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Ariana Town re-imagined

 Seven years after construction began, with four and a half years on the road and 39 shows, Arigna Town is now being reconfigured as a new project. What is being done is that the layout is being reversed, so the side that was the back scene will become the front and vice versa. Over the weekend have removed all the buildings, apart from the signal box and station at what was the rear of the layout, then got the jigsaw out and reduced the back scene pretty much to track level. 

 Drastic, but once I removed the first building [the trees will all go as well], my feelings have been largely neutral. Yes it has been a good layout to operate and likewise nice to look at, but I can now look forward to developing it as a new project. The plan is basically as follows, though liable to change as things progress:

  • The baseboards are still solid, being 6mm birch ply
  • The track plan largely stays the same, although the turnout that lead to the goods siding will be replaced by a single slip. The extra track from this will go in front of the signal box, exiting to the fiddle yard as a branch to the harbour. In addition, two new tracks will lead off the turntable to a loco shed, which will now be at the back of the layout
  • Turning the layout round, now means the wire in tube controls are at the front. Useful at home, but when the layout goes out again, it will be front operated, but with point motors and/or servos for remote control.
  • A new turntable will be fitted & this will also be electrically powered.
  • The new track layout means the will need to be a two doll starter signal at the platform end.
  • Where the cattle dock has been until now, will be the site for the goods shed [a 'drive through' type], with the Leitrim Co-op building moving there too.
  • The corrugated roofed barn and the signalman's cottage will be moved to the rear edge of the layout
  • The new back scene will be profiled to the outline of distant hills, with either a separate, hard sky scene behind or a one piece, roller blind sky scene instead.
  • There will be a new, single road, loco shed, with the second track in front for also storing locos. The water tower will be moved past the turntable.
  • Where the white, Georgian house would have hidden the hole in the sky to the fiddle yard, this will be replaced with something like a warehouse or maybe something which suggests a distillery.

 In addition of course, I have already hinted that I am backdating my modelling to include locos and stock of the very early 1900s, so at least a couple of new locos [I already have Shannon & the 101], plus several new coaches and wagons to suit. The fiddle yard remains the same, but I am planning on making a second, seven track, train table, so I can continue exhibiting my SLNCR/CIE 1950s stock too. So, plenty to do!

Blacksod Bay?

 Blame Jonathan Beaumont, of this parish, for his splendid book 'Rails to Achill', which sowed the seeds in my mind of an interesting 'might have been'. Have brooded long and hard on this, so the scenario is as follows:

  • There were several proposals to build a railway to Bellmullet in Co Mayo. From the south a line was to run up from Mallarany on the Achill branch. From the west, there were essentially two separate proposals, one which hugged the coast from Killalla, the other a direct route from Ballina, through Crossmollina. All of these would have been in MGW territory had they been built.
  • Bellmullet is a small town at the head of Blacksod Bay, a large, deepwater harbour, protected by the Blacksod peninsula from the ravages of the Atlantic. For a while, it was seen as a transatlantic port for Canadian Pacific steamers, in the days when mails and passengers could complete the journey quicker, by rail and ferry, than staying on the ship. Thus far, I have yet to see where on Blacksod Bay this port would have been, but that is fine by me, because it gives me a bit of a blank canvas to 'imagineer' my new project.
  • The idea is as follows. The first line was built along the direct route from near Ballina to Bellmullet, not by the MGW, but by the Waterford, Limerick & Western, in conjunction with the SLNCR. A connecting line from Foxford to Longford enables direct running to Collooney, Sligo, Enniskillen, etc. This line terminates at Blacksod Bay in a setting not entirely unlike that at Burtonport [another favourite]. The MGW then gets in on the act by building its own line to Blacksod Bay from Mallarany on the Achill line.
  • Implausible? Absolutely!
  • However, given the way my collection of Irish locos and stock has developed during the Arigna Town project, the scenario above enables my SLNCR, MGW, WLW & GSWR stock to all rub shoulders, as indeed actually happened in Sligo.

 So, there you are. Arigna into Blacksod Bay. The station becomes an island platform, so there will be room to park the mails, while it will also be the headhunt for the harbour branch, worked [depending on period] by either 0-4-2T Lark or the G class diesel. An opportunity for all sorts of additional traffic which can't be accommodated in the station itself. The SLNCR is expected to work livestock and maybe turf traffic, along with a mixed train. The MGW [in the early 1900s anyway] will be responsible for the mails, for which I hope to built Achill Bogie 'Wolf Dog'. The WLW will do general freight using Shannon and the GSWR train will be a mixed, using the 101.

