Tag Archives: cie

Christmas crackers from Studio Scale Models

Studio Scale Models have added two new kits to their range in time for the Christmas season.

The first is a CIÉ/Iarnród Éireann Wickham inspection car kit in etched brass. Three of these units were supplied to CIÉ in 1962 and remained in use until the 1990s.

The kit is designed to fit a Black Beetle 35mm power unit and includes wheels, transfers, underframe, handrail wire, and acetate for windows and amber lighting. It also features a fully detailed interior, complete with seating and control wheel, and doors can be modelled either opened or shut. Cost: €22 + €3 P&P.

Studio Scale Models' new Wickham inspection car kit

 

Also available now from SSM is this Irish P&T telephone box, also in etched brass, which features interior detail and ‘Telefón’ signage. Cost: €9 + €1 P&P.

Studio Scale Models' P&T telephone box kit

 

To order, contact Studio Scale Models directly.

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Some Irish Conversions

Denis Grimshaw

 

Whilst these models are not built to fine-scale standards, and certainly not to a professional level, they do reasonably represent the classes modelled. In any case, using 00-gauge track at in 4mm scale gives much larger discrepancies than slightly inaccurate driving wheel diameters or axle spacing. The WT-class 2-6-4Ts Nos. 4 and 57 are Hornby Stanier locos, modified with Comet tank and cab sides, the bunker rebuilt in plasticard, outside steam pipes and a top feed. Painting is in post-war NCC style, rather than UTA (albeit incorrect for 57: I must get round to renumbering this engine to the 1-10 series). The VS 4-4-0 is a Hornby Schools, with a new brass sheet cab and other modifications in plasticard. The GNR SG3 0-6-0 is a Mainline LMS Class 4 with a new brass sheet cab and firebox, and other alterations (particularly the tender) in plasticard. It needs a new dome with a rounder top. The GSR B1a 4-6-0 is a Mainline Royal Scot, with modifications in plasticard, and repositioning the dome. All are hand-painted – some better than others! As my main interest is in operation rather than precise modelling, they give an adequate effect at relatively minimal effort! Whilst most of my models are NCC (with a layout based on Coleraine and Portrush) some poetic license has allowed other railway’s trains to occasionally visit! Scenery will hopefully be improved once I retire and have a bit more time at home.

GSR B1a Macha

GSR B1a 'Macha'

GNR(I) VS class No. 210

GNR(I) VS class No. 210

GNR(I) SG3

GNR(I) SG3

NCC Jeep

NCC Jeep

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Converting the Murphy-Bachmann 141 Class Diesel to 21mm Gauge

Denis Bates

 

The General Motors 141 Class diesel of CIE was introduced in 1962, and for over 40 years has been among the most successful of the Irish diesels.  So it was not by accident that Murphy Models chose it for their first foray into a completely designed Irish model (the previous Woolwich Mogul and the NCC Jinty were of course repainted versions of the English models).  So, although my main interests are in steam days, and particularly the BCDR, I couldn’t resist purchasing one, with a view to re-wheeling it to 21mm gauge and P4 standards.  The prototype is described and drawn in two of the model magazines: by Tim Cramer in Model Railways for March 1977, and by Shane McQuillan in Practical Model Railways for June 1986. The latter article describes also the building of one, from a kit by the Model Irish Railways group. Comparing the Murphy model with the drawings, I could find nothing amiss – except for the buffer spacing. The buffer centres should be at a spacing of 6’3”; on the model they are at 23mm (5’9”). I presume that is to match the spacing of other Murphy-Bachmann models, at English spacing.

I first determined that a P4 wheelset would fit between the bogie frames, and it does, just. My main mistake was to dismantle the loco as far as possible – this is not necessary, as the bogie frames can be levered off. They are similar to those of the Bachmann Class 20 diesel (described by Keith Norgrove at http://www.norgrove.me.uk/index.htm). A screwdriver is used to prise out the frames, which appear to be identical on the two bogies. The wheelsets can then be prised out of the bogies. Each wheelset has an offset plastic gear wheel, two brass bearings which are a push fit in the sideframes, and brass wheels with insulating sleeves. Measure the distance of the gear from the ends of the axles, before tapping out the wheels and sleeves using a small drift and hammer. The gear wheel can similarly be tapped off the axle.

