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Irish Railway News 1957-60

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Another dose of nostalgia. I have endeavoured to pick out bits likely to be of most use to modellers, but the originals are well worth a read. This post is again in two parts; here's the first:

 

In 1957 the "big talk" was of the draconian GNR / SLNCR closures. I often thought a layout based on the twilight period of CIE goods / mail working on the Dundalk - Clones - Cavan - Mullingar sections 1957-9 would make an interesting and unusual basis for a layout - as, indeed, would any goods-only line, but that's just my thoughts. Certainly, models based around major centres like Dundalk, Drogheda or Mullingar might well have lifting trains appearing in them, setting off down a weed strewn track to one side, to go off "lifting"!

 

From July to the closure at the end of September, a special diesel express was laid on to Gt Victoria St, Belfast, using a new 700-class (BUT) railcar hauling an elderly wood-panelled brake third. There's an interesting one to model!

 

The winding down of the narrow gauge continued, with only the CDRJC and the two CIE lines still in existence. The first was to succumb at the end of December 1959, though occasional goods trains operated over a short distance until 3rd February 1960, while of the other two the Cavan and Leitrim succumbed earlier in the year, steam-operated to the last. Sufficient photos exist in books to give a modeller enough information, and the same probably applies to the West Clare section - the diesel locos and railcars on which received both the dark green and light green - snail-less and unlined in both cases. The C & L had ended up with one attractively painted coach in particular - a former T & D third was turned out in light green and looked very well.

 

But other closures were in the offing. The Inny Jct - Clones - Dundalk sections and all appendages were closed from 1.1.60 along with the Kenmare and Ballinrobe branches, both steam worked to the last. Apart from a brand new 121 deputising for a failed steam loco on a (IRRS?) special, Ballinrobe never saw a diesel; nor did Kenmare as far as can be ascertained. Lifting gangs were beavering away on the Tullow branch, already closed.

 

Inchicore continued to turn out new carriages of "laminate" style, and four wheel "tin vans", as per Mayner's superb kit. These had initially been silver, but it seems that after about 1960 they were turned out in light green, older ones being repainted thus. In August 1959 six ex-GN locos were transferred to Broadstone, mostly seeing use on Dun Laoghaire Pier trains. All steam engines based in the area were to end up at Broadstone as the end of steam drew nearer.

 

"Stray" locos and rolling stock were of interest, in the same way that the travels of NIR's GM 112 (or 88888880000112 or whatever they call it now!!) were tracked in recent years when she was on loan to IE. In particular, former GNR stock was now venturing onto the CIE system, and green paint and flying snails were appearing on ex-GN coaches, always the lighter shade by this stage, of course. CIE never repainted any GNR steam locos, though the unique German diesel got the green, and later all-black. GN "BUT" sets were regularly used on a new Amiens Street to Arklow working, and another GN AEC set appeared regularly on a Wexford turn. A wooden-bodied GN coach, still in GNR brown, crest and all, was seen in and around Cork, in particular WEST Cork, and on 18th September 1959 the Bantry train had a silver "C" hauling a silver laminate compo, a green "Park Royal", a GNR compo and two GNR vans - all three in GNR livery. Meanwhile, the Loughrea branch set had the usual elderly dark green ex-MGWR brake third and a clerestorey-roofed GNR compo, hauled by an elderly MGWR 0.6.0. This cross-pollination of CIE and the GNR did not stop at rolling stock - a signal box lever frame from Monaghan was installed at Cobh. GNR wagons could be seen all ov er the IE system, and CIE ones were already no stranger to Belfast, Derry and even Larne.

 

An E401 class loco was trialled on the Courtmacsherry line in Septembe 1959 and it was reported that this would "probably" provide motive power for beet trains that winter. It was not to be: such traffic remained in the hands of ex-MGWR "J26" class 0.6.0Ts and ex GSWR "J30" class locos 90 and 100, until the line closed a few years later.

