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Should I stay or should Sligo..........?

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Angus
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GroanūüėĀ¬†!

I've been pondering what direction my Irish modelling should take, I like to have an ultimate aim as this helps shape research and model construction. Until last year other than a fleeting interest in the SLCNR I hadn't given much attention to the Irish Railway scene, however, I decided to produce a small module (600mm x 225mm) for the 2mm Scale Association Diamond Jubilee Layout competition based on Dromahair Station on the SLNCR.

The limited size of the module will restrict interest once the competition is over and it would be a shame to waste the stock built by not taking my Irish modelling further. 

Obviously the SLNCR shared tracks with the MGWR for the last few miles into Sligo and in the course of reading about the SLNCR my research has extended into the MGWR, a prototype to which I am become increasingly drawn. A model of Sligo Station is become a very attractive preposition. The time period will be early to mid 1930s (which I will deal with in another post).

Whilst it is several years off being started (the majority of the stock will have to be scratch built and a core amount of stock will be required before the layout is viable) I thought I would start a topic to enable discussion and assistance to ensure the model is as an accurate representation as possible. The thread will also serve as a way to sort and capture the information for future use, and I hope, provide a useful resource for others. Working out the how and why and what was used by the real railway, for me, is a key part of any model build.

So why Sligo?

  • It fits in a nicely model able space,¬†¬†I reckon 9' x 1'6" will give enough room to model the station, engine sheds and junction down to the goods yard/quay in scale distance. I've already worked up a proof of concept Templot plan based on the 25" to the mile historic map available. A bit of shortening through the engine shed could be done without compromising the integrity of the model.

        sligo_-_templot.thumb.jpg.08b8e46b6860f8950afc1c6c7587b18e.jpg

          The drawing above still needs a bit of work to correctly position the pointwork and achieve the smooth curve through the station approaches. 

  • The Engine shed is conveniently positioned to form a nice view blocker for the fiddle yard exit and the curve through the approaches and the station will remove the parallel to the baseboard "model" look.
  • Whilst being a main town station there is little built environment in the immediate vicinity helping focus on the railway (and avoids the need to model¬† time consuming urban buildings).
  • The Station was built on embankment which gives an imposing look, quite different to most locations (as seen below in this extract form Google Street View.1459575789_SligoStationmodernstreetview.JPG.ee8a8c02885c3ae35d8b476080e06d55.JPG
  • Apart from being the terminus of the SLNCR from Enniskillen¬† it was operated by the MGWR from Dublin and the WLWR (later GSWR) from Limerick. Large quantities of freight from the GNR came in over the SLNCR along with the occasional passenger coach on excursion so lots of variety of stock which included the majority of my favourite Irish prototypes.
  • The was no run round facility in the station which will add to operational interest.
  • Although not as intensive as main city terminal the convergence of three routes did give a good number of trains working (I think 24, 12 up and 12 down, in the period modelled, more anon).
  • Train lengths were relatively short ( and model able).

I already have quite a few of the main texts dealing with Sligo but any pointers to the less obvious sources or photos would be appreciated. I do intend to get over for a visit at some point in the next few years, hopefully with my bike so I can cycle the SLNCR route. I can take some detailed photos and measurements of any structures that remain.

Thanks for your interest.

Angus

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Great stuff, Angus. Sligo is a great prototype as it had inflow from three directions: three Irish cities had lines terminating in Sligo : Belfast via GN/SLNC, Dublin (MGW) and Limerick (WLW) - it has a harbour and lots of motive power variety. And thanks to the Civil War there’s no overall roof to worry about! 

Edited by Galteemore
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You could go one step further and incorporate the never built GNR(I) link from Bundoran to Sligo. Failure to build this line was the main reason for the SLNCR. Imagine if you will GNR(I) trains at Sligo/GSR trains at Bundoran. If only I had been quicker off the mark and bought some 00 Works U/UG’s.
 

Stephen

 

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Sligo was quite an impressive and imposing terminus station that perhaps anticipated the town might grow much more than it did. It had a massive ramp up to it, now a private road. Suggests it anticipated levels of passenger and goods traffic that never materialised. Sized more for a small city than a town.

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2 hours ago, Angus said:

 

 

So why Sligo?

