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Journal 191  - Operations


Grand Canal Dock-Hazelhatch

Following completion of signalling and trackwork alterations at Grand Canal Dock, Irish Rail have put out for public consultation the proposed timetable of trains from Newbridge and Hazelhatch to Grand Canal Dock via the Phoenix Park Tunnel. In the morning peak on Mondays to Fridays, 7 Up trains are proposed, leaving Newbridge at 06:14, Hazelhatch 06:50, Newbridge 07:00, Newbridge 07:20, Hazelhatch 08:10, Hazelhatch 08:35 and Newbridge 09:12. Return services from Grand Canal Dock are at 07:25, 07:49 and 08:10. The services are clearly directed to bring passengers from stations starting from Newbridge to Drumcondra, Connolly, Tara Street, Pearse and Grand Canal Dock. There is no stop at Heuston. Connections from Portlaoise are poor.

There is then no service until the evening peak, where the emphasis is on returning passengers home from Grand Canal Dock etc. Services from Grand Canal Dock are at 16:20 to Hazelhatch, 16:40 to Newbridge, 17:00 to Hazelhatch, 17:28 to Newbridge, 17:58 to Hazelhatch, 18:16 to Newbridge, 18:40 to Hazelhatch and 19:13 to Hazelhatch. The 17:28 from Grand Canal Dock replaces the 17:55 ex Heuston and the 18:10 from Heuston to Portlaoise is advanced to 18:05 with extra stops at Park West and Clondalkin Fonthill. Otherwise changes to the present timetable are minimal, as set out below.

It would appear that 4 sets, possibly from the ICR fleet, are required in the morning and 5 in the evening. There are no services proposed for Saturdays or Sundays.

Minor changes are proposed to the existing timetable to accommodate the new services, as follow:

Heuston Commuter:

08:30 Heuston-Portlaoise advanced to 08:25

17:20 Heuston-Portlaoise deferred to 17:25

17:25 Heuston-Limerick advanced to 17:20

07:20 Portlaoise-Heuston advanced to 07:17

08:09 Newbridge-Heuston deferred to 08:11

Waterford Line

06:05 Waterford-Heuston advanced to 06:00

Cork-Tralee route

06:45 Cork-Tralee is advanced to 06:20

07:00 Tralee-Heuston deferred to 07:05

Sunday services are maintained at current levels


Dublin-Howth There have been Saturday night PWD operations using hired contractors' plant assisted by spoil trains to install drainage piping and catchpits in the Raheny-Harmonstown section. This is to coincide with the sections of relaying that were done during April 2016.

On the nights of Saturday July 2 and Sunday 3 July, the section of plain track on the Up Road between the crossovers on the approach to Howth station was renewed. New track panels were brought out to the site on a panel train along with fresh ballast in spoil wagons, some of which were stockpiled by the lineside for later use, due to the difficulty in bringing ballast into Howth by road. The combined spoil and panel train was worked by locomotive 086 and ran out on the Down road to Howth. The locomotive then stopped short of the crossovers, unhooked, crossed over and returned light-engine to Howth Junction on the Up road, before crossing over to the Down road and heading back towards Howth to hook up to the train again.

Drogheda Panel relaying was carried out through Platform 2 in Drogheda on the weekends of 2/3 and 16/17 July. Spoil trains were used during the excavations on the Saturday nights. Fresh ballast was stockpiled in advance in the wide six-foot in Drogheda Station, discharged using the HOBS train. This was due to the difficulty in bringing ballast into Drogheda by road. 

Dublin-Cork Spoil trains were working mid-week nights, 5-8 September, doing site preparation work for the ballast cleaning project on the Cork Line. The work included excavating away parts of cutting slopes to create space to allow temporary side-casting of ballast cleaning spoil. Ballast cleaning re-commenced on the Down line between MPs (mileposts) 20 and 21½ on Saturday 10 September

Dublin-Sligo As part of a programme of inspection of post-tensioned concrete bridges, intrusive investigations were carried out by a specialist contractor to overbridge OBS467 (Lamagh Bridge) near Newtownforbes. This was done on nights of 16-20 August using hired contractors' rail-mounted plant for access.



Tuesday 21 June Locomotive 216 ran a trial LE from Inchicore to Hazelhatch sporting a temporary lime green undercoat. This was its first run on the mainline since overhaul.