 

The UTA continued scrapping steam engines. Two ex-BCDR tank engines were among those auctioned off as late as 1959, but production of new MPD railcars and upgrading of existing ones was ongoing. Many were converted from existing steam-hauled coaches, and in late '59 several were turned out in a pale blue-tinted green instead of standard brunswick green. Roofs of these were left, CIE-style, in unpainted aluminium which (as anyone in Inchicore could have told them) would look filthy after an extremely short time in use!

 

GAA traffic in 1959 continued to provide statistics which would have modern railway operators reaching for valium. On 5th July,thirteen trains travelled to Navan for a Dublin-v-Louth game. 7 came from Dublin via Drumree, 2 from Dundalk, and one each from Killester, Ardee, Drogheda and Oldcastle. The match was drawn and on 23rd July a similar exercise was undertaken for the replay. A few days earlier a match at Clones resulted in specials arriving there from Mullingar, Monaghan, Dundalk and Dublin (via Dundalk). No less than 16 trains went to Killarney on 2nd August, along with 11 to Tullamore. On 26th July the Munster final brought no less than 25 specials to Thurles, as follows:

 

6 from Cork

3 Waterford

2 Dublin

2 Clonmel

1 Annacotty

1 Dungarvan via Waterford

1 Wexford via Campile

1 Grange

1 Carrick-on-Suir

1 Mallow

1 Blarney

1 Limerick Jct

1 Tralee

1 Cahir

1 Newcastle West via Limerick

1 Cappagh via Mallow

 

September 6th's hurling final at Croke Park brought 27 specials to Dublin, while the footbal on September 26th had 30 specials to Dublin.

 

The West Cork's seaside excursions in the final years of the line's life in the very late 50's / early 60s are well known. However CIE also operated seaside day trips over other routes, in some cases off otherwise quite obscure branch lines, thus:

 

Ennis-Lahinch

Drogheda-Laytown

Cork-Courtmacsherry (as mentioned)

Loughrea-Galway

Tuam-Galway

Ballaghaderreen-Sligo

Thurles-Waterford (for Tramore)

Castleisland or Tralee - Fenit

In addition, heavy traffic on Dublin and Cork suburban routes served similar purposes.

 

On 23.8.59 several trains operated along these lines which would not prove to be much other than one-offs: Cork to Bantry and also to Clonakilty (for Inchydoney Strand), and another to Baltimore.

 

From one cultural phenomenon to another: the UTA continued to operate well-patronised specials to places where Orange demonstrations were taking place. On the NCC section, "Jeeps" were much in evidence on this type of traffic, but some ex-GN locos worked through from places like Lisburn via the Antrim branch. On the GN section and Bangor line, such traffic was entirely hauled by ex-GN locos in 1959.

 

Rugby internationals were another busy source of traffic. At this time specials were typically hauled from the north by ex-GN steam locos of 4.4.0 or 0.6.0 types, but ex-NCC "W" class 2.6.0 No. 95 made an appearance over the winter, as did B106 and A16 from Limerick and Cork respectively. Local trains in the Dublin area serving the matches included two CIE 0.6.0s and a GN one, and two GNR 4.4.0s.

 

To be continued in Part 2.

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And part 2:

 

1960 dawned, the CDRJC closure attracting much attention. At the same time the Chairman of CIE announced that he saw little future for any of CIE's branch lines... and moderisation proceeded apace, even as elderly J15s were receiving heavy overhauls and even in a few cases, repaints. The traditional battleship grey steam loco paint stocks must have been running low, as a handful of steam engines (low single figures!) were painted black. But the C class locos were now taking over rural lines for the time being, though closure of most would follow within a few years. The Birr and Foynes branches changed from steam to "C" class operation in the early months of 1960.

 

New Year's Eve 1959 saw J15 188 haul three old six wheelers constituting the last train out of Kenmare. Two of this trio were far from home, being of ex-MGWR origin.

