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Remember the republican and loyalist graffiti!

I often imagined a 1980s-based NIR layout with one lot of graffiti on one side of the track and “themmuns” on the other!!

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, jhb171achill said:

Remember the republican and loyalist graffiti!

I often imagined a 1980s-based NIR layout with one lot of graffiti on one side of the track and “themmuns” on the other!!

Haha, not sure I would want to do that although it was *very* noticeable. RHC, UYM and YCV were a bit of a mystery to me but I remember UVF being changed into LOVE with an L and a couple of _

The NCC was very much 'the long way around' for us. I imagine 'Ballyshane' has a flute band.

Edited by NIR
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Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, jhb171achill said:

The armoured RUC land rovers always add a very authentic touch to any northern-based layout of 1970-90!

Let's not forget the typical Ulsterbus, engine as noisy as a 70 Class. The armoured RUC land rovers needed two armoured British Army landrovers as escort where we were going, then you crossed the border and everything was back to normal. It all left a big impression on a visitor.

Looked at foam board and mounting board in my local Hobbycraft today, looks just the thing for structures and surfaces

Edited by NIR
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Foam board is a very good building material and if you know where to ask/look, can be got for free as a lot of shops have their display notices printed on it.

 Rapidly blunts craft knives though, so use the snap off blade variety, as it is the tip which does all the work 

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On 4/6/2019 at 9:17 PM, jhb171achill said:

Remember the republican and loyalist graffiti!

I often imagined a 1980s-based NIR layout with one lot of graffiti on one side of the track and “themmuns” on the other!!

Yes I have thought of that too!  Perhaps inner-city south Belfast, lower Ormeau on one side, Donegall Pass on the other, with all the murals and flags on display!

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Posted (edited)

Larne Harbour, the inspiration for my track plan.

Maybe changed a little between the 60s and the 80s but it seems I have a fairly good memory!

LarneHarbour2ILD182

 

Edited by NIR
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Posted (edited)

My first kitbuild. It's a wide-angle photo, the buffers are not that wonky

IMG_20190421_154050.thumb.jpg.9f76c2a170a6465dcb09f66f5a40adee.jpg

Not prototypical but I needed a fairly easy kit to start with, though I'm sure I saw one or two knocking about NIR in the 80s.

Next up three NIR spoil wagons, with the open wagon above that should make for a decent PW train.

Happy Easter!

Edited by NIR
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Thanks, I have three ivory CIE cement bubbles on order to add some Derry line freight operation to the Larne line spoil wagon formation. Then onto an etched brass MED parcels van to raise the quirky NIR-ness quotient tenfold!

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Posted (edited)

Made a start on the spoil wagons.

IMG_20190424_154534.thumb.jpg.087bfa01cf3f4a23510f94a2588c1ed7.jpg

I am modelling them in their later PW configuration so (left hand side) have removed the ram that powered the door-lifting chain, the door lugs to which the chains were attached via the rotating bar at the top and the hangers for the footboards(?) on the solebar. I won't be modelling the handrails either, except for the remarkably persistent centre handrail, nor the cutoff half door variant as I think it diminishes the essential character of these implacable brutes

13450771005_4050d1f852_b.jpg

I'm not at all sure how they operate in this configuration but, as far as I can make out, in their original configuration the ram pulled down on a chain attached to the outside of the top bar which caused it to rotate so that chains fitted further along on the inside of the bar raised the door above doorstops on each side until the load forced the bottom of the door open and was discharged. The handrails and footboards(?) were presumably used by two fellas who relocated the door behind its stops as it was lowered back down.

315bhh0.jpg

With the houses that close this must be right next to the main line out of York Road station

Edited by NIR
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Pity one of those strange yokes didn't survive!

On 4/21/2019 at 4:07 PM, NIR said:

My first kitbuild. It's a wide-angle photo, the buffers are not that wonky

IMG_20190421_154050.thumb.jpg.9f76c2a170a6465dcb09f66f5a40adee.jpg

Not prototypical but I needed a fairly easy kit to start with, though I'm sure I saw one or two knocking about NIR in the 80s.