  • It fits in a nicely model able space,¬†¬†I reckon 9' x 1'6" will give enough room to model the station, engine sheds and junction down to the goods yard/quay in scale distance. I've already worked up a proof of concept Templot plan based on the 25" to the mile historic map available. A bit of shortening through the engine shed could be done without compromising the integrity of the model.

        sligo_-_templot.thumb.jpg.08b8e46b6860f8950afc1c6c7587b18e.jpg

          The drawing above still needs a bit of work to correctly position the pointwork and achieve the smooth curve through the station approaches. 

I already have quite a few of the main texts dealing with Sligo but any pointers to the less obvious sources or photos would be appreciated. I do intend to get over for a visit at some point in the next few years, hopefully with my bike so I can cycle the SLNCR route. I can take some detailed photos and measurements of any structures that remain.

An excellent idea, Angus. As you say, you've room for stock from the MGWR, WLWR, SLNCR and even without the Bundoran connection, and the GSWR's and GNR's wagons would have been frequent visitors to Sligo Quay. You'd have got the very occasional DNGR or NCC visitor as well, though BCDR is probably pushing it a bit!

 

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I once thought about this as a project. The tall walls are a big visibility issue though, even without a roof. I concluded that it would be better to have spectators viewing the model  from the other side - its the only way you get a decent view of the trains in the platforms.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Entering_Sligo_station,_1948_(geograph_5308005).jpgspacer.png

There are plenty of trees to make a scenic break. Just a very gentle opinion though - you should do it your way! ;)

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Thanks everyone for the positive response.

2 hours ago, Midland Man said:

Might I say that 3mm is a great scale as its small but it's not to small

Hi Midland Man, when I returned to modelling in my adult years I did dabble with 3mm scale. It wasn't successful, in most part because I didn't have the skills at the time. I also found the quality of the kits varied massively, some little better then blobs of metal vaguely representing the prototype, others were detailed etches. This made it hard to achieve any kind of consistency.  I admire those who can get the scale to work. I find the support for 2mm scale offered by the Scale Association and other 2mm modellers to be great and have no regrets about choosing the scale so won't be changing. I do also model in 7mm when for when the desire to model something larger comes along.

 

3 hours ago, StevieB said:

You could go one step further and incorporate the never built GNR(I) link from Bundoran to Sligo.

Hi StevieB, I'm intending to stick to what was actually built as it offers enough variety. The GNR(I) appeals less than other Irish lines, I think because it is the nearest to resembling UK railways. There is was enough GNR(I) stock moving around Sligo to provide variety, plenty of goods wagons and vans, the odd passenger coach and the SLNCR operated a pair of ex GNR(I) A class 0-6-0 engines in the period proposed.

 

1 hour ago, RichL said:

The tall walls are a big visibility issue though, even without a roof. I concluded that it would be better to have spectators viewing the model  from the other side - its the only way you get a decent view of the trains in the platforms.

Hi RichL, The walls may be an issue but I intend the viewing height to be lower than my usual high level, probably around 3'6" which should give a view into the station, also modelling the approach will allow time for spectators to view the trains. It also makes it easier to conceal the kick back from the quay branch into the fiddle yard. Viewing form the other side would also lose teh engine shed as a view blocker for the fiddle yard exit. 

I will mock it up before I build it though and all plans made now will be subject to change!

5 hours ago, Galteemore said:

And thanks to the Civil War there’s no overall roof to worry about!

Hi Galteemore, Agreed! one reason for choosing the early to mid 1930s was exactly that. I've not seen any good views of the station with the original overall roof intact, so modelling would need a degree of supposition.

Which leads nicely into reasons for the choice of time period:-

  • Thanks to H C Casserley's wanderings the period is well photographed with good quality pictures.
  • Whilst the engines are in the plain grey livery of the GSr they are still well cared for.
  • These pictures show that much of the freight stock remained in pre-gouping livery giving a nice selection to model.
  • The GSR¬†introduced a chocolate and cream livery for its mainline bogie carriages which will add¬†a splash of colour to the maroon and brown of the other carriage stock.
  • The GSR re-built many of its constituent company's engines in, shall we say, an aesthetically challenged manner? However, at this early period many pre-grouping designs remained un-butchered giving a nice comparison.
  • I don't have to paint the complex pre-grouping¬† engine liveries!
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Hi Angus,

This looks like being a fantastic project, and although 2mm/1ft isn't my scale, your recent posts elsewhere show that you've got it down to a fine art.

I for one will be following closely for inspiration and ideas, so looking forward to seeing how you get on!

With kind regards,

Mark

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9 hours ago, RichL said:

What about this one? Definitely a roof!