 

On New Year's Day, the remainder of the GNR in counties Monaghan and Cavan, and peripheral lines, slipped away, but not before an IRRS special traversed the route on 19th December '59 - oh to have been on THAT! It is interesting to note what was out and about on this still-very-GNR section in these twilight days. The IRRS special was a two-coach GNR AEC set (now in CIE green). A short while later, on the last day of traffic, railcar C1 had the Dundalk-Cavan parcels; A16 took 15 wagons out of Carrickmacross on the last goods train out of there - how many of us knew an "A" made it to Carrickmacross? Steam loco 161 was in Clones with the last Monaghan goods. As C1 left Cavan with the last parcel train for Dundalk, C219 was making up the last goods from Cavan via Inny Junction to Dublin.

 

Steam locos were being stockpiled all over the place for scrapping. Various locations in Dublin had rusting steam locos in varying states of undress - perhaps a scenic appendage for any layouts based in larger centres at this time? Tne UTA was similarly occupied, with ten locos of GNR and NCC origin sold for scrap. On the other hand, the UTA BOUGHT the former SLNCR locos "Lough Erne" and "Lough Melvin"; not only, therefore, were these two the last new steam engines delivered to an Irish railway, but they were by far the last steam engines bought by an irish railway company!

 

The Markethill and Banbridge branches were being dismantled. At the same time the UTA was singling sections of the "Derry Road" - only to close the lot a few years later.

 

Some unusual rolling stock details from 1960 included the repainting of the old MGWR TPO No. 1M in green, along with a modern TPO; the first ex-GNR dining car (C401N) repainted into CIE green; the first use of a GNR diner on "foreign" metals when GN-liveried 268 worked a special from Westland Row to Galway; an ex-GN BUT car, no. 904, hauling a laminate brake 2nd (1905) on a trial run to Cork and back; and the now-preserved ex-GN diner 88 repainted in UTA green as UTA no. 552. This coach will be known to many as the diner in the RPSI's Dublin "heritage" set. Don't be confused by the livery; while many ex-GN coaches wore that particular CIE green livery, 88 was not one of them, as she went to the UTA, not CIE. She carries her current livery for uniformity with the rest of the set.

 

A race special was noted leaving Westland Row for Mullingar in March 1960 hauled by A7 with five GNR coaches all in CIE green, and a 4 wheel "tin van". Among other oddities to be seen in the spring of 1960 was the last Pullman car - the diner no.100 - now in CIE green - in use on the Cork - Rosslare boat train. Over in the west, the last day on the Valentia branch (1st February) saw C201 hauling an 1885-built sixwheel brake third of MGWR extraction, a few wagons and a van in the down direction, while in the up direction C227 had two bogie coaches and two luggage vans. At 19:17 that night, C227 drew to a halt in Cahirciveen, the last train into the place.

 

Passenger traffic on the West Clare was brisk, with one pair of trains each day having an average of 80 passengers, necessitating a diesel loco hauling all three of the railcar trailers and / or the ex-C & L coach no. 1. This was to some extent due to the carriage of school children, but the goods was so busy that a relief working often had to run.

 

A fire on board the "Enterprise" on 28.1.60 highlighted (for modellers, of course!) the make-up of this train at the time. BUT railcar 906 led, followed by buffet 97, brake 2nd 192, and BUT car 908. A while later the "Enterprise" sets in use included BUT car C906N in green, brake 2nd 114 (now at Whitehead) in GNR blue and cream, buffet 238 in GNR brown, and BUT railcar 904 in blue and cream! The DSER had similar colourful trains; noted at Macmine a few years later was a three car railcar set, with one car in green, the centre coach in GNR blue and cream, the rear car in black'n'tan, hauling a 4 wheeled van in grubby silver!

