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Book & DVD Reviews

Hendry R (1999): ‘British Railway Goods Wagons in Colour: For the Modeller and Historian’
Midland / Ian Allan: Hersham ISBN (10) 1-85780-094-X ISBN (13) 978-1-85780-094-4
96 pages, 217 colour photos, glossary, facsimile wagon diagrams (21),lamp head-codes

I have only just acquired a copy of this book, but as it was reprinted in 2003 and 2007, copies should still be available It is a detailed history of the British goods wagon from the days of the small, wooden-framed vehicles up to the 1970’s. I gather that a second volume covers the period 1970-2000, but I have not come across this yet. There are separate sections for general merchandise opens; vans; cattle wagons; tanks; bulk traffic; conflats; bolsters; brake vans; service stock and “special vehicles.” The book is very good on the transitional BR period from steam to diesel and the introduction of block and liner trains. It is in fact a history of freight handling as well as the wagons themselves, with a few bits of social history on labour and union relations included. The Irish content is quite small, and since the author seems rather strict on the geographical term “British” limited to Northern Ireland, but as published photographs of Irish wagons are rather rare, the five shots are still interesting:

p. 5: an ex-BNCR 3-plank open, presented as a late survivor, with many primeaval design features.
p. 6: a more modern NCC van
p. 6: another NCC van but one that quite foxed the experts, being an obsolete Midland (of Derby) design, turned out by LNER shops as a stop gap for service in Northern Ireland in World War Two.
p. 54: Shell Mex & BP tank wagon 271, Adelaide Yard
p. 55: Irish Shell & BP tank wagon 2617 at Grosvenor Road Depot [AO’R]

 

RJA Pue: ‘Steam Locomotives of Irish Railways’
Published by: the BCDR Museum Trust, 9 Kilbright Rd, Carrowdore, Newtownards. Co. Down BT22 2HQ Tel: 0870 740 9311 E-mail: countydownrailway@yahoo.co.uk

No. 7 The PP Class 4-4-0s of the Great Northern Railway (Ireland) ISBN 978-0-905196-13-8 56 pages £8-95 softback

No. 8 The Locomotives of the Ulster Railway ISBN 978-0-905196-15-2 60 pages, £10-95 softback

The seventh book in this series has now reached one of the more numerous groups of GNR 4-4-0s,the PP class of seventeen engines built between 1896 and 1911, the last scrapped in 1963. As with the earlier books in this series, each of these begins with a brief survey of the class, and then tables of key dates, dimensions and rebuilding. There follows a portrait and “bibliography” for each engine in the class, although much of this information is repeated in summary tables. About half of the book is a photographic album of the class, with a good mix of in-action, on shed and makers’ photographs, spanning the whole history of the class, the various metamorphoses these engines passed through, and with several shots of some of them running in the pre-World War I livery of lined green with name plates. Despite the use of un-glazed paper, reproduction of the photographs is generally good. There is a very diagrammatic outline drawing, which shows dimensions, but which is neither detailed nor accurate enough on its own to support building a model of one of these engines.

The eighth and most recent addition takes a step back in time from it usual format of describing one specific class of relatively modern engines, to review the entire motive power of the Ulster Railway, which lost its independence in 1876. As with such remote periods of railway history, there is little to add to what has already been published, allowing for the gaps in the extant records, and most of this topic has already been covered in Norman Johnston’s detailed history of GNR locomotives. There is a short history of the Ulster Railway itself, followed by a description of its engines, in the form of tables of dates, rebuilding and renumbering of each machine. The author has classified the stock his own way into twenty types. This nomenclature includes two classes delivered during or shortly after the formation of the GNR, and one which did not emerge until 1881 being three rebuilds of older engines into a small class of 0-4-2s.There are some 68 photos in the book, again finding unpublished ones for this period is rather hard, and slightly over a third have already appeared in Mr Johnston’s book, in some cases several enlargements from one of the shed scenes providing illustrations of different classes. The author, however, does find some shots from the FitzGerald Collection which I have not seen before, but as with earlier books in the series, reproduction on un-glazed paper, while keeping costs down, impairs reproduction of some photos.

