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Mayner

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About Mayner

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  • Biography
    Born Dublin, lived most of my life in Dublin and the UK. One time builder, moved to New Zealand several years ago. One time WHHR Volunteer Portmadoc, track ganger, diesel loco driver and bulldozer driver, plant operator, now an Armchair

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    Hamilton, New Zealand

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    My family, solving problems, anything to do with railways, travel, blues, rock, jazz, stirring thing

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  • Occupation
    Fun Police
  1. Bantry Town Station c 1950's

    The West Cork an interesting choice for a club in deepest Linconshire. Is MikeC building some locos & stock to run on it?
  2. An interesting weekend

    I had a very interesting weekend well Saturday anyway touring layouts at an informal American Railroaders convention in Auckland. We visited four layouts including our hosts N gauge. Second: A double and treble deck GNR layout in a converted double garage. The government owned NZR was very slow in completing rail links in Northland ferry sailings on Kaipara Harbour ceasing in the late 1940s when Dargaville was finally connected to the national network. Finally: How many modellers can fit into an isle on a classical multi-level American layout? [attachment=:name] Built on the ground floor of a split level house it almost qualifies as the classical American basement empire, while scenery is reasonably complete in the main area, the layout has extended into an adjoining workshop and into the area underneath a raised deck. Track is mainly handlaid. Smoothness of running without lurching through pointwork without hesitation or lurching was the most noticeable contrast between the two HO and the NZR layout thanks to matched NMRA track and wheel standards, in contrast to the Peco Universal points and wheels made to different manufacturers standards. The tour gave me a lot to think about including whether to build an American N gauge or Irish Narrow gauge layout in the garden shed as the space available is tight for a realistic Irish broad gauge layout in 21mm or 00.
  3. Layout Planning North Kerry Fenit the end of the line?

    Definitely worth a field trip to West Cork apart from lifting the track very little seems to have changed since the track was lifted in the 1960s. http://eiretrains.com/Photo_Gallery/Railway%20Stations%20C/Courtmacsherry/IrishRailwayStations.html. There are some very atmospheric photos of the line in Ernie Shepherds CBSCR book. The branch is probably the nearest thing in Ireland to lines like the KSER, Mid Suffolk & Tanat Valley corrugated iron buildings very light construction. Courtmacsharry would make an attractive model with the main street as a backdrop, single slighty curved platform road, run round, two sidings one to pier, loco shed, small goods shed. Timoleague station curving layout squeezed in between the Abbey and town, seems to have been the operating hub of the line, cattle bank, carriage, loco shed/workshop on down side, single platform goods yard on up town side of line. The station site is now a car park. Colour photos of T&C in both editions Irish Railways in Colour Steam to Diesel Tom Ferris (Midland Publishing) incl. brand new C Class at Timoleague on excursion, J26 on beet working late 50s including a great shot of Timoleague yard full of wagons and trucks transferring beet.
  4. After the show and what next?

