The Skebawn and Castleknox Light Railway and Tramway

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IrishPeter
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The Skebawn and Castleknox Light Railway and Tramway

Post by IrishPeter » Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:39 am

I am one of the Irish NG crowd and having had my eye caught by the more tramway-like lines such as the Castlederg and Victoria Bridge, the Schull and Skibbereen, and the slightly more "mainline" Cork and Muskerry, I thought I would have a go at reproducing that sort of a line in my yard.  At the moment I have not got much done, but at least the route is decided and there is 75' of mainline to run trains on.  The station area is slowly taking shape, but the winter weather is slowing progress.  My stock is home made with casting bought in from various places, and I am Anglicisng a Ruby to provide the first of the Tramway's motive power.  Anyway, my first picture page is at

http://www.angelfire.com/ca7/ttac/SCLRTphotos.html

Peter in AZ
Last edited by IrishPeter on Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Sir Clothem Cap » Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:08 am

Looking good so far Peter. Keep it up and the railway will look fantastic this summer.

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Post by Pendo Pilot » Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:05 pm

Looks like a good start there fella, look forward to following your progress. It might be worthwhile adding pics & updates to this thread as well so we can easily see whats happening on the line.

BTW I have been to Arizona, not sure how local to where you are but I stopped in Williams for a night. Also visited some mad little town called chloride. Waking up in Williams (after a good night out with the locals) to the sound of US train horns & a hefty freight passing through the town was pretty cool to be fair.
Tommy Dodd may have an ARS key but I have a TASS button & a Rope Ladder, just like pirates, except the TASS button bit.

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Post by IrishPeter » Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:19 pm

Williams, AZ is about 65 miles from us to the northeast, and about a 1000' higher.  They are supposed to be getting about 15" more snow overnight Sat/Sun which will make life interesting on the Santa Fe mainline tonight.  At 5400' we'll probably get less than half of that.

The local narrow gauge line used to be the United Verde and Pacific which linked the Sante Fe, Prescott and Phoenic (Peavine) to the mining town of Jerome.  It was three foot gauge and was replaced by a standard gauge line in the 1920s.  A lot of the old alignment can still be traced and followed in a 4WD as much of it is now Primitive Roads.

I'll put photo updates on my website as the line progresses. At the moment the weather is making it difficult to get out in the yad, but the middle part of next week is looking good, and we now have daylight after work.

Peter in AZ

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Post by IrishPeter » Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:37 am

Being a parson my day off is Monday, so this the prime day for railway stuff.  I thought it was going to be an indoor only day, but the weather was warm and the seven inches of snow we had Saturday night melted quite rapidly.

Today's achievements were:

1. Lay temporary terminal loop at upper end
2. Remove the coupling hooks from one end of all the vehicles fitted with chopper couplings.  This has eliminated derailments due to the two hooks doing the Norwegian fling on the 'S' bends.  Also reduces the amount of growling when trying to uncouple two vehicles.
3. Paint the shell of a four wheeler first class saloon that has been stalled for months
4. Put a paving slab where the station building is going to be so I get into the habit of missing it when catching incoming manual locomotives.
5. Run trains

Not a bad afternoon, all things considered.

Peter in AZ

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Post by Sir Clothem Cap » Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:32 am

sounds like you have the day sorted peter. :D

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Post by Pendo Pilot » Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:23 am

That sounds like a very hectic day off!
I know what you mean regarding chopper couplings. To be honest I ditched all mine & use centre buffer with chain instead. Just prefer it to trying to uncouple choppers in silly places. I still run choppers on my 4 wheel passenger rake but only on the middle couplings of the train as it runs as a fixed rake.

Re- Williams. I never planned to stop there as I was doing a solo holiday & I was just heading to Moab in Utah. After driving through the Arizona plains all day was just surprised when I suddenly entered an area with trees, then the town came into view. I had already turned off the main interstate & onto route 66...Well you have to really don't you! :D
Tommy Dodd may have an ARS key but I have a TASS button & a Rope Ladder, just like pirates, except the TASS button bit.

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Post by IrishPeter » Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:50 am

Got an early finish today, so I did a bit more ballasting on the runround loop I laid yesterday, then spent an hour sorting out the valve events of an ailing Ruby.  She was running much better by the time I had finished.  Did a little bit more to the first class saloon I am working on after dinner.  

I am also on the track (literally) of the cause of a derailment blackspot.  I think it is a combination of a dropped joint, and insufficient wiggle in one set of bogies as it is always the same vehicle in the same spot.  I'll try one approach then the other to see if that is the cure.

Peter in AZ.

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Post by IrishPeter » Sat Mar 19, 2011 4:15 am

Having recovered from the annual paperwork hell hole that is annual reports, etc., I managed to get back to the railway today, though I have been piddling about off and with little jobs.

Task #1 was to buy ballast.  This involved a trip to 'the Dirt Mines' at the north end of town.  It is the sort of place that has homemade signs, a yard full of various sizes and grades of rock and sand, an office in an old shipping container, and a single wide trailer where the proprietor lives.  My sort of establishment!  Several buckets of ballast where duly purchased and transported home in the boot of the car.

