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New Announcement! IRM Ballast and Gypsum Hoppers!

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The highlight of our calendar is the October Bank Holiday weekend, when we "play at home" as they say and exhibit at the Dublin model railway shows, held each year on rotation by the Model Railway Society of Ireland and the South Dublin Model Railway Club. 

That's where it all began for us five years ago, when the good folk of the SDMRC gave us some space at the very last minute (we will be forever grateful for it!) to meet the modelling public for the first time and announced our intentions to produce an Irish outline model railway wagon; the humble CIE hopper.

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A lot has happened in those five years, as IRM goes from strength to strength and the Irish model railway scene enjoys support and growth like never before. Of course, we didn't see that we would be in this position today back then, and certainly nobody could've predicted the strange times we are now in that causes us all to miss out on the Dublin show, but there's always positives ahead! 

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We have decided to revisit that first model we announced back in 2015 amid much fanfare among those who knew us, but one that was missed out by many others who have only learned of our existence in recent times. Yes, our lovely little hopper is back, in a host of new guises and including the gypsum wagon variant for the very first time!

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Beginning with the ballasts, a mere 833 packs were produced in our first run as we tentatively entered the market for the first time. Since that run, we have gained many new friends and people "in the know" when it comes to research material, including a man who wishes to remain anonymous. Let's just dub him "The Archivist".   

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The Archivist had some amazing research material which allowed us to bring back the ballasts back with a bang, offering a number of packs spanning three distinct eras with some unique and tasty markings covering their lifespan on the network!

1921474427_10(1).thumb.jpg.c5dce72ce22c453e7664a2924b559e0e.jpgBeginning with CIE featuring their iconic roundels, before progressing into the IR post 1987 era sporting the points logo and text, and then entering their final years in IE guise with a smorgasbord of interesting markings and painted out patches. 

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Of course, these hopper wagons were used for other services too. Hoppers numbered 26666-26694 were built by CIÉ in 1972 to cater for mineral traffic from Irish Gypsum’s railhead at Kingscourt in County Cavan, which served Irish Cement factories at Drogheda in county Louth, Castlemungret in County Limerick and Platin in County Meath.

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Initially, these wagons could often be found in mixed rakes along with ‘Bulleid’ corrugated open wagons. On such occasions the hoppers would always be located closest to the locomotive as they featured continuous vacuum braking, while the open wagons were loose-coupled and required a brake van to be included at the rear of the train.

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By the 1980s gypsum traffic was carried exclusively by the hopper wagons and this remained the case until the flow ceased in 2001. This long lived and widely travelled working featured A Classes, 141/181s as well as 121s during its life, even with the odd 201 featuring in later years in the Limerick area! We have tooled some all new loads to give the distinctive variety of shape and size of the gypsum as per the real thing!

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The best part (apart from variety, multi eras covered, gypsum variants with newly tooled load etc) is the price, with each pack costing just €99.95 each! This is a €10 reduction on our first run and is our way of saying thank you for your support since we started, as well as a little helping hand during these uncertain times.

Ballast packs will be available in CIE, IR and IE bundle packs, with three packs per bundle along with their respective plough vans for just €370 (11 wagons per bundle including ploughs.) The gypsums are available in four packs of three wagons at €99.95 each or €375 for all 12 wagons. 

You can order the ballasts by clicking here and the gypsums by clicking here. Due to COVID restrictions on factory slots the production runs have been limited in size so order early to avoid disappointment. Delivery is due in late November 2020! 

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Hi JB, We initially thought the points logo on ballasts was rare, but it was more prevalent than we thought the deeper we dug into it, especially once we raided "the archivist" collection of pics

And a gypsum wagon too

The highlight of our calendar is the October Bank Holiday weekend, when we "play at home" as they say and exhibit at the Dublin model railway shows, held each year on rotation by the Model Railway Soc

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Just now, DJ Dangerous said:

I was also wondering will the Bundle offers change when those last few IR Plough vans are out of stock?

There were only 30 left at the start of the week!

 

 

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Hi DJ,

They wont change, once the ploughs are gone there are no more bundles on offer, so worth ordering quick to avoid missing out!

Cheers,

Fran

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7 minutes ago, Edo said:

Quick question fellas

Would it be possible to get 2 packs of ballast wagons and 2 packs of gypsum wagons...and a bundle rate?

Sorry Edo, we can't split the bundles that way I'm afraid! 

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Gypsums first for me I think. Has there been any change to the chassis allow easier conversion to 21mm?

