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NoelG

Gort Station

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For next winter I've been pondering the idea of doing a smaller portable layout loosely based on Gort station around 1970.  Rough track diagram below which has already been highly compressed but still requires nearly 8ft on two 18" x 4' base boards joined end to end.

 

gort07_diagram_rev070a.png

 

Old OSI map

gort_station_osi_track_plan.jpg

 

There is a fabulous photo of the station on page 29 of "Rails Through The West" from around 1970 showing a hive of goods traffic activity for what was a busy market town. Link below to photo on Ciaran Cooney's album eiretrains.com 

 

http://eiretrains.com/Photo_Gallery/Railway%20Stations%20G/Gort/IrishRailwayStations.html#Gort_20101216_004_CC_JA.jpg

 

I've been studying as many online photos as possible get a handle on the changes over the years. One of the bizarre things is it seems (unless my eyes are deceiving me) is that the water tower was dismantled and rebuilt stone by stone further back from its original position when the railway line reopened to make way for the new longer platforms. If anybody can point me to more online photos of the track layout circa 1960s and 1970s I would very much appreciate it. If I do go ahead with this I plan to use Peco code 75 flat bottom rail and electrofrog points.

 

 

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Plans for Gort layout continue.  Black'n'Tan era heaven. Track plan revised to fit initially on two 5x2ft baseboards.  It will operate as a scenic shunting layout with the option of round loop in the future. It will be DCC on Peco code 75 track with ElectroFrog points using DCC concepts Cobalt IP analogue point motors, and DMC DCC dropper distribution boards made in China.

 

Revison 11 of track plan.  

Gort_Track_11a.jpg

 

The inspiration for Gort layout came from this iconic Black'n'Tan era photo in Jonathan Beaumont and Barry Carse's fabulous book 'Rails Through The West' (photos shown on forum with author's permission). This early 1970s era facilities shunting of loose coupled goods stock as passing trains dropped off and picked up goods wagons with time tabling allowing enough time for the train loco to shunt stock into and out of sidings.

Gort_RTTW_P29.jpg

 

Early 1970s the 'then' new supertrain livery might make an appearance on some trains.  Here a Sulzer 101 class hauls beet wagons towards Tuam as a mixed goods train arrives from Limerick.

Gort_RTTW_P28.jpg

 

Looking in Limerick/Ennis direction. 20ft containers were just beginning to appear in the early 1970s as evident by the single Bell container at the end of this formation.

Gort_RTTW_P30.jpg

 

First modular baseboard constructed using WMRC method including a hot glue gun to fix the component pieces in seconds and glass tape to reinforce joints. Each of these boards takes approx 45 minutes to assemble and glue.  Pieces precision pre-cut by WMRC suppliers.  These boards are light and facilitate being places on their sides when working on the underside which avoids crawling under baseboards.  Connectors and electronic PCBs can also be mounted on the fascia of one side for ease of access while sitting on a chair. The boards are very light.

IMG_8255.jpg

 

Next steps finish the second board, seal with grey primer, drill holes for cable routes, dry lay track for verification before drilling point motor holes.  Its just a start, but after spending the summer pondering this idea, Gort is a go.

Edited by NoelG
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Great to this project past the planning stage and it’s now happening. Looking forward to seeing it developing.

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After completing two baseboards, some progress this evening 'testing' the viability of the track diagram.  Roughly laid out old bits of track and tri-ang toy structures to get an idea if the track lengths would fit as intended and if the loops and sidings would accommodate the amount of goods wagons that I would need for shunting operations.  Checked points did not straddle baseboard joins and cross members would not interfere with location of point motors underneath. 

 

 

IMG_8318.jpg

 

Spend a few hours adjusting rough track positioning and lengths to see what goods wagons would fit and how shunting might operate.

 

 

IMG_8323.jpg

 

As a shunting layout it fits on two 5ft x 2ft boards.  Approx track positions marked and point motor holes to see if they were clear of the baseboard cross members and braces. Gort Station was primarily for goods traffic with limited passenger traffic.

 

 

IMG_8317.jpg

 

Next up seal baseboards with paint, drill wiring holes, apply cork surface, seal cork with paint, and then dry assemble code 75 track to double check all fits.

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This is an object lesson on how it should be done, keep posting please. 