Wednesday, 27 July 224 operated the 19:00 Dublin Heuston-Cork, this being its first day in traffic after being repainted. 224 carries the current Intercity livery, with the current logos in the style of 215.

Thursday 1 September 216 worked Mark 4 set 4003 empty from Inchicore to Portarlington and return.

Inchicore Works

As of 1 September 2016, the following locomotives were under repair:

231 was undergoing a 2-year overhaul and 072 a cooling exam, both in Diesel Two shop.

234 and 230 were undergoing body-overhauls as was 082 in the ramps. 230 was previously stopped in June 2013 having suffered fire damage at Goraghwood while working the 18:05 Belfast Central-Dublin Connolly Enterprise. The locomotive was placed in position for body-overhaul in late August but remains fire damaged. As part of the overhaul program, parts from 211 were being used in 230.

084 was receiving newly overhauled bogies in Diesel One.

081 was being prepared for re-entry to traffic after body-overhaul and repaint.



Intercity Railcar Front Fairings

The programme to replace the original three piece fairings (alternatively called valances) as fitted on delivery is continuing, with 22132, 22134, 22139, 22208, 22228, 22242, 22245, 22254, 22258, 22307, 22308, 22310, 22325, 22339, 22342, 22345, 22354, 22358 and 22362 all noted with the new front ends fitted between January and September 2016. Of interest is that some sets were released with only one end converted (22034 being a notable example). The panels are being produced by Voith (see Journal 188).

ICR Numbers, Livery Alterations and Fleet Formation

The fleet has continued to gain EVN numbers in accordance with RSC-G-021-C (available from, with the number in white and car reporting numbers (22xxx) highlighted in black. In addition, the vehicles are slowly gaining interior numbers in the EVN style. In addition, all sets now carry the current logos (22001-22006 / 22036-22039 minus flag for Cross Border operations).

22001 is once again formed permanently with 22002, in the following formation: 22302+22402+22201+22301+22401+22202.

This is due to the driving cars of 22001 having the new CAWS / ATP Hybrid system installed, and the re-formation retains the required number of sets in use. The sets had been put together on Wednesday 27 August 2015 and split (to allow for testing of the new system) on June Bank Holiday weekend 2016. Following testing, the sets were reformed into the 6 car formation on 15 July 2016, working the 18:15 Heuston – Westport that night.




Wednesday, 20 July Railcar set 29010 hauled LHB Darts 8134 + 8334 + 8137 + 8337 from Inchicore Works to Dublin Connolly, arriving there shortly after 20:00. Set 29027 then hauled the DART sets onwards to Fairview Depot.

Bray Air Show

The Bray Air Show is one of the busiest days of the year on DART. This year it was held on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 July, starting at 14:00. An intensive programme of trains was planned.

Saturday 23 July Four extra trains ran between Greystones and Bray in each direction. The normal Saturday service is hourly at 30 mins past the hour from Greystones. 4 extras ran from Dún Laoghaire to Bray, at 10:40, 11:25, 12:15 and 13:28. However, after the show all specials from Bray were for Connolly or Howth. Extra DARTs also operated at 10:50 from Malahide to Bray and 11:18 from Howth to Bray. There was assistance from the diesel railcar fleet, with specials from Connolly to Bray at 12:00 and 12:21 formed of 8-piece 29000 Class railcars. Further railcars were to have run at 14:05 and 14:15 if required. Finally, there were DARTs at 12:48 and 13:18 from Connolly. From observations at Dún Laoghaire between 10:38 and 14:03, there were at least 42 Up and Down movements. Trains were packed as early as the 10:15 from Howth, although the Dún Laoghaire specials left with few passengers. After the event specials were scheduled to leave Bray from 17:00 until 18:42.

Sunday 24 July Sunday was even more intensive with 5 specials from Greystones. Diesel railcars were also in use. In an attempt to avoid the serious overcrowding and consequent delay to the 13:45 Connolly-Rosslare which had been a feature of previous years, an 8-piece railcar was due to run at 13:15 as well as the 13:35 DART service which was to be only a 6-piece. After the show was over, there were 22 scheduled departures from Bray northbound between 17:00 and 20:10, this including the Up Rosslare at 19:53.


