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an introduction to the group


colmflanagan
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Irish Modelling introduction

 

 

My particular interest is in modelling the railways of the North of Ireland in 00/16.5mm. Many modellers living in this part of the world model British "mainland" railways - and why not? I started modelling GWR myself at the age of 11! Certainly there's a lot more stuff available from the trade... But then, perhaps there are those in England, Scotland and Wales who might be looking for something a bit different - or are just interested to see what those of us who do model our native land, have come up with.

 

For myself, I live in County Down in N. Ireland and my village lost its nearest railway (8 miles away!) in 1950. This was a company known as the Belfast and County Down. I hope eventually to re-create a little bit of it on the layout which will form a separate topic as it straddles the North Channel/Irish Sea! This of course is something that never happened due to the different gauges in use.

 

I started seriously modelling the Belfast and County Down in the 80’s then moved on to the UTA period about ten years ago, while researching a book on the development of diesel railcars (as we call them here.)

 

For background in case anyone reading this hasn't yet given much thought to our railways here; there were three main "standard" gauge (5'3") railways serving the north of Ireland - the Great Northern (Ireland)- (which also had lines crossing the border), the Northern Counties Committee of the LMS, and the Belfast & Co Down. The latter two became part of the nationalized Ulster Transport Authority in 1948, the GNR being absorbed in 1958. The UTA also ran buses and road haulage and was widely considered to be anti-rail, presiding over the closure of large sections of line in the 1950s and 1960s. Our “Beeching†started early as the UTA was tasked with “making the railways pay†– an impossible task anyway in the economics of the time. However this era did provide some innovative ideas in the field of motive power – the UTA did produce a variety of railcar designs, both diesel mechanical and diesel electric.

The UTA lasted until its demise in 1967-8, when it as split up. The railways became known as Northern Ireland Railways, a publicly owned company; this situation lasted until 1995 when the railway once again became part of the Translink organization which was also responsible for bus services. The railways here remain publicly funded, though run by separate management from the bus operations, and recent investment in track, stations and trains has made their future look more secure than for many years.

 

There are loads of books worth getting, but that might be worth a separate topic!

 

I have concentrated on the railways of Northern Ireland because that is my main interest, but that doesn’t mean that this group will have to confine itself to that; after all there are of course loads of things of modelling interest in the railway systems of the rest of the island, both historical and modern.

 

Colm Flanagan

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  • 1 month later...

Hearty congratulations Colm, it is long overdue that a group is opened on Irish railways. Perhaps people can show some of their models to demonstrate the interesting prototypes and what can be done.

 

Your railcars look extremely good in the photos of Killagan. Maybe in the future you might like to repeat on this group some of your articles on how you built them?

 

The idea of combining three favourite stations albeit from very different locations is a good one, since it lets you model all three and leave the rest to the mind’s eye.

 

I hope the group thrives!

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  • 1 month later...

Great idea Colm. I would love to have the time and space to model Irish railways, however I have too many projects already!

 

For myself, I live in County Down in N. Ireland and my village lost its nearest railway (8 miles away!) in 1950. This was a company known as the Belfast and County Down. I hope eventually to re-create a little bit of it on the layout which will form a separate topic as it straddles the North Channel/Irish Sea! This of course is something that never happened due to the different gauges in use.

Enjoyed the layout topic very much. I passed through the real Stranraer station a few weeks ago; it's looking a bit run down now. The old Northern Ireland Railways and Scotrail (sic) "training beats coaching" advertisements are still there.

 

I started seriously modelling the Belfast and County Down in the 80’s then moved on to the UTA period about ten years ago, while researching a book on the development of diesel railcars (as we call them here.)

Would that be "Diesel Dawn"? An excellent read which I purchased as soon as it came out.

Edited by Sc59401
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  • 2 weeks later...

Great idea Colm. I would love to have the time and space to model Irish railways, however I have too many projects already!

 

 

Enjoyed the layout topic very much. I passed through the real Stranraer station a few weeks ago; it's looking a bit run down now. The old Northern Ireland Railways and Scotrail (sic) "training beats coaching" advertisements are still there.

 

 

Would that be "Diesel Dawn"? An excellent read which I purchased as soon as it came out.

 

yes that's right, it was DD.

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  • 11 months later...

Does "Diesel Dawn" provide an overview of Irish railways at the start of the post - steam era (not only locos but routes), Colm?

Can I obtain a copy in the 'States?

 

Best, Pete.

 

No, I wouldn't say that; the book is concentrated on the development of the diesel mulitple unit (railcar) type of train; references to  other elements of the irish railway scene are only mentioned in passim.

It was never published in the US but copies might be available on Amazon o eBay.

Regards

 

Colm.

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