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Everything posted by colmflanagan

  1. An unusual looking beast, I can't figure out how the two snatcher jaws on the post work out. The NCC ones only have a single set of jaws. But there were different patterns. By
  2. Northbrook station has been "officially" opened and the fist trains have run through it; signalling is still rudimentary -manual staff is exchanged at the station for the sections to Ardglass and Stranraer. The buildings were peco, the signal box scratch built (and a bit rough close up - well they bought it secondhand from another railway which didn't want it!) 3 people waiting and one official - quite a crowd for a narrow gauge railway. However, the small signal box is ready for the point rodding and signal wires, and this work will be done as soon as possible.... No 4 loco is a Liliput model with most of it's European additions removed and the cab remade to look a bit more "british/irish""; No 5 is a Lynton& Barnstaple kit on a Minitrix "n" gauge chassis -much cruder than the recent exquisite Heljan models -however, tests with one of those showed it would not cope with the gradients/curves on this line- thankfully i had't bought it! That's it for a wee while now, got other things to do...
  3. I put a Kato twin axle power bogie under the railcar after the original unreliable power unit fell out onto the track one day after me spending hours tweaking it to run properly... That was the last straw. Colm
  4. I do know the answer to the TARDIS, but am not letting ON!
  5. Some modest progress at Northbrook. Ballasting complete, with some weeds....The new platforms are built and edging etc done, still more work to do . No expensive footbridge here, a barrow wooden crossing will suffice. warning notices will be fitted in due course, before the Board of Trade arrive to inspect the line! The new buildings will be on the right hand side. A new shelter has appeared on the Up platform. It's a Peco product, a shed which is part of the "manyways" kits, for a small station shelter. here it' is a even smaller shelter, the door is the station toilet. Signage needed here too, the wee place looks quite nice , I think. And just down the line towards Ardglass, i have done some little details at Nendrum halt. more to come at both locations. No 2 with a short midday train; the shelter has been provided -an ancient Tri-ang well covering I had lurking in a box for about forty years....repainted, and a little peco seat, a tree provides extra interest to the quiet country scene. And below, the same scene looking towards Nendrum on the hill. the bus will wait until the steam railcar (Eggerbhan repaint) departs but I doubt if there'll be much traffic! And, in this picture there's one item which shouldn't be there....or did someone call for a doctor? Nendrum will need a bit of fencing - the cottage isn't railway property - a station nameboard, and maybe a person waiting for a train. And that's about it.
  6. Yes, there are some pictures of them at intervals on this topic. More can be found in "the Stranraer. Coleraine and Donaghadee line" , my previous layout... Somewhere in the list on rmweb irish group....! Colm
  7. A small project - Northbrook Junction on The Ballycrochan Line Sometimes, no matter how carefully a layout has been planned, something doesn’t work out as expected, and solutions run from a total rebuild if it’s a major problem (not advised unless absolutely necessary) - to a few tweaks here and there on relatively minor things. The Narrow Gauge line (009) which runs parallel to the Ardglass branch on “The Ballycrochan Line” is a case in point. Track lifted though island platform still in place. From Coleraine engine shed end. LOWER PIC view from Ardglass end. The Northbrook Junction panel has the three toggle switches on left Originally the narrow gauge was to serve all three main stations, Ardglass and Stranraer (high level) and Coleraine (low level). The Coleraine line would be a branch diverging at a location I called “Northbrook Junction”. The junction would be a simple transfer island platform, with possibly a station building at low level with a steep pathway up to the platform. The Coleraine branch would curve away and run down towards the Coleraine station building on a relatively steep gradient and curve, and was intended for light trains (e.g my railcar or a few wagons). The junction track was laid in with this in mind., though I didn’t actually fit the point, leaving that for later. However, as work progressed on Coleraine, it became clear this was NOT going to work – the line would have to run on a very tight descending curve, right across the loading area of the goods shed at Coleraine, about 2-3 inches high. Such an embankment, however steep, would block access to the shed and that was ridiculous. One of the maxims I gleaned early on in railway modelling was that railway companies, while often eccentric, weren’t mad – things have to “make sense”. Things like blocking the loading doors to the goods shed. There was no alternative route. So I decided to drop the branch idea entirely. I left the island platform in situ, it was convenient for trains to cross and was wired accordingly, with the point on the bridge electrified as it is difficult to reach. The small control panel at the junction also had the two section switches, allowing cab control operation of either platform to be from Ardglass, or Stranraer. Then, as I came eventually to look at it again, I realized that there was now no need for an island platform at all; and it was too narrow for any buildings. In short, it was the wrong thing for what was now actually a passing loop. So, what to do? The solution was to dismantle platform and track, and relay the loop more centrally, thus giving some more space either side of the tracks; I also fabricated a board extension which added a few more inches for a small station building, with a waiting hut on the other side. New track roughly aligned prior to balllasting and pinning down. The actual track work involved was relatively small; after removing the ballast and lifting the track and platform, I discovered that re-alignment would need just slightly less length of track than before, and so I was able to use it all again just lightly trimmed; I even recovered quite a lot of ballast. Irish narrow gauge frugality - very realistic! The original island platform could be trimmed to provide one new platform - the other yet to be made. Track laid and ballasted; old island platform trimmed in rough position on left. Top view from Coleraine end. Bottom from Ardglass. So, the tracks are down, ballasted, and re-wired (slightly different positions but again, able to re –use the wires!) and trains can now run through again. I’ll post some pictures of scenic progress at Northbrook (as it will now be called) – in due course.