These booklets are produced as limited print runs, on a subscription basis, with future plans to cover the U2 and W classes of the NCC; the Q, and S classes of the GNR; the DNGR 0-6-0STs; and the Queens. [AO’R]

 

Jeremy Clements & Michael McMahon: ‘Locomotives of the GSR’
384 pages, 346 photographs, colour dust jacket pictures, 2 line drawings, maps, tables etc
ISBN 978-1-906578-26-8 £35-00 From: Colourpoint Books, Jubilee Business Park, 21 Jubilee Road, Newtownards, Co Down BT23 4YH

Wow! For some time, Southern locomotive fans have cast envious eyes at the Colourpoint histories of the GNR and more recently NCC engines. Well, their own volume has proved well worth the wait At first sight it sounds expensive, but taking account of size and photographic content, it is actually very good value for money. Of course, a book limited to the machines built for or by the GSR would be rather slim, and this covers all the stock inherited in 1925, even if some never carried a GSR number plate. As much pre-group stock had long lives, it is a really a history of locomotives built from about 1880 onwards for the constituent companies. The authors have done their homework very well, and although there may be room for a bit more scholarship on the mechanical dark ages at Inchicore and Broadstone, as regards the post 1925 era, this really is the definitive account. Some material has appeared before, but is well integrated, such as the 1948 summary of each surviving class, a pithy, unsentimental few lines saying what the operating department thought of its antiques on day-to-day basis, and often far removed from dewy-eyed enthusiasts, coming across some ancient engine, or logging a spectacular one off run.

This is of course an era now slipping from living memory, and some decisions may not have been “minuted,” so there has to be a bit of reading between the lines. Here the authors are very perceptive. One problem was that in the newly formed GSR, MGWR men took many of the administrative positions, and to even up the power balance, the chief mechanical post went to Bazin, whereas Morton, your man from the Midland who had already proved himself an astute fellow in spotting bargains off the shelf, had a much more enlightened view on superheating the better older classes. In fact, Broadstone seems to have thumbed its nose at Inchicore on this issue, and quietly finished superheating the 650 class: in 1948 they were about the only Midland engines to get an unqualified thumbs up, the larger 4-4-0s being damned as poor timekeepers on the DSER section.

However, for a company that prided it self on thrift, GSR locomotive practice was decidedly wasteful at times, with each CME determined to produce “something new,” although this lead more to technological vanity than genuine progress. 850, always an engine to provoke partisan views, but the one genuinely innovative design was doomed to be a one off; the 670s were a retrospective step. In fact, Inchicore should have adopted a Darwinian “survival of the fittest” approach to selecting the best of the later pre-group designs: a dozen more 257 class would have been more welcome to the operating department than “improved J15s.” A few more DSER moguls and B4 Bandon tanks would also have been useful additions to the fleet. Maybe nothing illustrates this principle more than the 4-6-0s: the 500s did everything required of them, and more, for thirty yeas, with only minor modifications, whereas the mechanically more sophisticated 400s needed radical and expensive rebuilding to make them efficient engines. The cost of reconstructing them might have been better spent on a few more 500 and Woolwich class engines. The authors even take on the legend of the 800s, suggesting that their main value was boosting morale and for publicity, whereas from mechanical point of view, they were a luxury the GSR could ill afford and minor changes to working practices would have made them un-necessary. But, as the authors comment for much or their period, passenger traffic was actually in decline on the GSR system, whereas goods receipts held up much better, and so, while the company fiddled around trying to produce “fixes” for the Cork mails and the Bray suburban services, it was just as well that it had inherited a fleet of hardy 0-6-0s, which could handle the bread-and-butter traffic.

The photographs are generally well reproduced, just a few for obscure engines are a little soft, and for “spotters” there are good shots of some rather camera shy specimens, like 211, 250, 441, 618 and 621. Sadly, the only scale plans are of two patterns of WLWR tenders, from the Stephenson Locomotive Society book on Robinson’s work: there may be a book of drawings later if there is enough demand (hint, hint!). There are chapters on tenders; the fuel crisis (a detailed account of a difficult time, which bridged the GSR/CIE transition); and a brief account of steam loco policy under CIE (for more details of this period see the Decade of Steam book). Wisely, the turf-burner is left to its own specialised books, but the authors take “locomotive” as a broad term for any self propelled vehicle, so the Claytons, Sentinels (both shunting engines and railcars), Drewry vehicles (broad and narrow gauge) and Drumm trains are all covered. All narrow gauge engines extant in 1925 also feature, but these are well documented elsewhere, and I think the real strength of the book is the detailed accounts of the pre-1925 engines, their rebuilding and modification, and the critical discussion of GSR locomotive policy down to 1940. For the not so technically minded, there is also a very clear and illustrated account of the working of locomotive valve gears and superheating. Finally, the book also includes detailed tables of GSR and GNR returns, which suggest that the GSR was not quite so economically backward as followers of the “enterprising” cross-border line would have us believe! In fact, allowing for the fact that GSR engines and rolling stock were older (and in many cases fully depreciated), the return on capital may have looked even better for the GSR. [AO’R]

