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The Stranraer Coleraine and Donaghadee Railway


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Top picture

 

Stranraer station with the "North Atlantic Express" pulling out. Now how did that get there....and wasn't it at Larne that tehre was a narrow gauge line?

 

Middle picture

 

The concrete viaduct is crossed by "Maeve" GSR No 800. The civil engineer will haev a fit!

 

bottom picture

Coleraine Station buildings; based on how it looked in 1963-4.

 

(There's nothing at Donaghadee to see yet!)

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  • 4 weeks later...

EARLY DAYS ON THE S C & D R

 

A few pictures showing the early days - I started just about three years ago, my friend Ken Gillen built the boards as I am hopeless at woodwork. The layout runs round the room, which is approximately 20' X 15'at widest point. It will be a double track continuous run with storage sidings behind a branch terminus on one side (based on Stranraer), a through junction on the other side, and eventually a second terminus on the outside of the continuous run section; this will ultimatley allow point to point operation for up to 3 operators.

 

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This shot shows the area where the storage sidings will run behind Stranraer Station; I used microswitches on all the hidden sidings points to provide point detection which would definitely tell me that the tiebar had thrown properly - on a previous layout I'd used a system which simply detected that the switch had thrown even if the point blades were only half way across. I used some infra red type train detectors on the sidings but have now replaced all with the Light Dependent Resistor types which I have found more reliable,( but they are no good for workings at night!)

 

The picture below shows the other "side" of the layout which will become Coleraine station. This is the "south" end -towards Belfast.

I tend to get things in a clutter when I'm working.....

 

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Another view, looking south a few months later, with trackwork through the platforms; my Coleraine is double track whereas the real thing is single. But I love watching passing trains. At the far end will be a viaduct.

 

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Looking the other way, the lines diverge at the north end of Coleraine Station, the one to the right will go to Donaghadee instead of Portrush (!) the other left to Stranraer instead of the harbour(!) There's a passing station on the main line in the background, which will eventually be based on Cultra on the BCDR.

 

 

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And finally, before I even got really going on the "proper" layout I ran my beloved old Dublo three rail on it for a while. Still fabulous runners after all these years.

 

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...."Maeve" GSR No 800. The civil engineer will have a fit!

 

Is your "Maeve" scratchbuilt? Hardly ever see models of the "800" class, so a sighting is always welcome.

 

Likewise the "W" class mogul.

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Is your "Maeve" scratchbuilt? Hardly ever see models of the "800" class, so a sighting is always welcome.

 

Likewise the "W" class mogul.

 

"Maeve" is a conversion usng a Hornby Royal Scot, an article on her appeared in a magazine called "New irish Lines" in Nov 2010 - it is published twice yearly by Alan O Rourke,the website carries the latest edition http://newirishlines.org/

 

The "mogul" class Ws featured in the same magazine way back in May 2004 and were also featured in the "Railway Modeller" of June 2006 - they are converted from (heavily) modified Hornby Fowler tanks.

 

Colm

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Some further pictures of the layout's progression.

 

The viaduct at the south end of Coleraine; I was originally going to use a Metcalfe card kit of the stone one, which is a superb model, then I thought, why not a concrete viaduct like Bleach Green (just north of Belfast); of course I realized that would be far too big so I designed one in the same general style to fit my space and built it from artist's board, shellacked and painted; I am really quite pleased with it.

 

The small crossing keeper's house started life many years as a model of a BCDR one near Comber but has been clad in brick, this is it's third layout! The crossing gates are slightly altered Peco ones made to look a bit more "LMS NCC" - and the Land Rover actually has "Coleraine post office" written on it in letters so small I need a magnifying glass to see them!

 

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And another shot with a rather older engine, an xNCC B class compound No 62 and train.

 

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A friend gave me these cast swans, and very well they look too; the river is the "usual" of coats of gloss varnish on a blue green painted "river bed". I hardly ever throw things away; the rather rickety road bridge was on my previous layout too!

 

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After this area I turneed my attention to the other end of the layout. TO BE CONTINUED

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The small crossing keeper's house started life many years as a model of a BCDR one near Comber but has been clad in brick, this is it's third layout!

 

 

The one on the old road out of Comber towards Newtownards? Just a bit before where the dual carraigeway started?

 

All the best

 

Keith

 

 

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The one on the old road out of Comber towards Newtownards? Just a bit before where the dual carraigeway started?

 

All the best

 

Keith

 

Yes, you're right. It has since been further extended and looks quite different.

