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Most interesting; it is unlike any other BNCR/NCC  signal box I've seen, and doesn't look like a Berkeley Deane Wise structure at all, so I assume it predated the station rebuild by Wise in 1901/2.

Does the kit give any historical info about it - when it was built/closed etc.?  It clearly predated the present (disused) box at the Antrim end of the station.

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The only information I got from Dawson Hall was that it was a model of a Signal Cabin at Antrim that is no longer there.  Their model was based on a photograph supplied by North Down for their Antrim layout. The instructions were to paint it green & cream but I was advised this was not the correct colours so I based the colour on the Templepatrick one.



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Ian Sinclair has seen a photograph of the earlier Antrim cabin (though he can;t currently remember where it was!) and it was a Midland style box as above.


As regards colours, again, anyone's guess,  though I think green cream in NCC days unlikely. The NCC box at Magherafelt was a salmon walls/tan window frames which would have been regular  LMS practice.   In MRNCC days the door/window frames might have been crimson and the woodwork white/cream.



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To digress a bit, that's an intriguing MED pic, TurfBurner. Looks like it was taken in the late 1960s  - the MED is in NIR livery and has even the frontal valences removed, but (mostly) lacks the painted-over lower sections of the cab front windows and more battered appearance of MEDs in the 1970s.


The intriguing thing about the pic - for me anyway - is the colour of the second vehicle, which looks like it might be one of the slam-door non-corridor compartment trailers after conversion to open configuration, done in the late '60s IIRC. These converted trailers are usually seen in matching maroon & light grey - but this one is a distinctly lighter shade in a single, solid colour, much too light to be UTA Deep Brunswick Green (which I think they lost anyway, when converted to the open layout, without a slam door on both sides, for every compartment, seen below in original configuration).




So, whatever type of vehicle the trailer is - and maybe it's not even an MED trailer -  what colour is it? Even allowing for the shallow angle, it looks a bit shiny for grey primer. Late 1960s - and the pic can't be taken earlier than about 1967 - is by conventional wisdom too late for the 'Eau de Nil' colour (aka Catherwood Blue, but a primarily green shade in my recollection) applied to many MPDs from about 1959 on (and to MED 14, and possibly a trailer or two, about that time). I've never seen a pic of an Eau de Nil railcar, dated later than 1961 or maybe '62, certainly not as late as the late 1960s. So I wonder what we have here. Any more pics or info that might help clarify this, TB?

Edited by 33lima
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The MED intermediate conversions 516-525, & 535-536 were originally 9 compartment non corridor coaches. The subject coach appears to be one of those after the later conversion to an open layout. There are three slam doors, and looking at the large windows between the doors, and at each end, these would correspond to where the original slam doors and two small windows would have been. Three slam doors plus six large windows making nine seating bays.

All the other MED intermediates were either new builds, or 526 & 527 both of which were always centre corridor vehicles with four doors each side. 528 was also a non corridor MED trailer, but had 10 compartments.

Edited by David Jackson
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I got all the available MED drawings from Mark Kennedy at the UFTM (and that was from Whitla Street, before the stuff was moved to the rail gallery at Cultra!!) in the early 1990s, and while that lot included the slam-door trailers, there was no drawing available of them after conversion, so it's only photos of these I've seen. The only types of MED trailer I modelled based on these drawings were the 'lightweight' one (ribbed, low roof, bottom pic) and the original slam door version, pre-conversion to open layout (top pic):






The other type of real life MED trailer was a pair of coaches converted (so the works drawing says) for dual MPD or MED use, 526 and 527, the former I snapped at RPSI Whitehead in1992:






535 and 536 were MPD trailers, I believe:




Edit - 528 was the trailer for Railcars 6 & 7, not sure if it could or did run with MEDs.


Not sure why the vehicle behind the MED in that pic is in that lighter colour c.1967-69, whatever it is. IIRC the only MED driving trailers were a few of the ribbed ones, which had small corner cabs added, so the vehicle in the pic won't have had a cab at the far end, though it does look to have the sidesole conduit which identifies it as a proper railcar trailer, rather than a random coach along for the ride.


Sorry to hijack the thread!


PS are Jonathan Allen's pics available anywhere these days? Only ever seen a few eg IRT&T and neither of the two Turfburner posted....or are you one and the same??? :) At any rate, it's great to see people like Mr Allen and Richard Whitford took the trouble to record so much of the coming and going of the UTA's pioneering railcars.

Edited by 33lima
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The only place to find Jonathan Allen's photographs now is: www.geograph.org.uk/profile/61944 and click on Railways (2nd down). Unfortunately, he has had a few "pinched" from this site, one appearing in a book (without acknowledgement) and others offered for sale on E-Bay! So he will not be posting any more Irish on Geograph. However, if anybody here wants anything specific, he'll have a root through the collection and see what he has.

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Thanks for the tip Turfburner!


