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colmflanagan

The Ballycrochan LIne

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Greetings All,

 

 I am just starting a new layout thread as a result of my recent marriage and move to Bangor, which involved me moving from my home in Ballywalter and the dismantling of the Stranraer, Coleraine and Donaghadee/Ardglass line, which has featured here since 2011 or so.

 

The layout will be built in the garage of our new home in the Ballycrochan area (for those who know, this is the southern edge of the town). hence the title.

 

Work actually began in a very cold January 2018, in insulating the garage walls, ceiling, and floor before storing all the stock and other items which I salvaged from the SCDR. ken Gillen masterminded it (and did virtually all the work, including new light fittings.) An electrical supply already existed.

 

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 The "Caledonian Princess"  ferry model will feature in the new layout - it has gone to a temporary home until the heavy construction work is done, it can't easily be boxed and is therefore very vulnerable to getting knocked about.

 

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Some stock was sold off but as I have been in model railways since 1956 there is still a lot to store - and rearrange in due course.

 

I did a lot of doodling and deciding what I wanted from a new layout. The space available is similar to that of the SCDR, a bit narrower but longer at 20'6" by 11'6".  And I have ended up with a design which I hope will meet my main running requirement; viz

 

A double track mainline suitable for fast running of heavy trains, both passenger and goods.

A passing station with access to a harbour terminus on a single track branch line.

A second, smaller terminus also on a branch.

The ability to run a sequence timetable with two or three operators, linking all three stations.

A narrow gauge (9mm) line joining at least two of the stations.

Utilizing as much as possible of the SCDR infrastructure (buildings etc.), though the stations may not be based on specific prototypes this time.  The railway may well have a "joint GSWR/LMSNCC" feel though final buildings have to be decided upon for the harbour terminus as I will need a different quayside layout from Stranraer. The positioning of the ship, while prototypical, was dangerous and it stuck out into the operating well of the previous layout too much - my heart was in my mouth if anyone moved quickly in the area!. The new berth will be at right angles to the tracks - more like at Larne. But Larne had a singularly ugly station structure and I fancy something more attractive - maybe one of Berkeley Deane Wise's.

 

Eventually I devised this plan: it involves gradients of approximately 1:48/40  which are similar to those on "Bleach Green" . - the steeper one being to the smaller n branch station (let's just call it "Ardglass") but this has a run rounds which can only hold 4 bogies max., so should be OK. But I will conduct trials to check before finalizing this..

 

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This plan doesn't show Ardglass, the work bench, a "utility" area for washing machine and workbench but see pics later.

 

Most of the stuff moved in on the 4th April and was stored in a multitude of cardboard boxes.

 

Things have got a bit more complicated as our exhibition layout, "Killagan"  has come to roost until the UMRC show in Belfast In August; it will then be sold or scrapped, as we have decided to "retire" it.

 

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But nevertheless a start has been made.

 

The 7' x 2' board for "Ardglass" had not been scrapped like all the rest, and was brought complete with track, points, motors and 90% of wiring.

 

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So, Ken began work on my new workbench.  The Ardglass board will fit behind the bench, with a 90 degree left hand  curve on to the layout  and the window will be boarded up to the small opening one height.

 

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More updates will follow shortly as work progresses.

 

 

Colm Flanagan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Always nice to hear of a house move, a garage going spare and a modeller with a blank canvas. Good luck with the latest project.

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Some of  the more recent work

 

The work bench in place, with the ardglass board behind; this is the area not shown on the plan. We tookt he opportunity of creating as much storage under the layout boards as possible -I'd seen this on Ken's layouts and was most impressed - now, with just one room at my disposal rather than a top floor with three rooms before, I need "a place for everything and everything in its place"!

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After replacing some wiring and finding the Ardglass H&M Powermaster controller (thank goodness I labelled all the boxes!) I thought it fitting that Hornby Dublo 0-6-2 tank 69550 should be the first loco to run, (my first loco in 1956 was one of these though a three rail version).