 

On St. Patrick's Day 1960, A60 worked a service train to Belfast. While there, she was taken on a trial run via the Central line to Bangor, thus extending the travels of the class onto the BCDR for the first time. On the same day, a CIE dining car (2400) made its firts visit to Belfast. Former GN ones had been used exclusively until then.

 

Livery detail: the UTA announced its full coat of arms, recently designed, would shortly start to replace the "red hand" circular device on all locos, stock, buses and publicity. Also worthy of note for modellers is the the GNR section still retained GNR style station nameboards, trespass signs, and so on, unaltered, until a standard CIE bilingual trespass sign appeared at Malahide. The new UTA coat of arms made its way onto three ex-GNR locos which had been newly painted into UTA lined black. These were Nos. 33, 35 and 48.

 

By mid 1960, GNR dining car 292 had become the first GNR catering vehicle to appear in CIE green, being renumbered C292N. It is worth noting that ex-GN goods stock was renumbered by CIE by adding "N", thus wagon 165 became 165N. Coaches and railcars had a "C" in front as well, hence diner 292 becoming C292N. One wonders why they didn't just use "N", or even "GxxxN" - it could be something to do with the fact that the letter "G" as painted in Dundalk, often looked like a "C" - but these coaches had "C"s on them, not "G"'s - whoever made a hames of that, perhaps! Locos did not receive an "N" - they remained as they were under the GNR.

 

As 1960's summer became autumn, lifting gangs were working at several locations on the Irish North and the Kenmare, Valentia, Ballinrobe and Harcourt Street lines. The Donegal system was also being dismantled, with gangs working on the Ballyshannon branch. On 18th March a special railcar train of 14 and 12 with trailer 3 between them, operated from Stranorlar to Killygordon "for recording purposes". What were they recording? If it was to film the line, where is the film now? If not, what was the point?

 

The Indian Summer of the West Cork system was the subject of an article in June 1960. To give a flavour of what would make a mouth-watering model layout system, on June 4th we can savour a snapshot of the line in its final season. The 12:15 to Bantry had a three-coach AEC set, the middle coach of laminate ancestry. Few stations en route provided passengers, though a few were set down. At Bandon a C class diesel was shunting in the goods yard. At Drimoleague some 25 passengers got off to join the connection for Skibbereen and Baltinmore, which consisted of C224, an old bogie compo, 8 wagons and a luggage van. The same railcar set returned on the 15:00 with 31 passengers on departure. The branch train at Drimoleague had the same coach and van, but one wagon; it was now hauled by C207. A wagon was attached to the rear of the railcar set, which delayed departure. While no connection at Clonakilty Jct had been made on the down journey, the up journey saw the mixed connect with our railcar set. C225 awaited with an elderly bogie compo (no passengers in it), a "tin van", 8 wagons and 2 goods brake vans. On arrival of the goods ex-Bantry, C225 swopped with its loco, C207, doubtless due to routine return of locos to Cork for fuelling and servicing. The 18:00 down Bantry train was sttrengthened due to a pilgrimage, and had an 8 car AEC set!

 

And there we are for now.

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Book in process, heirflick.... finding time is the issue, though!

 

Thank you for making the time (when available) -looking forward to a good read.

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Book in process, heirflick.... finding time is the issue, though!

 

have every confidence that you will make the time... as Kirley said im looking forward to a good read!!:tumbsup:

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And part 2:

 

1960 dawned, the CDRJC closure attracting much attention. At the same time the Chairman of CIE announced that he saw little future for any of CIE's branch lines... and moderisation proceeded apace, even as elderly J15s were receiving heavy overhauls and even in a few cases, repaints. The traditional battleship grey steam loco paint stocks must have been running low, as a handful of steam engines (low single figures!) were painted black. But the C class locos were now taking over rural lines for the time being, though closure of most would follow within a few years. The Birr and Foynes branches changed from steam to "C" class operation in the early months of 1960.

 

New Year's Eve 1959 saw J15 188 haul three old six wheelers constituting the last train out of Kenmare. Two of this trio were far from home, being of ex-MGWR origin.