More likely old NCC open wagons, as NIR retained a few for ballast. These wagons would have been seen between Dundalk and Belfast on unfitted goods trains up to the early 70s, and very occasionally on the "Derry Road" about 1960-5.  NIR never acquired any. Possible a "crippled" one might have been briefly stranded at somewhere like Lisburn, Adelaide or Portadown in the 1960s the odd time....

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Posted (edited)

Next build lined up, the MED parcels/luggage van. I will be using a Bachmann LMS 60 foot porthole coach as victim, not cheap but it's the right length and the bogies look good too.

IMG_20190429_120004.thumb.jpg.d059d12a433d1368a71e07ce1d42f5e0.jpg

The MED trailers converted to these vans followed the MED lightweight build (steel body frames, ribbed sides, low roofline) around the time body and chassis were being integrated into a modern tubular construction so they look fairly distinctive.

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It's not just the low roofline, the lack of a solebar gives a distinctive see-through look underneath, with towards the centre what looks like a hanger for the side valances once sported by these vehicles.

So I think this needs to start from the bottom up, remove the Bachmann trusses completely, remove the solebar below buffer centreline and represent the hanger with remnants of solebar and truss. Then with this as baseline offer up the etched body sides to see how much needs to be removed from the top. I can't see much in the way of underfloor equipment (battery box offside? dynamo nearside?) so will remove everything except for the brake cylinders, v hangers and brake connections then see what can be done with the pieces. I'm not sure what the two-tone paintwork is all about - differential weathering maybe? - but most of these photos are of the same vehicle anyway so I will probably not bother. I will try some scrap brass for the steps and will also model the handrails at the centre doors and the corners (though perhaps not the knobs) and maybe the lamp brackets too after plating over the ends with flat plastic sheet.

I think the MEDs might have had smaller 3' wheelsets too so might have to change the Bachmann 14mm wheels for 12mm to get the full see-through look.

As for the roof, I have ordered an aluminium BR Mark 1 profile and hope to flatten it somewhat with a rolling pin!

Edited by NIR

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Often wondered why they called them “sangars”....  where did the word come from?

3 hours ago, NIR said:

Next build lined up, the MED parcels van........

 I'm not sure what the two-tone paintwork is all about - differential weathering maybe? 

Excellent plan!

Tha apparent two-tone paint is a result of “touching up” rather than a full repaint. In reality, same maroon all over.

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Posted (edited)

Been playing around with some free software.

I'm now thinking in terms of a 4x1 micro with through running - a single road sector plate completing the loop offscene to the left and a single road fiddle yard completing the main platform road offscene to the right - the long sweep of siding to the front becoming central, conferring a more prototypical scale on the layout. Imagine loop and platform the same length as the siding and there is your prototype.

In operation this means the passenger set and the freight set always have to cross each other on the layout, the freight set entering the loop from the left then getting run around and pulled fully back left onto the sector plate before being propelled into the siding and the passenger set now a full three coach railcar with the rightmost coach stopped in the fiddle yard.

Very theatrical I'm sure, micro layouts seem to have a strange language all of their own.

Just two points, wow, and look at all that space!

trackplan3.thumb.jpg.04d6d5f64772c919090a31a7d22f4b07.jpg

These are small radius points but thanks to the sector plate (represented here by the crossover, imagine the crossover pivoting as a single track) the freight gets a straight run when propelled back into the siding, the backscene (curved in that corner) obscures any toy-like snaking of the passenger railcar entering/leaving on the main centre road and, with no reverse curve onto the sector plate, any snaking is minimised. A straight road from the main through points into a siding is a doubtful prototype but it does have some value here, and while the following looks more prototypical it does seem less 'modelgenic' somehow.

trackplan4.thumb.jpg.236be68ddb06e6f9a3bbe1ddffce8574.jpg

Think of the micro as being the centre third of this prototype.

Just discovered the 3D view function! The layout does seem to have a very prototypical look about it at trackside despite (or maybe because of?) the straight lines. Maybe you don't actually need transition curves at micro level?