The Holy Grail of UTA railcar pics - possibly before Mr Allen's era - would be one illustrating the 'turquoise train' I recall seeing from the seafront near Carnalea, in the early 1960s - if only to prove I wasn't having phantom memories! 'Diesel Dawn' has a pic of MED 14 (undated but probably early 1960s, from the still-present but painted-over circular UTA roundel plaque on the front) in 'Eau de Nil' but with 'ivory' upper sides and front and I have a Colour Rail pic of a dark green 1st batch MED with ivory upper cab front and wasp striper lowers, with what looks like an 'Eau de Nil' slam-door trailer behind., York Rd 1961. Neither of these entirely seem to match what I recall seeing, which was a full train or most thereof, probably an MED, painted in the pale blue-ish green livery seen on a lot of MPDs 1959-61, in regular service on the Bangor Line some time in the early 1960s.


A pic of such a set seems as elusive as the Holy Grail and even Richard Whitford had no recollection of such a railcar set operating on that line, which train is also in danger of acquiring mythical status!


Anyway, hence my interest in that non-mythical, but equally mysteriously light-coloured, vehicle, behind that MED at Antrim!

Edited by 33lima
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I have to agree with TurfBurner about 535 & 536. My database shows them as being MPD trailers, not MED as I said before. Can't read my own spreadsheet, a touch of dyslexia there I think.


Regarding 528, I have not got any conclusive evidence about it's use after it stopped being used with 6 & 7, although my drawing says the steam heat (as used with 6 & 7) was removed in 1958, and Smiths heating installed, which is what the MEDs used. However, it returned to being a loco hauled coach in the early 1960s, so it is unlikely that it became a MPD trailer, as MPD trailers all had driving compartments, apart from catering vehicles. 

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all fascinating, but aren't we getting just a  teeny weeny bit "off topic" - it makes stuff harder to find. later on should anyone want to! What about one of you starting a new thread on MEDs which can refer  to this exchange for anyone else interested?.



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  • 4 weeks later...

S Class GNR(I) livery.


There have been a few S Class locomotives on this Site recently and I am about to add to them.  In my case, especially seeing what has gone before, it’s a case of attempting to make ‘a silk purse out of a sow’s ear’.


I sought help before starting my build in mid January and have to thank Colm for his inspiration and Antony for help with measurements and photographs.  White metal bits are from SSM and I think added to the overall look of the finished model.


I started with a battered Tri-ang L1 body and a DCC ready 2P Hornby chassis.




The new fire box was conduit and other bits from Plasticard




I used a Tender from a Schools Class




Building the splashers was fun.










I had to do 'skirts' to hide the gap between the pony wheels and the body.




I took the mad notion of adding rivels.




Almost finished, just a few small bits to add.











One of the 'bits' I was worrying about was the whistle but it worked out OK.




Pictures of my S2 Class build to follow later.

Edited by kirley
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S2 Class UTA  livery.


While I was gathering up the parts for my S Class I was stalled for a long time as I could not source a DCC chassis at the right price.  It was during this time that someone suggested I try a Midland Compound as a donor.  It was easier to pick up than a 2P so when one came along at a suitable price I got it.


It was harder to convert than the L1 in that the rear wheel spoilers were a different shape and after trying different approaches I just went with what was there.

I modelled 192 after the UTA got its hand on it when it lost its blue livery in the early 60’s and became No. 63.  


The first picture is of the cab encased in Isopon.




Lots of cutting of the boiler and smoke box to get the right length.




I had also to shorten the metal chassis and move the pony wheels back.



Used a piece of balsa wood to hold the boiler and smoke box together while gluing.









Skirts again fitted as before.




Painted and decals added.












I've a few small bits to complete, then it's fit the decoders and run them on the layout.

Edited by kirley
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  • 2 weeks later...

GNR(I) D1 Tender.


My first attempt at a brass kit, it's from SSM and I started with the Tender.








A bit heavy on the solder in places but the hardest thing was understanding the instructions.




The main thing is that Tender appears to be running true...relief.

Edited by kirley
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  • 2 weeks later...

They are a bit idiosyncratic.


You should see the ones for the engine portion, though.....


If only they had been re written after the kit was amended and you had a diagram with numbers so you did not have to guess what a part was never mind where it goes.


Progress is slow.



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If only they had been re written after the kit was amended and you had a diagram with numbers ...


Ah....in my engine example, the numbers did not necessarily accord with what was in the instructions, and occasionally didn't get a mention in said instructions!

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  • 3 weeks later...

GNR(I) SG2 locomotive Kit build.


At last the main build is finished.  There's how it went:


























Now for the cleaning, tiding up and washing before applying the primer coat.  




Then it's attach the pickups, wire in the decoder, (clean the wheels I notice) and then test run the locomotive and tender before starting the painting. Still lots to do.

Edited by kirley
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