 

 A train of 3 Dublo 1950's tinplate carriages all testify to my enduring love for Hornby Dublo! Taken in late June

 

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And, about the same time, a general view of the railway (so far!), the bench and the door end of the garage.

 

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A view from the end of Ardglass station over the layout so far. The area to the left never was completed on the SCDR and I decided to have a station area there, with engine shed, transfer siding, a loop and carriage siding.  I decided that the narrow gauge should extend to this station.  The rough plans and track are laid out ready to begin.....

 

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A narrow gauge coach beside a UTA/NIR MPD set, of which more anon.   The n/g line runs in beside the standard gauge bay platform. reversing is necessary to run round a train, but this allows the original access road to the station to be left a sensible width.

The track is lifted so that the platform heights are more or less the same.

 

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to be continued...

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And just to bring the story up to date;

 

I have been testing various trains on a length of 1;42 gradient, and found that with a fair amount of lead (about 60grams) over the power bogie of MPD 64, (rear car of set) it can start two passenger trailers without much stress or spin. Certainly at least as much as a real one could do in their heyday.

 

The mogul or jeep can manage 5 coaches, and it would only be in an emergency that anything will stop on this section, trains will be coming off a long piece of straight tack and a 5' radius point, so will have reasonable momentum at the foot of the grade. where the line curves round the corner of the room.

 

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The other pictures show the completed trackwork for Ardglass (NG) with No 1 in charge of a short local train, just to show the relationship in size with a standard gauge MPD set.

 

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First, Colm, good luck with the new project.

 

When I read about your Powermaster - I was imnpressed to find that someone else still had a working one - then I noticed that yours was one of the "modern" version! My 1964-bought one is still in use powering the Portadown turntable - a good invetsment at sixty four shillings?

 

Lucky man to have Ken doing the work for you! 

 

Leslie

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Leslie

 

The H&M Powermaster has got to be one of the best controllers ever. Running it close is the one made by All Components about 15 years ago, the MPC3-PRO, which also has a high (2amp) output perfect for some of the heavy Hornby Dublo trains I run from time to time!

 

I do also have a 1963/4 version of the Powermaster, still working though seems a bit down on power/speed output from before. It powered Stranraer station on my previous layout but I will replace it on this layout - it will still have more than enough oomph for points and lights etc..

 

Things would be a lot slower without ken's input.

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Progress over the last couple of months has been slow and steady; 

 

The new narrow gauge tracks at Ardglass station are now in, and temporarily operating 

 

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I still have to finalize my plans for this line which will run to all three stations on the layout,rather than just two as in the  previous one! But I've now got backscenes (ID) round some 30' of the planned distance.

 

A general view of Ardglass Station looking from the  platform ends.

 

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The station building - still standing but derelict today.

 

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Ardglass was rarely busy - i think many layouts look wrong because there are just far too many people and vehicles around, especially if the 50s/60s is the period. The man with the golf clubs was on his way to Newcastle, but has arrived at Ardglass by accident having wrongly changed trains at Downpatrick Loop platform. He may quite a wait and maybe the UTA  bus will be a better bet.

 

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The signal box - it is actually based on Newcastle and this is it's third layout.. A while ago i repainted this (and the goods shed etc) in what i believe to be a reasonable approximation of BCDR colours. Sadly there is almost no information about buildings colour. - I know of no colour photos and the UTA quickly repainted those that were left. after takeover.

 

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BCDR Nos 4 & 14 at Ardglass. The County Down had four 0-6-0s and they were often used on passenger duties.

 

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A local about to leave

 

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Beyond the station the line curves round under a hill with a few dwellings(believe it or not, Tri-ang "real Estate" - they are on their sixth layout)!  i plan a ruined monastery on the hill. Beneath it is a point where one line goes down to the main lines, the other stays at high level and will go to the ferry terminus.