  8. A recent addition to my Northern Irish line up. B&CDR No 26, built in 1892 and working to the end of the BCDR in 1950. The train is a mixture of Provincial Wagons and Slater's It's a conversion from a Bachmann "C" class SECR 0-6-0, with a brass kit tender purchased originally in 2014.- been a long time in the making! As usual with mine, there are compromises but i think she looks well, and is a smaller engine than No 4 which featured in a previous posting. I think older classes of locos with open cabs really need a crew. The fireman is working hard on the up grade to the bridge over the main lines. No 26 did haul passenger trains, chiefly on the Ballynahinch and Donaghadee lines, though did appear occasionally on the main line to Newcastle and the Bangor branch. Just to show the difference between 26 and 4 - considerably smaller, but, I think more attractive! I bluffed the Beyer maker's nameplate on the middle splasher - its just the lining with a brass strip painted on -unlike modern models, you don't look at this one through a magnifying glass; keep your distance! Both engines are Bachmann and the making of No 4 is covered in a recent edition of New Irish Lines Colm
  9. Hi Paul, there's not much else to add to my 2010 post. I never got round to doing anything with the coaches! Just watch you don't make the front frames too tight to the top of the bogie, or the driver will spin on dips in the track! Colm
  10. That's running well, the rebuild has worked!
  11. That looks like the "N" gauge version of the twin control MPC-3 which was produced by a small firm called "All Components". It is lower power rated than the standard model. probably dates from about 1998 (ish) Later (about 2000) an uprated version MPC-3 PRO was introduced, similar to the MPC 3 (which had 16vac and 20vac outlets also); this had a good 2 amps power output, and the last versions had a switch for 2 hand controllers - mine only has one. I considered this a very good replacement for my H&M Powermaster, I like the single knob controlling both direction and speed system, rather than the now ubiquitous slide switch of direction. Mine has lasted into the 2020s without fault. Hope it carries on. (PS The Powermaster still works too....) Colm Flanagan
  12. This is the closest to the real thing that I've seen, especially the cab ends - the turbostars class 170 etc., which most repaints use, have a squatter more curved profile - NIR took full advantage of the wider taller irish loading gauge! Well done.
  13. A newcomer on test on the Ballycrochan line, No 99 in NCC maroon. I think they look well in this livery; transfers by railtec and lining HMRS. Name/numberplates Guilplates; dome by Alan Gibson, and top feed by 247 Developments.... Tablet snatchers by Highland Railway Society; they are a little different from the Lochgorm ones I used before, but require no soldering together of tiny bits...! Quite a "cast list" It's mostly new "bits" on the cut down Hornby 4P chassis, with a Bachmann/Mainline LMS tender shortened. I use the orignal smokebox and front end, and the cab roof. The train is 5 Bachmann LMS panelled 57' coaches; someday i may renumber them, they look well, though not actually correct for NCC.
