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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 2016) or £5 (all other months) for non- members but refunded if you join the Society on the night.

All meetings will be held from 19:00 – 21:45 
in the :
Function Room, Calthorpe Arms, 252 Gray’s Inn Road, LONDON WC1X 8JR

Please Note: The Function Room is accessible by stairs only.

Programme 2017/2018 Meetings 

Date Subject
19th October 2017
“Graham Hoare’s Irish Railway Photos” presented by Roger Joanes
Graham was an English railway enthusiast, who travelled extensively in Ireland between 1956 and 1964, taking a special interest in lines and stations then threatened with closure. He bequeathed his 2,000 photos to the IRRS and a selection will be presented by Roger Joanes, a frequent visitor to Ireland himself since 1960. Roger will concentrate on lesser-known locations, so you’ll be taken to Timoleague, Tomkin Road and Trillick, as well as old favourites like Fintona and Killybegs. Enjoy great memories of both broad and narrow gauge
16th November 2017

“Ireland’s Great Railway Engineers” by Gerald Beesley
Gerald Beesley enjoyed a distinguished railway career, starting in CIE and recently retiring as (Irish) Commissioner for Railway Regulation. Irish railway engineers (civil and mechanical, indigenous and incomers) punched well above their weight in terms of influencing railway development both in Ireland and worldwide. Gerald will select ten of the best of these strong and often colourful characters, and will recount their remarkable lives and achievements.

7th December 2017

“Engineering Railway Architecture – the GNR(I)” by Siobhan Osgood + AGM
Siobhan has undertaken award-winning research at Trinity College Dublin into the GNR(I)’s distinctive architecture. Formed by an amalgamation of separate railways, the GNR(I)’s first chief engineer, WH Mills, realised the benefit of a company-wide corporate building style, and designed the characteristic red, yellow and black brickwork - incorporated into a more modern architectural style than was in use elsewhere at the time, and which can still be seen today. Siobhan will discuss its key architectural features and how important it was to a developing company, its staff, surroundings, identity and its future.

plus a complimentary Christmas drink (Followed by the London Area AGM)
18th January 2018

“Port, Harbour and Military Railways” by Andrew Waldron
Leading Irish Industrial Railway Historian, Andrew Waldron, looks at the Port and Harbour Railways of Ireland, including Dublin, Belfast and many other locations, followed by a focus on various Military Railway applications from the 1880s to the 1990s. He will use many rare and previously unseen photos, from the unique Londonderry Port & Harbour Commissioners railway system and the Belfast Port and Dock Authority through to dozens of images showing the use of railways by the Military Authorities throughout Ireland. A treasure trove!

15th February 2018

“LUAS 14 years on” by Anthony McDonald
To mark the opening of LUAS in 2004, the IRRS published a special Journal describing its development. Anthony is an IRRS stalwart (Asst. Premises Manager at Heuston amongst other duties) and brings us up to date with operations and developments since – extensions to Brides Glen, The Point and Saggart, lengthened trams, accidents etc. and most recently the construction of tracks through the city centre to extend the Green Line to Broombridge. LUAS has been embraced by Dubliners and has become an integral and vital part of city life

15th March 2018
“Further Tales of Irish Railway Travel in the mid-1950s” by Michael Davies
Michael Davies has made over 125 visits to Ireland. Tonight, he returns to recount further his early travels in Ireland, portraying just what it was like to be a young enthusiast in an unfamiliar land. He will dwell on his discovery of the SL&NCR in 1952 and his visits to the railways of Cork from 1956-62. This will be followed by reflections on his long fascination with the Cavan & Leitrim Railway, including reminiscences from some of its great characters.
19th April 2018
“The GNR(I) lines to Newcastle and Derry”  by Charles Friel
Archivist, historian and RPSI activist, Charles Friel pays us another visit. He starts with lines closed in 1956 - an illustrated journey along the busy Belfast to Banbridge line, the cross-country extension to meet the BCDR at Newcastle and the sleepy branch to Scarva. Then he presents a recording of an evocative BBC NI television programme, largely based on the cine of the late Fred Cooper, made to mark the 50th anniversary of the closure of the fondly-remembered former GN route from Portadown to Londonderry (Foyle Road) in 1965.

See our railway drawings and models at SCALEFORUM, Stoke Mandeville on

Sat 23rd September (10.30 – 17.30) and Sun 24th September 2017 (10.00 – 16.30)

And for IRRS publications, Irish railway books, Irish models and Irish locomotive drawings, visit the IRRS (London Area) at 

Stand B100,

Warley National Model Railway Exhibition, National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham
Saturday 25th November (09.15 – 18.00) and Sunday 26th November 2017 (09.45 - 17.00)


The London Area of the IRRS runs this popular event, now in its 39th season, to be held in Chiswick Town Hall (west London) from 11.00 – 15.00 on Saturday 17th March 2018.

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 selling a huge range of transport items – books, magazines, maps, photos, Irish railway drawings, DVDs, timetables, postcards, models, specialist publications etc.

IRRS (London Area) WEBSITE

In addition to this principal IRRS website, the London Area has its own website at http://www.irrslondon.com where you can find more information about London events – past, present & future.”


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.  



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Revised: August 22, 2017 .