Thanks RichL, that's exactly the view I haven't been able to find. IT will still be useful for the post civil war condition.

With the post civil war girder roof I am hoping to make it lift out. I don't think this should be too difficult and that way I can have the best of both worlds, the roof in for photography and out for operating.

The solid roof would

hide too much of the trackwork and operation.

33 minutes ago, David Holman said:

with enough variety to last a lifetime of stock building.

Thanks David, Especially at the speed I build stock! hopefully I can get some core stock built in a reasonable timescale, will still involve 6 engines and associated trains if I define "core" as being one passenger and one freight from each of the feeding lines. Better get my finger out!

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I thought about basing Glengarriff on Sligo but only modelling the 'country' end of the platforms with the roof end  forming the scenic break. The line to Sligo quay could continue round the back and make the continous run back to the fiddle yard. As the Sligo trains have to reverse out to run round (this also happened at Galway) this also would concentrate the action round the Signal Box / shed area  and the goods line back to the fiddle yard would greatly enhance the capacity for a good variety of goods trains.

Of course if you are restricted as to space the Glengarriff "roundy roundy" scenario wouldn't be an option.

Several of Sligo on my Flickr if you 'search photos' on it. This a JG Dewing negative from 12 May 1956

 

1956-05-12 Sligo, Atock G2 659.  JG Dewing

 

Edited by Irishswissernie
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Many thanks for your kind comments. This topic got me thinking about the train services into Sligo on each of the 3 routes . I have a couple of  CIE working timetables 1948 and 1957 which also include the SLNCR trains between Sligo and Ballysodare.

The service in 31 May 1948 was much worse than in 1957 on the main route only 2 passenger and 1 goods made it to Sligo although there was a short return working to Boyle and also a return working to Dromod listed as a coal train (traffic off the C&L)

The Limerick line had a Mail/Goods working to Sligo (arrive 11am) plus a passenger Limerick depart 12,30pm Sligo arrive 7.30pm 7 hours for 145 miles! From Sligo to Limerick the sole passenger service left at 7.30am arrive Limerick2.25pm (5 minutes quicker) then a goods at 8.15 am and that was it. SLNCR only had 2 return railcars (3 in 1957) plus the 2 goods or mixed.

I have copied the 1957 Mullingar workings and added the Limerick line services to it next to the SLNC times.

CIE June 1957 Mullingar - Sligo Working Timetable CIE June 1957 Mullingar - Sligo Working Timetable

 

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Thanks Irishswissernie,

That does neatly lead me onto my first question, which is to try and establish service levels into Sligo in the early to mid 1930s.

Is there a source for Working Timetables anywhere? A couple of months of watching ebay has not turned anything up.

Starting with the line from Limerick, timetables published in C. E. J. Fryer's The Waterford and Limerick Railway for 1895 show 4 up trains from Limerick/Tuam:

  • ¬†one goods,
  • one mixed,
  • one passenger
  • one mail train.

There was an additional  passenger on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Presumably there would be balanced down workings also.

So how were these working affected by the take over of the GS&WR and the GSR? By the 1957 timetable above the service had all but disappeared, I am guessing (hoping!) that traffic and so service levels in the early to mid 30s would still be healthy.

A copy of Ernie Shepherd's Waterford, Limerick and Railway has just arrived so will hopefully offer some enlightenment.

 

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On ‚Äé5‚Äé/‚Äé4‚Äé/‚Äé2020 at 8:07 PM, Angus said:

Thanks Irishswissernie,

That does neatly lead me onto my first question, which is to try and establish service levels into Sligo in the early to mid 1930s.

Is there a source for Working Timetables anywhere? 

 

Presumably there would be balanced down workings also.

So how were these working affected by the take over of the GS&WR and the GSR? By the 1957 timetable above the service had all but disappeared, I am guessing (hoping!) that traffic and so service levels in the early to mid 30s would still be healthy.

 

 

I have a set going back to 1926, plus a handful before that.

For 1930, I will dig out the GSR ones. The ones Ernie posted above are, as he says, 1957. From Midland days, though, all through GSR times and into CIE days, the services were much the same. Tomorrow I'll dig out summer 1930 and post it. In addition to what's shown would be the SLNCR services. I don't think I've a 1930 SLNCR table but again, over the years it was more or less the same four workings per day from Sligo to Enniskillen.  There were some 14 workings in each direction between Sligo and Collooney comprising the GSR's Limerick and Mullingar workings, and the SLNCR.