 That's the current plan anyway, but things could change, not least because I'm probably looking at around two years to complete the project, then hopefully, it will be exhibited again. In the meantime, watch this space & to either whet your appetite, or maybe make you shed a tear, below a few pictures of what has been done to Arigna. The buildings and trees that don't get reused are promised to the Chatham club's 0 gauge layout, by the way.

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Excellent idea David,

Looking forward to seeing this progress and how you handle the recycling transformation- an excellent layout that could go on for ever!

JHB's book also inspired me to set up a drawing for a layout of the Achill station- one for the future......

Eoin

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I always wondered what happened to layouts when they were retired from the exhibition circuit - now I know. Look forward to reading more about it.

Stephen

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I think a lot of layouts actually end up scrapped, Stephen, though a few get sold and some, like Arigna, get refurbished. Of the exhibition layouts I've built myself, the first two were scrapped, the next two got sold [not for very much] before the next was scrapped and two after that got sold as well. With most layouts you can usually move them on without the stock, because they are to a known scale/gauge. The problem with Arigna Town was that if I was going to move it on, it would mean a fair amount of stock would need to go with it because so few people work in 7mm scale, 36.75mm gauge. That then becomes very expensive with scratch and kit built locos involved. Hence the refurb.

Corrections

 However, even at this early stage, a couple of corrections are necessary. Firstly, my fictitious history and a bit of geography.

 The link from the Burma Road to the Ballina branch should read Swinford to Foxford, not Longford as I first mentioned. However, looking at both map and history, a potentially more realistic bit of imagineering would be that the Athenry & Tuam Railway was extended much earlier to Claremorris instead of waiting until 1894. It was actually the Great Northern & Western that built the lines to Westport & Ballina - the Midland & Great Western not taking over until later, though they did work the lines. The WLW got in on the Burma Road from Claremorris to Sligo largely because the MGW weren't interested and indeed, weren't exactly over enthusiastic about taking on the Ballina line either. So, my revised bit of history supposes that, with the GNW, the WLW built the line to Ballina - on a slightly different route - starting out on what became the Burma Road and following the river valley from Kiltimagh to Ballina, reaching there in 1873, as per actual history. When the Burma Road was opened in 1895, it included a link from Swinford to Foxford [and therefore on the Sligo, Enniskillen etc] as part of the WLW/SLNCR line to Belmullet. Stung into action by this invasion of their territory, the MGW built a line from Mallarany to Belmullet, thereby satisfying my needs for a model railway with WLW, GSW, MGW and SLNCR trains appearing alongside each other. Works for me anyway...

 The other change is that I am now going to call the project 'Belmullet' instead of Blacksod Bay. Much as the latter is a rather evocative title for a model railway, a couple of fellow modellers have suggested it might not be entirely pc in these enlightened times and they may be right. That said, there is a layout doing the rounds called 'Fawkham Hall' [say it carefully] based on a village of that name while locally, we also have villages called Pratts Bottom, Thong and Wormshill - the latter often annotated by the local wags with a cross bar to the double L. In addition, looking at the sketch plan in Rails to Achill, the orientation of the proposed terminus at Belmullet fits nicely in with the old Arigna track plan, with the new harbour branch able to curve away around the back of the town to the actual quayside on Broadhaven. In viewing the layout from the opposite side, the back scene can include inner Blacksod Bay with the low hills of the peninsula behind and the sky on a separate sheet/board beyond that. Google Belmullet and you will soon see what i mean.

 Yesterday, I ordered the single slip I need from Marcway of Sheffield. Sharp intake of breath at the price, which was £180 [I know!]. However, remember this is a somewhat specialist commission being 36.75mm gauge and code 100 flat bottom rail. Peco it ain't. Given a single slip is actually two over lapping points points and a bit more  - and my original points came in at £60 each seven years ago, then maybe £180 isn't so bad after all. That is certainly what I keep telling myself anyway! 

 Payback arrived unexpectedly quickly, when at a local antique fair today, I found a nice boxed 10 piece set of drawing pens, compasses, dividers and so on on sale for £28 and actually bought them for 20.They look good quality and seem in good condition and I reckon there is potentially about £100 worth, so that balances out the cost of the single slip nicely, while I know I could not build a single slip myself to that quality.