 

On New Year's Day, the remainder of the GNR in counties Monaghan and Cavan, and peripheral lines, slipped away, but not before an IRRS special traversed the route on 19th December '59 - oh to have been on THAT! It is interesting to note what was out and about on this still-very-GNR section in these twilight days. The IRRS special was a two-coach GNR AEC set (now in CIE green). A short while later, on the last day of traffic, railcar C1 had the Dundalk-Cavan parcels; A16 took 15 wagons out of Carrickmacross on the last goods train out of there - how many of us knew an "A" made it to Carrickmacross? Steam loco 161 was in Clones with the last Monaghan goods. As C1 left Cavan with the last parcel train for Dundalk, C219 was making up the last goods from Cavan via Inny Junction to Dublin.

 

The Indian Summer of the West Cork system was the subject of an article in June 1960. To give a flavour of what would make a mouth-watering model layout system, on June 4th we can savour a snapshot of the line in its final season. The 12:15 to Bantry had a three-coach AEC set, the middle coach of laminate ancestry. Few stations en route provided passengers, though a few were set down. At Bandon a C class diesel was shunting in the goods yard. At Drimoleague some 25 passengers got off to join the connection for Skibbereen and Baltinmore, which consisted of C224, an old bogie compo, 8 wagons and a luggage van. The same railcar set returned on the 15:00 with 31 passengers on departure. The branch train at Drimoleague had the same coach and van, but one wagon; it was now hauled by C207. A wagon was attached to the rear of the railcar set, which delayed departure. While no connection at Clonakilty Jct had been made on the down journey, the up journey saw the mixed connect with our railcar set. C225 awaited with an elderly bogie compo (no passengers in it), a "tin van", 8 wagons and 2 goods brake vans. On arrival of the goods ex-Bantry, C225 swopped with its loco, C207, doubtless due to routine return of locos to Cork for fuelling and servicing. The 18:00 down Bantry train was sttrengthened due to a pilgrimage, and had an 8 car AEC set!

 

And there we are for now.

 

 

Great stuff JHB

 

The daily Irish North goods from Dundalk to Cavan & Monaghan was steam worked to the end probably with an ex-GNR loco with an A Class working the Dundalk-Carrickmacross goods probably as a fill in between other turns. Inny Junction Cavan seems to have been worked by the Mullingar Pilot, presumably the operating department did not fancy the idea of tying up an A Class for up to 20 hours on the Irish North, or possibly loosing a second loco if the first broke down

 

The Irish North goods seems to have been an all day job probably with two loco crews, working down to Cavan in the early hours of the morning and fitted in a side trip from Clones to Monaghan in the afternoon theoretically returning to Dundalk some time before midnight.

 

I always fancied an American style operating layout based on the West Cork with the main line and the two main branches. The Drimoleague Baltimore line was basically operated as two separate branches with most trains running to and from Skibbereen.

 

It seems to have been a line where freight was considered more important than passenger traffic, while the main line was worked by the relatively modern standardish class of Bandon tanks, the branches seem to have been worked by cast off tank locos from the DSER, GSWR, MGWR and WLWR. Modernisation simplified things with an AEC railcar set on the main line and 3 C Class worrking goods and branch services, presumably a Bandon Tank or two was available for cattle and beet specials.

 

Clonakilty lost its morning connection from Cork when the branch was dieselised in the late 50s, the mixed worked out from Clonakilty connected into the morning train to Cork, changed personality and worked back as a goods, working down the Courtmacsharry Branch as required before resuming mixed train operation connecting with both up and down evening main line trains.

 

While a single AEC railcar set seems to have worked all main line passenger services, loco workings seemed odd while one C Class more or less captive on low milage Clonakilty/Courtmacsharry services, the other pair were kept busy on the two main line goods services and connecting goods/mixed trains working out of Drimiloleague and Skibbereen

Edited by Mayner

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Indeed, Mayner - I remember going through a 1960 WTT once with the intention of finding out exactly how many locos, crews etc were needed to do a day's work on that system. As you say, it was an odd working.