 

DVD: ‘The West Cork Railway  1958, 1959 & 1961 Cameo Memories’ by Brian Baker
Produced and distributed by: Signcraft, Bretby, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire DE14 0PS UK Tel. 0044(0) 1283 551581 E-mail: signcraftbretby@aol.com
Running time approx 60 mins Price: £18 including p&p 

Included with this DVD is a section of the 1897 Railway Clearing House Map of southern Ireland showing the west Cork railways, in order to help the viewer visualize the lines depicted.  The reverse side carries additional notes which give mileages for the different sections, a very brief history and a list of books on the  west Cork lines. From the turning of the first sod of the Cork & Bandon Railway on the 16th September 1845, up till the complete closure on the 31st March 1961, the west Cork railways served a large area on the southern coast of Ireland.  The story is recorded in full colour on the DVD with both cine film and still photographs taken in 1958, 1959 and 1961,  and including the final four days of operation, and brings to light some very interesting footage and photographs of the west Cork system.  It also covers the Shannon Vale Mill, showing the working of the line by horse power.  It will be of interest to people who knew the system and people with a general interest in Irish railways, but above all will  be of immense value to modellers of Irish railways as it shows the  many different operations that were typical of the period, including shunting, running, and some beautiful landscape that will inspire modellers of any of the Irish railway systems.

It also includes cab rides for the sections Clonakilty Junction-Ballinascarthy- Courtmacsherry-Clonakilty, Skibbereen-Baltimore and Cork-Bantry. Starting at Albert Quay with steam locomotive No.90 shunting the diesel railcar set, the film takes us through the rural and beautiful countryside that is west Cork, and over some of the best kept track on any railway of the period, as well as over some extremely neglected rails.  The line had the distinction of serving the most southerly railway station in Ireland, and also boasted the first tunnel in Ireland to have steam working through it. The line was worked at this period by diesel railcar sets and C-class Metro-Vick locomotives, with short mixed trains made up of as few as two coaches plus a wagon of pigs, and strengthened on Thursdays by an ancient six-wheeler.  The line also saw excursion traffic as well as loose coupled freight trains which since the 1930’s include beet trains for Mallow sugar factory.  Running through one of the most tranquil scenes in Ireland, this is surely a modeller’s dream railway, with the variation of changing landscape as well as delightful stations along the line and at the termini. There is also an extract of an interview by Brian Baker with 96-year-old Mr. Champion who was a former employee of the railway, man and boy, who recalls some of his railway memories.

The material is professionally produced and narrated by Brian Baker who grew up in west Cork, his father having spent his working life on the west Cork lines apart from a short time at Charleville, and being station master at Clonakilty in the 1930’s. His final appointment was stationmaster at Bandon.  The programme deliberately does not set out to be a source of reference but simply a shared record of a once proud system.

After production and distribution costs, all profit is being donated to the Railway Children charity. [POS]

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Wagon Portrait

CDR Oldbury open in 15mm scale, built by Neil Ramsay

CDR Oldbury open in 15mm scale, built by Neil Ramsay

The wagon uses Slaters 37mm diameter G1 split spoke wheels and couplings, and axelguards from John Campbell.

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Scale Drawings – Ballymena & Larne 2-6-0ST

Ballymena & Larne Railway Beyer Peacock 2-6-0ST (originally published in Railways, no. 44, Dec. 1943, page 190

Ballymena & Larne Railway Beyer Peacock 2-6-0ST (originally published in Railways, no. 44, Dec. 1943, page 190

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Christmas Quiz

Today, we have naming of engines… the following are all clues to names carried by Irish engines, although some may not quite line up with the reasoning of those who bestowed the names. See how many you can get before you reach for your Irish Steam Loco Register. Answers can be found by scrolling to the bottom of the page.

  1. Nocturnal flying mammal.
  2. A class of battleship, which produced the political slogan”we want eight and we won’t wait!”
  3. One of the archangels.
  4. Possibly a musical percussion instrument.
  5. King of the Fairies in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
  6. Arthurian Wizard.
  7. …the Whig view of history.
  8. Large, aggressive freshwater fish.
  9. Roman (not Greek) name for the goddess of war, poetry, medicine and wisdom.
  10. Greek hero, who fell in love with his own reflection.
  11. Patron saint of the diocese of Ossory.
  12. Singer in Greek mythology, who descended into the underworld to try and bring his wife back after she had been bitten by venomous snakes.
  13. Jacobite military leader in the Williamite wars.
  14. Saint whose martyrdom included being barbecued to death.
  15. Greek hero, whose most well known exploit  was slaying the minotaur and escaping from the labryinth.
  16. The… Ascending, musical piece by Vaughan Williams.
  17. Planet discovered by William Herschel in 1781.
  18. Volcano, which last errupted in 1944.
  19. Princess, and grandmother of the current King of Spain, who spent over 30 years in exile.
  20. In Greek mythology, the archtypal woman, whose dowry contained many terrible plagues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answers:

