One of the delights of the interwebnet is that it throws up a huge amount of unexplained “stuff”. One such is the picture above which was simply captioned Carlisle Pier. Now fbb has done a bit of work in a past life for Cumbria council which necessitated spending some time in Carlisle. There is Carlisle …

… and the blue bit is the dog end of Solway Firth but sadly lacking in a port!

fbb should have guessed from the diesel loco at the head of the train but he wasn’t 100% sure. But reference to the interwebnet provided this …

… a short branch off the Dublin and Kingstown Railway. Oddly this line even had an atmospheric section whereby vehicles were pulled by a plunger in a pipe.

Despite the adoring top hats, the technology was a failure and eventually the real railway continued south from Kingstown.

Later Kingstown was renamed Dun Leary and then Dun Laoghaire (still pronounced Dun Leary). Lord Carlisle built (probably paid some lads to do it) a pier where mailboats could dock serving the rest of Britain.

Facilities were basic at first but were later improved – a bit!

Ultimately the pier was expanded and a “proper” terminal building added, next to which our puzzle train was standing.

Really the “pier” branch was little moe than a siding off the former Kingstown railway.

Soon came the onslaught of the motor car and thr arrival of roll-on-roll-off ferries with lifting bows …

… and then, inevitably, the closure of the mini branch and the massive expansion of vehicular traffic.

Now even the fine terminal building has gone and a large parking and waiting area remains.

Bit, if you know where to look (it’s behind this digger) …

… you can find where the Carlisle Pier branch emerged from the “main line”, as below, without the digger.

The station that remains, much modernised …

… is called Dun Laoghaire Mallin.

It’s in there somewhere!

Now That’s What You Call A Rail Bus!

It looks like a three- wheeler but isn’t. The back axle is substantially more narrow than the front. That may be because of what happens to it when it gets to a railway station having bussed along roads to get there.

It drives onto rail bogies.

The Schienen-Straßen-Omnibus (introduced by Deutsche Bahn in 1951) was equipped according to the regulations of rail traffic. It had doors on both sides, a train-compatible brake that acted on the track wagons, a safety drive circuit, and an emergency brake. To operate on railroad tracks, the bus was placed on two two-axle bases called “track wagons”, and was outfitted with two hydraulic lifts, which served to lift the front and rear of the vehicles onto the track wagons and take them off. In front of the front axle and behind the rear axle was a bearing for the trolley pivot. A grooved track at street level was required for the positioning. While in rail mode, the front axle was completely raised off the ground, and the yires of the rear wheels were seated on the rails to provide drive. During the change to and from the track wagons, the passengers remained on the bus.

It seemed a good idea at the time.
We did have something similar in the UK. The idea did not catch on!

A Coach for Just Over £50!
Why would fbb be so profligate as to spend such a huge sum on one very ordinary OO railway coach. One reason is the leap in detail and quality.

Of course, by today’s inflated standards (both in monetary terms and detailing quality) the coach is not terribly expensive.

Hornby’s RRP (discounted by some retailers) for a Mark 4 coach is £45 plus postage. fbb;s purchase was £55 postage included; effectively just £5 more than the plainer  LNER carriage.
fbb has started exploring his purchase and here is some of the detail, snapped by a phone camera in poor lighting conditions.
Bogie detail:-

Paintwork and printed detail:-

Separately fitted door furniture:-

Lettering on the chassis frame:-

Real “frosted” glazing – not paint:-

And there’s more to tell, which will follow tomorrow. Also tomorrow, fbb will contrast and compare with a similar sized coach first produced in 1962 and upgraded several times since. Does it match the Dapol “toplight”.

And there’s the technical detail as well.
This is an A1 (or A1X)  loco known affectionately as a Terrier.

Next is an N gauge terrier manufactured by Dapol.

It will cost you about £86.

And an OO gauge Terrier, also from Dapol?

Dapol also manufacture a range of O gauge Terriers. And Rails of Sheffield has a special offer at the moment.

Bonkers 2

LNER (state run) is having a consultation.

So East Coast Main Line competitor with a silly name, Lumo (First Rail), sees a way of making a fast buck.

How we love the privatised and/or nationalised railway!

 Next Variety blog : Sunday 3rd March 
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