 

The Bandon tanks were indeed needed on beet specials. A recent DVD shows none other than an 800 class (802, I think) taking beet empties from Mallow to Cork, where a Bandon tank took over to ferry them to the junction. At that point a MGWR J26 (552) set sail with them for Clonakilty; the return journey being a mirror image as far as Cork anyway. Further interest could be added with 90 or 100 trailing 2 or 3 wagons into Courtmacsherry. If that's not fodder for a fascinating model railway setting, I don't know what is! Towards the end, beet was handled on the Cork - Clonakilty Junction with Bandon tanks or on occasion, a C class loco, but Midland J26 0.6.0Ts ruled the branch to the end.

 

You are right about the INW turns. There is no way they would have sent an "A" class out to Carrickmacross unless it was spare for a while in Dundalk. And it was generally (if not always) a GNR "A" class 0.6.0 which operated the "rump" INW goods. The locomotive used between Inny Junction and Cavan was generally a "C" class, so it may well have been a Mullingar pilot.

 

The railways were undergoing a fascinating period of change at the time, as we all know. I am surprised more model layouts don't concentrate on this period, but with the growing number of truly excellent kits available, there is no reason why this might not change in time.

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Guest hidden-agenda

Excellent info John.

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'A recent DVD shows none other than an 800 class (802, I think) taking beet empties from Mallow to Cork, where a Bandon tank took over to ferry them to the junction'.

 

John - thats a sight i would love to see! can you recall the name of the dvd?

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John is right to remind you gys of the joys of Irish Railfans News - I just happen to have a bound set here on the shelf above my head.

 

If you really want some entertainment about how the railway used to be, take a look at the CIE weekly notices which the IRRS has in its archive. One copy I looked at had EIGHTY pages and the first 40 pages were the cattle specials (all worked by steam, too!).

 

Those were the days .....

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I must fish mine out and post a few items again.

 

They really open up the day to day minutae of the grey/green and black'n'tan eras.

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jhb, back in the first post in this thread you included the following: " The C & L had ended up with one attractively painted coach in particular - a former T & D third was turned out in light green and looked very well." Presumably this was the later "standard" light green? Would it be fair to assume that the ex-T&D bogie van, 22L, that arrived at the same time would also have been painted in this shade? Also on page 38 of Anthony Burges' Smoke Amidst the Drumlins there is a photo of van no. 14 dated September 1957 which appears repainted in a lighter shade - another candidate?

 

Thank you if you, or anyone else, can help,

 

Phil

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Phil

 

Yes, you're exactly right. The narrow gauge lines tended to have exceptions to the normal rules in lacking lining, "flying snails" and the like, but the standard colours always applied. From the day the GSR took over, the C & L became increasingly unfamiliar with paintbrushes of any kind; as late as 1956 one carriage in traffic still bore the badly faded and peeling browny pink (originally rich burgundy maroon!) of the GSR.

 

Former C & L original carriages all got the original (darker) CIE green from 1946, other than the above example. Instead of the light "eau-de-nil" band above and below window level, they had it above only, with two e-de-n "snails" and large class number on the sides. No. 1 was in appalling state by the mid fifties; no light, no heat, and a roof that liberally let in rainwater. It was taken to Inchicore and rebuilt, this time being turned out in the post-1955 lighter green as seen, for example, on laminates or A or C class locos. It was unlined and had no "snails".

 

Ex-T & D stock brought into the C & L section was also thus treated. On both the West Clare and the C & L, former T & D coaches were thus turned out, minus any lining, but with a single eau-de-nil "snail" mid-side.

 

The ex-CVR luggage trailers (old goods vans) on the WCR were also painted light green, but this weathered to what actually looks brown! They were never cleaned.