 

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I am going to stick my head above the parapet. Rule one its your railway, call it what you like and Blacksod Bay for me, is more evocative,punchy,interesting, makes me want to go and look than Belmullet. I thought a mullett was a fish or maybe a haircut from way back. I hate all this pc  thing    and I live in a county where the natives are collectively known as Yellow Bellies. No offence there  .Tell your modelling friends to get real. 😡

  Look forward to seeing  Arigna Town reincarnated. 😎

           Mick

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"It's your railway"........ I agree with Mike.

However,  if anyone turned up at Blacksod Bay in real life and suggested they rename the location, they'd be sent away with a very aggressively put "flea in their ear" (to which I would enthusiastically add my voice!).

The Arigna track plan is indeed not unlike what would have fitted into the proposed station site at Belmullet, and I suspect I might have called a layout Belmullet - but I would say to any PC folk, it's Blacksod Bay (if I wanted that name), and if you don't like it you can blacksod off!  😁

Like Fintonagh and Arigna Road, this promises to be an absolute masterpiece, and the best case the modelling world has yet seen for Midland six-wheelers!

(What about the 4 wheeled Achill Railbus, one if the world's first internal combustion passenger vehicles?)

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Looking forward to seeing how you get on with this!  My ma's from round that neck of the woods (Binghamstown) and I would be there regularly enough.  Good luck!! 

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if you model a branch line from belmullet to the far end of the penensula, to blacksod light house and/ or customs house down a wee bit over the side road its a fine building and had a great walled garden, its still there, and you have to include Una's bar next door, one of the friendilest places in Ireland. this way if you follow the road the track from belmullet could transverse salt marsh, sand dune and storm beaches galore, no matter what era, you could have smugglers, and best of all the most colourful old fishing trawlers right next to the end of the line at the pier.  with landscape compression you could have the gas terminal flares every so often. ;)

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Thanks for all the comments, folks. Would love to visit the area eventually. In the past, have managed to get to Burtonport, Clifden, Achill, Westport and Sligo, so really need to make the effort to go back to the far north west. Have often wondered if the intention of a railway to Blacksod Bay would have gone down the peninsula to Blacksod itself - from the pictures on Google, it looks stunning. Am going to stick with the Belmullet concept, because it works with the way the layout is orientated, but could yet include Belmullet for Blacksod Bay as the station sign - though in bilingual form it would need a pretty large space!

 In the last few days have managed to do most of the destructive work on the layout, culminating with the one bit of track lifting required - removing the point to the goods siding, so it can eventually be replaced by the single slip. The point came up really well, a tribute to its robust construction by Marcway, but it immediately set me thinking that I could actually still use it. So, it has been moved a couple of feet up the goods siding and now forms the turnout to an end loading dock beside what has become the bay platform. The very end of the bay now has a platform both sides, which will work as a dock for a horse box, giving an extra bit of shunting, if required.

 Meanwhile, the 'Railway Bar' fits very nicely in the front right corner, opposite the station building. The end back scene, behind this will need to be re-done in order to capture that aspect of Bellmullet town leading to the short canal between Broadhaven and Blacksod Bay. As far as I can tell, the land from the station parallel to the Bay consisted of narrow fields. Have also included a couple of pictures of my new 101, in the the bay platform with a GSWR brake van made by Richard Chown and a SLNCR horse box [ex WLW], which is the limit of my1900s livery stock at the moment! The 101 is still not completely finished, but is starting to look the part.

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That 101 is looking seriously good.  Well done on the lining!

 

 

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Couldn't have done it without your help, JB. However, to my eyes, the boiler bands need toning down a bit, so the red stripe is wider and the white either side less prominent. That's how it appears in  black and white pictures anyway. Want to do the inner, fine red line on cab and tender too.

 Buffer beam number, a bit of light weathering - this is depicting an almost new loco - then a spray of satin varnish and that should be it. Hopefully!

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I presumed that you meant that, David, in saying nearly finished.

If it’s not TOO fiddly, when you’re adding the red to the white on the boiler bands, you could take that opportunity to narrow the white bit?

Beautiful job. Imagine Tuam shed when the late Billy Lohan started work there in 1917 - he said that the loco allocation there at that time was six J15s, and he was told to polish them “until the lining shone”!

