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Thread: If Omagh General Station Existed today

  1. #1

    If Omagh General Station Existed today

    I have often wondered what Omagh General Station would look like today if it still existed, or would they have tossed the old station buildings to make way for a modern station out of town?

    I would like to run modern trains through the model of Omagh, so what should I be looking at as a standard passenger train running on NIR lines today.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mayner's Avatar
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    The Derry Road & the Irish continuing in operation opens up all kinds of scenarios including the GNR continuing in operation and Merrion St quietly underwriting the losses on cross-border freight and passenger traffic maintaining employment in Dundalk Works and reducing the cost of maintaining the Dublin-Derry Road through Monaghan, Louth and Meath.

    The GNR planned to dieselise freight and heavy passenger trains with German diesel hydraulics, while the 701 BUT railcars were designed to combine and divide en-route which opens up the possibility of combined Belfast-Derry-Enniskllen passenger trains dividing at Omagh or the Enterprise splitting at Portadown with a portions continuing to Belfast and Derry.

    Its likely that the Derry Road and Omagh-Enniskillen would have continued in operation to the present day had they survived the cuts of 50s or 60s as few lines with a reasonable level of passenger traffic have closed since the late 60s

    Both CIE & NIR turned to BREL in the 70s and more recently overseas builders, so todays Derry Road trains are unlikely to be radically than anything that ran in recent years on IE or NIR

    Passenger trains on the Derry Road might have more in common with stock used on the Enterprise than internally in Northern Ireland with the possibility of through trains of coaches from Dublin due to the more direct route than via Belfast and Antrim.

    Freight traffic is likely to the railhead at Strabane is likely to have remained heavy rather than divided between Sligo and Donegal and require loco haulage rather than being tagged on to an MPD or 80 Class Railcar.

    An NIR111 Class Co Co with 5-6 MK2 coaches in Enterprise livery connecting with a 2-3 car 80 Class in NIR livery or on lease to IE would be an achievable 1990s scenarios, with IE 071s and Dapol pocket wagons on the Strabane Liner with traffic from an IDA chemical or textile manufacturing plant in Donegal
    Last edited by Mayner; 08-05-2017 at 08:28 AM.
    John


    If I was going there I would'nt be starting here.

  3. #3
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    The trouble is that it is all in the imagination - the bus orientated politicians in the north saw to that by closing so many lines. A map of the rail network in the border area is very similar to one for the south west of England - vast swathes of the country rail-less.

    Stephen

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    The programme of closures didn't have a more sinister reasoning behind it, namely the separation of the two nations of Ireland. I've probably stepped onto forbidden territory here by mentioning politics, for which I apologise, but, hey, politics gets everywhere, like it or not.

    Stephen

  5. #5
    The isolation of the west

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mayner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StevieB View Post
    The programme of closures didn't have a more sinister reasoning behind it, namely the separation of the two nations of Ireland. I've probably stepped onto forbidden territory here by mentioning politics, for which I apologise, but, hey, politics gets everywhere, like it or not.

    Stephen
    Railways have always been a political issue especially when it comes to the taxpayer picking up the tab for a loss making service whether its was in Tyrone or West Cork. It could be argued that Stormont was more responsible in forcing the Irish North West Closure in 1957, than Merrion St wasting public money dieselising lines like Harcourt Street & the West Cork which only to close them 2-3 years later.

    The Northern government was also quicker in facing up to the underling problems with the organisation of surface transport splitting UTA operations into separate companies 20 years before CIE.

    The GNR suffered from a poor route structure apart from Dublin-Belfast and Belfast-Cavan most destinations in the border counties could be reached quicker from Belfast or Dublin by road. The GSR & CIE had the advantage of more direct routes and a longer line haul from the South & West to Dublin and Waterford ports which gave rail an advantage over road until the recent construction of Motorways which was not present in Northern Ireland.

    The Free State quickly established customs barriers diverting trade away from Belfast & Derry ports to Dublin. The GNR eventually took advantage of this transporting freight traffic from Dublin and the East across Northern Ireland under customs bond to Donegal and Sligo.

    CIEs losses on freight services increased substantially in 1966 after taking responsibility for freight services to Belfast and the Derry Vacuum, which indicates that Stormont had effectively subsidised cross border rail traffic, something that would not have been popular with a large proportion of the electorate.

    Its all pretty irrelevant from a modelling perspective though like Charlie Haugheys vision of an All-Ireland Police Force and the RUC patrolling in the Republic, the GNR continuing to operate the INW subsidised by Merrion St would have been more palatable to both communities than closure or a CIE take over.

    Would the lines have continued to function to the present day if political and economic conditions were different is anyone's guess.
    John


    If I was going there I would'nt be starting here.

  7. #7
    Should we not forget that if the Derry Road had survived until today may be and just may be the Sligo, Leitrim and Northern Counties Railway would have done as well?

  8. #8
    Senior Member jhb171achill's Avatar
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    In reality, with the border, it is likely that Enniskillen would have ended up cut off anyway. My own prediction on what would be left if the UTA had been more pro-rail would simply be the derry Road operated exactly like the NCC; 70 and 80 class railcars, then eventually CAFs. Goods would have been probably routed via Omagh instead of coleraine, and would probably have suffered the same fate as today in almost all 32 counties; gone.

    If there was any likelihood of goods today, it would be timber from Derry or Strabane. This would probably be worked by NIR's trio of 071s to Portadown, with 00-887665543-009.071 taking over after that.

    As to the station, I'd be thinking the buildings much the same, with modern NIR signage and the goods yard long gone, possibly one remaining siding occasionally housing a yellow machine. And the whole surrounded by modern fencing.
    “An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it. Truth stands, even if there be no public support”

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