Task #2 - Identify the worst spots.  Due to the snow at the end of February both the mainline through the station and the embankment at Hedgehog had taken a battering, as they had only recently been laid before the snow came, and they needed to be packed and levelled.  The previous ballast - decomposed granite - tends to pack down with rain, so I just spread the new stuff over the top and initially tamped with the end of a 2" x 4."  I also gave 'washout alley" a layer of new ballast. I then try to remember to pack it under the rails Irish style so the characteristic 'gutter' between the rails appears.  So far I have only remembered to do this about 10 percent of the time.  This gutter in the middle seems to have been commonest in Munster - where the S&CLR&T is based - and can often be seen in old pics of the Schull and Skibbereen, and some of the minor SG lines.

Task # 3.  The first of my four wheelers was complete enough to give a test run.  It behaved immaculately, though I think I may have to change out the present 31mm wheels in favour of 25mm as it sits a little high.

Not bad for a Friday afternoon - even if I do say so myself!.

Saturday afternoon's piece of fun - after planting some new rose bushes out front - was to extend the embankment a little further in the direction of "Castleknox" i.e. the front yard.  The spoil for this comes from the station site which is being levelled at the other end of the line.  I am seriously contemplating swapping to SVRR track (code 250 rail/30mm sleeper spacing) for this section as it is on an embankment and does not need to be elephant proof.  Visually, the lower rail profile will be more prototypical.  IIRC code 250 is the visual equivalent of 75lb/yard in 1:20.3 scale

Peter in AZ
Traffic Pattern? What pattern? Spuds out; grain in, but cattle, sheep and passengers are a lot less predictable.

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More Photos

Post by IrishPeter » Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:42 am

Here are two more pages of pics from the S&CLR&T showing recent progress.

http://www.angelfire.com/ca7/ttac/SCLRTphotos2.html

and

http://www.angelfire.com/ca7/ttac/SCLRTphotos3.html

Peter in AZ
Traffic Pattern? What pattern? Spuds out; grain in, but cattle, sheep and passengers are a lot less predictable.

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Post by Sir Clothem Cap » Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:55 am

your railway is looking good. I can se a lot of character in the line already.

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Terminus Work

Post by IrishPeter » Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:34 am

Today I had a couple of hours at the end of the afternoon, so I had the opportunity to lay the loop, and the pointwork for the yard.  The only difficult bit was cutting the closure between the loop line and the engine shed points.  The moment when I actually have to start building buildings is fast approaching.

Peter in AZ
Last edited by IrishPeter on Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
Traffic Pattern? What pattern? Spuds out; grain in, but cattle, sheep and passengers are a lot less predictable.

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Post by LMS-Jools » Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:32 am

Nice 8)

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Post by IrishPeter » Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:58 pm

I think when I have the station buildings in position - booking office/waiting room, loco shed, goods shed, etc., the station begin to look like a cross between Castlederg and Schull!  The one facility that I am having difficulty finding a home for is the cattle dock.  It may well end up being installed by the outer end of the station platform.  At least with ground level track floating on ballast making modifications is not too difficult.

As for buildings, I am thinking of using either the marine ply shell, or frame building method.  The frame building technique appeals to me more, as it is closer to the prototype, and my wood-butchering skills are better than my iron strangling.  However it takes a lot of time.  Ever since I discovered the Isle of Man Railway aged 8 in 1977 I have been a sucker for wooden buildings with corrugated iron roofs.  To me that sort of yells Irish/Manx 3-foot gauge, as do coursed rubble buildings with slate or iron roofs.

One major problem for any building on my line is going to be six-legged critters, who seem to find all forms of dead wood an irresistable delicacy.  I keep my ears open for what folks around here recommend as critter deterent!  Most of the good ones I grew up with have been banned by the EPA or the "Elf and Safety" and I am not up to speed on their replacements.  The critter problem was one factor behind the S&CLR&T being a ground level line - less for the little bu99ers to eat!

Peter in AZ
Traffic Pattern? What pattern? Spuds out; grain in, but cattle, sheep and passengers are a lot less predictable.

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Post by IrishPeter » Fri May 20, 2011 7:04 am

Since the last posting the track layout at Skebawn has been completed apart from the cattle dock, and ballasting is well under way.  Facilities at Skebawn will eventually include a loco shed and workshop, carriage shed, good shed and platform, cattle dock, and a smallish passenger station with a half height platform. This reflects the sort of facilities that one would expect at the terminus of a small Irish railway.  I might do a bit for digging and move the loop further north, but that is in the 'wait and see' category right now.  

The works is turning out is first cattle van, which is proving quite complicated.  I may just buy a kit next time!  I think it will be followed by another covered wagon, and a ballast wagon.  I also need to build another bogie carriage - probably a composite companion to the T&D third-brake I built a couple of months ago. After all, I have a spare set of bogies kicking around. I also managed to get the bogie ballast wagon back into service courtesy of a bogie transplant.

Today's work was touching up the ballast and taking care of the holes dug by one of the resident terriers.  I also raised the line a little bit at Hedgehog to give trains a better run at the big hill up to Skebawn. The next section of track laying will take me through to 'halfway house' and Castleknox station, which wil be a simple loop and a siding.

I am now thinking about a bolt together tram locomotive body to hide a Ruby. The sketches so far look a lot like the original bicabine Tralee and Dingle No.4, though my version may end up a 2-4-2 rather than a 0-4-2 to reduce the front overhang, which in the drawings seems excessive.  However, I will probably try it as an 0-4-0 first to see how it rides and then add the carrying axles if needed.  After all, with tramway skirts you cannot really see the running gear.

Cheers,
Peter in AZ
Traffic Pattern? What pattern? Spuds out; grain in, but cattle, sheep and passengers are a lot less predictable.

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