If the model is to be converted to EM gauge, all that is necessary is to cut 2mm steel rod to the appropriate length, and put the gear and wheels on. Although there is a spline on the original axle for the gear, it seems tight enough on a plain rod (a smear of loctite could be used to anchor it firmly). To keep the axle laterally in place, two brass sleeves, or an appropriate number of washers, should be added between the gear and the bearings (or between the bearings and the insulating sleeves (see figure). For conversion to P4 and 21mm, the original brass wheels can be used, but have to be turned down to receive P4 rims (these are obtainable from Alan Gibson on special order). It is also possible to turn down the existing rims to P4 standards. For those without a lathe, it may be possible to purchase P4 wheels to suit. Before finally inserting the wheel sets, the pickups need to be adjusted so that they bear on the backs of the wheels. On the Bachmann wheelsets, the hub projects further out than the rim, and does not fit easily between the sideframes. However, the insides of the frames can be filed out (about 0.5mm or more) to give clearance. I used a cylindrical dental burr to do this, held in a drill press, and hand held the frames. Once finished, the loco ran just as well as it had done on 00 track. Now to try it on Adavoyle Junction, out of period though it be!

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Building a Worsley Works CIE G Class

Jeremy Fletcher

 

I put together a Worsley Works 4mm etch set of the CIE G-class 0-4-0 diesel for Jim Edgar (“Jim Markle”) who required one for his intended ‘OO’ Irish branch line. The etch set arrived in the usual flat envelope containing the sections laid out on etch ‘frets’.  Resin spring/axle box dummy castings were provided. A nickel silver fold down ‘basic etch’ piece was provided to make the drive/gearbox.   No motor, gears or wheels were provided and it is necessary for the modeller to arrange his/her own.  There are no instructions supplied with the Worsley Works etch sets and it is a good idea for the intending model builder to first study the various parts and decide on the most appropriate procedure to follow. It is a good idea to have as many as possible prototype photographs at this stage.  The G-class kit is one of the more straightforward Worsley Works sets to assemble as there are few complicated double curvatures, although the need for a drive might deter some people.  It provides a good introduction to making  etched brass models.   

Soldering is of course involved in putting the parts together and this may be off-putting to some.  It is not really that hard once you take the initial plunge and get used to it. As this particular model is of a powered locomotive it is advisable at an early stage to decide what sort of drive will be used and how much of the floor must be cut out to give clearance for it. It is easiest to cut out parts from the etchings before starting the assembly.  Cutting them out later can be very difficult and frustrating. I found it easiest to put the G-class together in a series of sub assemblies: cab,  bonnet,  main frame and the drive/gearbox assembly. The upper cab and bonnet are soldered together on the main frame and the drive/gearbox is screwed in place to allow removal for maintenance and oiling.  The cab roof is not soldered on until the cab is soldered in place.  

 

I started by making the main frame sub-assembly out of the footplate and end and side plates, basically ending up with an open bottomed box.    I first cut out the footplate sheet inside the bonnet area to accommodate the motor I intended to use and also most of the cab floor, being careful to leave enough for soldering on the cab. It is necessary to be careful when cutting out any etching sheet as any stretching of the metal will make it very hard to keep it flat afterward.  It is probably best to drill a series of close-spaced small holes alongside each cut line, break out the piece that is to be removed and then finish off the edges with a fine file.

There are pre-drilled holes to locate the buffers and I enlarged these to suit the  buffers which I made myself. There are also suitable  commercial ones available, such as  Markits  The footplate underside is provided with etched grooves (like those for fold up locations) to locate both the end and side plates.  I first laid the footplate upside down on a flat surface so that it would not distort when being soldered.  I located the end plates in the grooves and held them square to the footplate while running a bead of solder along the join.  I then did the same with the side plates and then soldered the end plates and side plates together.  The side plates also have etched grooves which should be lined up with corresponding ones on the footplate underside.  These are to locate the four triangular side gussets which are soldered on afterwards. I checked that the main frame assembly was true and square before going further.