  14. That's a fine model. I've a set of those sides awaiting in my project box to do these two in the later years of their lives. Colm
  15. A fine looking train, and hopefully I'll get a chance to see it in action sometime. Colm
  16. Just trying out my "new" camera took this video of a tour around the layout - a sort of "drones eye view". Colm
  17. It's looking very well, Tony. Now, the 'Golfer's saloon' would be a great new challenge! Colm
  18. One of the most pleasurable aspects of our hobby, is spending an hour (or three!) on taking a little corner of the layout which has been quickly set in place when building, but not properly "finished". Though there's always something more to tweak...the "bus station" was one such, but I've recently spent a few hours on two other areas, before beginning work on a loco conversion,which I keep putting off for some reason! At Ardglass (to feature in Railway Modeller sometime in the next year DV) there was a row of cottages which sit half over the controller. I built them from plastic card nearly twenty years ago. At long last i fixed them in place and added gardens etc; I think they still look quite appropriate. And before anyone asks, no there are no chimney pots, in the village I grew up in there was were some very old cottages and they didn't have them! Gardens are a bit cramped, of course, but the back windows have nice views of the trains, unless blocked by carriages left on the narrow Gauge siding! The end cottage has a wee bit more garden with room for a shed and a tree! The other area is a narrow gauge halt near the Stranraer motive power depot. It was also on a previous layout, though facilities have been improved, there's an ex-bus shelter now. There's even someone waiting for a train! The"Ballylumford" station name board, I had lying about for years from a friends 009 layout. The two 6 wheel coaches come from the same source, No1 on the narrow gauge is a little Roco continental H0e 0-6-0 - I've made it look a bit more irish/british (I think) and it's nickname on the line is "Tiny".....after all it's not much bigger than the Wickham trolley in the background. The final pic is just a crop of one above but I think captures the atmosphere of a narrow gauge railway, stepping back in time. I think mine adds a lot to my pleasure ! The man standing on the platform is a little metal one from an unknown manufacturer -possibly pre war Hornby Dublo - he's wearing "Plus 4" trousers, once beloved of golfers.
  19. yes, but I can't remember the formula! I think it was paint supplied by Jim Poots, and some extra duck egg blue from my own stock. Colm
  20. I've been a bit busy recently, though not with teh railway! Still, I've been doing little jobs around the line. Some semaphore signals have arrived (from the boxes of stuff from the old layout, and what's great is that they still work. Of course, t here's some scenic work to finish off. This Dapol upper quadrant is the "distant" for the Stranraer branch. In the background are some others! Stranraer outer home, on the "direct lien" from Ardglass; the finial makes quite a difference amd gives it quite an "NCC" look, even if it's not a somersault. However, this type was used in earlier eras of the BNCR. Also,a piece of "waste ground behind Platform 2 has been changed into a small bus depot in a generally UTA style, it's really a garage but with a couple of "stands" outside; I've a nice little collection of UTA and other irish buses - it's good to see them emerge from their boxes! Eagled eyes people will notice a very diverse lot of destinations not normally served from Coleraine depot. I plead guilty! the No 18 and 36 both came from my Newcastle junction layout c 2004, and the No. 9 happens to be the service from Belfast, which passes through Ballywalter via Carrowdore so it's not too far from home in Bangor. Some folk may recognize the poster from it's days hanging in the old Stranraer ferry terminal. The ship model is to the left of the picture. The Royal Mail van is a vintage Dublo Dinky.
  21. A very impressive terrace, and so typical of the whole Adelaide area - the view from the railway was mostly of people's back yards, not the most inspiring on a wet day! A suggestion - i recall pigeon lofts at some of them - worth having a go at a few of those? That'd really shout "Belfast" to me! Colm
  22. Some recent pictures of the layout, with some more detailing complete. As the electrics of the layout are not yet complete and await my next visit to Ken "sometime after lockdown(s) in 2021", any locos seen are "posed" rather than operational. I look forward to seeing it again myself! Station buildings in place, and signals, pw hut have been added also. Hopefully there are no cattle in the wagons as it will be a while before they get shipped out! The pub is a "wet" one so it's closed for now; two people outside are waiting patiently..... Looking towards Ballymena, a WT "Jeep" waits for the signal ... Cheerio for now. Hoepfully the next post on this may bea video of somethign running. Colm
  23. One snippet about the "Castle" class - in view of the fulsome references to passenger safety and comfort from the advanced heating system. Alas, the latter was the bane of a friend's existence, he travelled regularly from Glynn to work in Belfast. He described thee trains as "the mobile fridges", as the heating was very poor. It seems as though there wasn't enough juice to really warm it up, possibly because it was designed for all electric vehicles, which shared the same bodywork. Eventually a solution was found.
  24. The Fenaghy Junction station building has now found it's way to Antrim and Ken has installed it on the layout, which is now nearly complete scenically. An "aerial view" . There are a few tidying jobs -for example, we still have to wire up signals, including the Hornby Dublo one, which needs access to the connections before we "bed it in" on the platform. The Braid riverside quay is in the foreground. In actual fact the Braid river isn't close to the railway but we've only got about 10 feet to get it all in! Getting signals operational won't happen until i can get up there to work on it, and that'll depend on Covid, which has so far shown that forward planning is for now is a thing of the past... And there's the matter of finishing wiring all the points (including the three way one!), as well as fixing/finishing our control panel. No 51 outside the engine shed View over the station buildings, looking North West, the main line to Cullybackey on right, Portglenone branch on left. However, it is,we think, looking well. a view of the goods yard
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