Entering from the left this looks a fairly realistic throat with lots of straight then curve (a splitting home signal then a starter signal are assumed offscene, so the whole layout can be shunted through within 'station limits'). Imagine a cement silo at the end of the siding obscuring the 'hole in the sky' to its left - think Magheramorne or Kilroot

left.thumb.jpg.993107e6a000cc227541e40ee9aa3126.jpg

Entering from the right the way ahead is clear, platform on the right and a single stop signal located just before the points - no particular reason for it to be here, I just want one so it may as well 'protect' the points while enforcing separation on the main running line (an outer home or an advance starter are assumed offscene so that this signal can be shunted past within 'station limits' rather than being the station limit). Imagine a vanishing point between hills and sea to the left across a flat expanse - think Limavady Junction

right.thumb.jpg.f53ffb2f45be323f7beaa333b5569b3f.jpg

From the front the long siding is centre stage, the shorter loop means that an arriving freight is always prototypically dwarfed by the length of the siding. With the cement silo obscuring the 'hole in the sky' to the right (and maybe a carefully placed surface mirror to project the illusion of a platform rightwards), imagine a low relief precast concrete overbridge set at an oblique angle with tightly splayed abutments obscuring the 'hole in the sky' to the left - think Bleach Green

centre.thumb.jpg.d6d1f86d4e37986a2a7e801b0878166c.jpg

Imagine a former layout, a headshunt running a short way behind the end of the platform. Obscured by a short run of precast concrete fence, a cut down triangular-ended ex-NCC wooden wagon lies quietly forgotten on a disconnected track as a boat train speeds past...

Edited by NIR

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Posted (edited)

Current actual progress...

MED parcels van left, using a rolling pin to flatten the aluminium BR Mark 1 profile actually seems to have worked! The profile lost around 2mm in height and spread a millimetre or so uniformly along its length, not a problem as it is now an NIR prototypical 9 feet wide! The repeated rolling even produced a nice bodyshell ripple when looking along its length.

Spoil wagons right, awaiting a true up in hot water then struts, brakes and buffers. I like these a lot!

IMG_20190504_142701.thumb.jpg.4166459051d88390d39573b7f434b001.jpg

Edited by NIR

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NIR, I think you might be the first to use (or own up to!) a rolling pin in modelling!

Serious question: did you just roll the centre section of the roof? It certainly seems to have achieved a good result.

Cheers,

Glover

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Glover said:

NIR, I think you might be the first to use (or own up to!) a rolling pin in modelling!

Serious question: did you just roll the centre section of the roof? It certainly seems to have achieved a good result.

Cheers,

Glover

Haha, maybe.

I used a wooden rolling pin and rolled the profile while it rested on the modelling mat, always lengthwise from one end to the other with uniform pressure. Mainly along the centreline but sometimes angled off to one side or the other if the profile seemed to lose its symmetry. Nearly always on the topside but rolled a few times from the underside too (it left marks on the rolling pin!), always rolling a couple of times then measuring the spread along its length for uniformity. Rolled forty or fifty times in total. Best to roll before cutting to length as the rolling induces a slight bow upwards near the ends.

http://www.dartcastings.co.uk/mjt/2970.php

Edited by NIR

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"Rolled forty or fifty times in total". Merciful hour! No wonder there are marks on the rolling pin.

I did buy one of these roofs some years ago with the intention of widening it, as per recommendations from various sources.

Theory was; cut it down the middle and widen using filler. Yea, right........

I think the rolling pin might be the way forward.

Cheers,

Glover

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The easier answer is 5 thou brass ,rolls easily and robust once curved simple to form elliptical roofs and easy to solder on rainstrips etc,Andy.

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1 hour ago, Andy Cundick said:

The easier answer is 5 thou brass ,rolls easily and robust once curved simple to form elliptical roofs and easy to solder on rainstrips etc,Andy.

I did enjoy it though, would do it again.