The following Enteprise workings were recorded during period June-September 2016:

Friday 3 June 227 worked the 09:30 Dublin Connolly-Belfast Central (DT 9001), 227 worked the return 12:35 Belfast Central-Dublin Connolly. 8208 worked the 11:20 Dublin Connolly-Belfast Central (DT 9002), while 228 worked the 13:20 Dublin Connolly -Belfast Central (DT 9003)

Sunday 24 July NIR CAF set 3001 worked the 08:50 Belfast Central-Dublin Connolly Enterprise relief special (in advance of the 09:00 Belfast Central-Dublin Connolly service). 206 worked the 10:00 Dublin Connolly-Belfast Central, while 207 worked the 09:00 Belfast Central Dublin Connolly. Later that day, 8208 operated the 11:00 Belfast Central-Dublin Connolly.

Friday 19 August The 14:05 Belfast Central-Dublin Connolly failed at Clongriffin (228, DT 9004). Passengers were transferred to DART service and after a delay of 90 mins, the failed train departed for Connolly hauled by 215.

Saturday 20 August 206 worked the 10:35 Belfast Central-Dublin Connolly, 227 worked the 09:30 Dublin Connolly-Belfast Central (DT 9001), 227 returned on the 18:05 Belfast Central-Dublin Connolly.

Sunday 21 August 227 worked the 19:00 Dublin Connolly-Belfast Central.

Saturday 27 August 8208 (DT 9004) failed at Malahide on the 11:20 Dublin Connolly-Belfast Central. After passengers had detrained, locomotive 206 was dispatched to Malahide to haul the failed train back to Connolly.

Monday, 29 August 206 worked the 07:35 Dublin Connolly-Belfast Central (DT 9004).

Friday, 02 September 216 (DT 9002) arrived Connolly on time with the 06:45 from Belfast Central. An on time departure for return to Belfast at 09:30 progressed only a few yards, and after technical assistance for what were advised to passengers as “electrical problems”, final departure was at 10:03. Belfast Central was reached at 12:17, 32 mins late. The 09:00 Bray-Malahide DART was overtaken at Clongriffin at 10:20, where it used the Down loop.

The same set worked the 18:05 from Belfast Central, leaving about 20 secs early, but arriving at Dublin Connolly almost 5 mins late.

On the delayed morning Down journey, a southbound CAF set was met just north of Newry, running ahead of the 10:35 Enterprise from Belfast.

Thursday, 08 September 227 worked the18:05 Belfast Central-Dublin Connolly.


Saturday 4 June 075 departed from Dublin Connolly at 08:12 hauling RPSI EGV 3185 to Inchicore.

Thursday 16 June 076 operated 19:05 Rosslare Europort-Dublin Connolly RPSI (ECS) Cravens in conjunction with the “Steam Dreams” tour. 076 had operated empty to Wexford earlier in the day and followed the tour from there to Rosslare Europort.

Sunday 19 June 078 worked 13:40 Dublin Connolly-Sligo RPSI “Steam Dreams” Tour. It departed 17:00 Sligo-Longford with the (ECS) Cravens.

Tuesday 19 July 071 worked an RPSI diesel locomotive transfer, doing two trips, on the first of which it hauled B141+175 from Inchicore to Connolly shed. 071 then returned to Inchicore and hauled 134 to Connolly shed. 071 carried the RPSI 'Santa Steam Special' headboard.

Sunday 21 August 071 worked the RPSI “Radio Train” from Sallins to Kilkenny, following the failure of steam loco No. 4 just outside Sallins, with a hot big-end bearing. Upon arrival in Kilkenny, 076 took the train over and worked the return 16:20 Kilkenny-Dublin Connolly “Radio Train”.



Belmond Fleet Numbering

All the vehicles now carry EVN numbers, which bear no resemblance to the original IÉ number. The vehicles are also named after Irish counties. They are (in order from the EGV):




IÉ No.


55 60 99 87104-3



EGV/Crew Mess

55 60 89 87110-2



Crew Sleeping Car

55 60 76 87001-8



Guest Sleeping Car

55 60 76 87002-6



Guest Sleeping Car

55 60 76 87003-4



Guest Sleeping Car

55 60 76 87004-2



Guest Sleeping Car

55 60 76 87005-0



Guest Sleeping Car

55 60 88 87101-2



Formal Dining Car

55 60 88 87102-0



Casual Dining Car

55 60 89 87103-7



Lounge/ Observation Car


7122 remains in North Wall, having been purchased by Belmond with the rest of the fleet. The future for this vehicle is uncertain.

