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John M

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  1. Preview of the latest version of the CAD work for the brake van. Its planned to supply the van with NorthYard NMRA RP25 Code 110 plated brass wheels with acetal centres on blackened brass axles set to OO gauge and Bachmann tension lock couplers with NEM pocket. The next stage is to produce a SLA printed pre-production prototype to check fit and durability of parts before progressing to the production version.
  2. Approaching another milestone in the design process as we finalise the CAD work before we produce the prototype for the production model. There are a few final tweaks to be made to the CAD work including trimming the stove pipe to fit within the roof and adjustments to the buffers and brake gear and fitting the side lamps. All going well we expect to have a pre-production sample ready in approx two to three weeks. Photo of our initial SLA test prototype, to check durability, fit and component shrinkage before progressing with the detailed design.
  3. Does anyone know if Markits are currently processing orders or experienced problems in contacting Mark by e-mail? Mark is generally good at responding to e-mails, but has not responded to a number of e-mails in connection with a recent quote.
  4. To provide clarification I am planning to update the Heating & Luggage and Luggage Van kits with an additional set of sides to allow a different variation of the model to be assembled in a similar manner to the Post Office/"Heuston Van" Kit. The kits are etched brass with whitemetal and resin detail castings and include OO Gauge NMRA RP110 wheels on 28mm pin point axles to simplify conversion to 21mm Gauge. Heating & Luggage Luggage Post Office Van. At this stage the estimate price of the kits is $150 excluding local sales/purchase tax. The Post Office Van was designed to be assembled in its original form or in their rebuilt for as P.W. Tool/Riding Vans which were used with Weedkiller & track re-laying trains in the 80s & 90s one of these vans survived as the "Heuston Tool Van" and now resides at Downpatrick. The main difference between the Post Office and PW version of the van are re-located doorways and blanked off gangway connections. Heating & Luggage Variations. The kit includes alternate sides to assemble the model as a 3101-3124 series van or as 3134 with a number of boiler room and luggage compartment windows replaced by plain panels. 1. 3101-3124 As built 1955 with bottom edge of outward opening doors flush with bottom edge of floor and sides. 2. 3101-3124 With modified outward opening doors late 1950s onwards. I have incorporated a half-etched line on the inside edge of the doors, to allow the bottom edge to be neatly snapped off for this modification. 3. 3134 with blanked off boiler & luggage compartment doors. I don't know if 3134 was built in this form or the blanked off windows were a modification as 3134 appears to be from a later series of vans. The final (1959-60?) batch of Tin Vans" were built with recessed inward opening doors, but have the same window and vent details as the original 1955 vans. Luggage Van Variations. The kit includes alternate sides to assemble the vans in their original form or as 2749 with a number of windows replaced by plain panels. The replacement of glazed with plain panels appear to have been ad-hoc repairs to keep the vans in service. There is a photo of one van (2727) single plain panel. The 4w Luggage Vans were withdrawn from service in the early 70s following the introduction of the BR Vans & the conversion of older coaches into Vans (BSSGV & Parcel/luggage) A small no of 4w Luggage Vans were retained for Connolly-Dunlaoire Pier Mail and Parcel trains, these vans were restricted to 35mph lost their gangways and were re-painted in all over "Golden Brown" similar to the contemporary Dublin City bus scheme. Some redundant Luggage Vans had a final main line fling, rebuilt into two rakes of "coaches" for the First Great Train Robbery movie with main line steam running behind 184 & 186 on the Mullingar-Athlone Line.
  5. MTK appears to have produced the 001 or A Class Co Co for Model Irish Railways (MIR) as a body line kit during the late 80s early 90s. I built a 21mm gauge 001 Class about 30 years ago using the MIR/MTK body kit in combination with a scratch built brass chassis with Athearn SD9 mechanism. The design of the kit, fit and quality of the castings was similar to other MTK diesels. The finished loco just about passed the 2' rule, but the combination of whitemetal body and Athearn mechanism 019 had good haulage capability and operated smoothly and reliably at several exhibitions.
  6. The Covid 19 Pandemic continues to severely disrupt international airmail and courier services, particularly where there are transfers between international or domestic flights. I had a two weeks difference in transit time between packages shipped on the same day by courier between New Zealand and destinations in the British Isles, one package appears to have gone through with little delay while the other spent two weeks in airports waiting for flights. Its possible one was routed Eastwards via the United States and the second Westwards via Asia or Dubai in the Middle East.