The first set of ballasts needed to have the inner aspect of the axle boxes filed away to make enough room for new wheel sets with the original tooling

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1 minute ago, DiveController said:

Gypsums first for me I think. Has there been any change to the chassis allow easier conversion to 21mm?

The first set of ballasts needed to have the inner aspect of the axle boxes filed away to make enough room for new wheel sets with the original tooling

Hi Kevin,

This is existing tooling. It would've been cost prohibitive to retool it.

Many thanks,

Fran

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Just as I'd got the funds together for some Accurascale hoppers, this comes along and clears it out!

It could have been worse, if you'd been announcing beet wagons today that would have been my class 37 fund gone as well!

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Great stuff and fair prices. The effective 75 for the ploughs in the bundle is particularly fair. I wasn't originally going to buy the IE ploughs as I have the IR ones but at that price it would be rude not to lol.

 

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3 minutes ago, mmie353 said:

Hi Fran,

How many packs for each will be produced? 

Thanks in advance,

Mark

Commercially sensitive information I'm afraid but there are less ballast packs than there were ferts and liners, for example due to the COVID restrictions at the moment. So, I would advise getting these sooner rather than later. Gypsum run same size as ferts and liners.

Cheers,

Fran

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1 minute ago, Railer said:

Will there be re runs of these? Seeing as everything is selling out so fast and the fact this is a small run and with little notice alot of people will miss out yet again.

Nope. once they're gone, they're gone. As we have explained before our hands are tied on these, and we have been heavily hinting at a rerun of the ballasts for most of the year. 

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Fantastic news for anybody that missed out on these little beauties first time around. It's great to see the wagon that started it all off, being given a new lease of life. 

Have to admit, I'm tempted by the IR points logo, but I don't think I'd use another rake of ballasts. As for the gypsums, now they're definitely on my radar :) 

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16 minutes ago, JasonB said:

Fantastic news for anybody that missed out on these little beauties first time around. It's great to see the wagon that started it all off, being given a new lease of life. 

Have to admit, I'm tempted by the IR points logo, but I don't think I'd use another rake of ballasts. As for the gypsums, now they're definitely on my radar :) 

im one of them only have 1 of the 3 original sets i will hopefully next year source the other 2

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20 minutes ago, JasonB said:

Fantastic news for anybody that missed out on these little beauties first time around. It's great to see the wagon that started it all off, being given a new lease of life. 

Have to admit, I'm tempted by the IR points logo, but I don't think I'd use another rake of ballasts. As for the gypsums, now they're definitely on my radar :) 

Cheers Jason, the points logo ones are a thing of beauty I must admit! 

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Were the original run of Ballasts IE livery?

I have one pack of the original ones procured second-hand through the forum, and I'm assuming because of the yellow wheels, and todays IE's being Packs D, E and F rather than A, B and C, that this is the case.

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3 minutes ago, mphoey said:

well the irish rail plough vans are now gone so thats 30 sets gone already

Yup, IR livery Ploughs and Bundles gone, but there are still loads of IR livery Ballast wagons available outside of the bundle, and €100 per pack is great value!

I've never seen the IRM site so frantic, even when the Container Liners were released, it's like a frenzy of purchase pop-ups today!

 

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44 minutes ago, DiveController said:

Mad(e) (too many) purchases today but would have liked to see some coaching stock for the As and 121s as a 5th year offering tbh

Did exactly the same and have the same sentiments

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48 minutes ago, DiveController said:

Mad(e) (too many) purchases today but would have liked to see some coaching stock for the As and 121s as a 5th year offering tbh

Think I got the last IR pack, my Xmas present to myself. Would also have loved to hear an announcement on coaching stock.

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6 hours ago, Warbonnet said:

Hi Kevin,

This is existing tooling. It would've been cost prohibitive to retool it.

Many thanks,

Fran

Thanks Fran. These should prove very popular especially with folks who missed out on the first production run. Good to see re-runs of these wagons. You mentioned above these are original tooling, so just double checking, are the NEM pockets still positioned a little high as per the original run? (ie not at kadee height). Like the look of the CIE variants.

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2 minutes ago, Noel said:

Thanks Fran. These should prove very popular especially with folks who missed out on the first production run. Good to see re-runs of these wagons. You mentioned above these are original tooling, so just double checking, are the NEM pockets still positioned a little high as per the original run? (ie not at kadee height). Like the look of the CIE variants.

As Fran said they are the same tools bar the Newly tooled gypsum loads   As such the couplers are cranked just as before. 

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