Belmond Delivery and Trial Operations

Following furnishing and fitting-out in Antrim, all 10 MkIII Belmond Grand Hibernian coaches were road-hauled by low-loader from Antrim to Dublin North Wall, from where they were worked to Inchicore. The following operations were recorded:

Tuesday 28 June The first Belmond MkIII coach arrived at North Wall, EGV 7601 (“Carlow”). Locomotive 088 assisted in the unloading process. 7601 was subsequently hauled to Inchicore by 215, departing North Wall at 13:30.

Thursday 30 June “Wexford” arrived North Wall.

Friday 1 July 072 hauled “Leitrim” from North Wall to Inchicore.

Thursday 21 July 085 hauled “Sligo” from North Wall to Inchicore.

Saturday 30 July 079 “Waterford” from North Wall to Inchicore.

Thursday 11 August 216 worked Belmond trial from Heuston to Mallow.

Tuesday 16 August 215 operated a 10-MkIII Belmond trial from Killarney to Waterford via Cherryville Junction. It returned from Waterford to Inchicore later that evening.

Thursday 18 August 215 worked Belmond coaches 12:40 Inchicore to Connolly; upon arrival, 216 worked the Belmond coaches from Connolly to Dundalk.

Saturday, 27 August 233, in its common livery (see picture on p187, upper), worked 06:45 Roscommon-Dublin Heuston Belmond MkIII trial.


The first tour started on Tuesday 30 August, with the Society of International Railway Travellers reserving the train. 226 worked the train from Tuesday to Saturday morning, when dedicated loco 216 took over. Due to a door fault on one of the vehicles, the Saturday itinerary was cut short at Dundalk.

The second week saw 216 on the train throughout, except for 233 (Heuston-Connolly) and 072 (Dundalk-Connolly).

The movements for each week are:

Tuesday – 14:20 Dublin Heuston-Cork, 20:30 Cork-Thurles, 22:50 Thurles-Charleville

Wednesday – 07:15 Charleville-Cork, 12:55 Cork-Killarney, 18:40 Killarney-Charleville

Thursday – 08:25 Charleville-Galway (via Portarlington), 18:35 Galway-Athlone

Friday – 06:15 Athlone-Westport, 18:45 Westport-Roscommon

Saturday – 06:45 Roscommon-Dublin Heuston, 12:40 Dublin Heuston-Belfast Central (continuing non-passenger to York Road), 20:15 Belfast Central-Dundalk

Sunday – 08:20 Dundalk-Dublin Connolly, 10:05 Dublin Connolly-Waterford, 19:10 Waterford-Muine Bheag

Monday – 08:00 Muine Bheag-Dublin Heuston

Of interest is the shunting movement to get between the two Dublin stations. It involves two locomotives - train loco and shunt loco. When the train arrives into Dublin Heuston from Roscommon, the shunt loco hauls the train through the Wash Road and then sets it back into Platform 2, while the released train loco proceeds to Islandbridge Junction. The shunt loco uncouples and waits at Heuston, the train loco returns from Islandbridge and hauls the train from Heuston to the Gullet, followed by the shunt loco. The train loco now uncouples, the shunt loco couples on and takes the train to Connolly, followed by the train loco LE. The train loco then takes the train forward from Connolly. On Saturday 10 September, 233 was the shunt loco and 216 the train loco.



Infrastructure (PWD) Trains

Wednesday 1 June 072 worked a 19:20 Inchicore-North Wall empty HOBS.

Monday 6 June 072 worked 19:30 North Wall-Gorey HOBS, 7 laden. The train ran to Islandbridge Junction to run around and then proceeded to the DSE.

Sunday 12 June 072 worked 7 empty HOBS, Gorey-North Wall. On arrival at Connolly, the train proceeded to North Wall via the 'Wash Road’, before being propelled down East Wall Bank.

Tuesday 12 July In the evening, stone was discharged into the six-foot in Drogheda Station from a laden HOBS, loco 083.