  7. It looks like 171 was running with the tender from a scrapped GNR Vs 4-4-0
  8. I regularly traveled in AEC railcar sets on family seaside trips to Bray and occasional trips to Butlins as a teenage in the late 60s early 70s, some cars still had 1st class seating thought the majority had 3+2 bus seating in the standard class saloon. The majority retained were fitted with 3+2 bus seating when originally converted to push-pull use, the bus seating was removed and replaced with plastic seating to increase standing capacity as CIE was acutely short of passenger stock. The Push Pull stock were less steady than the AEC railcars at speed and swayed noticeably while running at speed through the reverse curves south of Killiney where the railway was diverted inland from the original coastal route between Killiney and Bray The majority of Push Pull sets were marshaled into rakes of 5 coaches usually a 2+3 set made up of a Push Pull Driving car ex 1951 2600 Railcar, 2 Push Pull Intermediates ex 1951 2600 railcars, 1 Push Pull Intermediate ex 2660 series Powered Intermediate car, 1 Push Pull Connector Car ex 1951 2600 Railcar. the majority of the powered intermediates had a higher roof profile than the 2600 series railcars. Push Pull work took a heavy toll on the AEC cars and many sets had a patch work appearance a mixture of worn and newly painted cars with detail differences as individual coaches were cycled through Inchacore for repair to keep the trains in service. Although freshly painted repaired cars took on an increasingly spartan appearance with plain glass replacing sliding lights as Inchacore used up its stock of suitable spare parts. The most positive legacy of the Push Pull sets despite their limitations was in establishing that there was sufficient demand for a rail commuter service to justify the investment in the DART at a time there was little political support for investment in rail passenger services.
  9. A preview of the CAD work for the prototype for our CIE 20T Goods Brake. The prototype is to verify that certain elements of the model are of adequate strength and to check the re-production of finer detail such before we progress to the production CAD work, including full rivet detail, buffers, brake gear, marker lamps, foot steps and the guards stove and bench seats. At this stage we are looking at the option of producing the model using 3D SLA technology with an abs material or vacuum casting using an abs resin material. We are looking at the option of producing the brake van as a rtr model or a CKD kit similar to the Trix Private Owner wagons of the 1970s. All going well we expect to have a preview of the prototype within the next two weeks.
  10. Wikipedia typo. The Class 5 2-6-4T were gradually withdrawn between 1940 and the final closure of the system in Jan 1960s, Nos 4-6 are still in existence. No 7 is recorded as scrapped in 1940 No 8 in 1955. (The County Donegal Railways EM Patterson 1962)
  11. JM Design is considering introducing a range of highly detailed ready to run traditional Irish rolling stock in conjunction with Irish Railway Models. We focusing mainly on stock introduced between the 1920s and the early 1950s that operated during the steam and through to the early "Supertrain" era. Our first planned models are the GSR/Ranks Ireland Bulk Grain wagons that were introduced in the mid 30s and remained in service until the end of wagon load grain traffic in the mid 1970s. Our second planned model is the humble Irish Standard 10T Open Wagon a design that was introduced following WW1 and was built by the GNR(I), GSR & CIE through to the introduction of the corrugated open wagons during the mid 1950s. The wooden bodied opens were used for general merchandise and bulk traffics such as coal, gypsum and sugar beet and they were even used to carry BR style B & D containers many lasted into the early 1970s. We are considering producing Ranks Ireland and CIE versions of the grain wagon. Ranks Red 1948-1963-4 Ranks Grey post 1964 CIE winged wheel CIE "Broken wheel" with GSR style running number! Graphics are based on photos of prototype wagons and drawings and information provided by Herbert Richards. Because of uncertain demand for earlier stock our pricing and planning projections are based on a minimum factory quantity for each type of wagon, its planned to produce the grain wagons as limited edition items. GSR built standard open 10567 GNR "Standard Open. The open wagon is based on drawings and information provided by Herbert Richards and a GNR(I) wagon diagram. The spec for both wagons include plastic injection moulded bodies, slimline tension lock couplers in NEM mounts, RP25 110 wheels & 21mm gauge compatible underframes. Although both wagons share a common chassis tooling the models are expected to retail within a €50-57 price range based on current costings. If there is sufficient interest to proceed with the project I expect to issue a press release in conjunction with IRM with a potential release of the grain wagons in the later part of 2021 with the opens to follow in 2022. I would appreciate your survey feedback to ascertain the potential level of demand. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5QK5QJM
  12. The belief that fewer young people joining the hobby than 50-60 years ago may well be part of the perceived gap between young people their parents and grandparents or generation gap. Growing up in a working class part of Dublin in the 60s, model railways certainly was not a main stream hobby. Most of my school friends were mainly interested in sports and later girls, I was the only boy in my class who had a long term interest in trains or model railways. Our education was academic rather than technical which contributed to a high level of upward mobility with many of my friends becoming involved in education, the professions and business rather than trades or service industry. I became the only "junior member" when I joined a model railway club as a teenager in the late 60s, the majority of members appear to have been middle aged or older a small group (2-3) younger men in their twenties & thirties tended to be the ground breakers in terms of their modelling and more encouraging of my modelling efforts than the older generation of club members. There does not appear to have been much demographic change in the club over the past 50 years, probably tied up with the generations of man than the generation gap. A teenager has little time or money for modelling with the pressure of exams and growing up. Even greater pressure in your 20s & 30s pressure of career, family and home. If your lucky it may get easier as you grow older and find time, space and money for modelling. There seem to be young modellers coming through un-deterred by the lack of money, skill or experience, its up to the older modellers to encourage and support rather than discourage their efforts. Interestingly while there has been a lot of discussion on this thread about the digital age and the cost of modelling materials, although the computer is becoming a pull my 10 year old daughter and her friends seem to get far more enjoyment from their own imagination & creativity than expensive bought toys, painting, sculpture and modelling using paper, card and paper mache. Although they are unlikely to become railway modellers' my daughter and a slightly younger friend often ask if they can run a train on my garden railway and have become quite competent operators & have their favourite locomotives. They prefer to operate rather than to simply watch trains go round and round, using the railway to transport their dolls and toy animals to different places in the garden, then stable the train in a siding when it reaches its destination.