    It seems to be more co-incidence than anything else that Tyrconnel and myself started work on a G2 luckily we work in two different scales. Though Tyrconnel range is becoming increasingly tempting as I am searching for a 14BA nut and a crankpin bush that fell on the carpet. A G2 would be a very tight fit on your turntable 47' 1½" over buffers 34' 8¼ engine and tender wheelbase. The Midland/GSR would have probably used a Standard Goods J18/19 or possibly a H Class J6 for long distance coal traffic with a J26 or possibly the ex Fenit Hunslet 0-6-0ST 299 for the Arigna Valley shunt. The GSR used J15s sometimes with the leading rods removed on sharply curved Castlecomer Branch which served Deerpark mine in the Leinster coalfield.
  5. After an almost classic tailchaser with Patrickswell I looked at Fenit as a sleepy branch line terminus. I initially looked at including Spa with its beet siding and treating the Harbour Commissioners line as part of the hidden staging, but eventually decided to omit Spa and include a representation of the pier and its railway. [attachment=:name] The layout is a lot more challenging in terms of trackwork and operation compared to Patrickswell, with little in the way of structures, the footbridge and lifeboat station weer the most prominent structures on the mainland & a rather plain looking warehouse on the quay. The backscene would be a challenge a panorama including the Dingle Peninsula and Tralee Bay. The layout is essentially a scenic shunting plank, with operation mainly around shunting wagons between the station yard and the Pier. Traditionally small tank locos were used for shunting the pier, the Harbour Commissioners bought Hunslet industrial saddle tank which was passed on to the GSWR as 299, an ex MGWR J26 from the Waterford & Tramore was the last steam loco used until replaced by G & D Class diesels. The small rail mounted steam cranes used into the 70s were probably the most distinctive part of the operation and a challenge to model. Locos and stock used seems to have been mainly restricted to standard small GSWR types in steam days, there is a photo of a J15 with a train of 6 wheel coaches in a photo before passenger services were withdrawn in 1934. CIE provided seaside trains on Summer Sundays running the Sunday Tralee service through to Fenit. Traffic from the harbour mainly appears to have been spasmodic coal and timber for Tralee and presumably other destinations in Kerry. The harbour struggled financially, the Pier was closed to commercial traffic during much of the 1949s & 50s due to structural problems with the causeway which connects the pier with the main land. The final traffic on the Fenit branch and Western end of the North Kerry was sugar beet from Fenit, Spa, Ardfert and Abbeydorney to the Tuam factory during the 1977 campaign. For a modeller starting in 21mm gauge the Murphy Models B141 and DC Kits G Class with a 28:1 Blackbeetle Motor bogie would be a good option to get things running before venturing into kit or scratchbuilding.
  6. The main purpose of the planning exercise was to see if it was feasible to fit an American style walk around design layout inside an 11'x17'6" garage. The idea definitely seems feasible in N and just about possible in OO though probably better off in American N or HOn3 given the amount of rolling stock building required for an Irish layout of this nature. In 21mm gauge it seems to be basically own to a simple through station on a continuous run or a U or L shaped terminus to fiddle yard effort, the larger radius curves required by the finer scale standards basically eat up space. It is sometimes said that it is easier to build a double than a single track layout in a small space, I have slightly modified Patrickwell as an example of a small but operationally interesting station for a continuous run layout in 21mm gauge. [attachment=:name] The station was on a gentle curve in a plain but visually attractive setting with a natural viewing point from the south with the station building and signal cabin in the background. Patrickswell was the junction between two single lines where the line to Croom and Charleville (The Cork Limerick Direct) diverged from the North Kerry. The two single lines ran side by side westwards from the station for approximately on mile giving the impression of double track, at the eastern end of the station a headshunt to the goods yard trailed back on the up side towards Limerick also giving the impression of a double line. The track layout was extremely simple with 3 points a crossover between the Croom line and The North Kerry and a siding trailing back from the headshunt to a loading bank, in later years the home of a crippled CIE brake van and an ex GNR covered goods wagon. In GSWR days the signal cabin was on the South side of the line opposite the junction crossovers, but replaced with a standard GSR concrete hipped roofed cabin further west on the platform following Civil War damage. At some stage a second crossover existed which allowed trains from the Croom line to run directly to the headshunt and the goods yard also had a second siding. These appear to have been lifted at some stage before the Croom line closed in 1967. Although simple a layout based on Patrickswell could be interesting to operate mainly for through train operation than shunting, with trains operating along the single line from Limerick in prototype fashion before diverging onto the North Kerry or Croom lines or even using the double crossovers to allow double line operation between Limerick and Patrickswell or watching trains go round on a double line. In the diesel era the Croom line was an important freight link between Cork and Limerick for a regular overnight goods and cement specials until Limerick Junction was re-modelled in 67, Patrickswell seems to have been busy as a block post and used for crossing oil and mineral trains during the Foynes freight boom era of the 60s 70s closing in 87. Although no loop was provided the layout was signalled to allow trains from Limerick to run directly onto the stub of the Croom line or from Ballingarne onto the headshunt at the Limerick end. The first train to arrive would presumably do the shunt, with the second running through. Modelling the steam era would involve a lot of scratch or kit building the SSM GSWR 101, 6w coaches and whitemetal wagons would be a good start, the pre-amalgamation era has developed something of a cult following in the UK with Paul Greenes S Scale GSWR layout and the WLWR in 7mm with Richard Chowns Castlerackrent system and David Walkers Killanney. A pre-amalgamation Patrickswell with GSWR green locos and purple lake coaching stock contrasting with WLWR Crimson Lake and well maintained infrastructure, would make an interesting contrast with contemporary gritty reality of modelling. The final instalment of the saga will look at a number of options for a model based on Fenit hopefully including the pier line possibly with a little touch of Torpoint or Craig.
  7. Layout Planning North Kerry in OO