  1. Bat (MGWR 0-6-0T No. 110)
  2. Dreadnaught (WLWR 0-6-0 No.49)
  3. Gabriel (SSR 4-4-0T No. 1)
  4. Lambeg [drum] (GNR 0-6-0 No. 154)
  5. Oberon (DWWR un-numbered 2-2-2WT of 1865)
  6. Merlin (GNR 4-4-0 No. 85)
  7. Progress (WLWR 0-6-0 No. 7)
  8. Pike (Cork & Youghal Railway 2-4-0ST No. 5)
  9. Minerva (GNR 4-4-0 No. 136)
  10. Narcissus (GNR 4-4-0 No. 83)
  11. St. Kiernan (DWWR 2-4-0T No. 45)
  12. Orpheus (GNR 4-4-0 No. 157)
  13. Sarsfield (WLWR 0-6-0 No. 24)
  14. St. Lawrence (DWWR 2-4-0T No. 28)
  15. Theseus (GNR 4-4-0 No. 114)
  16. Lark (MGWR 0-6-0T No. 106)
  17. Uranus (GNR 4-4-0 No. 131)
  18. Vesuvius (GNR 0-6-0 No. 14)
  19. Princess Ena (GSWR 4-4-0 No. 304)
  20. Pandora (GNR 4-4-0 No. 156)

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Editorial: November 2008

Alan O’Rourke

 

I used to buy secondhand model railway magazines for specific articles, particularly drawings or construction products.  However, when browsing them now, I find myself drawn at least as much to the editorial sections.  I have to admit that the older volumes of Model Railway News are my favourites.  It is quite fascinating to look at the very first issue for January 1925.  Until 1939 the cover used a line drawing, rather than a photographic illustration, the design passing through three versions, the last being a non-descript, but vaguely “Baby Scot” 4-6-0, partly obscuring the name board at a station that could thus only be identified as “…North Junciton” and pulling past a lower-quadrant starter.  Until 1939 the cover also included the slogan “steam – electric – clockwork,” reminding us that for most modellers, there were still several means of propulsion to consider.  That first issue included an interview with the legendary GP Keen, an article on the “possibilities” of OO gauge by Mr Stewart-Reidpath and letters of support from a baronet and a colonel reminding us that railway modelling was not quite yet a mass hobby.  Pre-war contributors also often used pseudonyms such as engine numbers or the names or initials of railway companies, especially the pre-group concerns, which had just lost their independence and which still enjoyed fierce partisan loyalty.  Thus correspondents signed themselves Churchwardian, LSWR, Vulcan, Terrier or 9903.

It is also interesting to read some of the social commentary.  So, for instance, the June 1926 editorial decries the General Strike.  June 1929, on the eve of a general election, produced some speculations on politicians’ plans for the railways, such as the abolition of private owner wagons in the interest of greater efficiency, and the introduction of new American style 40-ton high capacity wagons.  The adverts are of course also period pieces now and some of the items in that year’s commercial sector, such as huge lead-acid accumulators, seem more appropriate to heavy industry than an indoor hobby, although an earlier editorial (January 1927) had warned of the very real risk of electric shocks to children from model railways.

October 1939 brought a gloomy editorial, apologising for the reduced size of the magazine and the small number of illustrations, and even wondering if the ensuing war publication could continue at all.  In fact, although reduced to 20 pages and a 5″ by 8″ format, the Model Railway News managed monthly publication throughout the War, despite being bombed out of its office in October 1940, the first of three such direct hits on its premises.  Even the Railway Magazine went down to six modest sized issues each year from 1942 to 1949.  Paradoxically, the enforced blackouts of the “Phoney War” may have increased the amount of modelling activity in the early part of the conflict.  March 1942 brought appeals for the wartime scrap metal drive, and later for other material like waste paper, but with the caveat of saving useful modelling material and historical documents.  In July 1945, the editorial could mark the end of the Second World War, although shortages continued, and in 1947 John Ahern reminded readers that everyone actually had a right to buy £1 worth of new wood each month, and that this could be augmented with salvaged timber.  Prices were then of course more stable.  Having sold initially at 6d per month, the MRN had risen to 9d in 1944, but kept the price for another seven years.