  13. These photos are mainly a tribute to the Dakota Missouri Valley and Western Railroad crew at Oakes North Dakota for their kindness to a visiting railfan from the Antipodes in firing up a pair of SD45s to switch a pair of boxcars from a soybean plant to the Red River Valley and Western Interchange on a freezing day in May 2016. The crew were planning to use a pair of ex-CN SD40-3 to perform the switch, but fired up the SD45s and performed the switch earlier than planned a memorable 15 minute interlude. I had last visited the railroad in 2004 while visiting family in the area and turned up on spec in the hope of finding about planned train movements. In 2004 the DMVWR were mainly using leased 4 axle power still in their former owners colour schemes ex CN GP40-2LW ex SP & ATSF GP35s, but later switched to 6 axle power to work unit coal and grain trains. Inside the Barn SD40-3 3132 & SD45 7505 (ex WC ex BN) Out of the Barn, temperatures were hovering about 5C with a severe wind chill 7505 & 7510 propelling a cut of ballast hoppers towards the soy bean plan to pick up a pair of boxcars. 7505 & 7510 pulling its train back on to the main line having dropped the box cars on the RRVWR interchange track. The line in the foreground once extended south of the DMVWR diamond into South Dakota but now serves a Shuttle Elevator. Back in the Barn soybean plant in the left distance. A few days later 7505 & 7510 worked a 100 car empty grain train from the Canadian Pacific interchange at Hankinson to Oakes Leaving the "Valley" climbing out of Hankinson ND Approaching Geneso Junction, spent the rest of the day checking out Shortlines over the border in South Dakota and did not get to see the DMVWR disposing of its train in the rather cramped Oakes Yard. The Hankinson-Oaks line is part of the former CP (Soo Line) to the ND State Capital Bismark which is owned and maintained by the CP and operated by the DMVWR. The line diverging at Geneso was once part of a Burlington Northern (ex-Great Northern) branch line to Aberdeen South Dakota that once ran parallel with the SOO for about 30 miles from the GN main line, GN later abandoned the parallel section of trackage and operated over the SOO to Geneso, the BNSF retains trackage rights over this section which are exercised by the RRVWR.
  14. First of my "atmospheric" shots on a misty morning while waiting to see a RPSI steam special in the early 1980s The signalman at Clonsilla prepares to collect the single line staff from the driver of the Up morning Sligo-Dublin passenger as the train enters the double line section on the approaches to Dublin.
  15. We spent a week in May 2016 exploring the Colorado Narrow gauge during a four week family holiday in the United States, for me the highlight was the day we spent exploring the remains of the Rio Grande Southern Railroad between Ridgeway and Durango. The weather was fine and sunny when we set out from in the morning but weather started to look increasing ominous as we drove over Dallas Divide into San Miguel County and it began snowing as we drove through Placerville and on towards Telluride, Ophir and Trout Lake. The weather cleared as we arrived in Placerville checked out the remain of the railroad in the city and started to make our way towards Ophir, and Lizard Head Pass. We left the highway and found Trout Lake and its famous water tower. Lightening flashed and thunder rumbled as we took our photos at the tower and the snow came down as we drove along the RGS road bed to the Trout Lake Trestle to sole surviving large RGS trestle. Disappointingly we did not hear any ghostly honks of Galloping Geese or steam locomotive whistles, we retreated back to the highway rather than continue our way along the railroad roadbed/Trout Lake North Road to the summit of the railroad at Lizard Head Pass. Disappointingly there was almost a white-out over the pass and we did not get to see the rock feature that give the peak its name and continued on through Rico to Delores for an afternoon break and to check out the restored Depot and Galloping Goose before driving on to Durango our destination for the night. Unfortunately our schedule was tight and did not have time to return to the pass or spend further time exploring the railroad. Maybe some day!
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