Wednesday 13 July 077 worked the second weedspray run on the Navan Branch. It did not operate to Tara Mines, but ran around in Navan Station. The second run of the Spray Train uses a different chemical to kill the invasive weed 'Mare's Tail', the regular spray being ineffective.

Wednesday 20 July 086 worked the 10:20 M3 Parkway-Rosslare Harbour Weedspray train. Upon arrival in Rosslare Harbour, it worked to Wexford for stabling, before returning to Heuston Yard the following day.

Monday 15 August 080 worked the 09:15 Portlaoise-Galway Sperry train, starting off the nationwide trip.

Monday 22 August Ballast regulator 704 failed on the Up line at Kilbarrack. DART services operated over the Down line with single line working (SLW) in force. 078 rescued the failed regulator and hauled it to North Wall.

Saturday 27 August 073 worked a Dublin Heusto-Navan materials train of secondhand concrete track panels, passing Duleek at 10:39. The panels were offloaded at the PWD compound near the N2 Road Bridge. The train subsequently proceeded to Navan to run round and then stabled in Platin.

Monday 29 August 076 worked a 09:50 North Wall-Rosslare Europort Sperry Train, passing Newcastle at 12:10. It returned from Wexford the following day, passing Naylor's Cove on Bray Head at 12:59. 

Tuesday 30 August 079 worked light engine (LE) Portlaoise-North Wall; it then worked an 11:05 North Wall-Portlaoise empty 11 spoil-wagon train.

071 Having failed earlier in the week with loss of power, 071 worked LE to Portlaoise on Tuesday 30 August. It then worked the 11:30 Portlaoise-Heuston Yard CWR train to Inchicore (where it was replaced by 074) on Friday 2 September. The CWR train returned from Heuston Yard on Monday 5 September with 074, having deposited, over the weekend, zinc-coated rails intended for installation in Rathdrum No. 1 Tunnel.



IWT Container Trains

Wednesday 1 June 079 worked 11:30 Waterford to Ballina DFDS;12 CPWs full.

Friday 3 June 076 worked 10:20 North Wall-Ballina IWT; 18 bogies full. It had been deferred from 09:30 to 10:20 to facilitate possession for Cabra engineering works. 085 worked 08:15 Ballina to NW IWT 18 bogies full, all containers.

Enterprise liveried locomotive 8209 appeared on the following IWT workings in June and July:

Monday 20 June 8209 worked 10:20 North Wall-Ballina IWT; 18 bogies full, all tanks.

Thursday 23 June 8209 worked 09:30 IWT; 18 full, all containers.

Monday 27 June 8209 departed North Wall at 20:45 with 27 bogies, fully laden with 12 tanks and 15 containers. To date, this was the longest freight consist worked by IÉ. It is anticipated that future IWT workings of this length will become commonplace.

Saturday 2 July 8209 worked 08:15 Ballina to North Wall IWT.

Monday 4 July 216, newly out-shopped in its temporary lime green undercoat livery, failed at North Wall on the IWT liner. It was replaced by 223, the liner subsequently departing North Wall at 12:30.

Wednesday 6 July 216 worked the 10:20 North Wall to Ballina IWT; 18 containers.

Thursday 7 July 216 worked 08:15 Ballina to North Wall IWT; 18 full.

Wednesday 6 July 216 worked the 10:20 North Wall to Ballina IWT; 18 full, all containers.

Thursday 7 July 216 worked 08:15 Ballina to North Wall IWT; 18 full.

Friday 8 July 216 worked 09:30 IWT; 18 full.

Saturday 9 July 216 worked 08:15 Ballina to North Wall IWT; 18 full. This was the last working of 216 in lime green livery before repainting into the Belmond Grand Hibernian colours.

Thursday 14 July 079 worked 09:30 IWT; 18 full. 231 worked 08:15 ex Ballina IWT; 18 containers.

Friday 15 July 076 worked 10:20 North Wall to Ballina IWT; 18 full.

Tuesday 19 July 076 worked 11:40 Ballina to North Wall IWT 18; 15 full.

Friday 29 July 080 worked 09:30 IWT; 18 full, 14 tanks and 4 containers.

Saturday 6 August 216 in its new painted dark blue Belmond Grand Hibernian livery worked 09:30 North Wall to Ballina IWT liner; 18 full and all containers. It followed the 09:25 Heuston-Galway passenger.