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Posted (edited)

More inspiration, thanks to anyone here for recording it

geograph-1724310-by-Albert-Bridge.jpg.b8d32bc4b57c967f05aff53f97e2c481.jpg

geograph-3243956-by-Albert-Bridge.jpg.357fd4f9a8dadf5ea3854e5b6733b6f1.jpg

geograph-344884-by-Wilson-Adams.jpg.6b0af2de4196f8da951e2802e310622c.jpg

geograph-4027620-by-Albert-Bridge.jpg.2ba0aa1d9dbfe4704f8791311d7ad39e.jpg

geograph-345559-by-Wilson-Adams.jpg.741994653296d83dd4a08d135599451c.jpg

geograph-3268232-by-Albert-Bridge.jpg.cc6165c23a71a6fb9b8e7ad5239b2d9b.jpg

Edited by NIR
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Posted (edited)

Silver Fox don't seem to be accepting orders so I have been thinking of a NIR DH 1 Class shunter to get me started.  NIR had few locos but I do remember these at York Road, once again they were very distinctive and left an impression.

The Hornby Sentinel is so infuriatingly near but yet so far it almost hurts. 4 not 6, sloped not squared, yet everything else seems so close...

Too much to put right (and just how old is that flat wagon?)

geograph-3328410-by-Albert-Bridge.jpg.2a204682f368e8d45d9dbc58eb8b284b.jpg

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Edited by NIR

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That model has indeed so many differences it’s not even worth a repaint!

Better to await a proper model or go for a Hunslet.

Those shunters were poor and unreliable. The Hunslets, on the rare occasion all three were in traffic together, would feature on PW trains too.

You'll need one of Provincial Wagons ex-GNR guard’s vans to go with the wagons. This will give you a nice NIR ballast train (as I’m sure you know, NIR never ran internal goods trains since the UTA has ended them).

Paint it in extremely heavily weathered dark grey, with the small letters “U T” barely discernible with the number.

Note for modellers of GNR guards vans: never, ever, in any livery were there cream inside balconies, white roofs, or black ironwork as per the Whitehead “Ivan”! All that’s missing there is curtains and a jacuzzi......

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For those of you who may not know, NIR's third picture is of the remains of the footbridge and up platform at the closed Limavady Junction station.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/24/2019 at 4:12 PM, NIR said:

 

315bhh0.jpg

With the houses that close this must be right next to the main line out of York Road station

It is. This loco never hauled spoil trains as such. This will be right next to the station.

Edited by jhb171achill
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44 minutes ago, Dhu Varren said:

For those of you who may not know, NIR's third picture is of the remains of the footbridge and up platform at the closed Limavady Junction station.

Correct. I recall my first visit there in 1969 or 70 - the station building was still there too on the opposite platform, as was the Dungiven bay platform.

While innovative, distinctive and original, the NCC's trademark functional concrete structures were a truly ghastly sight to behold - pure communist-era Moscow, or Colditz in style; worse when strewn with 1970s sectarian graffiti!

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I remember Limavady Junction was always a very busy station in the 1960s, with many RAF personnel from the nearby RAF station at Ballykelly coming and going. Whilst the RAF camp was only a short distance as the crow flies from the station, it was quite a lengthy journey by road on a UTA bus to get to the camp. It was not unknown for RAF personnel to persuade the train crew to stop the train on the airfield itself to drop them off. The railway crossed the airfield, and the main runway which had been extended across the railway during WW2. Trains had priority except in an emergency.

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, NIR said:

More inspiration, thanks to anyone here for recording it

 

geograph-3243956-by-Albert-Bridge.jpg.357fd4f9a8dadf5ea3854e5b6733b6f1.jpg

 

geograph-4027620-by-Albert-Bridge.jpg.2ba0aa1d9dbfe4704f8791311d7ad39e.jpg

 

 

Downshire halt!! Love it - although as a teenager I wasn’t quite so enthusiastic about heading off to school every day from here...in picture 2 you can just make out the distant signal for Carrickfergus - wonderful NCC somersault. Thanks for sharing...

Edited by Galteemore
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Not seen too much on here about costs so here is a budget

250 Tools and books
500 Rolling stock
250 Basic layout

So around £1000 to get things up and running with lots of NIR exotica such as 70s cut-down opens PW set, MED parcels van, ex-BUT power car loco-hauled coach and 80s spoil wagon PW set, then add around £200 to round things off with some ready-to-run CIE freight.