As the 1950s wore on, there was news of the modernisation plan for British Railways; “standard” designs of steam locomotives; and the Atomic Age, with reports of plans to build 12 new nuclear power stations.  These items lead to debate about large-scale railway electrification and the preservation of more traditional equipment.  By December 1955, some enthusiasts were already bemoaning the end of the Steam Age, but even on BR that took another 13 years. Beeching cast a shadow in 1963, the same year that saw the arrival of Minic Motorways, for a while regarded as a serious threat to the popularity of model railways, and with obituaries like the one for William Stanier in 1965, one could only feel that an era was passing.  However, the end of revenue-earning BR steam in 1968, although acknowledged, was not specifically mourned.  By then, however, I feel that the days of the old Model Railway News iteself were numbered.  It published its last issue in August 1971, went into a chrysalis and emerged the following month as the big glossy, brightly coloured Model Railways.

 

Colm Flanagan's model of Newcastle station building, which will be finding a new home at the Downpatrick Railway Museum later this year, when Colm commences work on a new layout (Photo: Colm Flanagan)

Colm Flanagan's model of Newcastle station building, which will be finding a new home at the Downpatrick Railway Museum later this year, when Colm commences work on a new layout. (Photo: Colm Flanagan)

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Getting Started On Soldering: The TDR Three-Plank Wagon Kit

Paul Titmuss

 

It is evident from discussion that there are a number of modellers who want to progress to brass and nickel silver kits, but are loathe to make the jump because there seems to be nothing for the ‘beginner’ to try their soldering skills with first. I was at this stage once and still find soldering outside my ‘comfort zone’, but am becoming more skilled and increasingly confident, though I don’t profess to be an expert. The Tralee & Dingle three-plank wagon, available from Worsley Works is, I believe, a good starting point. It is low cost (£4.50 + £1.50 P&P), can be used for either 009 or 00n3, and if you bottle out can be stuck together with glue (I have built a wagon using epoxy resin). It is designed to fit the Parkside Dundas Tralee & Dingle van chassis. I am attempting to build Annascaul Station on the Tralee & Dingle Light Railway and whilst there is a lot of stock available from model manufacturers several key items are not catered for, the three-plank wagon being one of them. With the help of published and unpublished photographs (generously loaned by David Rowlands) I drew diagrams for the wagon and sent them to Allen Doherty at Worsley Works, who used them to  create the necessary brass etches for the kit. The best published photograph of a three plank wagon (and one I relied upon heavily in the diagrams) can be found in The Tralee & Dingle Railway by David Rowlands, published by Bradford Barton, p75. By the time of closure each of the remaining wagons had been reconstructed so there were differences between them.

Photo #1: This shows the etch, constructed wagon body and the completed wagon on Parkside Dundas T&D van chassis.

Photo #1: This shows the etch, constructed wagon body and the completed wagon on Parkside Dundas T&D van chassis.

Photo #2: The set up used for soldering. An Antex 25W soldering iron and stand, flux and 145° solder. I do not usually go to the extreme of soldering outside, but on a nice day its quite pleasant, but dont drop any parts!

Photo #2: The set up used for soldering. An Antex 25W soldering iron and stand, flux and 145° solder. I do not usually go to the extreme of soldering outside, but on a nice day it's quite pleasant, but don't drop any parts!

Photo#3: The first job is to tap in the bolt heads. I do this with a pin whilst the brass etch is resting on a piece of hardboard. A light tap is enough. When this is done flux and solder (tin) the insides of both sides and ends. When completed cut the parts out of the fret and clean up the rough edges with a file.

Photo#3: The first job is to tap in the bolt heads. I do this with a pin whilst the brass etch is resting on a piece of hardboard. A light tap is enough. When this is done flux and solder (tin) the insides of both sides and ends. When completed cut the parts out of the fret and clean up the rough edges with a file.

Photo #4: Line up the pieces, ensuring that the outside overlaps the inside section equally at both ends. I have recently acquired some little clips to help. The work is then held in a vice.

Photo #4: Line up the pieces, ensuring that the outside overlaps the inside section equally at both ends. I have recently acquired some little clips to help. The work is then held in a vice.

Photo #5: Flux is applied to the top edge and then solder run along the joint.

Photo #5: Flux is applied to the top edge and then solder run along the joint.

Photo #6: When happy with the join put the side or end on the work surface, inner side up and then apply heat from the soldering iron to help the tinned sides make a better bond. There should be a little solder on the tip of the iron to help with the transfer of heat.