 

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I've also laid in two gradients, the track running down from the Ardglass branch to the lower level main lines, and that rising from the end of "Coleraine" station to the new high level ferry terminal.  This is not yet connected but I have doing  some tests on haulage and all seems well, my NCC/UTA Moguls can manage 5/6 coaches up it which is plenty.

 

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Work has also begun on the six storage loops, again using Code 100 track salvaged from before - saving a good deal of money! and as the design is very similar to my previous railway, I am re-using the control panel, with a  few minor alterations and additions. It uses stud and probe to switch points,a system i find both economical, reliable and easy to use. .I will still need the detector lights for points and trains as although there is no backscene in front of the loops, they are some 3" lower than the front half of the board and there'll be some buildings etc along the back of the terminal so they will be largely hidden.

 

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Next job is finishing the main boards and the main control panel to allow wiring and track laying to proceed round the main double track line. Trains running all the way round by New Year?

 

 

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Edited by colmflanagan
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It's all going on there, lots to do.

It looks great, nice to see the Ardglass station reborn.

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It is quite a while since I last posted pictures on progress on the new railway. The main boards are now built and work has been proceeding steadily.

 

 

I decided to work away from the Ardglass station section (which is virtually complete) although there is still some minor scenic works needed, and the narrow gauge track needs its own control system in due course. In this picture  "Ardglass" is off to the right of the picture, the shot is taken from above what will be the Coleraine station forecourt. The big US engine on the right is one of my "gauging trains"- a Rivarossi "Big Boy" 4-8-8-4 , this, and Mk3 coaches, allow me to indulge in running some trains which certainly never got near Coleraine, Stranraer or Ardglass! I couldn't run the "Big Boy" over sections of the previous railway. Making track clearances about 4mm wider is enough to prevent contact on curves!

 

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This meant that I had to work out exactly the heights, clearances and gradients that would be involved in the design.  On this board the line farthest away, just in front of the backscene,  descends from Ardglass to the lower level, where it runs into the storage loops, connecting into the Up line only.   In front of it is the rising incline from the Coleraine station area, to the Stranraer high level terminal station. I have decided (for now anyway) to refer to these stations as before, I will be re-using the Coleraine station buildings at one, and the presence of the ferry makes Stranraer seem reasonable for the other.

 

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Nearest the camera are the two low level “main lines”; at present trackwork is laid into the south end of the platforms; the rest has yet to be laid, and joined with the curves behind the ferry area.

 

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The loops run on cork underlay (as will most of the layout) 75mm below the level of the Stranraer station. No point  ballasting or hiding point motors (Peco surface and old H&M - these seem to last for ever.)  They'll be largely hidden by structures and scenery on the higher board..

 

 

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The six storage loops at the low level behind the Stranraer board, are now fully operational, with power indication,(green LEDs) point position indication by means of small micro switches so the yellow LEDs actually tell me the tie bar has moved across.  There is also a train detection  system using All Components boards and light dependent resistors, (red LEDs)  which I find very reliable as ,as long  as you have decent lighting  I saved a lot of time by being able to re-use the previous control panel with only minor alterations. The small extension on the right top is the point for the diverging line to Ardglass; on my previous layout this junction was much further away.

 

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Beyond the loops the main  lines curve round behind the ferryport; these lines will have a backscene in front of them, and I've a small access "hatch" in one corner to deal with the inevitable (though hopefully very rare!) derailments.

 

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The Coleraine panel is under construction, and will have DC three way cab control as before; I understand it and enjoy working with it, so I decided to stay with DC. One controller is an oldish All Components MPC3 pro, with twin controls using centre off movement rather than a selection switch for direction. The third controller will be either a Gaugemaster or even older Codar controller, both of which have the DC based “simulation” which works very well and challenges one’s driving skills!

 

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So, the next few weeks will hopefully see this panel fully operational, and trains able to run round the complete layout and up to the yet-to-be-started upper terminal. More as it happens.

 

Colm

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I have a major problem with this layout build, nothing is out of place, tools and materials are all in tidy rows, no mess, no clutter, how do you do it?