Edited by jhb171achill
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Thanks Jhb171achill,

The summer 1930 timetable would be much appreciated. I guess the 28 would be, 4 each way over the WLWR and SLNCR routes (so 16 workings total) with 6 each way to Mullingar (12 total) we shall see!

It will be interesting to see the make up of pure passenger, mixed and pure freight workings.

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12 hours ago, RichL said:

There's another photo with the roof on here - good angle to judge what your model will look like (even roofless)

Thanks RichL, another great photo. A couple of MGWR 6 wheeled coaches can be made including one of the characterful birdcage brake thirds.

Also, is my imagination, or is the station home a dual repeater signal with two arms on the post?

In all Post civil war pictures I've seen this is just a single arm.

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12 hours ago, Angus said:

Thanks RichL, another great photo. A couple of MGWR 6 wheeled coaches can be made including one of the characterful birdcage brake thirds.

Also, is my imagination, or is the station home a dual repeater signal with two arms on the post?

In all Post civil war pictures I've seen this is just a single arm.

Definitely looks like 2 arms, possibly the starter signal for the northern platform rather than a home signal, if the OSI map is any guide. The second arm might be a for movements to the loco shed or a shunting arm for goods trains to reverse onto the up line to gain access  to the goods yard, for example. All sorts of unknowns!

Probably lots of subtle changes over the years. The station has been there a long time!

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1930 GSR Working Timetable, Sligo area, in response to @Angus’s request.

This includes the SLNCR movements, actually showing greater detail than the SLNCR records do.

I don’t know if they’ll all upload in the right order but if you copy them, enlarge them and print them out, you’ll have the whole three routes into Sligo.

The line from Dublin and Mullingar at this particular stage was monopolised by ex-Midland engines, mainly 0.6.0s and 2.4.0s, but the brand-new Woolwiches were appearing too, before the GSR moved many of them south.

According to the late Billy Lohan who regularly drove on the WLWR line, by 1930 most trains on that line north of Tuam were J15s.

 

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Holy moley!

Three southbound passenger trains and a goods daily over the Burma Road in the 1930WTT  , a far cry from the single Limerick-Sligo passenger during CIE days.

There are several photos of ex-MGWR C  or GSR D6& D7 Class 4-4-0s in addition to the 2-4-0s on Sligo Road passenger trains in GSR days, train consists appear to be short 3-4 coaches and the mandatory tail of non-passenger coaching stock & vans. The ex MGWR F or GSR J5 "Cattle Engine" and Woolwich Moguls appear to have worked the heavier through goods from Dublin and the various ex-MGWR Standard Goods (GSR J18 & 19) handled the lighter goods trains.

Most of the ex-WLWR 0-6-0 goods locos were still in service and may have worked north of Tuam to Sligo, there are photos of ex-GSWR "Kerry Bogies" & 52 Class 4-4-0s on Limerick Sligo passenger trains, its just about possible that an ex-WLWR 4-4-2T or 0-4-4T may have worked the Sligo-Tuam passenger train.

I don't know if anyone does a Woolwich or a Southern N Class in N Scale, an ex-WLWR 0-6-0 or WLWR tank loco would be a simpler proposition for a scratch build in any scale than a Midland or GSWR loco having a simpler outline with a straight running board. The WLWR 0-6-0s are said to be close to the GWR Dean Goods its just about possible that some may have retained their original Belpair boiler in GSR days.

This Sligo thread seems to becoming more infectious that a certain virus, I have been planning to build a Burma or Mayo Road layout for the past 20 years, but Ballysodare-Sligo would give me a plausible excuse to run my collection of GNR, Southern and Midland locos and stock& CIE diesels  on the one layout.

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5 hours ago, Mayner said:

 

I don't know if anyone does a Woolwich or a Southern N Class in N Scale, an ex-WLWR 0-6-0 or WLWR tank loco would be a simpler proposition for a scratch build in any scale than a Midland or GSWR loco having a simpler outline with a straight running board. The WLWR 0-6-0s are said to be close to the GWR Dean Goods its just about possible that some may have retained their original Belpair boiler in GSR days.