 

The former "bus-coach" on the C & L - a 1940s Inchicore invention of two bus bodies on an old C & L chassis was plain dark green, unlined, no snails. It was never repainted the lighter green.

 

Needless to say, all C & L locos were all-over grey, though towards the end, they could have been painted pink and tartan as far as anyone knew, as the REAL livery on them was a heavy coating of soot, brake dust, coal dust and general filth!

 

I digress here: for some reason, while the Donegal system always took pride in turning things out well, as far as steam locos were concerned, this extended only to the tanks and cabs. Many photos show the iconic "Meenglas", "Drumboe" and "Erne" and their stablemates in beautiful cherry red, but with what looks like black boilers and domes. The boilers and domes were actually red! The preserved one in Cultra has its dome painted black (incorrect) as this has clearly just been influenced by photos.....

 

I have a long-term interest in the railways of Majorca. When steam ended in 1964, they technically had two liveries. The older British built engines were dark green, while the later Manquinista (Spanish-built) 2.6.0Ts were always painted black.

 

Even from colour photos, it is impossible to see any green at all on any of the former, bar a single photo about 1960 where faded green traces can be seen on a tank side of, I think, one of the older 4.4.0Ts. Steam locos get dirty very quickly, and in fact when operating one on a layout in pristine condition, it might be remembered that if strict accuracy is aspired to, this will only apply to a loco literally straight out of the paint shop and on its first run since! And, by journey's end, it will be as smutty as Sidney James.

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While on the subject of IRN bulletins of times past, here's an utterly random pick from an old copy. This dates from when Pussy was a Kitten, the motorway was cobbled, Jesus was in shorts, and anyone in a dog collar was not to be questioned (unless he painted an "A" class model the wrong colour); let's cast our minds back to January 1948.

 

The IRRS now has some 139 members, among those recently joining being Sir John Betjeman, the English writer, Mrs N Fry (Churchtown, Dublin; wife of the famous Cyril Fry), G F Egan (SLNCR Traffic Manager), R S Guinness (needs no introduction!), William Robb of Belfast, and Desmond Coakham; between them probably the greatest ever authorities on the BCDR, and well know railway enthusiasts, photographers and writers R C Ludgate, R M "Mac" Arnold, J P O'Dea, E G Maddocks, Mrs P G Robbins, Rev F R Skuse and H B Smith (of Bank of Ireland).

 

So, to the news - the GNR has just launched a new non-stop train between Amiens Street and Belfast, called the "Enterprise". Only first and third class are provided, no second. The train consists of a brake 3rd, two 3rds, buffet car, two 1sts and a 3rd brake. All seats are bookable in advance and the thirds are open seating, with the firsts (specially built) being side corridor. These firsts have separate ladies and gents toilets, the ladies having a chair and full length mirror. The departures are twice daily at 10:30am and 5:30pm, with journey time of 2 hours and 15 minutes.

 

On one run timed by J Macartney Robbins, they got from Dublin to almost Adavoyle in an hour and 15 seconds. Maximum speed was recorded passing Dundalk at 77 mph.

 

The IRRS arranged a visit (to this day, quaintly called "outings", like the loonies being let out of the asylum!) to Dundalk Works and to the shortly-to-be-closed Bessbrook & Newry Tramway. This generated much enthusiasm and the Society was then inundated with requests by members for other trips - think of the scope in those days! Even the LLSR was still in operation... at the Society dinner in November, they met in the GNR restaurant in Amiens Street Station. A possible 70th anniversary could be held in the IE buffet in Connolly in November 2018?

 

The NCC had, at time of publication, converted two locomotives to burn oil. These were "W" class nos. 100 and 101. It was reported that from next January 1st (1948), the NCC will become part of the London Midland Region of British Railways, although even before this came into effect it was reported that alternative arrangements would probably be put in place - they were, as the Stormont Government acquired it instead.

