Home Journal Index Library Archive Membership History Dublin Events London Events Munster Events



During the winter months, the London Area of the IRRS provides a welcoming forum in England for those who are interested in Irish transport, particularly railways.

Speaker meetings are from 19.00 – 21.45. A wide selection of Irish transport books, DVDs and ephemera is usually on sale. Entry is £3 for IRRS members; £3 (January 2015) or £5 (all other months) for non- members but refunded if you join the Society on the night.

Please Note Change of Venue

Oct & Nov Meetings

Function Room, Calthorpe Arms, 252 Gray’s Inn Road, LONDON WC1X 8JR

Dec Meeting

Function Room, Rugby Tavern, 19 Great James Street, LONDON WC1N 3ES

Click here for Printer Friendly Version of Programme


Programme 2015-2016 Meetings 

Date Subject  
Thursday 12th November 2015 “Keeping Irish steam alive - the work of Heritage Engineering Ireland"

Peter has been Locomotive Officer and Board member of the RPSI since 1973. He will explain how the main RPSI workshops at Whitehead have grown as the complexity of overhaul work has increased. Then, in 2011 the RPSI set up "Heritage Engineering Ireland Ltd", a wholly owned subsidiary company using fulltime staff to handle both RPSI engineering work and outside contracts. This illustrated talk describes how the vital work of restoration and maintenance of Irish steam locos is undertaken today, the problems encountered and the use of many traditional heavy engineering skills which have largely disappeared elsewhere. 

VENUE : Function Room, Calthorpe Arms, 252 Gray’s Inn Road, LONDON WC1X 8JR

Peter Scott MBE
Thursday 10th December 2015  “The West Clare Railway” 

Former IRRS Chair, Michael Walsh, presents splendid photographs of the West Clare in the 1950’s taken by Les Hyland and restored by Ciaran Cooney. Supplemented by his own memories of the line, Michael will look at the relaxed way the line was operated – mainly by diesel but with some lingering steam operations. Seasonal destination changes, manual shunting and novel methods of handling emergency stops at Miltown contributed to the line’s unique charm, as immortalised in the song : “Are you right there, Michael, are you right?”

VENUE : Function Room, Rugby Tavern, 19 Great James Street, LONDON WC1N 3ES

Michael Walsh
Thursday 21st January 2016  “What lay behind the 1957 GNR(I) Closures” 

Since his youth in Northern Ireland (NI), Steve has had a lifelong interest in the GNR(I). He will lead us through the many complex political, media and social discussions leading up to the 1957 closures. The 1956 announcement by the NI government about the future of those sections of the GNR(I) within the country was, to say the least, controversial. There were many strongly held divergent views in NI as well as in the neighbouring counties in the Republic. Steve’s presentation will include contemporary BBC NI material which highlights the key issues and sensitivities at the time. An intriguing summary of the thinking of the day!

Steve Rafferty 
  (followed by the London Area AGM - Start Time 2045)  
Thursday 18th February 2016  “Planning Ireland’s Rail Network at the beginning” 

Following opening of the Dublin & Kingstown in 1834, an Irish Railway Commission was established to produce a blueprint for the future development of railways throughout the island. Dr O’Dwyer, who worked with Irish Rail and is now an Associate Professor at Trinity, Dublin, has researched this amazing task. Working with incomplete mapping and embracing a developing railway technology still in its infancy, the Commission foresaw the role and extent of railways in Ireland. The work of this distinguished group of engineers, surveyors and mathematicians remains a model of rational engineering planning, standing the test of time. 

Dr Dermot O’Dwyer
Thursday 17th March 2016  “Through the Lens of Cyril Fry (part 3) : 

Narrow Gauge and other Byways” Cyril Fry, well known for his model railway "Irish International Railway and Tramway System", was also a photographer, active from the 1920’s to the 1960’s. Hassard Stacpoole, custodian of part of his photographic collection, will show a fascinating selection of his colour slides and black and white photographs, looking at the narrow gauge systems of the County Donegal, Cavan and Leitrim and elsewhere. We will also see images from the less visited parts of the broad gauge, including IRRS St Patrick day tours and a trip down the Valentia Branch.

Hassard Stacpoole
Thursday 14th April 2016 “East Cork and a Bit More” 

Born and bred round Cobh Junction/Glounthaune, Ken is now an Irish Rail driver. He will share his extensive memories of the local railways in the late 1980’s. His pictures will give a real insight into the Youghal – Cobh – Cork area at the time and will include such historical scenes as the last train at Youghal, A Class locos ploughing through grass on the Youghal branch, tractor shunting at the Tivoli oil siding, the Cork turntable, semaphores and ETS instruments, Knock specials and much more. Relive the East Cork of 30 years ago!

Ken Fox


TRANSPORT COLLECTORS’ MARKET – Saturday 12th March 2016

The London Area of the IRRS runs this popular event, now in its 37th season, to be held in Chiswick Town Hall (in west London) from 11.00 – 15.00 on Saturday 12th March 2016.

The Hall is accessible by London Underground (Chiswick Park or Gunnersbury), London Overground (Gunnersbury), South West Trains (Chiswick or Kew Bridge) or bus.

35 sales stands are planned selling a huge range of transport items – books, magazines, maps, photos, DVDs, timetables, postcards, models, specialist publications etc.


IRRS (London Area) at Warley National Model Railway Exhibition (WNMRE)

Saturday 28th November (09.45 – 18.00) and Sunday 29th November 2015 (09.45 - 17.00)

For IRRS publications, Irish railway books, Irish models and Irish locomotive drawings,

visit the IRRS (London Area) at Stand B33, WNMRE, National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham

Also see our locomotive drawings and models at SCALEFORUM, Stoke Mandeville on Sat 19th September (10.30 – 17.30) and Sun 20th September 2015 (10.00 – 16.30)



Members and friends are reminded that the London Area programme will be updated on this website as further details become available.

In addition, you can always contact the London Area at our e-mail address: irrslondon@hotmail.com

And if you would like to be added to our e-mail address list, please send us an e-mail.

You will then be e-mailed with programme reminders and updates as they are issued.  

Back Up Next

Copyright © 2014 by Irish Railway Record Society Limited
Revised: October 22, 2015 .