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It is beyond me why Ireland still has so much difficulty taking advantage of this as a tourist attraction, preserving railways, or housing the likes of the Fry Model railway :facepalm:

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Posted (edited)

I guess it comes down to having the man/woman power to make it happen and also a plan that can work and everyone singing from the same hymn sheet.

 

I have to say that restoring the station back to as it was in the film could be interesting as it is on a route that could be rebuilt at some stage.

 

Building a replica locomotives and carriage's now that would be something else, but it is do able, just ask the Lynton and Barnstaple railway in North Devon as they are doing just that.

 

It would make a fine model (now that's an idea)

Edited by Colin R

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Posted (edited)
It is beyond me why Ireland still has so much difficulty taking advantage of this as a tourist attraction, preserving railways, or housing the likes of the Fry Model railway :facepalm:

 

This might have a good chance of success if it could milk the sentiments of the Irish American community, but much like the Irish themselves it may be all well meaning idle chatter with little opening of purse strings. Basically the "someone should do something" attitude.

If it was GAA or Tidy Towns there would be no shortage of volunteers and people willing to roll up sleeves or throw money in the pot. ..but railways...not so much.

 

As an aside, one of the main locations in the movie, the cottage, is still in a ruined state after years of attempts at restoration and (typically) a legal squabble over ownership, all the while sightseers have been helping themselves to stones and other materials from it.

Edited by minister_for_hardship

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A great reference for the shades of green used in CIE flying snail era

 

[video=youtube;L6YrqZ7HZ-0]

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In my 25+ years involved in the financial side of both the RPSI and DCDR, there was a perpetual chorus of "why don't you restore X" and "it's a scandal that Y has been left to rot in a siding at Downwhiteheadpatrick". Worse still, "the DCDRPSITG says they're into preservation, so they have a duty to rescue the last Hunsletcraven".

 

It got to the stage where I could barely contain my thoughts at AGMs, while sitting at the top table fielding questions. The answers - the printable ones anyway - which I might have given would include....

 

Are YOU going to pay for it?

 

Where will the money come from, given that it isn't currently eligible for grant aid?

 

Will YOU spend every weekend, a fair portion of your days off and annual leave, plus you own petrol money, on working on this in all weathers?

 

Don't you think that a hard-pressed, necessarily under-resourced volunteer workforce have enough to do?

 

.....and so on.

 

The reality is, people across this island have very little interest in industrial heritage compared to other places.

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Jon

 

HEAR, HEAR!

 

The number of times I've heard people say "wouldn't it be great to get No.800 out of the museum".

 

But ask them for a a few Euros towards it and ……….

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Jon

 

HEAR, HEAR!

 

The number of times I've heard people say "wouldn't it be great to get No.800 out of the museum".

 

But ask them for a a few Euros towards it and ……….

 

 

EGG-ZACTLY!

 

(I'll throw half a million into that 800 project once I've won the lotto. Who'll cough up the rest?)

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EGG-ZACTLY!

 

(I'll throw half a million into that 800 project once I've won the lotto. Who'll cough up the rest?)

 

800 is too heavy, so you'll also have to win the Euro millions lottery to pay for the upgrading of the track work on the Belfast-Dublin route :)

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800 is too heavy, so you'll also have to win the Euro millions lottery to pay for the upgrading of the track work on the Belfast-Dublin route :)

 

She weighs less than a 201, although her axle loading is a bit higher. It's the platform edges and bridges you'd have to keep an eye on (not to mention the hammer blow from the cylinders)...

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She weighs less than a 201. It's the platform edges and bridges you'd have to keep an eye on (not to mention the hammer blow from the cylinders)...

 

Ah Right so. :) I thought I read somewhere the axle loading might be too high for main line use, and wheel spin could buckle some modern track. I presume none of the functioning turn tables could accommodate 800 anyway.

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800 is too heavy, so you'll also have to win the Euro millions lottery to pay for the upgrading of the track work on the Belfast-Dublin route :)

 

No probs. I'll take it to the DCDR. Replacing the track there will be cheaper.

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I think the one thing that the guys at the Ballyglunin Railway Station project are missing is a serious Business plan or at lease a properly costed project. I would over estimate it to the tune of £5 million pounds or 5.6 Million Euros.

 

This figure would include the complete restoration of the station, signal cabin and good shed and both platforms. Plus the building of a replica steam loco* and four carriages as per the film.

 

In the film there is a footbridge, but I have not include the cost of building a replica footbridge, I believe the original one has been moved to another station, so getting that back is possibly not an option at present. I have also not included the cost for the installation of a train shed to keep the loco and train undercover when the place is not open or the purchase of an industrial Diesel loco to move the train from the shed to the platform.