    The plan as dawn just about works in OO with a minimum radius of 2', but would work/look better in a larger space. In 21mm gauge a larger minimum radius of around 3'6" would restrict me to a conventional around the wall scheme with an oval or folded or the traditional U shaped terminus fiddle yard scheme. Keeping the width of the baseboard down to 1'6"-2' can be advantage in an around the wall scheme, making the layout look longer and more circulating space for operators/visitors. I have an 8X4 work bench in the middle of the layout room. One around the room layout I have visited is an O Gauge mountain railway with basically an oval with floor to ceiling scenery another HO American marshalling yard with a branch line serving several industries. both with a large circulating space in the middle
  8. Layout Planning North Kerry in OO

    I drew this one up mainly to see if it was possible to fit OO gauge E shaped block plan into a single car garage, rather than a more traditional around the walls effort. It just about fits in with a reasonable aisle width by reducing the minimum radius on the turn back section on the peninsula section to 2' radius. The scheme is just about workable in OO though would look a lot better visually in a wider room or in N or perhaps American or Continental narrow gauge in either HOn3 or HOm. This time I have included one medium and two small stations on the section between Barnagh and Abbeyfeale with staging on one side of the room. It might be worth designing the staging as two side, by side yards representing Careys Road & Tralee with a linking track to allow through running. Each yard would have its own run round and spurs for storing locos to allow for a more interesting timetable operation than tail chasing. Ideally Barnagh should be modelled as a summit section rather than on a flat baseboard with trains climbing from Abbeyfeale and the Limerick end of the staging. I have been getting to grips with Templot a track template design software for a small EM layout before I try my hand at serious planning for a broad gauge layout. John
  9. Layout Planning North Kerry in N?

    I had thought of designing/building a double deck layout, but did not work in as the mainly because you would need scaffold or a raised platform to operate the upper level as the layout is built on storage units 4' above the floor. I switched Abbeydorney around to maximise the length of run between Listowel and Abbeydorney and reduce the length of the hidden run from the Tralee end of the storage yard to Abbeydorney. In the plant the line from Tralee crosses over the Listowel-Abbeydorney to re-create the summit section near Ardfert and Eastbound falling grade into Abbeydorney at the expense of leaving most of the Abbeydorney-Listowel section hidden and loosing Lixnaw & the Tar siding. Abandoning the long hidden sections and using turnbacks at either end would be very interesting and challenging for lads who enjoy tail chasers. John
  10. Layout Planning North Kerry in N?