 

CIE has built its first diesel electric locomotive at Inchicore; this has a "Mirrlees" TLDT6 type vertical 6-cylinder 4-stroke engine developing 487 bhp at 710 rpm. The weight of the loco in working order is 52 tons. It is numbered 1000, and another four under construction will be 1001-4. It is painted in the two shades of green used on passenger coaches.

 

There are now 93 oil-burning steam locos in traffic. In recent times, some ex-GSWR locos of 333 and 342 series, as well as some of the 356 class 2.6.0s, and a few ex-MGW 573 class have been fitted. No. 185 of the J15 class has also been fitted.

 

In West Cork, the last "Bandon Tank" with original boiler has had a new superheated one fitted.

 

Following the wartime fuel shortages, services are getting back to normal, though the Cork line still only has two through trains a day.

 

The GNR is taking delivery of five new engines of both the "U" and "UG" class. The passenger locos are 201-5, named, in order: Meath, Louth, Armagh, Antrim and Down. The UGs are 78-82, and are broadly similar to the earlier locos of the same class, bar a few minor amendments.

 

0.6.0s nos. 201 and 203 are renumbered 40 and 41, while 4.4.2T nos. 147 and 148 become 67 and 69.

 

LQG class 0.6.0 No. 159 was converted to oil burning in September 1947.

 

The SLNCR has taken delivery of a notable new railcar. The interior is finished with blue "leather" upholstery and a turquoise blue floor and the window ledges are exactly the right height to use as armrests. Travel is entirely free from vibration, and fold-up steps are available for stops with no platforms. The car is 54ft 11 1/2in long. Externally it is finished in deep chrome green (lower) eau-de-nil upper, separated by a narrow black line and with a white roof. The engine is Gardner 6LW diesel. It has a maximum speed of 54 mph and achieves 13.3 miles per gallon of diesel.

 

The regular goods train on the Letterkenny-Gweedore section of the LLSR was withdrawn from 6.1.46, Certain special trains operated after that, but the whole section was finally closed in June 1947. Goods trains continue between derry and Letterkenny, and Buncrana, with passenger service to Buncrana also, though this will end once suitable buses are sourced and paid for.

 

Regular services ceased on the CDRJC's Glenties branch in December 1947, though turf and cattle trains continue. Substitute CDR buses operate three times per day (instead of the four-times-a-day railcar service) but extend beyond Glenties to Portnoo.

 

If anyone knows of somebody who might want to join the IRRS, it's just 3/- per year. (For today's folks, that's three shillings = 15p - say, 16.5 euro cents per year. Not bad value, especially if a perk is a run on the Bessbrook tram...)

 

Six new locomotives have entered traffic on the NCC. These are "WT" class 2.6.4Ts, numbered 1-4, 9 & 10. They have done very well, though their hopper ashpans are creating difficulties in dropping buring coals onto wooden sleepers! (You'd think this was a no-brainer to designers!).

 

The NCC has teamed up with the LLSR to offer excursions from various places on the NCC system to Buncrana. (No, no "Jeep" ever went there!)

 

And there ye have it. Not a blessed ICR or Mk 3 in sight! Happy days.....................................................................

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Ex-T & D stock brought into the C & L section was also thus treated. On both the West Clare and the C & L, former T & D coaches were thus turned out, minus any lining, but with a single eau-de-nil "snail" mid-side.

 

The former "bus-coach" on the C & L - a 1940s Inchicore invention of two bus bodies on an old C & L chassis was plain dark green, unlined, no snails. It was never repainted the lighter green.

 

Needless to say, all C & L locos were all-over grey, though towards the end, they could have been painted pink and tartan as far as anyone knew, as the REAL livery on them was a heavy coating of soot, brake dust, coal dust and general filth!

 

Thank you very much, that solves another problem for me, and by return too!!

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I was just leafing through another which advises the reader that the new diesels are going to be built in America, by a firm called "General Motors" in La Grange, Illinois....

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