I next made the cab body by folding around the one piece wall etching to make an open top box.  There are multiple parallel fold lines at each corner to produce curved corners.   I bent the metal around a piece of 7/64” rod to produce even bends. The etch piece edges join between the cab front windows. This joint line will be conveniently hidden by the exhaust stack.  I found that some of the cab window edges which are close to the bends buckled during the bending but were easy to straighten again.  The bottoms of the cab walls have locating tabs which engage with slots in the footplate section.  I checked that the cab fitted properly and soldered it in place.

I made the bonnet section by bending the one piece etch sheet similarly to the cab.  It also has the multiple fold lines to give curved corners although the curved bonnet top has to be bent to look like the photos.  There are outlines on the footplate and cab front to help in getting the shape of the bonnet section right.   The most tedious parts of the bonnet section were the side access door frames and shallow pyramid shape panels. The panels came flat, with fold lines to allow them to be carefully bent to shape. The wire lifting handles on the doors, when inserted in their holes were useful to locate the doors in their correct positions.  I made and soldered in place the handrails for the cab and bonnet sections before going any further.  Ideally I should have used commercial handrail knobs to hold them but could not find any short enough and the handrails would have stood out unrealistically, so I simply bent and inserted the ends of the .019” wire into the pre-drilled holes.  I also made and  soldered in the dummy front and rear marker lights, engine air inlet ‘mushrooms’, sand boxes and the exhaust stack.  I made hand grabs at the front steps from pins.

I fitted the bonnet section in front of the cab, using the outlines as a guide, and soldered it in position.  I then bent the cab roof to shape and soldered it on.  I made the front curved section over the “radiator” grille by filing from plastic which was glued in place after the soldering was all done: of course, there is no actual radiator as the prototype was powered by a Deutz air cooled engine.

 

I made the drive/gearbox from the basic etch sheet provided, with the axle holes already in place.  It was designed with fold down sides to make a box shape for the gearbox.   The drive/gearbox carries the axles (inside bearings) and the external axle box details are non functional. I found that the gearbox had been designed to suit the P4 ‘Irish’ track gauge and was too wide to fit between wheels set at ‘OO’.  I therefore cut off the sides at the fold lines and soldered them back in position closer together.  As the loco is so small and light it would be barely capable of moving anything with only one axle driven and I therefore made a drive to both axles by means of a gear train, with the motor lying horizontally along the top of the gearbox, inside the bonnet.  I used NWSL 72DP brass gears with an overall speed reduction of 32:1.  The wheels are salvaged from a previous re-powering project.  There was just enough room above the motor in the bonnet for a couple of stick-in lead weights to help traction in this tiny locomotive.  I have not painted the finished locomotive as Jim Edgar wanted to do that himself. 

I put together a Worsley Works 4mm etch set of the CIE G-class 0-4-0 diesel for Jim Edgar (“Jim Markle”) who required one for his intended ‘OO’ Irish branch line. The etch set arrived in the usual flat envelope containing the sections laid out on etch ‘frets’.  Resin spring/axle box dummy castings were provided. A nickel silver fold down ‘basic etch’ piece was provided to make the drive/gearbox.   No motor, gears or wheels were provided and it is necessary for the modeller to arrange his/her own.  There are no instructions supplied with the Worsley Works etch sets and it is a good idea for the intending model builder to first study the various parts and decide on the most appropriate procedure to follow. It is a good idea to have as many as possible prototype photographs at this stage.  The G-class kit is one of the more straightforward Worsley Works sets to assemble as there are few complicated double curvatures, although the need for a drive might deter some people.  It provides a good introduction to making  etched brass models.   

Soldering is of course involved in putting the parts together and this may be off-putting to some.  It is not really that hard once you take the initial plunge and get used to it. As this particular model is of a powered locomotive it is advisable at an early stage to decide what sort of drive will be used and how much of the floor must be cut out to give clearance for it. It is easiest to cut out parts from the etchings before starting the assembly.  Cutting them out later can be very difficult and frustrating. I found it easiest to put the G-class together in a series of sub assemblies: cab,  bonnet,  main frame and the drive/gearbox assembly. The upper cab and bonnet are soldered together on the main frame and the drive/gearbox is screwed in place to allow removal for maintenance and oiling.  The cab roof is not soldered on until the cab is soldered in place.  