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Verified and adjusted track positioning was marked on the ply baseboards, then transposed onto grease proof paper roll before the baseboards were sealed with grey primer. Next transpose verified track positioning back from grease proof tracing paper and mark where cross members are under baseboard to triple check point motors will be clear and board joins avoid points.  Then cut holes underneath for cable runs for DCC power bus, point motors, lighting and signal servos. Will be using DMC 8 way DCC dropper connector boards. Frog polarity switching will be locally achieved due by use of Cobalt IP analogue point motors which have an integrated frog switch, so only a few cm of wire needed.

 

Will be using Cobalt S point lever switches which require only two wires between point motor and lever switch. No interest in DCC point switching using daft accessory numbers on the cab control. Prefer a lever frame like prototype which leaves hands free to drive locos instead of juggle between throttle inputs and accessory inputs on cab control. Levers also provide visual and tactile feedback as to how each point or signal is set. For same reason won’t be making an LED schematic diagram as it’s not prototypical for the era. It’s just the beginning and hopefully time spent now will save more time later. The temptation to lay track and get trains running must be resisted. :) 

 

IMG_8332.jpg

Edited by NoelG
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Received a DCC concepts Cobalt-S Lever point motor switch. Very impressed with these. Not inexpensive but I will only need six for the points on Gort station. These switches will operate any type of point motor including solenoids, servos, tortoise and Cobalts own IP point motors. The switches can also independently do frog polarity switching and control panel LEDs.  I like the prototypical operation and tactile feel of these instead of mere toggle switches positioned on a track schematic control panel with LEDs.  I hope to recess these into a mock signal box floor near the cab controller but as a visible part of the layout infrastructure. As ever Hattons seem to have the best prices by a long way.

 

IMG_8429.jpg

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Gort update. Baseboards completed, trestle mounts in place, ready to transpose track layout from grease proof paper on to painted baseboard surface ready for closed cell foam track bed cutting. I elected to use common 'saw horses' as baseboard trestles as they are light, fold flat and saved me a lot of effort making them from 2x1 timber. Believe it or not the came from Amazon UK with free post and arrived 48hrs after ordered. Now everything is ready to get going proper.

IMG_9151.jpg&key=dba62fa7638101e1f5a675a

 

Baseboards now stable on trestles ready for next phases of work to proceed

IMG_9163.jpg

Trestle tops fit snugly into grooves under plywood baseboards. Each baseboard is 5ftx2ft and made out of ply using WMRC system,

 

 

IMG_9159.jpg

Gort track plan. Designed to function end to end as a shunting layout but with the future option of adding a roundie loop to join the Athenry and Limerick ends.

Gort_Track_11a.jpg&key=94806aab8bfd70030

Before the baseboards were painted I had roughly test laid some track dry to check rolling stock formation lengths in loops and sidings, transposed same on to grease proof paper so it could be transferred back onto baseboards after painting. Now to lay the closed cell foam track bed underlay.

IMG_9161.jpg&key=0a45c9d81bcb23a80dc3f7e

This photo was taken about 8 weeks ago when I loosely arranged track to to test length of loops, sidings, etc against rolling stock formations to see such would fit and ensure points would not sit over baseboard crossmembers underneath (ie so point motors would be unencumbered). After this track positions noted on baseboard top, then transposed on to grease proof paper for later re-instatement.

IMG_8317.jpg

 

Decided to paint the undersides of the baseboards today to seal them from moisture and increase stability from future warping. Also good surface for double sided tape and gluing stuff too compared to wood.

IMG_9173.jpg

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Timber arrived yesterday to construct some more portable baseboard sections for Gort

 

Have to turn these bits 

IMG_9192.jpg

 

Into some of these: :) 

IMG_8310.jpg

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Noel, this is a really good piece of Irish modelling.

 

I have one 'concern'........have you left enough space for the water tower? This to me was always a key element of Gort.

I seem to remember that Irish Rail took it apart, stone by stone, and rebuilt it in a new position when the Limerick-Athenry line was rebuilt. Modern photos appear to confirm this.

 

Regards,

 

Glover

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We haven’t seen any recent updates. Are things still progressing ok with Gort?

 

Stephen

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On 20/01/2019 at 15:18, Glover said:

Noel, this is a really good piece of Irish modelling.

 

I have one 'concern'........have you left enough space for the water tower? This to me was always a key element of Gort.

I seem to remember that Irish Rail took it apart, stone by stone, and rebuilt it in a new position when the Limerick-Athenry line was rebuilt. Modern photos appear to confirm this.

 

Regards,

 

Glover

Yes and I agree it was a key element. Already have a tiny strip of the platform ramp ready to run past it. And yes they did move it when the new line was built.

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