    Although I have tried to be faithful to modelling Irish railways mainly GSR & CIE in 4mm scale, I had various flings with British, American and even freelance modelling in scale and had a long and sometimes stormy relationship with N American gauge. I first tried N in the late 70s frustrated at trying to fit a OO gauge layout into a box room and even more so with my efforts to kitbash and scratchbuild Irish stock. A nice scenic N gauge layout with repainted or slightly modified rtr stock seemed a good idea and I even ended up with a reasonable U shaped shelf layout around the walls of my teenage bedroom with stations based on Ardfert and Foynes. The layout was scrapped following a house move, in the late 80s I seriously caught the American modelling bug while living in the UK and built up a collection of American N gauge locos and stock to get something running quickly while I tackled kit building and modifying Irish 4mm stock. Having a 17 X11 space available I thought I would look at a N gauge North Kerry layout based on American “walk around” principals. Typical American style operation involves operators walking around with their trains crossing opposing trains and switching sidings and industries. Movements are usually controlled by a dispatcher or train controller sometimes in another room using radio or telephone communication, rather than a signal man at each block post typical of traditional UK & Irish operation. I though it would be interesting to see if I could fit in an E shaped baseboard arrangement in combination with a looped 8 arrangement to achieve a maximum length of run. Given the available space I have planned for a minimum isle width of 700mm. The main idea is to slow down the operation by a combination of maximising the milage between stations and operating the railway in accordance with the rule book. Visually the layout keeps to the idea of “sincere” design with only a single main line visible in most scenes with a view blocker down the middle of the peninsula and curved backscenes and layout fascias. The Limerick & North Kerry section of the line between Barnagh and Abbeydorney appeared to be the best choice to model a section of the line in station order with two medium sized and two small but interesting stations. [attachment=:name] The main potential drawback of the design is the length of hidden trackage and the use of hidden staging is more suitable for fixed formation train workings rather than traditional loose formation passenger and goods trains. The goods loop at Barnagh was mainly used as a refuge to for the crossing of goods trains and to allow shunting to take place clear of the main line. Baragh was also a cumpulsary stop for pinning down the handbrakes of loose coupled goods trains before descending the bank to Abbeyfeale or Newcastle slowing down the pace of operation. I have squeezed in both Abbeyfeale and Listowel on the peninsula both stations are long and narrow and seem to have been reasonably busy with freight up to the early 70s. Up to the ending of through freight operation, goods traffic seems to have mainly between Listowel and intermediate stations to Limerick with lighter traffic westwards towards Tralee, with Listowel, Newcastle and Abbeyfeale most important in terms of traffic. In GSR days Abbeyfeale was the terminus of a mid afternoon passenger working from Limerick and the terminus of a three times weekly pick-up goods from Tralee after the line over Barnagh closed to regular traffic. The distance between Abbeyfeale and Listowel could be extended by stopping a train in section between the two stations. Listowel was the most important intermediate station on the Western part of the line and one time junction with the Listowel and Ballybunnion monorail for someone wanting an extreme challenge. Shunting both station could be quite involved with in each one long siding used for all goods traffic. While the yard was not modernised as part of Railplan 80 block fertiliser trains operated from Tralee to Listowel and forklifts would have been used for unloading. Although regular passenger traffic was light and ended in 1963 specials operated for the Listowel Races, Knock specials and other events into the early 70s. I have included Abbeydorney as I griced the station in 78, it was the terminus for beet train operation in the lines final year and used as the run round for Westbound traffic from Ardfert which did not have a run round loop. It might be possible to squeeze in a siding between Abbeydorney and Listowel to handle the tar traffic for the Kerry County Council depot at Lixnaw. In order to maximise the length of run the main line is essentially a combination of the folded figure of 8 and dogbone, with a flyover arrangement with the line between the Tralee end of the hidden staging and Abbeydorney crossing over the Abbeydorney-Listowel section rather than by a grade crossing more typical of the American Mid West While there are no rtr Irish N scale models reasonable 3D printed A, C & 141 diesels typically used on the north are available through Shapeways. The models appear to be designed to fit on the excellent Lifelike EMD Switcher and SD9 chassis, repainted BR Graham Farish or Peco rolling stock would pass muster for passenger and goods trains, personally I use Microtrains (Kadee) couplers in preference to the typical Rapido N gauge coupler though the conversion may be something of a mission given the size and amount of goods stock needed for a layout of this nature. At this stage I am not sure whether or not I would opt to model an Irish railway in N, working in 21mm gauge a less ambitious scheme possible a small portable layout may be more realistic, though its mighty tempting to dust off the American N Gauge and use the basic layout plan for a railroad into some County in a remote part of upstate New York or New England with mill towns and lake resorts called Abbeyfeale and Listowel..
  11. Conventions Vs Exhibitions

    I used to enjoy the NMRA meets visiting Scaleforum & EXPO EM while living in the UK. The NMRA meets used to be more of a bun fight for the latest kits & rtr while the finescale expos were more about modelling. From an operators perspective the layout tours was a lot less hassle than running an exhibition layout, with a steady of visitors arriving every half hour and more of an emphasis on answering questions keeping something running. The large scale stuff performed faultlessly despite changing between battery RC live steam and RC DCC, the Irish 4mm narrow gauge locos and stock was equally reliable though the Tillig points in the fiddle yard need replacing. The second photo is 12" to 1' Scale the top end of Pukemiro Junction one of my favourite places though some 9 & 3/16 Scale NZR modellers come close in modelling native bush and typical NZ street scenes and archiceture
  12. Conventions Vs Exhibitions

