Irish Railway Record Society
JOURNAL 194 OTHER RAILWAY NEWS
PRESERVATION SOCIETY OF IRELAND
Operations: WT-class No. 4 worked the Steam Enterprise
on 4 June 2017, working both ways.
9 June 2017: 4 worked the “Steam and Jazz”
Whitehead – Lisburn and return
Friday 23 June 2017: 85 worked the second
“Steam and Jazz” special, as the 18:14 Whitehead – Lisburn and 20:35
142 has undergone body repair work and is currently awaiting painting (August
Operations: To mark 170 years of Howth, three return
trips from Dublin Connolly were operated on 28 May 2017. The first two trips
utilized 461, whilst the last used 85 Merlin.
On all three journeys, Irish Rail 071-class loco 088 was used to bring the train
back to Dublin Connolly due to the lack of run around facilities at Howth.
was used for the “Midland Compound” trip to Maynooth on 3 June 2017. This
was preceded by a light engine run to M3 Parkway to address the issues brought
up during the run south in May. The loco was declared fit for traffic.
declared a failure before the Enniscorthy trip on Sunday 8 August 2017. Irish
Rail GM 077 was used as a replacement at short notice. The Radio
Train to Kilkenny on Sunday 20 August was also due to be diesel hauled, but
was cancelled before operating.
Steam Dreams: The
final year of the current 3-year contract between the RPSI and Steam Dreams got
underway on Wednesday 14 June 2017, when IÉ loco 075 headed south to Wexford
light engine. Steam Loco 4 transferred south from Whitehead on Sunday 11 June
2017. The tour this year visited Rosslare, Killarney, Tralee, Westport, Ballina,
Whitehead and Bangor, using all three currently active locomotives as well as
both sets of carriages and mainline diesels from the two operators.
Thursday 15 June 2017: 461 worked the 11:35
Dublin Connolly – Rosslare, with IÉ GM 075 working the return at 16:10. Loco
224 worked the Cravens empty from Inchicore.
Friday 16 June 2017: 85 worked 09:35 Dublin
Connolly – Killarney, coming off the train at Thurles to use the Limerick
Junction triangle to turn.
GM 084 worked the train from Thurles to Limerick Junction, where 85 was
worked light engine 11:00 Wexford – Dublin Connolly
Saturday 17 June 2017: 85 worked the 15:20
Killarney – Tralee and 17:25 return.
Sunday 18 June 2017: 85 worked the 08:20
Killarney – Westport as far as Portarlington, where 4 took over due to route
clearance issues regarding 85, as well as giving something different. 4 had
worked light engine from Dublin Connolly at 10:15. 85 then worked light engine
back to Dublin Connolly.
Monday 19 June 2017: 4 worked the 09:00
Westport – Claremorris, 11:55 Claremorris – Ballina, 14:25 Ballina –
Claremorris and 16:10 Claremorris - Westport
Tuesday 20 June 2017: 4 worked the 07:45
Westport – Dublin Connolly, concluding the Southern section of the tour.
GM 112 worked the Mark 2 set from Whitehead, departing at 09:36 and returning
light engine at 14:50. 85 worked the Mark 2’s back north at 14:45.
Wednesday 21 June 2017: 85 worked the 09:05
Whitehead – Belfast Central, 10:33 Belfast Central – Bangor, 11:45 Bangor
– Portadown and 13:50 Portadown - Whitehead
112 then finished the tour by working the 17:45 Whitehead – Dublin Connolly,
returning north at 22:20.
annual IRRS tour was run on Saturday 12 August 2017, featuring 075, 227 and 085
for the trip to Howth and Sligo. Originally booked to be 081 from Dublin
Connolly to Howth and Sligo, this was declared a failure before departure and
075 used instead. As further issues prevented it going to Sligo, 085 was brought
light engine from Inchicore to work to Sligo. 227 was used to bring the tour
from Howth back to Dublin Connolly, due to the lack of any run-around facilities
overhaul of GM No. 134 has commenced at Inchicore. The loco was lifted from
it’s bogies to allow the removal and overhaul of the traction motors.