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Careful arrangement of all stuff before photo session!! Call in at random some day and you'll get a balanced picture.

 

C

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Over the past week or so I've been trying to reach the point where trains can run round the two main lines, (without falling off or stopping unexpectedly!)

 

This has meant wiring up the lifting section.  On my previous layout I had connected the various sections on it (there's a crossover with section breaks to contend with), and had run wiring down the layout legs, then along the carpet floor covered by a mat.  As in this room I have a wooden laminate floor I decided I didn't want that approach. And also, much of the approach from the curves at the room ends would be behind a backscene so a mistake like running a train withe lifting section UP (yes, i did do it before!) would mean a disaster. Carpet helps in this situation of course but i didn't want it happening in the first place..

 

In the end I decided to use phsphor bronze/copper strips to pass current  and also to provide a fail safe cutout which would stop trains approaching the open lifting section, about 4 feet from the edge.

 

The two pictures below show the four strips for Up and Down lines  The strip is very thin (it needs to be so that track height isn;t affected) - and how it will work in the long term  is unknown; but it would be easy to replace.

 

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Top edge

 

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The next two show the cut out -wires run from either side of the break, the strip makes the contact when the lifting board is down.  Very simple.

 

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The finished section, ready for testing.

 

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The first two passenger trains to operate - both steam and diesel are in early 1960s liveries - the models are well separated; the "Red Dragon" loco is a Hornby Dublo "Cardiff Castle " from a set i bought about 1964: The Bachmann Blue Pullman came out about 6 years ago, I think - nearly 50 years later! Both run beautifully and now i will move on the the branch platforms from Coleraine, these will face Portrush -something neither  the LMSNCC, UTA, NIR, ever achieved..

 

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And finally, to prove I can clutter a layout 

 

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I had a similar problem with a lifting section on a display layout in a local museum. The layout was already built and wired (crudely) by the time I got involved. Unfortunately there had been a couple of incidents where trains had been running when the access hatch had been opened, with the expected results, even though there was carpet on the floor.

The layout has three tracks with seven trains running, only three at any one time. They run automatically for three to four minutes after a punter presses the start button. Because this was an 'add on' feature, and it would take too long to try to explain the complications of the electrics, I decided that the easiest way to stop trains was to interrupt the supply from each controller to each track, which meant that all trains would stop where they were on the layout, regardless of which direction they were travelling. To do this, three microswitches were fitted, one for each track, with the feed to that track connected to it. When the hatch is opened, the switches cut the supplies and the trains stop. Simples, 100% reliable, and because the switches are recessed, nothing to get damaged.

 

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Hello All,

 It is quite a while since I last posted pictures on progress on the new railway.

I decided to work away from the Ardglass station section (which is virtually complete although there is still some minor scenic works needed, and the narrow gauge track needs it’s own control system in due course.

This meant that I had to work out exactly the heights, clearances and gradients that would be involved in the design.

“THE GRADE BOARD”

1.      On this board a line descends from Ardglass to the lower level, where it runs into the storage loops, connecting into the Up main line only, at the low level. It’s a gradient of about 1 in 45 which allows longish trains to go up. This is on the far left of the picture(s). The Peco bridge has enough clearance to allow the two lines to diverge slightly before leaving the short tunnel

2.      A line runs up to the high level (2nd from left) at the site of what will be “Stranraer” (the harbour station); this runs between the Ardglass link and the main lines; it is quite a tight fit between them but has checked out okay for clearances.

3     The up and Down main lines run through this board at low level.

Then there’s the first of two rather tricky tracks. One is on the narrow gauge, not even started yet - the other the standard gauge, shown here.

4 On the extreme right of the picture, this standard gauge line links Ardglass with Stranraer directly – both these stations are on high level boards., which are approximately 75mm/3” so there is adequate clearance usually.

 

Work underway (first two pictures) then the "finished" section below:

 

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The left hand section of the board - the "corner" filled in.