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On 3/7/2019 at 9:03 PM, David Holman said:

Thanks for all the comments, folks. Would love to visit the area eventually. In the past, have managed to get to Burtonport, Clifden, Achill, Westport and Sligo, so really need to make the effort to go back to the far north west. 

If you do get to Belmullet at some point make sure you get to P Healey's and McDonnell's, two of the best pubs in Ireland! :cheers:

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  In a land full of fine pubs and bars, that is praise indeed!

 A bit more work has been done on the Belmullet project & have also included a picture of the new island platform with its turnout to the end loading dock. The wiggly tin barn and signalman's cottage have been temporarily put in the new settings - the aim being for one end of each building to help mask a baseboard join. The other picture is of the site of the loco shed. Managed to find a sheet of good quality 3mm plywood, which will form a sub base on to which the shed will be built, including the track & screwed to the baseboard when finished.

 

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I think I saw a bit of TV about Blacksod Bay - it might have been Wednesday night, after half eight - probably TG4, but the sound was off.

I can't seem to go backwards in their schedule...

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A bit more of the Rationale

 When modelling the real thing, there is always a lot of research involved. When doing a 'might have been/imaginary' project,  for me it is important to come up with a plausible rationale, so that from there, trains and traffic can be devised, which then leads to a list of things you want and need to model.

 Belmullet, as said earlier is to be served by the WL&WR/GSWR, MGWR & SLNCR. I'm setting the date as 1904, with the GSWR take over of the WLWR put back by a couple of year to 1903. Hence the GSWR is starting to invade Mayo, but WLW liveries currently remain as they are. This particular idea stems from the need to incorporate the Castle Rackrent/Richard Chown models I now own - in addition to some of my SLNCR and MGW stock from Arigna Town. Eventually, I plan to be able to model both the 1904 and the 1950s: by building a second seven track train table, I'll like as not take one or the other to one day shows and both to two days. As you've no doubt realised by now, I enjoy writing about such things, but I also greatly appreciate the 'proof reading' that many of you offer on my ideas and work, so feel free to offer suggestions to what follows.

1904 Trains

  • SLNCR passenger: Small Tank 0-6-4 'Fermanagh' and three six wheel coaches. The latter are in the Alphagraphix catalogue as card kits and I've already built number 4, though its rebuild to current outline will need backdating from the 1920s. I'm sure I can invent a reason! While it would be nice to redo Fermanagh in early SLNCR green, with a polished dome, it will probably stay in black, but with red coupling rods. The train is envisaged as a service from Belmullet to Collooney via Ballina, Foxford, & Swinford, with connections on to  Enniskillen, Derry, Omagh & Belfast.
  • SLNCR freight: Large Tank 'Sir Henry', with coal inward to Belmullet [from Arigna, of course] and cattle outwards [to Belfast as per SLNCR]. All aspects of these trains are already built and shouldn't need any more work, other than adding auto couplings. The idea is that after the train has arrived and Sir Henry gone to the turntable, the harbour loco [T&C 0-4-2T] will collect the coal wagons and return with the cattle for Sir Henry to take back.
  • WLW/GSW passenger: 101 0-6-0, plus GSW six wheel first and WLW centre van six wheel third [see photo below]. This train will go south to Claremorris and on to Limerick. The GSW are trying out one of their newest [Coey] 101s, while the 6w 1st is an experiment to bring the well heeled up to Mayo from Cork. A couple of horse boxes will be included and there might be room for a carriage truck too. The servants will travel in the brake third, of course...
  • WLW 'mail-goods': 0-6-0 'Shannon', WLW 6 w parcels [see photo], plus carriage truck, D&M goods brake and GSWR brake. Straight out of Castle Rackrent this one and likewise headed down to Limerick and maybe onwards to Waterford. Only the 6w parcels is needed to complete this train.
  • MGW local freight: E class 0-6-0T, MGW 4w parcels van, D&M goods brake and various wagons from all the main companies. These will be worked to Westport, for onward journeys as required. Some of my Sligo wagons may find a use, otherwise I'll be building some new ones, plus I've already bought the Tyrconnel kit of the 4w parcels van.
  • MGW passenger/mails: Achill Bogie 'Wolf Dog', plus three six wheelers - a post office van, birdcage brake third and a composite. This train will go to Westport and be added to a train from there to Dublin. This is the biggest project, as all the train will need to be scratch built, with maybe one coach kit.

