Trains

A trip on the train is the best way to see all of the Lower Gardens. Over 4.5km of narrow gauge track, weaves its way through the trees, revealing many pleasing vistas.  The railway takes you around the lake and grounds passing the Castle Folly, the Tree Circle with the “Orb” and the newly installed “Long Sleeper” sculpture on the Spiral Mound before returning to the Station. The ‘Duchess of Difflin’ steam engine, with her carriages in the traditional red and cream livery of the “Wee Donegal” and the ‘Earl of Oakfield’ blue diesel engine give pleasure to children and enthusiast alike. During July and August train trips are available at regular intervals during opening hours and offer an excellent opportunity to view the lower gardens in comfort. In the months of April, May, June and September the train runs at 3pm on weekdays. Tickets and departure times available from the station. No booking required except for group visits. The trip will take about 15 minutes.

Difflin Lake Railwayimg1

Architect:                       A & E Wright, Belfast

Consultant:                    Martin’s Models Garden Railways, Herefordshire

Gauge:                           15 inches (381mm)

Length of track:             4km (2.5 miles) including sidings

Rail:                                Steel, S7, 14lb/yard

Min. radius:                   65 ft. (22 metres)

Ruling gradient:           1 in 30 straight, 1 in 45 curves

Sleepers:                        Part galvanised steel, part treated softwood.img2

Rail fixings:                   Clips throughout

Turnouts:                        2 at 114 ft. (35 metre) radius,

3 at 91 ft. (28 metre) radius,

10 at 82 ft. (25 metre) radius,

Manufactured by Alan Keef Ltd

 

“DUCHESS OF DIFFLIN” 0-4-2T

Built by:                        Exmoor Steam Railway Co., Devon, England.img3

Delivered:                      February 2003, Works no. 317

Overall width:               45 inches (1.1 meters)

Length:                          10 ft. (3.05 meters)

Height:                           5 ft. 10 inches (1.8 meters)

Weight                           3.2 tonnes approx.

Driving wheels:             14 inch (355mm) diameter.

Boiler pressure:             150 lb./sq. in.

Grate area:                    1.4 sq. ft. (0.13 sq.m)img4

Two outside cylinders, bore 4.5/8 inch, stroke 7 inch

Crosshead driven mechanical lubricator

Mechanical handbrake,

Air cylinder and controls for train air brake.

“EARL OF OAKFIELD” 0-4-0 Diesel loco.

Built by:                         Alan Keef Ltd, 2002, works number

Perkins 103.10 3-Cylinder Diesel engine

Hydrostatic transmission via chain drive to rear axleimg5

Outside fly cranks and coupling rods

Length:                          8 ft. (2.4m)

Height:                           6 ft. (1.8m)

Width:                           4 ft. (1.2m)

 

Enclosed carriages

Built by:                         Alan Keef Ltd to an outline plan by Martin’s Models.

Steel under-frames, wooden bodies,img6

Third class bogie third compartment carriage,

Three third class compartments, each seating four passengers

Slatted wooden bench seats

Full height doors on both sides, glazed, with raising lights

Length over drawbars: 14’ 10.3/4”

Width                            44 inches (1.1m)

Height                            6 ft. (1.8m)

Electrically lit with battery

Air brakedimg7

Brake first carriage

One first class compartment seating four passengers

Upholstered bench seats, carpeted floor

Raising lights

Luggage compartment with double doors

Fitted for carriage of a wheel chair(s)

Slatted wooden bench seats

Guard’s compartment with duckets on each side

Observation seats

Dimensions as third class carriage

Air braked

 

Open carriages

2no., four wheelers, built by Alan Keef Ltd.

Following a design by Bassett-Lowke Ltd as supplied to Sir Arthur Heywood

Each carriage with two open compartments

Steel construction with slatted wooden seats

Each carriage to seat eight persons

 

Freight wagons

All built by Alan Keef Ltd

Two four-wheel open wagons with steel bodies

Hand brake by lever

One bogie flat car with hand brake by wheel

Air braked