 

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Then looking towards the junction and Ardglass.

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BUT – there is a line rising up from the low level (2) which must be  crossed   and required a gradient rising from the mouth of the Ardglass tunnel to allow clearance for this line which is at the crossing point, about an inch/25mm from the low level; this is a short section at about 1 in 24 on a curve which is near the limit of tolerance but is very short, just about 152/450mm.  I used some “N” gauge girders for this small straight bridge and a base of balsa; no civil engineer would approve but it isn’t going to fall down.

Leaving this level bridge  the overhead line begins to drop at 1 in 45 and curves again, and then passes (still on a curve and falling very slightly), over the two main lines on another bridge, also constructed of balsa wood but with Ratio “Varigirder” panels for the bridge sides.  The line then falls further on a curve  and grade of about 1 in 45 to the approaches of the high level  station. The clearances both vertical and horizontal for stock crossing these bridges has proved very challenging but everything can run here except the Rivarossi “Big Boy” 4-8-8-4. Just too big, and the overhang of some equipment under the cab fouls the edges of both bridges. However, as the likely train length on this line will be at most 4 x 57’ coaches it’s not really needed to provide power!.

I am now working on the grass “ground cover” but plan in due course to have lots of bushes and so on, to disguise it’s sameness look! But it will be good to get this board effectively finished –it is the heart of operations and needs to be right.

 

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And then, to complicate matters still more. On this board the narrow gauge (9mm) runs over the lines as well – another tight clearance and some gradients involved. The main track bed has been laid and I am working on the area to the left of the halt.  This is a new alteration, there wasn’t originally to be  a station here but it seemed an attractive corner to have one. It’s a stop for the ruined monastery on the hill –yet to be built, as well as the walk down a set of steep steps to the dell beneath the rock faces where a climbing club practice for their next expedition to the Matterhorn…. Lots of scenic work to do here also.’ I will report in due course.

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June 09 2019

 

Some more progress over the last month or so;

The ruined Celtic monastery site has been pretty well finished With it’s round tower and small church, accessed by a pathway up from the road, it is based loosely on the remains at Nendrum in County Down. The “Tea Shoppe” – a Tri-ang 1960s kit, has been firmly positioned, as has the adjacent cottage –the thatch roof on the latter never looked all that good, so it has been re-roofed in slate! All three buildings (the third being the small cottage beside Nendrum halt) here have featured on most of my layouts since I began doing scenery!  Railway gates for the road crossing and some other detail will be filled in as opportunity arises.

 

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Work has been done on the narrow gauge Nendrum Halt, with it’s extensive passenger facilities (!) -it's the bus shelter, not the house!  The small control panel peeping into the bottom of this picture shows the position of the point which is underneath the monastery. A semi circular section under the round tower and church delineated by the hedge line, allows access in the event of a derailment or other problem in the tunnel. The ruined church is a hacked Dapol kit, the round tower is plastic card on a piece of tube which contained ID backscenes! I was doing a lot of this work in May and we had amazing may blossom this year, as well as gorse, so I incorporated it here.

 

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Scenery has been further advanced on the gradient board and track is inching across, with the standard gauge line to Stranraer mostly in place, running over a Ratio vari- girder bridge and a Peco “N” gauge one which I think looks quite well. The gradient leading up to this is stiff but it will be relatively light trains using this line.

 

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The Langley climbing club have made a re-appearance after spending 15 years in storage!

 

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At “Coleraine”  the carriage siding and goods head shunt line have been installed and the shed end is due next, which will complete tracklaying at Coleraine; I have now fixed the platform which has the main station buildings on it.  With narrow gauge not running to this area (see below) I have room for three goods sidings in the shed area.  This area is still in the "rough" stage  and will feature in due course.