 So, my plan is evolving. I'm hoping to finish the'Mail-Goods' and GSW/WLW passenger trains first, as they are partly available already, then move on the other as the whim/muse takes me. Watch this space and my workshop thread!

 

 

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There had been a plan for a transatlantic liner terminal out there, in the late 1800s.

That would have generated a lot of passenger traffic.

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Very interesting project. Looking forward to watching it evolve. Love the photo of the six wheelers

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1 hour ago, Broithe said:

There had been a plan for a transatlantic liner terminal out there, in the late 1800s.

That would have generated a lot of passenger traffic.

Here we are.

 

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1 hour ago, Broithe said:

Here we are.

 

Belmullet  and P J McAndrew's "All Red Route" is mentioned in P J Flannigan's book on the Cavan & Leitrim. The Belmullet scheme seems to have been the final 5'3" gauge development of the Ulster & Connaught Light Railway saga possibly linking Greenore with Belmullet as part of a transatlantic mail and passenger route from the United Kingdom to Canada. 

Mc Andrew and his backers offered to buy the C&L in 1913 and convert it to standard gauge and was "still hovering around" up to 1930-31. A bit like today's Public Private Finance Initiatives the Belmullet scheme would have been dependent on the Government financing the scheme and underwriting any operating losses. It would have ticked the box in terms of relieving poverty (by economic development and like China's Belt and Roads policy improving communication links within the British Empire, but became pretty much a moot point in the changing world after 1913.

Still Mc Andrew's proposal just about opens up the idea of DNGR transatlantic Boat Trains working through from Greenore to Belmullet,  the LNWR had something of a habit of throwing good money after bad on its Irish adventure, the DNGR working the line would have fitted in with the GNR & MGWR agreement to keep out of each others territory and more importantly avoid loosing lots and lots of money!

The LNWR might have re-gauged some Jumbos to work the passenger trains and DX for goods traffic.

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5 hours ago, David Holman said:

A bit more of the Rationale

 When modelling the real thing, there is always a lot of research involved. When doing a 'might have been/imaginary' project,  for me it is important to come up with a plausible rationale, so that from there, trains and traffic can be devised, which then leads to a list of things you want and need to model.

 Belmullet, as said earlier is to be served by the WL&WR/GSWR, MGWR & SLNCR. I'm setting the date as 1904, with the GSWR take over of the WLWR put back by a couple of year to 1903. Hence the GSWR is starting to invade Mayo, but WLW liveries currently remain as they are. This particular idea stems from the need to incorporate the Castle Rackrent/Richard Chown models I now own - in addition to some of my SLNCR and MGW stock from Arigna Town. Eventually, I plan to be able to model both the 1904 and the 1950s: by building a second seven track train table, I'll like as not take one or the other to one day shows and both to two days. As you've no doubt realised by now, I enjoy writing about such things, but I also greatly appreciate the 'proof reading' that many of you offer on my ideas and work, so feel free to offer suggestions to what follows.

1904 Trains

  • SLNCR passenger: Small Tank 0-6-4 'Fermanagh' and three six wheel coaches. The latter are in the Alphagraphix catalogue as card kits and I've already built number 4, though its rebuild to current outline will need backdating from the 1920s. I'm sure I can invent a reason! While it would be nice to redo Fermanagh in early SLNCR green, with a polished dome, it will probably stay in black, but with red coupling rods. The train is envisaged as a service from Belmullet to Collooney via Ballina, Foxford, & Swinford, with connections on to  Enniskillen, Derry, Omagh & Belfast.
  • SLNCR freight: Large Tank 'Sir Henry', with coal inward to Belmullet [from Arigna, of course] and cattle outwards [to Belfast as per SLNCR]. All aspects of these trains are already built and shouldn't need any more work, other than adding auto couplings. The idea is that after the train has arrived and Sir Henry gone to the turntable, the harbour loco [T&C 0-4-2T] will collect the coal wagons and return with the cattle for Sir Henry to take back.
  • WLW/GSW passenger: 101 0-6-0, plus GSW six wheel first and WLW centre van six wheel third [see photo below]. This train will go south to Claremorris and on to Limerick. The GSW are trying out one of their newest [Coey] 101s, while the 6w 1st is an experiment to bring the well heeled up to Mayo from Cork. A couple of horse boxes will be included and there might be room for a carriage truck too. The servants will travel in the brake third, of course...
  • WLW 'mail-goods': 0-6-0 'Shannon', WLW 6 w parcels [see photo], plus carriage truck, D&M goods brake and GSWR brake. Straight out of Castle Rackrent this one and likewise headed down to Limerick and maybe onwards to Waterford. Only the 6w parcels is needed to complete this train.
  • MGW local freight: E class 0-6-0T, MGW 4w parcels van, D&M goods brake and various wagons from all the main companies. These will be worked to Westport, for onward journeys as required. Some of my Sligo wagons may find a use, otherwise I'll be building some new ones, plus I've already bought the Tyrconnel kit of the 4w parcels van.
  • MGW passenger/mails: Achill Bogie 'Wolf Dog', plus three six wheelers - a post office van, birdcage brake third and a composite. This train will go to Westport and be added to a train from there to Dublin. This is the biggest project, as all the train will need to be scratch built, with maybe one coach kit.