 

Edited by NIR

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More essential reading

IMG_20190522_122231.thumb.jpg.c2c3cd56fb395a091ed13926148e0e88.jpg

The tables are invaluable - so much to model between 1975 and 1985, a long tail of remnants of this and that - and the photos confirm memories such as blue Hunslets at Derry.

That's my budget for books used up.

Edited by NIR

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I've had a look through the tables of stock inherited by NIR in 35 Years of NIR, noting stock that survived into the 1970s and the various ad-hoc conversions that took place, and there are certainly lots of oddities to model outside of the canonical builds of AEC, MED, BUT, MPD and 70 class

9 NCC coaches                                                               to 1974/75

1 GNR coach                                                                    to 1971

5 NCC full brake coaches                                              to 1976/80

2 GNR general utility vans                                             to 1976/77

2 UTA MPD power cars (conv. hauled)                       1979-81

2 GNR AEC power cars (conv. van)                             1974-83(?)

9 GNR BUT power cars (conv. hauled)                       1975-78

4 UTA MED trailers (conv. van)                                    1975-85(?)

1 UTA MED trailer ex-Ganz trailer (conv. van)           1973-80(?)

6 UTA MPD trailers (conv. hauled)                              1979-81    (maybe 7 not 6?)

1 UTA MPD trailer (conv. 70 class trailer)                  1976-1986

1 UTA MPD trailer (fitted 70 class)                              to 1973

1 NCC Railcar 1 and 4 trailer (conv. signals van)      1970-78(?)

1 GNR BUT trailer (fitted/conv. 70 class trailer)        1969-80

2 GNR BUT trailers (conv. PW brake van)                   1974-80(?)

1 GNR BUT trailer (conv. hauled)                                  1975-78
then conv. PW brake van 1978-82(?)

So it looks like an eight to ten coach loco-hauled set of older stock was kept in various forms up until 1981 together with a succession of brakes and vans into the early/mid 1980s. From then onwards except for one twin cab MPD power car in use until 1983 it was just 70 Class, Mark 2 and 80 Class in operation, the 70 Class being inherited from the UTA and the last two being new builds by NIR.

Unfortunately not much can be gleaned on the wagons inherited by NIR except for the following survivals and conversions:

xx NCC brown vans                                                          to 1978

10 NCC parcels vans (conv. 4 wheel flat wagons)     1972-1980s

3 NCC coaches (conv. bogie flat wagons)                   1974-1980s
then some conv. PW use 1980s-

No mention of brakevans, opens, etc

Edited by NIR
I think that's everything now!

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The first NIR "excursion" set was put together in 1971 (I think) with a mix of ex-NCC former steam hauled carriages. The set was painted up in NIR maroon with a silver/white waistband stripe and was hauled by a spare '101' class loco. It was replaced circa 1975 by an 8-car set of de-engined BUT power cars which lasted in this role until circa 1979/80. I am not 100% sure, but I think a former Brake/Second BUT trailer was also retained to act as the Brake vehicle for this latter set. Livery was the same as the initial set. Some photo's at the time show vehicles from this set operating in smaller sets of only 2 or 3 cars.

Edited by Lambeg man
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2 hours ago, Lambeg man said:

The first NIR "excursion" set was put together in 1971 (I think) with a mix of ex-NCC former steam hauled carriages. The set was painted up in NIR maroon with a silver/white waistband stripe and was hauled by a spare '101' class loco. It was replaced circa 1975 by an 8-car set of de-engined BUT power cars which lasted in this role until circa 1979/80. I am not 100% sure, but I think a former Brake/Second BUT trailer was also retained to act as the Brake vehicle for this latter set. Livery was the same as the initial set. Some photo's at the time show vehicles from this set operating in smaller sets of only 2 or 3 cars.

Correct. The last of the steam-era stock was, I think, withdrawn in 1974. The line in the NIR all-maroon livery was three inches wide, and was the same light grey as upper panels on railcars in the maroon & grey livery. They also carried the then standard NIR monogram in gold, lined white. Numerals were transfers in the same UTA style. Ends were black, and roofs mid grey.

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