 

I started by making the main frame sub-assembly out of the footplate and end and side plates, basically ending up with an open bottomed box.    I first cut out the footplate sheet inside the bonnet area to accommodate the motor I intended to use and also most of the cab floor, being careful to leave enough for soldering on the cab. It is necessary to be careful when cutting out any etching sheet as any stretching of the metal will make it very hard to keep it flat afterward.  It is probably best to drill a series of close-spaced small holes alongside each cut line, break out the piece that is to be removed and then finish off the edges with a fine file.


There are pre-drilled holes to locate the buffers and I enlarged these to suit the  buffers which I made myself. There are also suitable  commercial ones available, such as  Markits  The footplate underside is provided with etched grooves (like those for fold up locations) to locate both the end and side plates.  I first laid the footplate upside down on a flat surface so that it would not distort when being soldered.  I located the end plates in the grooves and held them square to the footplate while running a bead of solder along the join.  I then did the same with the side plates and then soldered the end plates and side plates together.  The side plates also have etched grooves which should be lined up with corresponding ones on the footplate underside.  These are to locate the four triangular side gussets which are soldered on afterwards. I checked that the main frame assembly was true and square before going further.

I next made the cab body by folding around the one piece wall etching to make an open top box.  There are multiple parallel fold lines at each corner to produce curved corners.   I bent the metal around a piece of 7/64” rod to produce even bends. The etch piece edges join between the cab front windows. This joint line will be conveniently hidden by the exhaust stack.  I found that some of the cab window edges which are close to the bends buckled during the bending but were easy to straighten again.  The bottoms of the cab walls have locating tabs which engage with slots in the footplate section.  I checked that the cab fitted properly and soldered it in place.

I made the bonnet section by bending the one piece etch sheet similarly to the cab.  It also has the multiple fold lines to give curved corners although the curved bonnet top has to be bent to look like the photos.  There are outlines on the footplate and cab front to help in getting the shape of the bonnet section right.   The most tedious parts of the bonnet section were the side access door frames and shallow pyramid shape panels. The panels came flat, with fold lines to allow them to be carefully bent to shape. The wire lifting handles on the doors, when inserted in their holes were useful to locate the doors in their correct positions.  I made and soldered in place the handrails for the cab and bonnet sections before going any further.  Ideally I should have used commercial handrail knobs to hold them but could not find any short enough and the handrails would have stood out unrealistically, so I simply bent and inserted the ends of the .019” wire into the pre-drilled holes.  I also made and  soldered in the dummy front and rear marker lights, engine air inlet ‘mushrooms’, sand boxes and the exhaust stack.  I made hand grabs at the front steps from pins.

I fitted the bonnet section in front of the cab, using the outlines as a guide, and soldered it in position.  I then bent the cab roof to shape and soldered it on.  I made the front curved section over the “radiator” grille by filing from plastic which was glued in place after the soldering was all done: of course, there is no actual radiator as the prototype was powered by a Deutz air cooled engine.



 

I made the drive/gearbox from the basic etch sheet provided, with the axle holes already in place.  It was designed with fold down sides to make a box shape for the gearbox.   The drive/gearbox carries the axles (inside bearings) and the external axle box details are non functional. I found that the gearbox had been designed to suit the P4 ‘Irish’ track gauge and was too wide to fit between wheels set at ‘OO’.  I therefore cut off the sides at the fold lines and soldered them back in position closer together.  As the loco is so small and light it would be barely capable of moving anything with only one axle driven and I therefore made a drive to both axles by means of a gear train, with the motor lying horizontally along the top of the gearbox, inside the bonnet.  I used NWSL 72DP brass gears with an overall speed reduction of 32:1.  The wheels are salvaged from a previous re-powering project.  There was just enough room above the motor in the bonnet for a couple of stick-in lead weights to help traction in this tiny locomotive.  I have not painted the finished locomotive as Jim Edgar wanted to do that himself.