 So, my plan is evolving. I'm hoping to finish the'Mail-Goods' and GSW/WLW passenger trains first, as they are partly available already, then move on the other as the whim/muse takes me. Watch this space and my workshop thread!

David

Your research (and imagination!) inspires, and I know I'm not the only one following this project with great interest. You invited comment; here goes with my penny's worth....

To do 1904 and 1950 will obviously require two sets of rolling stock, but in such a scenario the station would almost certainly not have changed one bit from opening to closing! The only thing is to decide who built it. If it was the MGWR, station building woodwork would be painted bright red and (I believe)  a light sandy beige colour (or cream)?). The station sign would be wooden, with white letters on a black background. If WLWR, green paintwork as far as I know, though I could be wrong on that, and station signs were enamel, in navy blue with white letters. It's hardly likely the SLNCR would have built it. But buildings and track - same in any era.

For the 1950 era, you're probably looking at a J15 or two from Claremorris, something SLNCR as you say above, from Collooney, and probably a G2 (650 class) 2.4.0 from Ballina. The only difference between then and 1904, is that earlier you've something like the "Wolf Dog" and maybe another small 2.4.0 of some sort - or even a J26 tank engine (I think you have one of those?). Plus, or course, in 1904 you have brighter liveries instead of plain black on the SLNCR and plain grey on everything else. In 1904, SLNCR are using dark green (darker than your model, though), and you still have the odd loco in WLWR lined maroon, plus lined black GSWR.

Traffic wise, nothing much would change over 1904-50. I would suspect that a SLNCR train would indeed be a couple of six-wheelers. There would usually be something like a 1st / 2nd compo, a third and a brake third. However, exactly the same type of formation would be in the MGWR and GSWR / WLWR trains. What few bogie coaches were about then wouldn't have ever ventured to a place like that (until maybe about 1910). The SLNCR's trio of bogies hadn't been even dreamed of, and the WLWR only had half a dozen in total, which would be on Limerick - Waterford trains mostly, possibly north Kerry the odd time.

Mails were carried in the guard's van. You didn't really get dedicated mail vans on lines like that - however, artisitic licence might allow a mail train on account of some new port. This, again, might allow a "boat train" once a day - probably from the W & L direction.

Goods traffic would primarily be vans for the same reason, and then there's the inevitable monthly cattle fair, with good healthy beasts being walked up from Binghamstown and other places on the Belmullet peninsula.

 

As an aside:

 

You had mentioned Alphagraphix kits (as have others lately.....). Interesting stuff!

I recently obtained an Alphagraphix catalogue, as a result of a conversation with another member on here who has just done some of their kits. I have to say that they are unusual in a number of respects. On the positive side, they are inexpensive and probably a good way for those on a budget to enter the more historical Irish scene. With a combination of metal and card, this is an innovative idea (I know, since the 1980s!) and great for certain circumstances. Also, since in the Irish modelling scene beggars can't be choosers, they have an unrivalled range of stuff, 00 and 0 gauge, broad and narrow gauge. They produce models of things which wouldn't come remotely close to being economically viable if attempted by the many manufacturers we see discussed and advertised here regularly. They must be greatly congratulated on all of the above.

That's all positive. But those who know me will see as absolutely predictable what's coming next. If the pictures in the catalogue are anything to go by, many of these are unneccesarily (and some might say inexcusably) in liveries which far from being a bit "wrong", are entirely fictitious in every single detail. MGWR six-wheelers are shown in bright unlined green. Not one company in the country ever painted a single carriage in bright unlined green. MGWR stock was brown. Some CIE carriages are presented in a quite acceptable lined green for card kits, but others are shown in plain green with gold shaded numbers on them. Again, nothing close to anything real. 