 

 I had been going to bring the narrow gauge into Coleraine also, but it would make the goods shed area very cramped and involve a line right at the edge of the board, so I have decided to not build that section. The narrow gauge will still have a long run between the Stranraer” station and Ardglass, with a passing place. This will allow two trains to cross at an island platform. A brisk walk will be needed for any hardy passengers wishing to get to Coleraine! .

 

There’s been a lot of thinking and fiddling a the ferry end but I think I’ve now settled on a plan. The sky backscenes are in place, and now I have them  round the whole layout, the first time I have ever been able to do this. Some of the “joins” are noticeable but  that’s going to be inevitable with a “run” of approximately 60 feet.  They move from country/village at Ardglass, through the hills and moors, then to the sea and finally to the sky behind the ferry scene. All are by  ID but behind the ferry will be a representation of the shores of loch Ryan. Rather than a using a printed photograph I plan to build a sort of 3D backscene which slopes down to the water’s edge. This won’t be that tall, about 5/6 inches only so I will be able to access the trains running behind it, albeit with a little help from a raised working platform. I made a mock up one with cardboard and think it looks promising..

 

1958616345_Stranraerstreet.JPG.5ed9d664b2be90f8022e660717b6343b.JPG

 

 

1765964246_lochRyan.JPG.4cd8cd7fe4d26b529501792bed88693c.JPG

The row of houses are 3mm versions of some very old cardboard kits made originally by a firm called “Bilteezi”. They are less sturdy or detailed than today’s cardboard kits, but still work well in this kind of situation.  Hopefully the forced perspective will make them  seem further away than it actually is, at least from the normal viewing angle. I intend to have an “N” c scale cottage some way along the loch side, to give a sense of greater distance and a farther farmhouse (front only!) near the point will probably be even smaller

 

 

Edited by colmflanagan
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Thanks , a great report and seemingly lots done before the camera, lovely scenic work  in progress and the ruined buildings are really good  but I sense you will revisit as more is completed.

 

Robert  

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Ballycrochan Line Progress    20 July 2019

 

One the things which starts to happen at this stage of a new layout, is that parts of it begin to look "finished" yet there are still significant areas where little work had been done. So, what to do next??? Occasionally my answer is to do nothing for a while then go out to  the railway, run some trains after cleaning the track yet again  to get rid of the construction dust!)   and pick up a tool and start on a random place..then as sanity returns, make a plan..well sort of.

 

Anyway.

 

Track being largely complete at the gradient end of the layout, with only the narrow gauge overbridge to do, I turned my attention to the “Coleraine” site, where I planned to re-sue my buildings from the previous layout although the track plan of the station is now quite different from the real Coleraine.

 

2109489923_ColerainefromnorthendGV.JPG.45d17e5192c6c1ac45c29a48d0e4c51b.JPG

 

705548573_ColeraineStnbldgcanopies.JPG.2a05f70036a1b331f0f1b57e478a329b.JPG

 

 

The station buildings fit well into the new site, and I have located a level crossing at the north end, though it is a narrower road than hitherto. The crossing gates are the Wills kit “NCC’d” with different pattern supports for the actual gates. (By the way, any trains seen in this update are either test trains or new items I bought, not my LMS/UTA/NIR stock which is still inboxes under the layout.)

 

The station forecourt is now level and the steps needed quite a bit of work as the previous site was on a slope….

 

158447306_Colerainestnbldg1.JPG.7a37cf79af670c3058e0bf60afd327b5.JPG

 

1448544895_Colerainestnbldg1.JPG.fa3332df3deeea1fc8f17db0fa2e612c.JPG

 

The final track to be laid were the carriage siding and the goods yard. The platform edge on the right of the shot will get a fence – it is from the old model and my explanation is that it was previously a bay which fell into disuse when the branch it served closed, and the track was re-aligned away from it. New platforms were made of balsa wood, using Slaters stone plasticard for the walls, 4mm paving stones cut in strips for the edging and good fine Ballywalter silver sand for the covering.