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Scratch Building a CIE Cement Bubble

Des Sullivan

 

Prior to its gradual demise, the freight section of  Irish Rail produced some very distinctive and unique rolling stock that just begs to be scratch built.   We have also been blessed that MIR has provided several quality kits in the past few years to recreate them.   The cement bubble has been one of these. However, when I decided to build an eleven to twelve  unit rake of them over twelve months ago, the euro-exchange rate at the time proved to be something of a disincentive.  I also wanted to capture some of the finer detailing that the existing kit as seen from the photo on Steve Johnson’s site didn’t seem to cover.  Since having built them, the euro has strengthened significantly and the kit has been superbly revised (what with a very solid new resin casting of the bubble and gangway and ladder brass etchings).  Oh well, c’est la vie.  I was fortunate in having the opportunity to photograph several of them at the old container sidings in Limerick station which revealed the finer detailing and colouring that would add to building a suitable model.

The basis for most 20’ four wheel CIE freight stock is the Dapol C043 cement wagon.  The distinctive springs, spring hangers and brake levers are all well captured on this model.  Also, because it is a plastic kit, there is much more “depth” to the brake mechanism than one would get with a single piece RTR moulding.  The dimensions are a little out, given that the model is a OO/HO hybrid, but this is really of minor importance compared to the abundance of chassis detailing.  Finally, there are several parts in the C043 kit that with minor alteration can be used to provide the extra detailing needed for the rest of the model.

  
Parts Needed
To build one you will need the following:
  • CO43 kit
  • Two Kinder Eggs – not the hinged type (yes, there are more than one) but the one with the two shells.
  • Guitar string (a light gauge “A” string).
  • A paper lollypop stick (c. 3.6mm diameter).
  • Transfer set (details later).
  • 0.35mm styrene sheeting 30mm x 80mm.
  • Scrap of net curtain material or K & S etched mesh 3/64 diamond.
  • Flexible 0.6mm wire.
  • Milliput.
  • Ratio signal ladder pack (#451).
  • Paint (beige, black, grey, white).

Chassis Construction
First, completely pare back and remove the raised rim on the wagon floor plate (part 6) using a sharp knife or blade.

Scribe and then remove the central part between the two holes.  I drill out several 6mm holes to make this easier.

Chamfer the straight sides of the hole at 45° to make for maximum surface and gluing contact between the bubble/egg and the base.

Construct the chassis as detailed in the Dapol instructions, make sure any flash or mould lines are pared and sanded back.  The main focus of these is at the buffer sides.

Remove the moulded chain from the end hooks prior to fitting as it will impede the coupling bars otherwise.

Widen out the wheels on the axles ever so slightly (0.2-0.3mm). Drill two holes on either side of the frames for the levers.

Base Detailing
The hole left after removing the central section of the plate is too long and will leave a gap at either side when the egg is put in place.  You will need to construct a new wagon floor sheet from styrene sheet that the bubble can sit into, see the adjacent diagram for the appropriate dimensions. 

Remember, fit-check-pare and repeat until a precise fit is got prior to gluing.  Then glue down the sheet onto the original chassis top.  It will take a bit of time, but once done properly, constructing another ten or fourteen can be done with assembly-line ease.   I made a stencil from styrene and used it to draw out and cut the other eleven chassis sheet covers once I was happy with the final dimensions.

Identify the plate (part 44).  This has raised diagonal detailing that matches the prototype closely.   Cut to size by removing paler material as shown in the attached diagram and remove the nodge on the top.  Fit at one end of the  wagon floor sheet, opposite of where the ladders will be.

Construct the cement pipes from chopped up parts 55 and 56.  Mark and drill 0.8mm holes in the floor sheet at the other end (opposite to where plate is on)  and fit.  Bend and then glue some 0.6mm wire to the back. Cut a 5mm length of lollypop stick at a 45° angle using a sharp knife, and mount near the pipes as shown.

Making the Bubble
One of the delights of scratch building this model is that the bog standard Kinder Egg is an almost exact scale replica of the bubble in terms of the hemispherical ends.    It does require lengthening and this is done as follows.Take a male section of one egg and carefully cut off the outer 4mm of the rim.  This is easy enough to do as the egg wall has a thin channel or groove here to act as a cutting guide.

Take the other egg and roughen the ends with sandpaper and then shape a small piece of Milliput so as to round the ends.  I recommend dampening the Milliput , applying to the egg end and then shaping it in the palm of your hand.  Leave to dry overnight. 