Photo #6: When happy with the join put the side or end on the work surface, inner side up and then apply heat from the soldering iron to help the tinned sides make a better bond. There should be a little solder on the tip of the iron to help with the transfer of heat.

Photo #7: To join a side end place upside down on the work surface. The end piece goes inside the wagon side. Make sure the joint is fluxed. I hold the work in place with Blu-tack®. I also used some fine graph paper to help get the pieces square. The join between the two parts can then be soldered.

Photo #7: To join a side end place upside down on the work surface. The end piece goes inside the wagon side. Make sure the joint is fluxed. I hold the work in place with Blu-tack®. I also used some fine graph paper to help get the pieces square. The join between the two parts can then be soldered.

Photo #8: When both pairs of sides and ends have been joined I then solder up the remaining corners an the basic body shell is complete. You may wish to trial fit the chassis floor at this stage (see photo #11).

Photo #8: When both pairs of sides and ends have been joined I then solder up the remaining corners an the basic body shell is complete. You may wish to trial fit the chassis floor at this stage (see photo #11).

Photo #9: The strapping can then be applied. These pieces can be easily fixed using epoxy resin. If you attempt to solder the straps make sure they are tinned on the fret first, and would be an idea to apply the straps to the work before the sides are built up. The tall end straps are raised from the body and I glued these to strips of plastic card, and then these in turn were glued to the wagon ends.

Photo #9: The strapping can then be applied. These pieces can be easily fixed using epoxy resin. If you attempt to solder the straps make sure they are tinned on the fret first, and would be an idea to apply the straps to the work before the sides are built up. The tall end straps are raised from the body and I glued these to strips of plastic card, and then these in turn were glued to the wagon ends.

Photo #10: The corner plates need to careful bending in a vice. I held them between two rulers and pressed the edge over with a small piece of 1 x 1 timber. On the actual wagon the short edge went along the side so there is no need to panic if the two edges are not the same length. To complete the door straps lengthen the hinge gap by cutting into the etch. Place a fine piece of wire (not supplied) on the edge of the board (with Sellotape®) and press to shape. If the wire has been tinned and the job fluxed this is an easy soldering job. Cut off spare wire and etch before fixing in place. The door straps should just overlap the edges for the door sides.

Photo #10: The corner plates need careful bending in a vice. I held them between two rulers and pressed the edge over with a small piece of 1" x 1" timber. On the actual wagon the short edge went along the side so there is no need to panic if the two edges are not the same length. To complete the door straps lengthen the hinge gap by cutting into the etch. Place a fine piece of wire (not supplied) on the edge of the board (with Sellotape®) and press to shape. If the wire has been tinned and the job fluxed this is an easy soldering job. Cut off spare wire and etch before fixing in place. The door straps should just overlap the edges for the door sides.

Photo #11: The Parkside Dundas chassis can be made up. The floor needs to be carefully sanded to size, a tad off each end (including the sole bars) and a little more off the sides (circa 0.25mm each side) so that the body fits the floor (it might be an idea to fit this before the strapping is applied as a dry run). Dont get too carried away as it is easy to remove too much floor. Next the body is glued to the floor. Vacuum pipes need to be sourced (or those that come with the chassis can be used) plus couplings of choice added to complete construction. It is best to give the brass a coat of etched brass primer before painting and weathering to taste. Hopefully, you have now completed a first successful taste of soldered kit construction. Do remember that if you bottle out with the soldering then the kit can be glued together, so it wont be wasted.

Photo #11: The Parkside Dundas chassis can be made up. The floor needs to be carefully sanded to size, a tad off each end (including the sole bars) and a little more off the sides (circa 0.25mm each side) so that the body fits the floor (it might be an idea to fit this before the strapping is applied as a 'dry run'). Don't get too carried away as it is easy to remove too much floor. Next the body is glued to the floor. Vacuum pipes need to be sourced (or those that come with the chassis can be used) plus couplings of choice added to complete construction. It is best to give the brass a coat of etched brass primer before painting and weathering to taste. Hopefully, you have now completed a first successful taste of soldered kit construction. Do remember that if you bottle out with the soldering then the kit can be glued together, so it won't be wasted.

Acknowledgements:
Thanks to David Rowlands for the loan of photographs, Allen Doherty for the preparation of etches and Simon Starr for exchange of ideas.

Addendum:
If anyone has already purchased one (or more) of the three-plank wagon kits there was an error with the original production etch. The right hand door straps are now available on receipt of an SAE from Worsley Works. My third wagon was completed with these.