 

309104012_GVfromsouthend.JPG.beff7e15985c9196554a2ff399544015.JPG

 

. The goods shed was one of the  last buildings constructed on the SCDR so it’s being re-used.  Some work was needed as the loading platform was on the other end…While track laying and planning this area I decided not to run the  narrow gauge into Coleraine, it would have cramped the access to the goods shed and given the whole side of this site a “cluttered” look as run round, platform etc.,  were squeezed in. This also allowed me to provide a third siding behind the shed.  I haven’t a big amount of goods facilities on my layout and mostly prefer to run passenger strains. Still, each station has a yard of some sort.  Cranes, detailing of all the areas has still to be done but I am pleased with the way it is shaping up. 

 

945369797_goodsshedarea.JPG.afe1221bda1f206c0603656ce65aa19d.JPG

 

The signal box has been r e-located as seen below. With the branch to Stranraer leaving two bay platforms at this end, and a crossover from the main lines here as well, this is the obvious choice. I may put a small box at the far end if the mood takes me. Or it may just be a  small hut…

 

1046474446_Colerainesc.JPG.2bcb3bc39f6927279862ca7cf2e4f595.JPG

 

Turning now to the Stranraer quayside area.  The backscene 3mm buildings have been positioned with a suitable backscene, and this  then runs round the water of the loch, it isn’t a photographic one but rather an attempt at a “ 3D backscene” using a flock mat as base for the upper areas and various lower down  features which are modelled in low relief – a 2mm cottage and a very small one, with cliffs/rocks and beaches. Port Rodie is the name given to the part of  Stranraer where the buses went from, just beyond the ferry car park.

 

219754078_PortRodiestreet.JPG.1e4d6cb55f123ad2807019d25d4f6f47.JPG

 

289933175_PortRodie.JPG.50e088a3dfc9e4468915a0344295fa99.JPG

 

“Water” is mixed blue/green/brown and lots of acrylic varnish, with the odd ripple, some planned, some not.. I find it hard to do any significant “waves” that convince me, so opted for a rare calm day. They do exist though aren’t very common!  But then, it’s my world. 

 

179741881_viewfromlinkspan.JPG.d8f6a1a36ed29dd0f9475f0e434762be.JPG

 

Waiting for a ferry to appear...not yet, for a while.

 

I wanted to capture the beauty of the west coast of Scotland, and these pictures give some diea of my progress, although detailing – stone walls, fences, bushes and trees and areas of dark growth towards the top of the hill are all still to add.

 

1718395523_viewupLochRyanfromlinkspan.JPG.0f3ab1df30b36bdd41876b79b469f28a.JPG

 

The colours under the water are a royal blue, green and brown, graduating from the deep blue of the sea inlet, to the brown and green of the shallow water with kelp and mud  bottom, near the steamer berth, which features in some of the pictures. Still lots to do there but as with Coleraine, I have the advantage of having built many of the structures for the previous railway.

 

1978044788_viewfromStranraerquayside.JPG.36605840bf156b25da203e452c9ea5cc.JPG

 

No matter what the weather does outside it will always be a balmy summer day at this end of the layout.

 

Colm

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Coleraine is shaping up very nicely Colm. That station building looks really impressive. You've also done a very convincing job with perspective and vanishing point at Stranraer. Thanks for posting.

 

Alan

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Carried out an “inspection” on Friday and was pleasantly surprised to see the steady progress made since my last visit, it’s starting to come together. I liked the Scottish West coast backdrop but could not persuade Colm to paint the houses in Balamory style.

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Great stuff, Colm (and team).

 

I was squinting inside the Coleraine cabin to see if Russell was helping out? If there's room for gents with golf clubs, there must be room for the historian of the NCC?

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Cracking progress Colm! I'm enjoying following what you're doing here and look forward to seeing further updates in due course :good_mini:

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August 13th

 

There’s been quite a bit of scenic work done recently.

At the Stranraer/ferry end the diorama has been completed – it’s a beautiful calm sunny day on my layout, which is how I prefer to remember Stranraer  though the reality was often much less balmy!

