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The Blackstairs Railway

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Edo
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I've been faffing around for the last 2 years about building a new layout for the first time in over 30 years and have finally decided to commit to doing it and put it up here - or else I wont do anything about it!

I've finally concluded negotiations with the Minister of the Interior to use my "Den"  to house the layout - It took 18 months and comes with several conditions mostly relating to tidiness -it cost me a brand new kitchen with all the bells and whistles , Utility room , patio and central heating system for the whole house and another decade on the mortgage.........She drives a hard bargain.....................but I got my railway room!!!!!:trains:

Anyway - very briefly its going to be a layout based around the Bagnalstown to Palace east Line  circa 1955 to 1980  and at this moment - in my head - it will compose of Bagnalstown Station, Palace East Station - probably Borris Halt and the viaduct (ambitious or what!) and possibly Ballyling Beet siding under the Blackstairs mountain - all on a layout that will go around the 4 walls of the room..........I'll throw up a rough plan when I get a moment .............this probably is all subject to change when I hit that speedbump called reality - but I can dream for the moment!!

Anyway - to celebrate and relieve a bit of cabin fever - I threw up a tailchaser made up of some Thomas the tank track on the kitchen table  and took out/ tried out my IRM Stock, my 00Works J15s and my MM071 ( seriously impressed with the 071.............talk about smooth - love it already!) for the very first time.............................it was great!

here is some dodgy video as evidence - unless you are interested in the RTE news, home & away, Corrie or Jamie Oliver - my advice would be to use the mute button!

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
6 hours ago, Midland Man said:

Any news or update sound interesting.

All quiet at the moment - i was kinda caught on the hop with the whole lockdown - i dont have any materials in stock and now there is nowhere open to get them!.......given that Im now unemployed for the forseeable - it will be a long time waiting for passenger aviation to come back - my financials are in turmoil as grateful as i am for the state assistance - the timing couldnt have been worse as my renumeration is largely performance driven - no performance - no squids!....so the " toy train" comes way down the list of priorities....

Anyhoo - all that said - I do have Leslie's kits out on the table - and i did manage to get some glue - so I have challenged myself to get at least one built this week!

Lastly - here is the first vague outlines of my plan for the layout - its kinda puke on a page at the mo - very very ambitious with different levels and some lines disappearing and the other appearing etc etc .....its a start!

Ed

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Fairly ambitious to incorporate two junction stations close together in a relatively small space though the looped 8 arrangement adds to the length of run. An alternative might be to replace one of the stations with a fiddle yard and keep most of the "main line" hidden and focus more of the scenic branch line aspect.

Brian McCann built a very nice N gauge  model of Bagnallstown featuring the station, the Barrow and Thomastown viaducts mainly using converted rtr equipment in the 1970s, the layout was featured as Railway of the Month in the Feb 1980 Railway Worth while having a look for the article for its scenic treatment and modelling of the distinctive Bagnallstown station architecture. http://magazineexchange.co.uk/cw/railway-modeller-magazine-february-1980-issue.html

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14 hours ago, Mayner said:

Fairly ambitious to incorporate two junction stations close together in a relatively small space though the looped 8 arrangement adds to the length of run. An alternative might be to replace one of the stations with a fiddle yard and keep most of the "main line" hidden and focus more of the scenic branch line aspect.

Brian McCann built a very nice N gauge  model of Bagnallstown featuring the station, the Barrow and Thomastown viaducts mainly using converted rtr equipment in the 1970s, the layout was featured as Railway of the Month in the Feb 1980 Railway Worth while having a look for the article for its scenic treatment and modelling of the distinctive Bagnallstown station architecture. http://magazineexchange.co.uk/cw/railway-modeller-magazine-february-1980-issue.html

Thanks for the input JM

Yeh - ambitious - yer right - probably too ambitious for the space involved to do justice to either.

Im still ruminating big time over what exactly I want to do - Well - I know I want all of the above Stations and the Branch line - Its just how and where it can be done.

I know I  really don't have the space in this particular room. However the attic would be far more promising spacewise and would accommodate both stations and the branch line with ease - the plan always was to hide the "mainlines"  out of the both stations and concentrate on the borris branchline which was the scenic line compared to the other 2.

that "plan" above was last fiddled with last summer......TBH my thinking has changed quite a bit since then and could be summed up as follows:

 I want the layout to be portable as much as possible because the Attic will probably come on line in a few years after revamping and I want to be able to move the layout easily - who knows...if they turn out anyway decent somebody else might want to see them in action too!

I want to do all 3 stations - Bagnalstown, Palace East and Borris - they are 3 very different and distinct stations , both in set up ,location and Architecture - therefore Im tending towards assembling the stations individually - in modules to some degree - this would enable them to run individually - but also fitted into a longer running space with them all joined up, Again - ambitious - but long term dooable

So, with that in mind , like your suggestion above - I am now contemplating rejgging the set up in the Den (space shown above) to just having the layout on the large wall ......and have it fed by a fiddle yard and a single line around the walls of the rest of the room for continuous running.......It would also allow me throw a proper workbench in there - much more comfortable than the draughty shed outside.

Appreciate the input and info - I'm on your wavelength in regard to being realistic about the possibilities.

I'll get back when I can with a more recent visualisation of what Im planning

In the meantime - when Tango man isn't terrifying the living sh^t out of me - my TV watching is a crash course on the various railway modelling you tube channels - its very educational!