 

Colm

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Some pictures of the "other end" of the layout, where I decided on a small passing station which I plan be be a BCDR station in style based on Cultra on the Bangor line, but for now its a modified Peco building. The small signal cabin was on a previous layout as Ballynoe (on the Ardglass branch) but I would like to replace it with a model of Craigavad. There is a reason for a cabin here - just to the right of the picture a single line diverges which wil serve the Donaghadee station yet to be built - this will give me a triangle and allow the layout to be operated as a point to point one, or out and back, which is good fun when friends visit.

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I put the station in a cutting but don't want to have the foreground too high so that you can still see it reasonably clearly. I'd thought of a forest on the embankments in front but have decided against that. I have planted some more hedges though since this picture was taken.

 

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The freelance 009 narrow gauge wasn't on the original plans at all. Then I thought it would be a short line, with maybe just a loop at one station. And then it grew until now it runs all the way from Stranraer to Coleraine. It has been a delightful afterthought and given me a lot of pleasure mixed with some frustration at times in keeping it running smoothly- I find most 009 locos need constant attention as does the track.

 

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And finally, the way it looks at the the moment; still some small details to be done in this area (aren't there always?) but pretty well complete. Since the photo was taken I've put some trees to disguise the join in the scenic background. And yes, it's a Hornby Dublo EE Type 20.

 

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Yes, you're right. It has since been further extended and looks quite different.

I was struggling to find it on Google last night. Long time since I went by that way (used to pretty much every day), as not been over since before the track bed was converted into the bypass connecting up to the dual carriageway,

 

 

All the best

 

Keith

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

A few pictures of the turntable area at Coleraine; I re-used the Peco turntable from an earlier layout - cut round the board it was on and dropped it into the new position,which saved a lot of chopping; and what's more, ti worked first time when I applied power to it. I hadn't room for it in the "correct" position opposite the station platforms as the board is too narrow, but it works well in here.

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The mechanism is the one frizinghall railways do, basically Meccano parts and a low geared motor. I use a 2 x 1.5v volt battery pack with a "reversing switch" for it, rather than a controller, I found that 1 battery connected (1.5 v) gives a nice slow speed easily stopped when aligned by eye, full power (3v) speeds things up a good bit.

 

I left it as shown below for a good while and then returned to it in May this year to try and "finish" the area - that's the trouble with half completed areas, you get used to them.

 

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The finished area; I'll add a bit on the shed and coaling plant (left of picture) later; the railcar fuelling point is freelance as is the flat roofed shed but they are both in the spirit of the thing, the shed in LMS 1930s "austerity" style and the fuelling point the kind of rather heath robinson cheap thing the UTA might have put it. But any railway model has to have some scope for our imagination, doesn't it?

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Coleraine was an important shed in steam days, and locomotives of many Portrush bound excursion trains would have returned there to take water and turn, especially after Portrush turntable was removed in the early 1960's. I understand the water at Portrush wasn't as good quality either. Unusually in Ireland, there was a mechanical coaling stage at Coleraine: the shed itself was a twin road one. For many years there was a large building in the yard near the tower, which I think was the original stationmaster's house; for now a modified Superquick building is standing in.

 

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The coaling plant model was built using the Ratio kit, which is essentially the same design; the rickety shelter over the coal wagon area was probably a local addition, as was the cover over the hopper.

 

 

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The Engine Shed started life as a Metcalfe kit and was overlaid with Plasticard embossed random stone, and slates on the roof. I still have to add the ventilators but haven't got round to doing them yet. early photographs show the entrance with two stone arches but it seems the LMS NCC altered this in the thirties, I think - they loved their concrete! The little brick offices were, I presume, added at the same time, as was the revised watering arrangement.

 

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The water tower was attached to the side of the building so locomotives pulled in under it. I had to make mine a good bit narrower than the rel thing, as there wasn't enough baseboard width at this point; but it's really only noticeable from an "end on" view, which is almost impossible anyway!

 

And finally in this area, a closer look at the "Coleraine South" signal box; originally the station had two signal boxes, these were replaced by a single one at the north end when the station was re-signalled in 1938 . But i had made this model for my previous layout and wasn't going to throw it away, so I have two signal boxes. It's a "typical" BNCR structure and is based on the one at Portrush., which is still there today.

 

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Thanks for the update Colm, it’s interesting to see how you use ‘off the shelf kits’ and adapt them into buildings with a local reference. Having the “knowledge” is obviously the key here. I’m learning with every update. I’m looking forward to your progress.

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  • 3 months later...

Just a few more pictures showing some recent developments on the SCDR - the crossing gates at Coleraine, made from two Peco kits considerably chopped about, with the heavy concrete pillars, which were a feature of these gates.made from plastic strip,

 

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The second area of progress is in the Stranraer station area - where the linkspan area of the quayside has started to take shape.

The actual linkspan bridge will be made from Wills vari-girder sides, I hope. The drivers of the vehicles shown have a long wait for the "Caledonian Princess" to arrive.