Dublin Connolly – Waterford – Muine Bheag – Dublin Heuston section on
Sundays and Mondays are now booked 071 workings. These are the first passenger
turns since 2009 to be booked for 071 traction.
Observed working this
diagram were: 077 (28 May), 071 (4 June), 075 (18 June), 080 (25 June), 081 (1
July), 076 (31 July), 080 (13 August) and 087 (20 August), the date referring to
the Sunday working.
On 24 June 2017, Enterprise loco 8208 worked the Dublin Connolly – Belfast Central
– Dundalk and Dundalk – Dublin Connolly leg the following day, instead of
the booked dedicated loco 216.
continue to expand the portfolio of tours around the country. A new tour was
launched in the summer of 2017.
The new tour is a
3-day trip, involving travelling to Titanic Belfast and the Hills of Donegal.
The three day tour involves rail travel to Belfast and onwards to Derry /
Londonderry. This is then combined with a coach tour of the Donegal hills before
returning to Dublin via Sligo. The three day tour appears to be popular.
A batch of 50 twelve-tonne locos are currently being overhauled and rebuilt at
Derrygreenagh works. The redesign incorporates a new engine, new cab (with a
door each side), improved sound insulation and an electronic control and
maintenance diagnostic system. The new locos are painted in a brown colour
scheme, with the company name and number in flames (representing the bog and
burning of the peat). It is unclear whether these have been fitted with the
multiple working and remote control system that went to tender and was described
in Journal 192.
The locos include various
versions of the third generation of Hunslet locos and Bórd na Móna built
AND COUNTY DOWN RAILWAY
The Downpatrick and County
Down Railway has restored the Bundoran North Junction Signalbox. In its working
life, the cabin used to control the north end of the triangular Bundoran
Junction in Kilskeery, County Tyrone, formerly a major junction for the Great
Northern Railway (Ireland) network. Trains, including the famous 'Bundoran
Express' diverged here to places like Omagh, Enniskillen, Fintona Junction
(where the famous horse tram operated the half-mile Fintona branch), and the
seaside resort of Bundoran itself, before the entire line was closed on 30
September 1957, nearly sixty years ago. The cabin was formally opened to the
public by veterans of the old GNR(I) Railway on Saturday 3 June 2017, along with
other invited guests. The box is not yet operational and no timescale has been
set for this.
On Saturday 20 May 2017, the Branch Line Society paid a visit to the railway as
part of their Irish long weekend. Unusually for the railway, the train was
diesel hauled throughout by the former ESB Portarlington No. 4 “Rusty”.
Due to issues with Number 2 / LM44, No. 4 “Rusty” was used during the June
Bank Holiday (4/5 June 2017) and performed faultlessly, giving the rare chance
for diesel haulage on a normal day. This was followed by a private photo charter
on Tuesday 18 July 2017.
The 53rd Annual Steam Rally was held over the bank holiday weekend, with the
railway operating on 5, 6 and 7 August 2017. Number 2 performed faultlessly over
the three days.
on the Gardner-engined Ruston, LM167, has carried on. The engine oil sump was
removed in July, allowing for a full clean out of many years of accumulated
dirt. This is in addition to cleaning the frames to remove the turf that has
built up over the years. Simplex LM317 has also been receiving attention, mainly
to the bodywork.
SLIGO, LEITRIM AND NORTHERN
The Sligo, Leitrim and
Northern Counties Railway finished running in 1957, although major parts of the
track bed are still usable. A new group, the Sligo Leitrim and Northern Counties
Rail Trail Group, are proposing to turn the route into a greenway, starting with
a 4.2km-long from Manorhamilton to the Sports Ground in Boggaun. This is
designed as a demonstrator to prove the value of it, before moving on to
complete the whole track bed (where it remains) from Sligo to Fermanagh.
A start has been made on the
greenway project in other places however. The section from Dromahair to Edergole
[No 20] Level crossing has been surfaced and is in use. It is only a short
section - about ¾ of a mile.
Those who remember the line
will realise that this is the avenue of trees entered just on the approach to
Dromahair from Sligo.
Copyright © 2017 by Irish Railway Record Society Ltd.