Fit the second egg ends together as shown and use the cut off piece from the donor egg (!!) to fill out the gap.  If the rim piece is cut carefully, it should be a perfect fit.  Glue the three pieces together.  Note that the plastic used does not take glue very well (even Superglue) so handle carefully.  It may be worth trying a more full-bodied epoxy glue though I haven’t done this to date. Glue the egg to the chassis base.  Glue some lead window strip underneath to add weight and ballast.

Other Detailing

Fit the manhole cover (part 51) as the Bubble cap.

Bend and glue the guitar wire as vacuum pipe.

The gangway can be made from net-curtain mesh (or K&S etched mesh) with a thin rim of styrene sheet .  Use double thickness styrene triangles as gangway supports and glue to the side of the bubble.

The ladder included in the kit is perfect, but there is only one in each kit!  I suggest Ratio signal ladder as an alternative.  It is also a little finer in scale. 

Fit the manhole cover (part 51) as the Bubble cap.


Bend and glue the guitar wire as vacuum pipe.


The gangway can be made from net-curtain mesh (or K&S etched mesh) with a thin rim of styrene sheet .  Use double thickness styrene triangles as gangway supports and glue to the side of the bubble.

The ladder included in the kit is perfect, but there is only one in each kit!  I suggest Ratio signal ladder as an alternative.  It is also a little finer in scale.

Given that a rake of fifteen  will probably remain permanently connected, for added realism I suggest using the coupling provided for the end wagons, and very light gauge wire loop glued to the hooks to connect each of the interim wagons.

Note: I will be producing a brass etch of the gangway and supports as an all-in-one bendable unit as an alternative to the above.  It will also include the ladders.  This should be available in January 2009.*

Painting and Transfers
Painting offers a few challenges as the model has had several liveries, including orange and beige.  However for the last decade and more, most of them are an interesting mottled shade of greyish white with algae green streaks.  The chassis originally was black but is now usually a non-descript grey-brown. If you are going to be building or repainting any volume of models,  I strongly recommend purchasing a good quality air brush, such as an Iwata HP-CS and a mini-compressor.  These can be got for quite good value off eBay.  The simple reason is you can paint a brace of kits in a matter of minutes using diluted acrylic paint with a smooth, uniform coat that covers even the most inaccessible parts, dries quickly and allows repainting almost immediately.

Paint the model in the following order:

  • Paint the entire kit in white primer.
  • Spray-paint the chassis and wheels in a lightish grey brown.
  • Spray the bubble beige (mask as necessary).
  • Fit the “Broken Circle” and cement decals. I made up my own stencil type transfers of the CIE circle, “Cement,” model numbers and wheel inspection dates. Contact me if you are interested in sets of these.*
  • From overhead, use a criss-cross alternating mixture of white and primer grey to get a non-uniform finish approximating to ten years of cement coating. Another option is to spray a thin mist of water and then sprinkle minute amounts of fresh dry Polyfilla powder through a very fine sieve to get the layered cement look.
  • Bend and attach the side levers using 0.6mm wire into the pre-drilled holes, paint white and then yellow.
  • Paint the cement pipes a darker shade of grey/brown.
  • Paint the ends of the brake lever white then red.
  • Paint the sole-bars at appropriate points as indicated in the picture and fit the chassis numbering and inspection stencils.

To Conclude…
Oh the hours of blood, sweat and tears that can be summarised in little over three pages!   However, taking the approach as laid out above and tackling them in an assembly line fashion, you can build a fifteen-unit rake for little over €100 in a matter of days.  The main points to re-iterate are: get plenty of pictures to be in that comfort zone about the detail locations and take your time to get the chassis cut out and chassis sheet dimensions and angles correct.  You’ll be well rewarded.  In a future issue, I’ll tackle how to build the 20’ beet wagon using Corrugated sheeting.  Nice!

[Ed: I once weathered a OO lime wagon with toothpaste, which looked like a thick coat of chalky minerals, but I would advises a test-patch, as some paint finishes may not tolerate tooth-paste.]