 

While the line in not operational by IR at present. it would be a good idea to also consider the re-installation of the station track plan again should the need arise and the route is rebuild once again.

 

* it would be possible to build a cheaper loco if you did not want to steam it, but only have a dummy. My personal feeling is that if you are going to all this trouble to build a replica, you might as well build one to work.

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Building a new operational loco would be ideal, but would cost upwards of €500k, and then a whole business of health & safety & operational tests and standards. Carriages would then be needed.....

 

Certainly do-able, but the station itself would be a better focus.

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Quite a contrast to tiny volunteer groups in remote parts of the United States like the Galloping Goose Histroical Society in Dolores Colorado who are prepared to fund their own restoration without the expectation of Government funding.

 

http://www.gallopinggoose5.org/what-we-do/

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The reality is, people across this island have very little interest in industrial heritage compared to other places.

 

Or built heritage in general, 100's of towns and villages up and down the country have historic great houses, castles etc. etc. simply crumbling away and falling down.

Clearly everything can't be preserved, but people here are far more interested in other things.

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Quite a contrast to tiny volunteer groups in remote parts of the United States like the Galloping Goose Histroical Society in Dolores Colorado who are prepared to fund their own restoration without the expectation of Government funding.

 

http://www.gallopinggoose5.org/what-we-do/

 

because they know they'd get no government funding - US govt too busy pumping it into the military

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Building a new operational loco would be ideal, but would cost upwards of €500k, and then a whole business of health & safety & operational tests and standards. Carriages would then be needed.....

 

Certainly do-able, but the station itself would be a better focus.

 

A replica loco etc. would be pie-in-the-sky stuff.

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A replica loco etc. would be pie-in-the-sky stuff.

 

You say that, but the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway are in the process of building five brand new steam locos and there are as well a number of new build main line certificated steam locos being undertaken in the UK today.

 

I understand that you have to be realistic about such projects and somethings like this wouldn't go ahead without so much of the funding being in place to start with.

 

It is no good expecting the average railway enthusiast to stump up the money for such a project, as it will never happen. What is more likely is if those behind the project are willing to look at sponsorship from a number of sources. Ireland being in the EU, would I think still be entitled to apply for cultural and tourist based grants. This process is not that easy or quick, but it is possible.

 

It would also be tying down all the possible reasons why the project should succeed, such as increase in tourism, the creation of jobs for the project and surrounding local businesses, in the UK a base figure of of every one job created by the project, it creates two more in the local tourist community (always a good one with politicians), interpretation of the local culture, sustainability of the project (would rebuilding the railway station to a standard that trains could run for there again benefit the local community?) what long term assistance could IR give to the project?

 

This is not an endless list of things to consider, but as they say, it always helps to think outside of the box (whatever that means).

 

Of course we also have to remember that not all grant applications are successful, but by thinking about all those issues and more, it will give you a better chance of success in the long term.

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You say that, but the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway are in the process of building five brand new steam locos and there are as well a number of new build main line certificated steam locos being undertaken in the UK today.

 

I realise there's a number of new builds up and running or in planning stages in the uk.

I was referring to the situ here.

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As one involved with EU and other grant applications over the last thirty years, I might point out a few conditions that are standard now;

 

1. 100% funding or anything near it is almost never considered, especially for large amounts. Thus, substantial financial input from the promoter is necessary. This being the case, in an Irish context it can mean members coughing up till they bleed!

 

2. Before ANY railway preservation scheme is considered, financial sustainability must be proven. For British preserved lines it's a given - one good gala weekend there will bring in the equivalent of the DCDR's entire annual income, Santas included.

 

3. Very often match funding is a requirement - typically of about 30-50%.

 

Thus, typically but not always, if you have a small project of say £200k, here's what might happen.

 

EU provides £120 - provided.....

Applicant provides at least £55k

Some other sponsor e.g. a tourist board or local authority - provides £25k.

 

Local authorities in the 32 counties have had an absolutely abysmal record in funding anything transport related - throughout all time. With funding cuts across the board, and six of those counties cutting themselves out if EU funding, this doesn't look like changing soon!

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We at the MRSI attended a fund raising day last year in Ballyglunin

It was a wet and miserable day and the numbers attending were not great but those that did attend were very passionate about the restoration project

To that effect we took a lot of pics and measurements and hope to build a model of this historical station to be presented to the committee when finished

Scale it yet to be decided but it will most likely be a static display in 00 or N

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Hi Wrenneire

 

Did you take any details of the signal cabin and good shed as well? And would there be any chance of sharing you pictures and measurements, You are correct about it making a brilliant model.