 

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The early 60's linkspan dated from the 1930's and was rather splendid in a kind of "heath robinson" way. It will provide an interesting challenge and no, I don't plan to try and make it work!

 

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I'm now working on the roof at Stranraer and will post some more pictures when things get to a reasonable stage.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

And here's a picture from my archives, it is an exhibition layout built by my friend Ian Snclair back in 2004, shown at the 1st Bangor Model Railway Society's show in May that year. It had a short life, being overtaken by "Killagan",and was dismantled, track sold, and bits used elsewhere! A few items have turned up on my Stranraer...

 

Unlike my own model it was a pretty accurate depiction of the place post 1984, using the actual track plan, and using Peco Code 75 track. You can see a rake of Lima "Sealink" coaches in the siding, and unlike the sixties there's lots of heavy vehicle traffic! It was a point to point layout and featured an "automatic" shuttle which allowed a 2 car Class 156 to re-create the "modern scene" as it trundled in and out..I have to say we found it a bit boring to operate and this may have hastened it's demise.

 

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hey, i love your 800 "meadbh" its awesome :D

 

i have an airfix royal scot recently aquired (in black lms colours, so i'm fairly certain its a royal scot) and i was wondering if you would ever be able to do a conversion job to it as fantastic as your own, I haven't got much talent modelling wise and irish steam locos ready to run are way way way way out of my price range.

 

I also think your layout is great and i love your irish stock.

 

Alex

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  • 2 months later...

Colm

 

Any further updates on the progress of your layout?Would be good to see a few more pics.

 

Andy

 

I'm away on holidays for thrree weeks now, will get the camera out and post some more updates over the summer.!

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  • 4 weeks later...

DEVELOPMENTS ON THE SCDR JULY 2012

 

Here are a few more pictures of recent (last few months) developments on the railway.

 

Both at Stranraer and Coleraine work has begun on station canopies.

 

I had put off the canopies at Coleraine as I was concerned that they might "darken" the whole station and I'd only be able to see the tops of trains. In the event hey seem to be working out OK, although I put a (fictional) gless section at the exit to the main platform. The canopies are Ratio kits, five on Platform 1 and four on 2, which on my modlel is shorter, though in real life it extended further. But i wanted a decent length in the "Derry Central" bay and some carriage sidings in that area so kept it shorter. I modelled the building on Platform 2 on the way ti was after 1974 .when ti was bricked up and the most of the building removed leaving only the facade showing towards the platform. As the rest of the building can;t be seen from my normal operating position I didn't feel like building another virtually identical structure to the one I already had.

The pic taken from rail level was done before the fitting of the second canopy.

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Sorry purists, I do know that Class 7P "Duchesses" never ran through Coleraine. If only the LMS had had the money to do it....

 

At Stranraer, I have built the basic frame for the platform canopy there; this will be modelled in its late 60/early 70s state, when the canopy was partially dismantled. I have the valancing for it, from Mainly Trains, but as it is all glass it's going to be a fiddly job and I am puttig it off for now, with other projects taking precedence. The gangways are ready for the ferry from Larne to arrive but it has been delayed...

 

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To break up the long plain platform against the backscene I've used a old stratagem - posters of Ireland; these were done for me by Trackside Signs, a firm who advertise on eBay and very well they look too. I really MUST change the station names - "harbour north" was the station name on the previous layout and I just stuck the nameboards up "temporarily" (about two years now...).

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Nice work on the station roof and facade at Coleraine,along with a great shot along the line.Like the view of the MPD sitting in the bay platform in the distance.The work for the station at Stranraer is looking good,although I know what you mean about the fiddly job of the roof,I face the same problem with GVSt ,although the period I am modelling most of the glass had already gone!

 

Keep up the good work and the posts coming.

 

Andy

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  • 1 month later...

Not strictly "railway" orientated, but one of the delights of the hobby is spending a few hours adding some interest to an otherwise bare part of the layout.

 

There wasn't anything wrong with this section. For those who are interested it's meant to be a concrete viaduct, a little brother to the famous Greenisland Viaduct - of which, more later someday soon.

 

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BUT

 

On my previous layouts I had a little Tri-ang (1960s !) "Real Estate" Tea Shoppe. I didn't think I could use it on the current one until....I began by sticking it down roughly and thought "yes, that will look good" so out with the 4mm/ft JCB and dig the foundations out of the hillside, add some new bits of wall, superdetail the Tri-ang building. The bright red chimney pots won't do today so they were toned down, and some extra glazing etc added plus sign, garden plants, vehicles etc., and a character who has featured on all my layouts since the 1960s -honest - the big guy is I think a very old Airfix model. Does he drive the MGA or the A40?

 

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I think it gives this part of the layout under the viaduct much more interest.

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