 

Farish did an N class but is getting rather hard to source. https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=n+gauge+n+class&client=safari&hl=en-gb&prmd=sivn&sxsrf=ALeKk01KR-BsPuIHX4FCJz0OoF8svISwxQ:1588829708061&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj23-3yg6HpAhWIiFwKHe6LAmIQ_AUoAnoECA0QAg&biw=375&bih=553#imgrc=xHQstmqbtO03tM
 

Union Mills Models do a Dean Goods in N....image here as they don’t have a website...https://www.hattons.co.uk/422146/union_mills_2460um_gwr_class_2301_deans_goods_0_6_0_2460_in_gwr_green/stockdetail.aspx

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The Mail Goods is an interesting train. Richard Chown had at least one on the Castle Rackrent system and photos indicate it was often Shannon, with a parcels van and various wagons, including open carriage trucks  and his Dublin and Meath brake vans. This is something I hope to replicate on Belmullet, especially as I have Shannon now, plus his two Dublin and Meath brake vans.

 Presumably the key to a Mail Goods, is that no passengers were carried, unlike the many night mail trains to Dublin from places like Sligo.

Edited by David Holman
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8 hours ago, Mayner said:

its just about possible that an ex-WLWR 4-4-2T or 0-4-4T may have worked the Sligo-Tuam passenger train.

Hi Mayner, I've been reading up on just this subject as I think the Robinson tank engines would add a touch of class in comparision to the SLNCR Bayer Peacock tanks.

It seems the 4-4-2t disappeared off the Sligo route quite early in their existence however one of the 0-4-4t is noted as working through to Sligo in early GSR days, in later days it was moved on. I'm going to classify my early-mid 30's time period as "early GSR"

By this time it had been rebuilt with extended side tanks so had lost some of its earlier Robinson elegance.

Class E 2 - 295 - WL&WR 0-4-4T, built 1895 as Waterford, Limerick & Western Railway No.52 - 1925 to GSR as No.295, 1926 rebuilt, 1945 to CIE - withdrawn 1954 - seen here at Limerick in 1932.

 

Edited by Angus
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21 hours ago, Galteemore said:

I am now imagining how wonderful a model of Ballysodare would be c1905

I did have a look at Ballysodare with a view to modelling it, to be honest, if modelling the whole station it would need about the same visible section as Sligo but require two fiddle yards so take up more space.

That said, if the eastern end up to the station could be modelled with a suitable off scene exit I think that could be quite effective.

image.thumb.png.05cb27e72e872542ec333426b195c094.png

The AnyRail doodle above is in 2mm scale and based on A6 pointwork which can be compressed using different switch lengths in templot.

I'm not sure it works as I've compressed the eastern end to fit in a six foot length, the station is also a bit short. I've noticed compression seems to work better the bigger the scale, 2mm scale really needs to reflect the real scale distance more. 

The junction signal is also the wrong side of the signal box and the goods shed needs moving nearer the station. It is only a proof of concept sketch.

I was contemplating this as a stepping stone to a the larger Sligo layout but that doesn't really work as it is as big if I reduce the compression (bigger with the two fiddle yards) and would need the same amount of stock to operate effectively (which would be the main driver for a "stepping stone" layout).

40 minutes ago, Galteemore said:

‚ÄėA touch of class in comparison to the SLNC Beyer Peacock tanks‚Äô !!! I think I need a cup of tea now after that ūüėČ.

Hi Galteemore,

I am a big fan of the SLNCR's Beyer Peacock tanks, they are what got me modelling Irish railways in the first place, however, I don't think they could ever be described at "elegant".

Perhaps we should move on from such controversy at this time in the morning!

Edited by Angus
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Thanks Angus - it was only mock outrage really. Much as I love the SLNC it’s not really up there in the elegance stakes - whereas a Robinson loco could give an SECR 4-4-0 some serious competition.  I’d actually spent hours last night analysing SLNC BP drawings....as it happens I was also  mulling over a WLW loco myself. Not sure I fancy the task of balancing an 0-4-4T though...

Edited by Galteemore
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1 hour ago, Angus said:

I'm not sure it works as I've compressed the eastern end to fit in a six foot length, the station is also a bit short. I've noticed compression seems to work the bigger the scale, 2mm scale really needs to reflect the real scale distance more. 

Thinking about it the ultimate in compression is 1:1. Look at any lineside photo, perspective compresses the track layout massively. Scale seems to impose a viewpoint, from distant to immediate. I expect the level of detail and the viewpoint need to align too.

Edited by NIR
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Here lies the dilemma between actual and fictitious modelling. Build a model of an actual location and you have the issues of finding a suitable view breaker for the fiddle yard(s), together with whether or not to compress/leave out certain aspects to fit the space available. Build a might have been or fictitious location and you can tailor everything to fit your site, but will it end up looking contrived? No easy answer of course!

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