 

Ed

 

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  • 4 months later...

Update

For one reason or another , the Summer has just flown - I did a lot over May, June, July and August  - basically repainted the entire House,laid a new patio,  landscaped the garden - dug out and put in a gigantic 1.5 metre deep pool/pond with accompanying  15 metre stream (Now called Lake Covid !) .......but the railway , just got put on the long finger with all the good weather and then I went back to work in July.

but no longer!....................I spent the afternoon making some baseboards until it started to rain - and I must confess , Im rather pleased with what I achieved - it was all very mindful!

I built a 170 x 120cm for the Thomas trains for when the nephews call around - it will also serve as a test rig for me when running in rolling stock and equipment. After that Im building 4ftx2ft modules  which I'll be using to construct the Blackstairs Railway. I got 2 done today - its a start.

Ed

 

 

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Edited by Edo
fekin predictive txt -grrr!
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God Yeh

this is now the "plan" for the forseeable.

I've decided to do the stations one at a time. So the Den will be set up with a continuous loop all around - but the 4x2 ft sections can be taken in and out as required with the remaining section-  the double tracked loop which goes thru the bookcase on the other side of the room - staying in place on a permanent basis. The Master of Interior Design has signed off on the proposal as its only my books and stuff that are being evicted and it doesn't disturb the overall feng shui of the room..................its an IKEA Billy book case so Its not an 18th Century French Original I'll be sawing holes in!

A bit done - loads and loads to do

The below is a very rough outline - nothing is to scale and will probably be a lot bigger in reality - unfortunately my any rail software was on my last PC which got downed with the blue screen of death last month and I havent got around to installing it on the new computer yet!

Ed

Bagnalstowna.jpg

Edited by Edo
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Also got all the baseboards for the continuous run around thru the bookcase prepped today too - they seem to fit fine ....in fact i might get 3 lines instead of the proposed two lines on the plan - given this is not intended to be scenic....maybe 2 lines given the curve - but definitely a couple of good long sidings anyway.

Next thing is to get the wall supports and back scene timbers - next months paycheck!....but things are finally moving!

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5 minutes ago, Galteemore said:

Impressive - as are the books....I always enjoy looking at other libraries ! 

You're too Kind GM..................eclectic might cover it more generously - a load of boring s...e is how that philistine of a wife of mine puts it............

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The main tunnelling work is done.......i'll leave this area for the moment now and crack on with getting the rest of baseboard circuit into place before i go anywhere near track and start tidying up......should get it into place this time next week hopefully.

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6 minutes ago, WRENNEIRE said:

Barred from IKEA EDO!

I wish........................😄

but herself is practically an IKEA Agent..............you should see the rest of the house!.......................

 

I,  on other hand .............have anxiety attacks when we pass the Asbourne exit on M50.......................She's talking about going up again ( we're in Limerick) in 2 weeks time for her bi-annual fix - Why I have to go too - its for the whole day - I don't know..... I think she secretly likes the look of absolute horror and fear on my face as I get run over down in the Marketplace!

Wimmin................

 

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19 minutes ago, Edo said:

She's talking about going up again ( we're in Limerick) in 2 weeks time for her bi-annual fix - Why I have to go too - its for the whole day - I don't know..

Bring a couple of sleeping bags Edo. You're in for a very long day. 

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The latest

After a very efficient visit to IKEA ( in and out in an 1 hour!- Jason - be there at 9.30am on a thursday! - no sleeping bag required!!!) and the acquisition of some more bookcases - I put in place the baseboards for the main scenic area. I still have to work out the precise details for the fiddle yard by the window and the continuous run past the door. The baseboards already "down" need to be removed for sanding, varnishing and painting and a little levelling up for the run through the bookcase.

Apart from above - the next thing is to print off some track templates and start planning the layout......Im thinking code 75 with bullhead points in the station area......

Anyway - a few pics of todays work with a first "works" run over the new boards!

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12 hours ago, Edo said:

After a very efficient visit to IKEA ( in and out in an 1 hour!- Jason - be there at 9.30am on a thursday! - no sleeping bag required!!!)

I'm not buying it Edo, you've obviously been gotten too, or bribed in some way (it's normally chocolate hobnobs with me). Really like the thinking behind this, nice work.  

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1 hour ago, WRENNEIRE said:

Bit of an IKEA fan myself

 

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@WRENNEIRE Not in your league Dave with buried treasure, but I do need to sort out some shelving for the storage of redundant boxes.

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Echo @Ironroad's advice, chipboard has very limited structural integrity. 2x1" reinforcements might be a good idea especially for long term stability. Many many years ago chipboard let me down badly. Its useless to screw into, glue is almost the only safe way of fixing it using wooden dowel pins.

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1 hour ago, WRENNEIRE said:

In another life pre MM & IRM Noel

 

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Which turned into this for its voyage back across the Irish Sea 😪😪

 

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Holy sacred cow and everything precious in kerry. Did you keep a few special locos? I was very disappointed in the Hornby Dublo stuff Hornby released this year. Just not quite the real thing. Wrenn kept that flag flying for a decade after Hornby Dublo failed. Stunning precision for its day in diecast metal, better motors than anything today, and fine scale wheels. Nominal flanges on their locos. 

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