Irish Railway Models, a new and innovative Model Railway Company specialising in Irish outline 4mm scale products, has teamed up with David Jones of DJ Models fame to bring Irish modellers what they’ve been demanding for many years; quality freight rolling stock to compliment the excellent range of Irish outline RTR locomotives.
The first release will be the humble CIE/Irish Rail two-axle ballast/mineral hopper, with the prototype having already been surveyed by David Jones and our design consultant at North Wall freight yard in Dublin earlier this year. The project is now at second CAD stage with corrections still to be made before tooling is cut. The wagons will be manufactured in China and will feature all the high quality detail, finish, and accuracy modellers have come to expect from the ready-to-run market over the past decade. It will be built to scale but will run on OO gauge wheel sets as per Irish RTR locomotives currently available. It will be 21mm gauge-friendly with easy conversion possible.
Irish Railway Models (www.irishrailwaymodels.com) was born out of the Irish Railway Modeller forum (www.irishrailwaymodeller.com) and consists of four members who are looking to satisfy the constant demand Irish modellers have for high quality and accurate Irish outline wagons. The project is headed up by Stephen McCarron, owner of the forum, and is supported by Fran Burke, Patrick Conboy, and Richard O’Hanrahan. All four members of the company are undertaking the task in their free time and won’t make any money out of the project.
The ballast wagon will be sold in packs of three directly from the Irish Railway Models website only and each pack will retail for the competitive price of 110 euro. The direct selling approach has been adopted to keep the price at a minimum for customers and the small profit made will be sunk into the next project undertaken by the company; The CIE/Irish Rail two-axle bulk cement ‘bubble’ wagon. It is also hoped that Irish Railway Models will expand into other projects such as locomotives in the future, but it can only happen if the hopper wagon starter project is a successful seller. Packs can be bought outright but there is also an installment scheme available for modellers on tighter budgets.
The model will be based on a batch of wagons built by CIE/Whessoe Ltd. that features a 12’0 wheelbase and measures 20′ over headstocks. They were built in batches between 1969 and 1977 and were used on a variety of traffic until just a few years ago. The specification for the wagon includes:
- NEM coupling housing
- RP25.110 darkened profile wheel sets with 14.4mm back to backs, and 26mm over pin points.
- Etched steel factory-fitted parts
- Extra fine factory-fitted detail plastic parts
- DJModels ‘Quick Load’ ballast load
- Individual lettering from real wagons for authenticity
Speaking about the launch of the new enterprise, Stephen McCarron said: “I’m excited to be heading up a new company which will specialize in bringing highly-detailed, excellent quality ready-to-run Irish outline models to market. We’ve been spoiled in recent times with exquisite Irish locomotives and coaches and we are now working to provide iconic Irish wagons which are unique to our modelling scene.”
David Jones of DJ Models is also delighted to be branching out into the Irish outline market: “I’m delighted to have been commissioned by Irish Railway Models to produce some highly iconic OO gauge wagons. Having met the guys behind Irish Railway Models, I am sure all modellers of Irish railways will be delighted by IRM’s eye for detail and choice of prototypes. I am sure this partnership between us will lead to lots of much-needed Irish railway rolling stock and perhaps more.”
The release date for the ballast hopper is planned for mid-2016, with orders being taken from the end of October 2015. Packs are limited in number to 333, so it is recommended that customers order early to avoid disappointment. It is hoped to have the cement ‘bubble’ available once the hopper wagons sell-out.