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Fond Memories

A Moyner

 

The signboard read “Rathmines & Ranelagh,” but although Rathmines was then generally as being what house-agents now describe as being “upmarket” to Ranelagh, the station was never known by any name but Ranelagh.  On any fine Saturday in summer, my father would hand me my bathing costume and a small bucket and then lead the way out through our back gate and to the lane which bordered the railway embankment, to the little wicket which admitted to Mr Walker’s nursery and a short cut to Dunville Avenue where was the station entrance.  Strategically placed outside to attract the custom of small boys was a machine by which for 1d one could emboss one’s name on a short metal strip.  No dalliance with this was allowed in our family while my father bought the tickets: “Return to Shankill please, Mr Carey.”  Mr Carey was the stationmaster, a kindly man who knew his passenger by name, and who was not offended if some over-burdoned mother asked for his help with her luggage up the long flights of wooden steps which led to the platforms.  His office was a snug one, with an iron stove glowing in the winter, and beside the hatch, carefully arranged rows of cardboard tickets for stations from Harcourt St to remote and romantic places like Woodenbridge and Wexford.  Below these was the machine which printed the date on the ticket with an impressive bang as Mr Carey stamped on the pedal.

The subway under the tracks to the down platform was well built with walls of white porcelain bricks into which were set some bearing the inscription “Ham Baker & Co, Westminster, London.”  I often wondered if this was an unusual address for a firm making porcelain bricks.  At the top of the stairs was a wooden partition with a heavy gate where “Andy” the station foreman, as attested by his cap band, checked the tickets and gave warning that the train was coming by banging the gate loudly off the paling.  This noise always caused some excitement because trains from Harcourt St were often full and it was a point of honour to get a corner seat for the half-hour journey.

Under two footbridges and past the allotments where Herton Rd was later built, we were soon in Milltown, a neat little station with a background of fields, over which there was a shortcut to the village.  Immediately, we would be high above the Dodder on the “Nine Arches” with the steaming laundry below and the view upstream to the narrow bridge and curiously named tavern the Dropping Well.  Dundrum was a busy station, larger than others: it boasted a notice “Station for St Columba’s College.”  I wonder if many of the pupils of that distant establishment travelled there by that route?  Between Dundrum and Stillorgan, we felt that we were really getting into the country, with the view to the Three Rocks, as the train toiled up alongside the reservoir, with its cut stone building perched on the embankment.  Hiding at the end was Stillorgan station, always clean and tidy, with its name showing in the evergreen topiary of a tiny box hedge beside the curve  of the granite boundry wall.  On to Foxrock & Leopardstown which could provide real excitement on race days, with horse boxes being shunted from the mainline to the numerous sidings and a dense crowd of race-goers hurrying across the long bridge which led to the course.

A quiet run then past the new houses of Torquary Rd and the lonely “Barrington’s Tower” to Carrickmines, where the blackberry bushes hung thickly over the high walls, and the station was the starting point for walks over the lark-loud golf course to Ballycorus with its secluded mill pond and wind-swept lead mine chimney.

Now came the best scenery of all, the beautiful woods and corn fields at the head of Druid’s Glen with a glimpse of old Tully Church and nearby cross on the skyline.  Then, across the Bride’s Glen viaduct to glide down to Shankill with its arboured gardens and the signalbox from which the telegraph bell tinkled softly to the background of the murmuring pigeons which always nested on the station house.  Our way was across the main road, with perhaps a warning klaxon from an infrequent motor car, then down the beautifully tree-shaded Corbawn Lane with a triumphant cry of “I can see the sea!” as we toiled up the bridge over the Killiney line, then down the broken steps to the beach.  The reason for the bucket became obvious as my father set us to collect white stones for the garden path, for there was no hope of building sandcastles on this stark beach with its foot-torturing pebbles and tiny patches of sand.  After the compulsory swim, some of our time would be spent lazing on the cliff top, from which in recent memory, the railway had retreated because of the encroaching high tides, which had battered downthe magnificent sea wall, great lumps of which still provided some shelter from the goose-pimpling breeze, which always blew on that long stretch of shingle.

Tired, and sometimes unusually sunburnt, we would start for home, perhaps up what is called “the private way” or Quinns Lane, which had a shortcut – a narrow path alongside the track to the station wall.  The up platform, with a background of a field of golden barley, had some little wooden seats built into the sheltering embankment and, far from casual eyes, a well of the cleanest, coldest water anyone knew: it was part of the ritual to drink from it with the folding aluminium cup which was brought on every picnic.  The return journey seemed to be shorter than the outward one, with that awe-inspiring dash between the echoing walls from Milltown, but we could be sure that the train would stop at Ranelagh: ever since that day, which my parents remembered, when an impetuous engine had burst its way through the end wall of Harcourt St station, all trains had to pause there, even the mainline express, giving that normally somnolent place an undeserved importance for a few moments.