GSR, GSWR and NCC stock is shown in bright red, a la County Donegal. The GSR and NCC used maroon - LMS maroon in fact. Over in the Republic of Brexit you'd never get a carriage in bright red. GSWR stock wasn't ever red - it was a very dark maroon, so dark that it looked almost dark brown. Like Guinness; now there's a thought.

SLNCR stock is in crazy colours.

The "Bandon Tank" is in an unlined green, unlike anything real, as is "Argadeen". Modern plain yellow numbers are shown on the Bandon Tank. I could go on and on and on, to the extent of driving most readers to their best smelling salts. But I add this for one reason and one reason only, as I always do - for the sake of clarifying historical accuracy for those interested. 

I'll add one more - the eternal Irish disease seen in models and in RPSI, DCDR and UFTM preservation - an obsession with black chassis, black drawgear and black ironwork on just about anything that isn't a passenger vehicle (which DID have black chassis!). Even the excellent models of Mr Chown show this on his GSWR brake van.

Rant entirely over. While I repeatedly refer to livery details, let me assure all that is meant for clarification purposes - because there ARE those who like me take the view that colour is the first thing you see on anything. For others, it's less important, or maybe doesn't even matter. A Murphy 071 in Isle of Man bright green - yes, I'd accept it wouldn't look bad - or a yellow track machine painted black all over. But few modern modellers, who see modern stuff day-to-day, would be impressed, I suspect, with a beautiful train of IRM bubbles or exhibition-standard HOBS painted in blue and red all over, with an inaccurate-designed NIR symbol on some and a BR double-arrow on others. Yet, that's what we seem to see regularly on both models and the real thing. Whitehead's "Ivan" brake van with its black zebra stripes makes me dizzy to look at.

Contradictory as it might sound, I will close with what still MUST be Rule No. 1 for every single modeller, "It's YOUR railway and you can do what YOU want!". And that's the first rule that I respect too, totally.

I've finished my tea, and my smelling salts; good night to all!

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Splendid stuff, thanks JB!

It is these snippets of information which always develop the bigger picture and my thoughts are very much along what you suggest.

 The station building is based on Florence court and will stay. I'm using the excuse that government grants and building on the cheap meant they stuck with what they already knew. Sounds like a repaint might be appropriate though? Likewise the signal box, as off the shelf equipment seems common in Ireland. The Sligo used Saxby and Farmer, so this is again continued.

 Have just gone back to Sprink's history of the Sligo and it seems Fermanagh was reboilered in 1912, though others from 1906, when presumably the brass dome was replaced and Ross pop safety valves fitted? Livery becoming black at this point as well? If so, I will need to extend my artistic licence a bit, or move the clock to 1906, as I don't want to do a major rebuild.

 Was saving the 1950s scenario for another day, but essentially, it will make use of the rest of my current Arigna stock, so the railcar, railbus, Deutz G, Hazlewood and G2 continue to get used, along with the Sligo bogies, newer wagons and ex MGW six wheelers. More of that later, including plans for new stuff too.

 As for the Alphagraphix range, it is quite remarkable that we have such a resource at all, though, like Worsley Works, both provide a starting point, rather than a definitive answer. Hence I use the card kits as drawings, to scratchbuild one offs in plasticard or make masters for resin cast multiple copies, while the wagon and coach chassis are ideal for supporting the bodywork. I've found the etched brass stuff to be really well drawn (in other words, it fits) and the loco chassis have always run with little, if any fettling.

 If I'd started serious modelling ten years earlier, am fairly sure I'd have a lathe and be working in S (1/64) scale. If I'd started 10-15 years later, I'd probably be going  along the RTR route. For me, that is where the Irish scene is so interesting. There is just enough available to get you started, but you nevertheless have to work at it. It's why I'm a builder, not an operator or collector, but that is the joy of our hobby, there is something in it for everyone.

 Keep the information coming folks! It really is appreciated 

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Posted (edited)

Just re-reading, if I remember right your station had already green paintwork... this suits CIE, GSR and possibly GSWR, just as well as SLNCR. So a Station repaint mightn’t even be necessary!

Edited by jhb171achill

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