Monday 8 August 216 worked a 10:05 Ballina to North Wall IWT; 18 bogies but only 8 laden.

Friday 12 August 223 worked 08:15 ex Ballina IWT; 18 bogies, 17 full, all containers.

Saturday 13 August Retro-liveried 071 worked 09:30 IWT; 18 full, 10 containers and 8 tanks. It followed the 10:00 Heuston-Cork passenger.

Monday 15 August 071 worked 10:05 Ballina to North Wall IWT.

Tuesday 16 August 071 worked 09:30 IWT; 18 full, 9 containers and 9 tanks.

Thursday 18 August 071 worked 08:15 Ballina to North Wall IWT; 18 full and all containers.

Wednesday 24 August 226, fresh from overhaul, worked an 08:15 ex Ballina IWT; 18 full. 078 worked an 11:40 ex Ballina IWT. This locomotive carries the EVN numbers on the sole bar and the cab front, the first Intercity-liveried loco in the fleet to do so

Thursday 25 August 078 worked 10:20 North Wall to Ballina IWT; 18 containers.

Saturday 27 August 226 worked 09:30 North Wall to Ballina IWT; 18 full, 11 containers and 7 tanks


Wednesday 1 June 215 worked an 18 bogie laden timber train 11:30 Waterford to Limerick, a trial working for longer freight trains.

Thursday 23 June 216 in lime green livery worked LE from Inchicore to Kildare where it swapped onto the 11:30 Waterford to Westport empty timber.

Wednesday 27 July 080 swapped at Kildare for 074, which then worked timber to Waterford.

Monday 8 August 075 worked 15:30 Waterford-Westport empty timber, it crossed a down passenger in Athy.

Monday 5 September Unidentified 071 Class observed about 17:25 on southbound timber train between Bagenalstown and Lavistown.

DFDS Liner

Monday 25 July Retro-liveried 071 worked 11:30 Waterford to Ballina DFDS; 12 CPW full.

Wednesday 27 July 071 worked 11:30 Waterford-Ballina DFDS. 080 worked 11:05 ex Ballina timber. 080 swapped at Kildare for 074,which then worked timber to Waterford.

Monday 8 August 074 worked 11:30 Waterford-Ballina DFDS; 12 CPW, 9 laden with Dana tanks.

Tara Mines

Thursday 2 June 075 19:15 Tara Mines-Alexandra Road (12 wagons, East Wall at 16:25)

Friday 3 June 075 12:20 Tara Mines-Alexandra Road (12 wagons, Malahide at 14:07); 088 09:20 Tara Mines-Alexandra Road (12 wagons, Malahide at 11:05); 088 14:00 Alexandra Road-Tara Mines (12 wagons, Malahide at 14:06)

Tuesday 8 June 078 18:50 Tara Mines-Alexandra Road (12 wagons, Malahide at 19:51)

Wednesday 22 June 079 18:50 Tara Mines-Alexandra Road (12 wagons, Harmonstown at 19:04)

Wednesday 27 July 077 19:15 Alexandra Road-Tara Mines (12 wagons, East Wall at 17:29); 079 18:50 Tara Mines-Alexandra Road (11 wagons, Clontarf Rd at 20:41)

Monday 8 August 077 19:15 Alexandra Road-Tara Mines (12 wagons, East Wall at 17:55)

Wednesday 10 August 073 18:50 Tara Mines-Alexandra Road (12 wagons, Raheny at 20:40)

Friday 19 August 073 19:15 Alexandra Road-Tara Mines (12 wagons, East Wall at 17:29)

Tuesday 22 August 080 19:15 Alexandra Road-Tara Mines (10 wagons, Raheny at 17:57)

Wednesday 31 August 080 19:15 Alexandra Road-Tara Mines (12 wagons, Raheny at 17:58)

Wednesday 7 September 071 19:15 Alexandra Road-Tara Mines (12 wagons, Raheny at 17:57)

Thursday 8 September 073 19:15 Alexandra Road-Tara Mines (12 wagons, Raheny at 18:20)

The remainder of this article appears in IRRS Journal number 191, published October 2016

Copyright © 2017 by Irish Railway Record Society Ltd.
Revised: May 19, 2017 .