 

[Editor’s note: I am grateful to David Wynne for the above material.  The author, now deceased, used the nom de plume “A Moyner” and lived all his life on Moyne Road in Ranelagh]

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Building BCDR Diesel No. 2

Denis Bates

 

No. 2 at Ballynahinch (Denis Bates Collection)
No. 2 at Ballynahinch (Denis Bates Collection)
No. 2 at Ballynahinch (Denis Bates Collection)
No. 2 at Ballynahinch (Denis Bates Collection)

When travelling from Dundrum to Belfast in the 1940s, a journey I often did, one of the sights on the journey was of the Ballynahinch branch train. Although sometimes the branch engine was 2-4-0 No.6, more often it was No.2, the Harland and Wolff diesel electric loco of 1933. Looking like a Co, it was in fact a 1B: the front axle was un-powered, and the other two axles motored. Harland and Wolff tried, with a little success, to break into the diesel market in the 1930’s, supplying engines to the LMS. A diesel shunter was supplied to the NCC, and a Bo-Bo, No.28, to the BCDR.  No.2 (originally numbered D1) was their first diesel electric locomotive, and was described in some detail in The Locomotive (June 15th 1933) and The Oil Engine (May 1933) from which the general arrangement drawing is taken.  The engine was rated at 270hp, and could haul 200 tons up a gradient of 1:100 at 16mph. On the BCDR it spent most of its life on the Ballynahinch branch. As it could not provide steam heating, a set of carriages was modified to provide electric heating. On the closure of BCDR’s main line in 1950, it was sent, together with brake carriage, to provide a short lived service between Newcastle and Castlewellan. It travelled south on Sunday 14th January 1950, illustrated in RM Arnold’s book at Crossgar. I recorded it at Dundrum – it must have travelled via Downpatrick station rather than the Loop Line, as it was cab first at Crossgar, and bonnet first at Dundrum.. Eventually it was returned to Harland and Wolff, and was used by them as a shunter in the shipyards.

No. 2 in what appears to be mint condition (Denis Bates Collection)
No. 2 in what appears to be mint condition (Denis Bates Collection)
No. 2 at Dundrum (Denis Bates Collection)

No. 2 at Dundrum (Denis Bates Collection)

The Model: Chassis
When buying Athearn diesel parts for building my Turfburner model (New Irish Lines…), I measured a number of Athearn diesels. I found that the bogie wheelbases of loco PA-1 were the same as those for No.2. This led me to buy an extra bogie. In addition, a set of gears made by the Ernst Manufacturing Co, of Oregon (listed in Walther’s catalogue) enabled the gear reduction to be increased.
Chassis

Chassis

At the time of writing, this loco is not listed in the current Athearn listings, so may be out of production. As with the Turfburner, wheelsets were made up using the Athearn axle muffs, turning stub axles and wheel centres, in conjunction with P4 wheel rims supplied by Alan Gibson. A small Mashima motor and a turned flywheel were mounted on top of the bogie, driving the original Athearn worm wheel and hence the drive train. Leads from the motor were soldered to the chassis side frames, and off the mechanism went. For P4 standards, the centre axle cut outs were filed slightly high to allow the axle more vertical play. The rest of the chassis is composed of the dummy outside frames, buffer beams and footplate. The most distinctive features are the Isothermos axle boxes. These were turned on the lathe, and added to the spring units: I think I trawled through catalogues to find tender springs/axle boxes which seemed closest in appearance. Sprung buffers were again turned.

 

 

Body
Body

 

 

 

 

 

Body
Body

I originally thought to make the body myself, but eventually asked Joe Magill, who has made some beautiful models of Irish prototypes in both 4 and 7mm scales, to make it for me – so the striking appearance is his. The distinctive louvres were etched to order by Bill Bedford, to artwork that I drew (they now appear in his pricelist). The paintwork is again by Joe Magill.

So No.2 is ready to enter service, when I get some track laid. Baseboards have already been made, and at the moment the thoughts are of the Ardglass branch – either the very simple Ballynoe station, or Ardglass itself, with its turntable and extension to the quay. Ballynoe station still has its full complement of buildings; Ardglass in 2004 had the goods shed, and a very derelict but complete station building.

 

 

The Model: Body

 

 

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