 

I have been thinking about this as a 4mm 21mm gauge exhibition layout since I found this forum.

 

Colin

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I will get back to you Colin, there are a couple of people involved and its a matter of collating all the info we have

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Colin, there are a few pics of the place in operation in "Rails Through the West", and my co-author on that has loads more. If you PM me with specific requirements for views I'll see what I can do.

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Herewith details of trains serving Ballyglunin in 1949 and 1960, just after the western route was comprehensively dieselised.

 

In the WTT dated 4th July 1949, Limerick - Sligo (northbound) trains are as follows, as they pass through Ballyglunin:

 

 

 

12.09 am Athenry - Tuam mail (probably a loco and a mail van; only stopped for one minute)

 

10.00 am Limerick - Sligo goods (departed 03.30am, arrives Sligo 21.50 that evening! 15 min stop

 

9.35 am to 09.48 - Limerick - Tuam goods

 

2.53 pm The first of only two passenger trains in the day, and the only one right through Limerick - Sligo! This one is the 11.45 Limerick - Sligo, seven hours of six wheeled luxury!

 

8.49 pm Athenry - Tuam local passenger; connection from Galway line.

 

 

 

Southbound, this was the picture, starting off with an interesting one:

 

 

 

8.40 am Described as "double headed", this started out as the 8.20am mixed from Tuam, and spent four minutes at Ballyglunin. At Athenry the carriage was detached or locked up, as it continued to Limerick as a goods, arriving at 7.10pm, having had lengthy lay-bys at Athenry (1 hr 25), Gort (1 hr 48) and Ennis (2 hr 6m). At these places, other trains were crossed.

 

11.09 am Sligo - Limerick passenger (dep Sligo 7.30am, arr Limerick 2.35pm)

 

2.54 pm Tuam - Athenry mail. The reverse of the 12.09 arrival above.

 

7.29 pm the 8.15am goods ex-Sligo, which arrived in Limerick at 1am the following morning.

 

 

 

Now let's fast forward to 1960. By this stage "C" class locos are designated for ALL traffic except the single through passenger train in each direction, which is an AEC set. With the abysmal reliability record of the Crossley engines, it may be assumed that an occasional steam engine or perhaps B101 might put in an appearance from time to time.

 

 

 

Northbound:

 

 

 

9.45 am The 03.40am Limerick - Sligo goods (arr Sligo 8.05pm) called on request only

 

12.38 pm Athenry - Tuam passenger / mail

 

5.41 pm The 3.15pm Limerick - Sligo passenger. Arrival was at 8.35pm. Five hours and twenty minutes was a great improvement on the seven hour ordeal of 11 years earlier - all stops were served!

 

6.28 pm The 8.50am Limerick - Claremorris goods had only made it this far by this time, with several long layovers. It would not hit Claremorris until 8.14pm.

 

7.18 pm Athenry - Tuam passenger. Incidentally, these short workings were powered by a "C" from Galway shed, running light between Athenry and Galway and vice versa.

 

 

 

Southbound:

 

 

 

4.31 am 5.45am Sligo - Limerick goods

 

7.55 am Tuam - Athenry passenger

 

8.29 am Claremorris - Limerick goods passes through but doesn't stop.

 

11.39 am 8.50am Sligo - Limerick passenger

 

3.30 pm Tuam - Athenry passenger & mail; obviously the return of the one which called at 12.38 in the other direction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

An interesting thing is that there was also, along the WLWR line, a Limerick - Galway and back passenger service. This left Galway at 9 am, and reversed at Athenry, with Limerick arrival at 11.40. Returning at 12.45pm, it arrived back in Galway at 3.55pm. If we look at today's tram from Galway to Limerick and back, it has six intermediate stops. Back in 1960, it had 12 definites plus a request stop; just compare today's timings! Not much quicker!

 

 

 

No Sunday services of any sort were provided in either of the years shown.

 

 

 

Stations open along the whole route in these times were:

 

 

 

LIMERICK

 

Longpavement

 

Cratloe

 

Sixmilebridge

 

Ballycar

 

Ardsollus

 

Clarecastle

 

ENNIS

 

Crusheen

 

Tubber

 

Gort

 

Ardrahan

 

Craughwell

 

ATHENRY

 

Ballyglunin ***

 

Tuam

 

Castlegrove

 

Milltown

 

Ballindine

 

CLAREMORRIS

 

Kiltimagh

 

Swinford

 

Charlestown

 

Curry

 

Tubbercurry

 

Carrowmore

 

Leyney (Coolaney)

 

Collooney (WLWR)

Ballysodare

 

SLIGO

 

I hope that this is of interest.

