - 11 euros each seemed a bit much, even though it is presumably housed in the old Bandon station? Did we miss much?

What we did do was call in at Courtmacsherry. What a superb little place that was, with the trackbed of the tramway clearly traceable, right into the old station site. Am presuming that is the old station building, now converted into a house? Likewise, that is the former loco shed in the garden? What about the stone building next to it though? Certainly looks old, while am guessing that the railway must have run right in front of the school as it came into the village. For me, this is just about the perfect branch terminus, especially with the siding out onto the pier as well & with Tyrconnel doing kits for all the locos and stock, it surprises me than nobody has had a go at building it. Certainly on my list, though not anytime soon. There was even a race meeting on the 'strand' [mudflats, really], again great fun & would make an interesting scenic item in a smaller scale methinks.

Day 5 saw the morning spent in Cork, but much more enjoyable was a rail trip out to Cobh. Very pretty town, spoiled a little by the Carribbean Princess cruise ship being in port. Hence many [mostly elderly, it seemed] Americans and Aussies wandering around. Very good for local trade though! Nice to see the town makes much of its railway history, with several good display boards. Likewise the semaphore signal still standing at the Cobh end of Cork station.. Am guessing they are not working now though?

Saw two Class 201s in Cork - one in the yard, the other just in with an express from Dublin. Am guessing the station has been much altered of late. Did it always only have just two through platforms though?

On the way out of Cork the next day, glimpsed what I though might have been a smaller diesel in the station. Certainly looked a bit short for a 200, but was in the new green livery, at the head of passenger stock. Unable to stop at the time, but perhaps someone can enlighten?

Our last day was about getting back to Shannon, for our evening flight. Managed to visit Youghal, which is a very fine little town & it would be nice to see the line from Middleton extended there - certainly the trains were rode on were very busy to & from Cobh.

Crossed the Mallow - Waterford line on our way to Limerick, but no further railway sightings. Lovely holiday - splendid scenery, lovely people [great music in the bars] and excellent food. Pretty good value too, even with the euro falling through the floor. We'll be back - and not just for Cultra in November, though am thinking the only way I'm likely to see the Ring of Kerry in all its glory would be to live locally for six months and get out when/if a fine day is ever forecast!

Edited by David Holman
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Hi David

 

Great to hear you were over visiting, all great places...

 

I can answer the one on the Clon Model Railway Village, myself and baseboard Dave did a 2 day show there 3 weeks ago;-

 

The station building is great, the model village is great;- they have two Park Royal coaches and a diesel loco out front not going anywhere, they've taken parts of the villages around the area and scattered them throughout the layout with viewing paths, bridges and vertical sleeper railings- hat's off to them they have done a very neat job.

 

But, to me, the Gauge 1 model railway layout was very disappointing- all the track has been laid at the lowest level even below viewing footpath and it just looks like a model rail layout, patrons are looking down on roofs! There are plenty of hills and embankments but no one thought of running track at high level. With the history of railways in the area and some of the structures still existing there was no attempt to integrate them in the model. And the trains are German or other, but no Irish local stuff which in my book is a must for a venture like this.....

 

I'd still pay €11.00

 

Eoin

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Thanks Eoin, sounds like another good excuse for further visits.

Another question I forgot to ask is about the brightly painted houses and shops one sees in towns and villages these days.

Have they always been this way? Potentially makes for fine modelling opportunities, but (before WW2), am thinking whitewash was a more likely covering for walls/rendering. Doors and window frames a different matter as gloss white paint is very much a post war invention?

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I can answer the one on the Clon Model Railway Village, myself and baseboard Dave did a 2 day show there 3 weeks ago;-

 

- they have two Park Royal coaches and a diesel loco

Eoin

When I saw these coaches for the first time, the one out front is recognizable instantly as a Park Royal which usually had a rectangular and often an oval window adjacent to the doors. The other is obviously a PR also, but has a different arrangement of vents either side of the 7 passenger windows/side resembling more closely the 1429 series coaches. I have seen the latter (PR) in pictures from the BnT era but infrequently. Is one of these the suburban and the other the mainline? Thanks for any info.

DC

IMG_3509.jpg

Edited by DiveController
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The semaphores in Cork are operational, not ornamental, but living on borrowed time.

 

Clonakilty is nicely set up, but could have been done better. The stock doesn't resemble anything that ran on the West Cork or Ireland for that matter. Wouldn't be too much of an ask to have someone build a Bandon tank and some genuine stock. It's fine for childrens' parties and that's about it - as an interpretation on what the West Cork was like before it closed...forget it.

 

Tralee - Blennerville is closed for maybe 10 or 15 years now, and the way it's looking I don't see anything happening here, despite the exhortations that had been made online a few months back.

 

I think Ballydehob and those places along the S&S missed a trick without making reference to the railway anywhere. If it wasn't for the viaduct you could be forgiven for thinking that this part of the SW was never served by rail.

Edited by minister_for_hardship
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Interesting. Many thanks chaps. Real shame about both the S&S and the T&D. On our first trip to Ireland, came across the newly restored line at Blenneville & seeing the Hunslet in steam ranks as one of the best railway experiences I've had - alongside a cab ride in a Shay on Vancouver Island and various loco driver 'courses' for Christmas and birthdays.

As suspected, will mostly need white paint when I start doing the buildings for my Clogher Valley project.

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Brightly coloured houses are a recent thing, the local co-op/hardware store back in the day would have a limited palette of masonry paints and whitewash would be far cheaper anyway. Business premises might go with colored paints, but nothing as garish as today's shades.

Doors might be picked out in brighter gloss paints and window frames would have been white or brown perhaps. Old coloured postcards of streetscapes would be a good guide.

Owners of whitewashed thatched cottages tended to paint the doors and windows in bright reds, blues and greens.

Edited by minister_for_hardship
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