 

* dezsullivan@eircom.net

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Station Survey: Abbeyfeale

Alan O’Rourke

 

We have already represented the North Kerry line in this series, but another station  will not come amiss, especially as elevations of the main building are to hand. Abbeyfeale station opened with the rest of the Newcastlewest-Tralee section on Dec. 20th, 1880. The original plan was for a single platform, but by July 1881,  the station was re-modelled with a passing loop and  second platform to make it suitable for crossing passenger trains. The station had a 293’ long down platform  (with a 3,530 gallon water  tank), 224’ up platform, carriage dock, a long shunting road and a crossover from the goods store to the platform road. In 1881, it acquired a Gloucester Carriage & Wagon Company signal cabin. In GSR days, staffing consisted of a station-master, clerk, two signalman, checker, porter and a guard. As with many smaller Irish stations, it really came to life for livestock traffic. Typically, for  Abbeyfeale fairs,  ten wagons were supplied in advance, with a special of another ten to twenty from Limerick about 7am, and a loaded train back to Limerick about 2pm. For bigger fairs, Limerick sent down a special of twenty-five wagons the day before, with the engine stabled at Listowel overnight, and  in the morning, there was a special from Tralee of fifteen  wagons and a buyers’ coach, and for the main Autumn fairs, which might generate three specials, there was an empty train of twenty wagons train from Limerick about 7am in the morning. If anyone wants a narrow gauge feeder, they can employ a little modeller’s licence, and conjecture that one of the numerous still born plans spawned by the 1883 Tramways Act had proved more successful. In 1884, the Abbeyfeale  & Brosna Tramway was promoted to run south from Abbeyfeale, with baronial guarantees from Glenquin in Limerick and Trughenacmy in Kerry, and in 1885 the Limerick & Kerry Light Railways and Tramway Company, prepared Bills for both Abbeyfeale-Brosna and Listowel-Ballybunion schemes. None of these ideas seems to have progressed beyond the planning stage.

The broad gauge line lost its passenger services in 1963, and Abbeyfeale closed to all traffic in November 1975, but the building is well maintained as a private residence with the water tower and platforms intact. The goods store still stands but when I walked through in 2002 was  labelled “dangerous” and the roof was beginning to decay. The town lies to the south. At the west (Tralee) end of the station, the line crossed the road north to Athea by a girder bridge, and then ran along an embankment, to cross the Oolagh River by a steel girder bridge with 40’ span,  which could provide some scope for scenic modelling, and where open-plan baseboards might help.

Details of North Kerry line locomotives, rolling stock and timetables were given in New Irish Lines, Nov, 2000. There are photographs in the O’Dea Collection in the National Photographic Archive of Ireland and Adrian Vaughan’s collection.

Abbeyfeale station above as opened, below as modified to be suitable for passing passenger trains, 1881: later additional trackwork shewn in broken lines. Line to Limerick and Newcastlewest to left of both drawings; line to Tralee to right.

Abbeyfeale station above as opened, below as modified to be suitable for passing passenger trains, 1881: later additional trackwork shewn in broken lines. Line to Limerick and Newcastlewest to left of both drawings; line to Tralee to right.

Platform Elevation

Platform Elevation

Floor Plan

Floor Plan

Section A-B

Section A-B

Bedroom Level

Bedroom Level

The elevation, plan and section are from GSWR 8″:1′ scale architectural drawings, courtesy of the IRRS. 

 

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GNR Hopper Wagons and Plough Vans

Alan O’Rourke

 