    The tendency for modellers to organise conventions rather than exhibitions is probably the greatest difference in the way the hobby is organised between the UK and Ireland on one hand and North America, Australasia. The local model railway clubs hosted this years National Convention over 180 delegates attended with American guest speaker Lance Mindheim http://www.shelflayouts.com/, together with workshops and clinics on various aspects of railway modelling including layout planning, operation, scenery, 3D design, and the old stalwarts of scratch and kit building in styrene and metal. Along with demonstration layouts, numerous trade stands the highlights of the convention included a modelling competition with a special section for the local fauna and bird life. . Curiously Irish railway modelling got a look in I volunteered my American-ish garden railway to represent large scale modelling, and with Keadue my Cavan & Leitrim layout moved out to the garage in case the weather broke. The forecast for the weekend was bad with a storm hitting on Wednesday evening finally clearing around dusk on Thursday followed by a frantic track clearing session removing a dustbin load of palm fronds and fallen branches. Friday turned out good with guest operators running steam and on board battery power while I acted as tour guide. Sunday was challenging running a combination of battery and DCC outside between the squalls and running a tour of the workshop and demonstrating Keadue. In all we had something like 150 people view the garden and workshop. Somehow or other I felt going back to work on Tuesday very relaxing
  13. As we have looked at most of the main line stations on the North Kerry, I thought we might as well look at the North Kerry Yard in Tralee and the Fenit branch, both were important in terms of beet traffic and the North Kerry yard continued to handle keg and container traffic after the main line closed. The GSWR and the North Kerry originally had separate stations on either side of Edward Street the connecting line and level crossing was a late addition, the North Kerry station closed several years after the GSWR absorbed the WLWR. Apart from the ESSO sidings and the private siding into the mill there seems to have been little change since WLWR days. The WLWR engine shed and turntable appears to have been on the north side of the line on the western side of Edward Street. There appears to have been a large goods shed on the loading bank that was later used for loading sugar beet traffic a 16t gantry was installed for container traffic in the 1960s. I griced the year with my brand new Instamatic camera in 77or 78. Rock Street cabin was still manned although traffic to Fenit and Listowel had ceased. A couple of flat wagons with keg containers and a CIE Insulated container were positioned on the gantry road, a large number of H wagons were placed on the sidings on either side of the running road and loop. Interestingly a couple of wagons were on the mill siding. I checked out Fenit, Ardfert and Abbeydorney the following day, when got back the yard was largely clear of wagons. Heuston-Tralee was the last freight service to go over to Liner Train operation in 79 or 80. A coupling broke on the last loose coupled goods out of Heuston with most of the train running away down the Gullet into the passenger station. [attachment=:name] The Fenit branch was sponsored and built by Tralee interests as an alternative to the Ship Canal, before the opening of the Leibherr crane factory the port was never very successful depending on coal and timber traffic for local merchants. The port struggled to raise capital to maintain or renew infrastructure, the port closed to commercial traffic due to structural problems with the pier causeway and was famous in the 60s for using steam cranes to load Leibherr Tower Cranes for export. The line was originally worked by the W&L using a contractors tank loco that was re-gauged from standard gauge, the Harbour Commissioners later bought a standard Hunslet industrial 0-6-0ST which became GSWR 299 which was later used on the Cork Harbour sidings and the Timoleague & Courtmacsharry in West Cork. CIE looked at using 299 or No90 or 100 but used an ex MGWR 0-6-0T 560 surplus from the Waterford & Tramore. 560 was used up to 1963 after which a G611 or E401 was used from Tralee. The G appears to have been used to move cuts of wagons between the pier and station for collection by a C Class or other loco sent from Tralee. Rail traffic from the pier seems to have got sparse the last train is said to have been for a ship load of starch diverted from another port in the early 70s. The line seems to have been busiest for beet with most of the traffic from Spa the wagons would have had to be brought to Fenit to run round. The buildings at Fenit appear to have been similar to Ardfert and other smaller North Kerry Stations, the station building appears to have been demolished following the end of regular passenger services, the goods shed later demolished to extend the beet loading bank. The loco shed and turntable had gone by the 1970s, but the footbridge with very attractive stonework and the base of the water tank survives. Fenit was famous for its self propelled steam cranes which were used into the mid 1960s, I am not sure if they were capable of moving wagons, but one of the photos in A J O'Rourkes North Kerry book shows a crane parked at the end of the platform road by the buffer stops with a number positioned on the pier. The pier would make an interesting tabeau especially with a small tank loco or a G and a couple of self propelled cranes scuttling about. Perhaps the Jordan Steam Shovel (rigged as a crane) on a Black Beetle motor bogie.
  14. I am not sure how I missed that one, the yard would have been very difficult to shunt without the second crossover.
  15. What to do with old loco kits.

    There was an article on the layout in the Railway Modeller 72 or 73. Although there were a couple of scratch built locos by Harry Connaugton including a GNR compound, a number of locos ran on Triang-Hornby L1 & Jinty chassis, The layout was converted to automatic operation displayed at Shannon Airport for a year or so and ran for about 6 months in the Kilkenny shop durinng he late 70s
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