 

1284871458_GVloch2.JPG.40648e28816d6e116fd8235f99d276f6.JPG

 

As previously mentioned, the “loch” was done with a mix of blue/green /brown paints and 2 full aerosols of Halfords clear varnish. I didn't try to do lots of waves but certainly the rough edges of the board and a few random whirls of polyfilla give the impression of some ripples in a nearly flat calm. The “3D” backscene has now been detailed, between the village and first cottage is a wooded area to increase the “distance” and from the first cottage to the farm and then the headland the same. It’s mostly Gaugemaster flock  and mats, with dark green Woodlands Scenic “bushes”, and also lichen covered with foliage.

 

1265464952_cottagetovillage3.JPG.9674c1e3e4133cc32220c87f2aa75dba.JPG

 

1232575248_farmandcottage2.JPG.24c8a3c25913d314e46e7a2eb920255b.JPG

 

The cottage is a 2mm kit cut to be low relief. The small farmhouse on the right (about 0.75mm!) is a picture taken in Mallaig in the West Highlands some years ago and the setting with a lawn running down to the water's edge is reminiscent of a farm I saw on the island of JuraThere is a picnic going on outside the cottage and a solitary car on the road. Very prototypical! 

 

 

The harbour piers were constructed of balsa wood. Some serious sanding of the underlying MDF boards was needed to disguise an unintended level difference between both ends of the quayside.

The concrete cladding was from a “Scalescenes” kit, printed 80% of full size to allow for the “high tide” causing the ship to sit a bit higher than it did on the previous layout. The quayside is 35mm above waterlevel, the previous layout had 45.

Quayside.JPG.0b330ad7a9b07c65ec099ce663b461ad.JPG

 

 

 

The linkspan, and offices came out of their storage box as did the quayside fenders.

 

I’m very pleased with it all, and produced a  panorama shot.

506555800_LochRyanpanoramacopy2.jpg.36fb426c248ec45296c4971e8aeb0c90.jpg

 

Then turned my attention to the other major civil engineering works needed, the final two bridges at the other end of the layout.  Two were built earlier, but the nearer ones were left until now. You can see int his picture the gradients of the various bridges, needed to allow the maximum loads to run over the top lines -even in a big garage every inch can count.

 

688128044_branchoverbridgesite.JPG.138eefbd86c817ad39545cd0314f97ae.JPG

 

 

 I used a Wills small girder bridge kit for the smaller one, and the Peco girders for the one over the double track, this bridge will have a point on it so had to have edges at an angle to each other to accommodate it. All the stonework was also from Wills. It’s quite pricey and not the easiest to cut, but is strong and rigid once built. Also, the deeper embossing of the stone courses makes dry brushing to get a mortar effect easier than with the finer plasticard I usually use.

394808922_mainlinebridge.JPG.5f4788cb692f2c08b0b197c3cf50247c.JPG

 

1065390382_narrowgaugebridge.JPG.ccea34f5cac65d26abf83c0334d7d044.JPG

 

This occupation bridge needed an extra "panel" to bridge the gap which is on a 2'3" radius curve. Fortunately i had some bits from the previous railway.

1043909166_nearlythere.JPG.e41d09ba7994a806c7ba97223854c7f3.JPG

 

These bridges needed a lot of fiddling, as they have to carry the narrow gauge over the other lines at various angles and gradients, but in the end I think I got there.

 

143820832_fourbridges.jpg.d07ec1cd46fe0dff09c0e98b372d02cb.jpg

 

 

Finally for now, work has proceeded towards the site of the next narrow gauge station, formerly to be a junction for a line to Coleraine, a plan  which is now abandoned. It will simply be an island platform crossing place.

 The point on the bridge will be electrically controlled eventually. 

 

112614332_Northbrookstationsite.JPG.56a0c87a8880e565ed070874145fd741.JPG

 

 

I’m going to enjoy running some trains now for a while….then on to the Stranraer station area.

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