Until the end of the 19th century, the typical ballast wagon was a primitive short wheelbase vehicle, with low drop sides, leather flaps to try and keep the stone dust out of the grease-axle boxes and, possibly still, dumb-buffers. To go with these, there might be a “ballast brake van,” often derived from an even older four-wheel coach, and sometimes a sort of combined tool shed and mess hut on wheels. But, from the 1890’s, a number of companies, including in Ireland, the GSWR, MGWR and GNR(I), started to modernise their permanent way stock, introducing higher capacity steel hoppers, where instead of shovelling the ballast out of low-side wagons, it could be deposited directly onto the track through bottom doors, and also “plough vans” with steel shears underneath, which at least started the process of distributing the gravel. These drawings show the GNR designs of the period, and a very similar, but later, design for gypsum traffic. The plough vans and eighteen hoppers came from Hurst Neilson & Co. of Motherwell, and were of all-steel construction. The ballast wagons had self-discharging hoppers, which could be operated by screw mechanisms from either side.  The van had double plough-shears between the wheels, so it could operate running in either direction, a large veranda and a covered portion with stove and lockers. All this stock had vacuum and hand brakes, and oil axle-boxes. An unusual, and it seems only experimental change was the use of “GNR(I)” lettering, instead of the more usual “GNR” and later “GN,” although since this only appears on the Neilson maker’s photos, it may have been their whim, and rapidly replaced by the orthodox legend on arrival at Dundalk. Similarly, although the posed official shot shows the van running as number 120, the GNR drawing lists them as 8166 and 8167, both built in 1910, and costing £242 each. Similarly, the Neilson hoppers, all built in 1910 at £138 each, had running numbers  8097-8114. Another nine hoppers came from Pickering in 1912, at £149 each, running as 8139-8147.

GNR ballast hopper 149, a Pickering makers photo (Photo: Historical Model Railway Society Collection, no. W1007)

GNR ballast hopper 149, a Pickering maker's photo (Photo: Historical Model Railway Society Collection, no. W1007)

GNR(I) Ballast Plough & Brake Van

GNR(I) Ballast Plough & Brake Van.

At the dissolution of the GNR, UTA got fourteen of the hopper vehicles, and the remaining thirteen went to CIE, for which the following details are recorded:

GNR No: Tare (Tons-CWT-Quarters): Date brake gear altered to take standard CIE KD block:
8098
8100
8102
8104
8106
8108
8110
8112
8114
8140

7-14-0
7-10-3
7-12-2
7-17-1

7-13-1
8-2-3
7-14-3
1962
1962
1962
1961
1962
1962
1961
1962
1962
1960

 

GNR(I) 20 Ton Hopper Ballast Wagon

GNR(I) 20 Ton Hopper Ballast Wagon

 

GNR ballast plough van no. 120, a Neilson makers photo (Photo: The Locomotive Magazine & Railway Carraige & Wagon Review, January 14th 1911)

GNR ballast plough van no. 120, a Neilson maker's photo (Photo: The Locomotive Magazine & Railway Carraige & Wagon Review, January 14th 1911)

 

GNR ballast hopper no. 107, a Nielson makers photo, showing GNR(I) lettering (Photo: The Locomotive Magazine & Railway Carraige & Wagon Review, January 14th 1911)

GNR ballast hopper no. 107, a Nielson maker's photo, showing "GNR(I)" lettering (Photo: The Locomotive Magazine & Railway Carraige & Wagon Review, January 14th 1911)

The gypsum hopper drawing does not have any notes about outside builders so I assume they represent Dundalk’s adaptation of the earlier ballast hoppers. Six of these were turned out in the Second World War (or did the GNR call it the Emergency, or like the Church of Ireland prayer book for “our leaders” have different rubric for each side of the Border?).  I am assuming that these worked from Kingscourt on the MGWR, being handed over at Navan and forwarded on GNR trains to Drogheda cement factory. These vehicles were built with hand brakes only but cost had risen to £477 each (£205 wages, £235 material, £37 other charges), and the following details apply:

No: Date: Tare: Brakes Altered: Brake Screw Protection Plates Fitted:
6015
6016
6017
6018
6019
6020
Oct. 1944
Oct. 1944
Oct. 1944
Nov. 1944
Nov. 1944
Nov. 1944
8-1-1
8-1-3
8-2-0
8-2-0
8-1-3
8-1-3
Nov. 1945
Oct. 1945
Oct. 1945
Oct. 1945
Oct. 1945
Nov. 1945
Apr. 1946
Apr. 1946
May 1946


 

GNR(I) 20 Ton Hopper Wagon (Gypsum Traffic)

GNR(I) 20 Ton Hopper Wagon (Gypsum Traffic)

 

 

Reference: Anonymous (1911) New Rolling stock. Great Northern Ry. (Ireland) The Locomotive Magazine & Railway Carriage & Wagon Review 17: 22 (January 14, 1911).

I am grateful to the IRRS archives and Mr Brendan Pender for access to the GNR drawings and permission to reproduce them.

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