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GNRi/UTA Coaches in N

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1 hour ago, TonyMcGartland said:

I must admit I know little, or nothing about GNRi coaching stock. Is anyone aware of any N-gauge coaches that are available RTR that are similar to GNRi and UTA stock pre-closure. I would appreciate any info.

Hi Tony.   Are you considering switching to N gauge for the layout?  

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Noel, good question!

A few weeks ago I set out my proposed layout on the makings of a 10x6 sheet of birch ply. I set out my curves and three lines of track work as a basis for my track plan. Without losing too much working space in the centre of the layout, it was almost impossible to get in all the components I wanted, especially a turntable and engine shed which was situated on the line out of Omagh towards Dungannon. 

If working in 00 in my shed is going to mean big sacrifices - no continuous running, no turntable and limited sidings well I have to consider N-gauge. Its not ideal but I hope to visit a local model shop this weekend to handle the N-gauge stock just to give myself an idea of what size it is in relation to 00. 

To be realistic about it, if I have to move to N to get everything I need down, thats the way I will go.
Any advice?

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The NCC generally copied much design-wise from the LMS. There are a number of standard LMS coaches which would be fine with just a repaint into UTA green. The trouble is, very very few ventured onto the Derry Road ever! None would have regularly been there at all, but maybe the odd one on a special.

In N scale, being smaller, greater liberties can be taken by all but the absolute  perfectionist. Worsley Works does N gauge  sides for NCC "North Atlantic" stock, but these five vehicles never left the NCC. They also do CIE laminates, which made but two or three forays onto the line, I believe as far as Omagh only. And you'd need an N gauge 141 for that, which would be a Shapeways 3D print. This would be inaccurate for any other use on this layout whatsoever, and would be expensive and troublesome to make.

So, GNR. 

A number of proprietary 0.6.0 locos could roughly approximate (in THIS scale, but not 00!) to common GNR types like the UG. I'll have a look at what coaches might do - there are several older LNER types which could be altered to look vaguely GNR wooden types - but can they be got in N scale? Some LMS types of post-1935 designs can look somewhat like post-1950 GNR stock.

I'll post again after I've looked online at what N stuff is for sale.

Ordinary N gauge open and flat wagons are fine with a repaint. For vans, again I'll have a look.



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JB, that was a very informative response.

Thanks for taking the time to do so and I do appreciate you having a look on line. 00 gauge in the space I have would mean short sidings, short goods trains and sacrifices at every corner.

To be honest, modelling Irish can be difficult enough without running into space problems. I'm thinking seriously about this. Are there any other N-gauge Irish models around?

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Now, here we are. I must emphasise first that N gauge modelling is where OO was in 1970. If you want Irish, and anything approaching accuracy, scratch building I should the ONLY show in town. If RTR stuff ever appears, it'll  be 201s (the modern super-long type, not the "C" class - and Mk 3s!

This means that for Omagh, the only alternative is repainted and/or altered British stuff, which is what I list below as probably the best options, and not suitable at all for a gauge larger than N.

Coaching stock

1. Graham Farish LN03 57ft type.  In green, vaguely like some GNR stock still in use then. Mid grey roof, UTA green sides, black ends and chassis.

2. There is a Southern Railway brake 2nd which isn't unlike some GNR brake seconds.

3.  An LMS open standard, which is early in 00 convertible to a Bredin, is vaguely similar to some GNR main line stock of the 1947-54 period.

There is a bogie BR wooden bodied parcel van which might be altered to an extent to make a decent approximation of the ubiquitous "P" vans which would be on most passenger trains. 

In terms of wagons, the occasional CIE "H" van can be arrived at by repainting a particular style of BR goods van, this also being useful in its wooden panelled style for some UTA vans.

The UTA wagon grey was darker than CIE, but in your period quite simply never pristine. They knew they were running down goods traffic and wagons were rarely if ever painted, and frequently repaired with odd unpainted planks, planks in undercoat or some other  random shade of grey  or even brown. Therefore, like cement bubbles, for any attempt at realism, heavy weathering is essential (sorry, IRM!). CIE vans were neater, tidier and better looked after.

For a goods brake, the best you can do is try to scratchbuild a GNR one, using Leslie's excellent 00 gauge model as a model -  bear in mind, though, that the white roofs, cream vestibule interiors, and above all, the gaudy "Ivan"-esque zebra style vertical black ironwork strapping are all entirely inaccurate for any livery; all grey is yer only man. Such "livery" details are entirely Whitehead inventions.

A CIE "tin van" might be an extremely rare visitor too.



Edited by jhb171achill
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Finally, locos. Given the total cosmetic neglect of many ex-GNR locos, you won't have many livery worries! Just weather a black model so much you wouldn't know what colour it had been painted!

There's really little choice unless you scratchbuild. With poor light and the wrong glasses, the approximations will have to do.

Of bought models:

LMS 0.6.0 tender loco with altered cab - GNR "UG" for passenger and goods.

LMS 4.4.0 tender loco with alterations - "S" class for passenger. Paint a dullish blue and weather until practically none of it can be seen!

LMS Fairburn or Stanier 2.6.4T - for those of us who "need to go to specsavers", it would to as a "jeep".

An all-steam layout?

You will need a 4-car (not 2-car) railcar set. In 00, Silverfox have re-liveried a BR type in various Irish liveries. If that particular type is available in N, give it the dark green treatment and it'll do, with maybe a LMS Stanier third as an intermediate, plus a similar brake second. Tow a couple of brown-liveried (brown = fitted, to the UTA) goods vans behind it, and away ye go.

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In my experience over the last 5/6 years it is difficult to get the types of MK1 coaches jhb mentions. The types that are available are not really suitable as they have different configurations of doors/windows etc.

While steam locomotives are more readily available these will need some work to make them passable.. 

Below are some photos an S class I converted from a Union Mills T9 . The photos show the T9 in its original form, the alterations I made to the sides and front and finally the finished article



Union Mills T9



Alterations to one side




Alterations to front





Completed version








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Worsley Works sides on a rtr Graham Farish or Dapol body would appear to be the best option for producing UTA/GNR coaches

Colin Flanagan has produced convincing results with rtr conversions of NCC & GNR coaches using these methods in OO  UTA-GNR-K15.jpg

The Worsley Works N scale list does not include GNR stock at this stage http://www.worsleyworks.co.uk/2mm/2mm_Irish_Standard_Gauge.htm but Alan Doherty is likely to produce the sides if you ask him.

Finding a donor body may be a bit tricky Graham Farish appear to have dropped their older corridor and non-corridor coaches which may still be available second jhand on e-bay or exhibitions https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GRAHAM-FARISH-N-GAUGE-MAINLINE-COMPOSITE-COACH-GWR-BROWN-CREAM-/292327768203 j

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