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Keadue a C&L might have been

John M

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Bringing the saga a bit more up to date. I volunteered my G gauge garden railway the Jackson County narrow Gauge as one of the layout tours at the National Model Railway Convention over the Easter Weekend. The weather forecast was pretty grim and Keadue was temporarily resited to the workshop as a backstop to give visitors something to look at when the rain was teaming down.


We had approximately 180 visitors over two days and generally managed to keep our visitors entertained and trains running.


The temporary move to the workshop was also an opportunity to sort out a number of areas that required attention in particular wiring and control to the loco shed area and to ease a tight-spot on the curve from the reserved to the roadside tramway section.




P.W. crew broke the road just West of the L2 level crossing and lifted the track back towards the station.




Four weeks later the track was reinstated the curved eased with bogie engines less likely to stick on the curve.post-7338-0-00934100-1406157388.jpg


In practice bogie sideplay on the two C&L 4-4-0T was restricted and these locos occasionally stuck on the curve. 8T had been modified with a model railway style swing link, but like the Crew bogies the trailing wheel thread sometimes arced on the back off the coupling rod/cross head pivot pin. Running is now a lot better though 2L needs to be brought in line with 8L with a new bogie pivot and 80:1 gearing to control her hare like tendencies.




The Arigna-Sligo mixed also got "new" passenger accommodation in the form of a pair of ex-West Clare-nee Tralee and Dingle coaches. Most of the T&D stock went to the West Clare to replace its 6 wheel compartment stock and was in turn replaced by railcars. An ex T&D coach and a van was transferred to the C&L for use on the main line, a second set appears to have turned up at Keadue to replace a pair of coaches "borrowed" from the Clogher Valley.




The coach appears to be an ex T&D Bristol coach which seems to have ended up in a builders yard in Callan only to be discovered by preservationists and returned to the present day C&L in the early 1990s




The van is similar or the same van rebuilt in Limerick for use on the C&L in the 1950s, which h went West to New Jersey with 3L following closure of the system in 1959.


The coach is one of my first narrow gauge models built from a Branchlines kit in the early 1990s the van is by Backwoods Miniatures of a similar vintage. Apart from Kadee HOn3 couplings glazing, a floor and longitudinal seating the coach is basically as built.


The most significant change is not readily visible, after thoughts of converting to DCC, I completed the wiring based on 'linked section control" from a 1970s MR article by Stewart Hine using the DPDT switch on Blue Point actuators to switch power between controllers without the need of section switches. A couple of fascia mounted switches are used to provide isolation in the area around the loco shed and on the carriage shed road.


Basically two hand held controllers are provided one for the mail line the second for the loco shed, loop and goods yard. Reversing the crossover from the main line to the loop allows a train to arrive or depart from the yard under the control of the main line controller.


I had fitted the two Dingle locos with decoders, but DCC operation had proved erratic compared with analogue possibly as a result of poor pick up and the 80:1 gearing of these locomotives, considerable work was also required in modifying the existing Bemo points to DCC friendly and problems in carving out sufficient space in small brass locos to fit a decoder.

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Just a few photos of the control arrangements, DIN sockets for train controllers, isolating switches for the loco yard & turntable operating wheel on the fascia.




Blue Point actuators one pole of the DPDT switch is used for switching frog polarity, the second used for switching between the main line and yard controller.




I am looking at using a similar system based on Tortoise point motors for power switching and signal interlocking on a broad gauge layout when I eventually get round to it.



The other major improvement was finally getting around to lettering the wagon stock after nearly 18 years Studio Scale Models prepared a custom sheet of solid flying snails and numerals as used on the C&L as opposed to the stencilled logos and numberals used on broad gauge freight stock.




The carriage shed received an undercoat of red oxide to stop it falling down, but someone removed it before P. B Whitehouse and the film crew arrived to film the goods and light engine crossing.





This area need working up in terms of fencing and ground cover/vegetation as it looks a tad dry and burnt off for the North West of Ireland

Edited by John M
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  • 2 years later...

Keadue has been going through something of a hiatus over the last few years as I concentrated more on other modelling projects. The situation wasn't helped when we used the room where the layout lives as a bedroom for one of our kittens, fortunately without serious damage.


One of my new years resolutions was to  finishing un-finished projects/models before starting an new projects. 




I carried out some detailing around the platform including stations signs to tease the few remaining passengers with holidays in Bray, CIE bus tours and the new broad gauge diesel trains. Found some suitable posters on Pinterest.




Managed to find the ground frame that was mislaid when we moved the layout from the house to the garden shed.

The ground frame was fabricated from left over bits from a Dart Castings signal box interior kit.


