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The Stranraer Coleraine and Donaghadee Railway

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NEWS FROM The Northbrook, Ballylumford & Stranraer Harbour Railway EXTRACT from press release 07 august 2016


"Rumours of a new steam locomotive for the line have continued to circulate though as yet no signs of construction have been seen"



NEWS FROM The Northbrook, Ballylumford & Stranraer Harbour Railway EXTRACT from press release 14 august 2016


"Despite rumours circulating in the local press, at this time there are no plans for any new steam locomotives to be constructed before

the next financial year."



All appeared quiet on the narrow gauge front until recently.


Then a few months ago a new "cab control" system was introduced to allow two trains to operate, and speeding up crossing at the loop

situated just outside the harbour platform.





To facilitate this a remotely operated signal was placed just beyond Ballylumford halt.





the signal was acquired from the now defunct Island Magee railway, dismantled in 1984. It is a cut down Hornby Dublo electric one, with a finial, ratio arm and ladder added.



Once again, rumours began to circulate that an accelerated timetable would be introduced for the narrow gauge "boat train". Would the

much discussed "new engine" be under construction. A brave reporter ventured into the NB&S shops and managed to take the attached









This is clearly a plastic card creation on a Graham Farish N gauge 4MT tank chassis, a sort of "narrow gauge Jeep". Further bulletins will be issued as construction continues.

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Being rather conscious that my last post looks a bit like a plastic box on wheels, and some may be wondering how on earth THAT took so long to make, I attach a few pictures taken earlier today of progress into something vaguely approaching a locomotive.




In fact, the work of finding a suitable way to attach the plastic  card bodywork to the Farish underframe took a lot of time and fiddling to get it anywhere near acceptable - remember it has to be able to come off from time to time for running adjustments, etc.,- I once glued a body on, and of course within a very short time had to half destroy it to get it off again! In fact the structure is held in place by a bracket on the back of the Farish underframe and simply sits on at the front- a small screw then passes through it from the underside to hold it in place; one problem is, it tends to pull the front footplate upwards if tightened too much - I have yet to find a way of stopping this happening though it's not too bad. .




The Farish loco had a diecast bodyshell so I have stuck a  fair bit of lead into mine and a test run indicates it will have more than enough traction for the 3 coach boat train on my track.  The boiler was made from 1/2" plastic tubing and the fitments are from Alan Gibson - being brass they add to the weight also.


I chopped up a LMS "pug" to get the cab front (and back, though it's not fitted yet) and the cab is next on the list to complete. It's looking a bit more like an NCC "compound"  even though, of course, it isn't!




The "couplings" are just wire attached by twisting and gluing with evo stik to the front pony truck and rear bogie - very rudimentary, but they work OK - if I ever have to double head then I'll work something out....



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  • 2 weeks later...

And then the finished product breaks cover.


As I said at the start, this is NOT a model of an NCC  narrow gauge compound (unless you close one eye and put a gauze cloth over the other...)  -it's a 2-6-4 for a start and it's a sort of amalgam of features of different locos in the class; the livery and number are fictional. 






But I think it has some of the "look" of those excellent little engines. They had a powerful compact look quite different from many similar sized engines in Britain, except possibly the GWR Vale of Rheidol locos.  Anyway, here are some pictures and a video and you can see for yourself; it took a lot of making though and I doubt if there will be any sister engines coming along soon. In any case, the narrow gauge has now got 7 steam locomotives, the railcar and the tram engine so there's now no want of motive power.






there's also a video at:





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  • 1 month later...

Night time at Coleraine and Stranraer


When I was constructing buildings on the layout, and re-using some old ones, I put in lighting but generally didn't bother connecting it up. Until recently when I decided that afer nearly ten years it was time I got on with it!





these show some of the results - the ship has always had lighting via many many LEDs. In general I use the little 12v filament/grain of wheat bulbs as I think the yellowish light gives a more period feel.  Most are fed by a variety of old controllers - they need quite a bit of current when they are numerous.








The pictures  are really for atmosphere - don't look too closely - the Works Dept will really need to check some of the station canopy supports which are not entirely straight.





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  • 7 months later...

The attached two pictures show work in progress on dismantling the layout.




After some 12 years in existence, marriage and a move to another place means that the Stranraer Coleraine and Donagadee/Ardglass railway will cease to exist.in its present form.  The buildings at Ardglass are almost gone and the tracks linking the station to the "rest of the world" have been severed and in the case of the connecting chord to Coleraine, lifted.  How they will get the German loco out of there is anyone's guess.



I have decided to retain Ardglass station more or less intact as part of a new railway which, if all works out well, will be roughly the same size as the SCDR - it will also be a mix of irish/Scottish (including the ferry!); the future of the Northbrook narrow  narrow gauge is currently unclear, but I do have a soft spot for 009 operations!  But it will be a while before it features here. Lots to do before then.....



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