Buffer stop fabricated from wooden sleepers I had machined about 5 years ago for a broad gauge layout.


The carriage shed had a coat of paint, but needs to be distressed to look like it had no maintenance in 20 or so years




The Clean Machine is sitting on bogies of my own design, but sits a little high to be effective as a cleaner


I am planning a re-jig of the scenic section, the curve from the station around to the roadside section still gives trouble with the C&L 4-4-0 locos and the Tillig points in the storage yard are less reliable than the Bemo pointwork in the station yard. I am thinking of modelling one of the crossing keeper/halt buildings on a wider baseboard to provide a view blocker for the fiddle yard.

Edited by John M
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One of my new years resolutions was to  finishing un-finished projects/models before starting an new projects. 


Oo that sounds horribly familiar!


All looking nice John, and glad to hear there has been progress and development.

Your Clean Machine looks like some sort of weird experimental loco design, can you make a feature of it?


All the best,


Edited by DLT
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  • 10 months later...

The other major improvement was finally getting around to lettering the wagon stock after nearly 18 years Studio Scale Models prepared a custom sheet of solid flying snails and numerals as used on the C&L as opposed to the stencilled logos and numberals used on broad gauge freight stock.




Firstly I would like to ask if there are any developments on Keadue to show, I for one would like to see. It's a thread I have always enjoyed, especially as I keep dithering around a similar project myself.

Also a more specific question. The custom transfers that SSM did for you - did that include the tare and 'to carry' lettering as well as numbers and 'L' suffix?. The 'to carry' especially seems hard to find elsewhere - I must see if SSM will still produce such a sheet.

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Keadue has being going through one of it periods of hibernation during the past year, the layout which I started in 2004 tends to be a fall back from other modeling projects. I am thinking of re-building the scenic section on a slightly wider base board at some stage, both to ease the curve from Keadue station onto the roadside section (which is still problematic for the C&L 4-4-0Ts) and to include a model of Ballyduff or Kiltubrid crossing keepers house as a view blocker for the fiddle yard.


The C&L decals prepared for me by SSM included running numbers, tare and "carry decals".


SSM have produced custom decals for me for broad gauge locos and rolling stock including the JM Design Tin Vans, I usually specify number/letter size and specific vehicle numbers rather than trying to line up individual letters/numbers.


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Thank you.

I'll drop SSM an email, I wonder if they still have the art-work used for your transfers.


I really like Keadue so I don't want to sound hyper-critical, but isn't the cat slightly over-scale?

Beeze seems to be made of black matter and gets over-scaler :scratchhead:by the day. He had been very good at patrolling the line without de-railing or disturbing anything until the goods shed took a tumble to the floor, but he is getting so heavy that he is putting a strian on the supporting structure

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 6 months later...

Keadue is going through one of its occasional revivals since Beeze found new quarters. The layout has had a clean, buildings, signals and trees replanted, turntable and T&D engines serviced and even ran a couple of operating sessions. Immediate priorities are to improve the running on the C&L locos, increase adhesion weight/improve balance on 8L to improve pick up, replace gearbox on 2L either a Branchlines Slimline to match the other steam locos or a High Level Slimliner+, more long term prioritoes are to add a second fiddle yard to enable through running and complete fencing the line! Motive power wise I have two County Donegal railcar to overhaul/rebuild and a CVR tram loco and van to build to go with my two Branchlines coaches.


Trying to get to grips with digital SLR settings since I gave up my iPhone experimenting with Av and Manual settings time exposure on tripod.





3T arrives with a laden coal special.




8L & 2L on shed, 3T with mixed in distance, both home and starting signals off for section  :O

3T & mixed in section!


General view of station & goods yard.


2L with empty coal train


Edited by John M
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  • 1 year later...

Keadue goes broad gauge!


I haven't done anything on the layout in over a year, too busy designing kits and playing with a large scale garden railway, though Keadue is still makes a nice backdrop for photos of models!


Returning to the narrow gauge I am planning to fit No2 with a Branchlines Slimline gearbox surplus from the rebuild of a broad gauge loco and to add a lighting pelmet to improve the presentation of the layout.



Not quite a works photo of Aurora 34 posing as Arrow after a mix up at the photo engravers. I found that the simplest way of re-producing the polished brass MGWR loco numbers was to produce a splasher/sandbox overlay. Name and makers plate to be added during final detailing on completion of paintwork.



GSR Y boilered 650 Class, more cleaning up required of solder securing tender axlebox and springs. The design of this version of the class was challenging as drawings of the re-built locos are unavailable, the kit design was based on a combination of known dimensions and a broadside photograph of a rebuilt loco.

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