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Wow what can I say that is just the sort of thing I like great thanks Jon

 

Colin

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Herewith details of trains serving Ballyglunin in 1949 and 1960, just after the western route was comprehensively dieselised.

 

In the WTT dated 4th July 1949, Limerick - Sligo (northbound) trains are as follows, as they pass through Ballyglunin:

 

 

 

12.09 am Athenry - Tuam mail (probably a loco and a mail van; only stopped for one minute)

 

10.00 am Limerick - Sligo goods (departed 03.30am, arrives Sligo 21.50 that evening! 15 min stop

 

9.35 am to 09.48 - Limerick - Tuam goods

 

2.53 pm The first of only two passenger trains in the day, and the only one right through Limerick - Sligo! This one is the 11.45 Limerick - Sligo, seven hours of six wheeled luxury!

 

8.49 pm Athenry - Tuam local passenger; connection from Galway line.

 

 

 

Southbound, this was the picture, starting off with an interesting one:

 

 

 

8.40 am Described as "double headed", this started out as the 8.20am mixed from Tuam, and spent four minutes at Ballyglunin. At Athenry the carriage was detached or locked up, as it continued to Limerick as a goods, arriving at 7.10pm, having had lengthy lay-bys at Athenry (1 hr 25), Gort (1 hr 48) and Ennis (2 hr 6m). At these places, other trains were crossed.

 

11.09 am Sligo - Limerick passenger (dep Sligo 7.30am, arr Limerick 2.35pm)

 

2.54 pm Tuam - Athenry mail. The reverse of the 12.09 arrival above.

 

7.29 pm the 8.15am goods ex-Sligo, which arrived in Limerick at 1am the following morning.

 

 

 

Now let's fast forward to 1960. By this stage "C" class locos are designated for ALL traffic except the single through passenger train in each direction, which is an AEC set. With the abysmal reliability record of the Crossley engines, it may be assumed that an occasional steam engine or perhaps B101 might put in an appearance from time to time.

 

 

 

Northbound:

 

 

 

9.45 am The 03.40am Limerick - Sligo goods (arr Sligo 8.05pm) called on request only

 

12.38 pm Athenry - Tuam passenger / mail

 

5.41 pm The 3.15pm Limerick - Sligo passenger. Arrival was at 8.35pm. Five hours and twenty minutes was a great improvement on the seven hour ordeal of 11 years earlier - all stops were served!

 

6.28 pm The 8.50am Limerick - Claremorris goods had only made it this far by this time, with several long layovers. It would not hit Claremorris until 8.14pm.

 

7.18 pm Athenry - Tuam passenger. Incidentally, these short workings were powered by a "C" from Galway shed, running light between Athenry and Galway and vice versa.

 

 

 

Southbound:

 

 

 

4.31 am 5.45am Sligo - Limerick goods

 

7.55 am Tuam - Athenry passenger

 

8.29 am Claremorris - Limerick goods passes through but doesn't stop.

 

11.39 am 8.50am Sligo - Limerick passenger

 

3.30 pm Tuam - Athenry passenger & mail; obviously the return of the one which called at 12.38 in the other direction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

An interesting thing is that there was also, along the WLWR line, a Limerick - Galway and back passenger service. This left Galway at 9 am, and reversed at Athenry, with Limerick arrival at 11.40. Returning at 12.45pm, it arrived back in Galway at 3.55pm. If we look at today's tram from Galway to Limerick and back, it has six intermediate stops. Back in 1960, it had 12 definites plus a request stop; just compare today's timings! Not much quicker!

 

 

 

No Sunday services of any sort were provided in either of the years shown

 

 

I hope that this is of interest.

 

CIE seem to have used the D14 or 60 Class on the Limerick-Sligo passenger trains and slightly smaller D17 or 52 Class on the Tuam-Galway local trains and J15s working all goods traffic from the late 1940s until the end of steam. D17 no 59 the star of the Quiet Man seems to have been a regular loco on the Tuam passengers and in a "Decade of Steam" Drew Donaldson contrasts the smart running of the 52 Class with the "leisurely loping" of the D14s working the Sligo-Limerick trains over the Athenry-Tuam section. No59 was timed at 64mph between Ballyglunin & Athenry in 1952 and superheated No16 at 66 between Balyglunin and Tuam running in the opposite direction. Ex WLWR 4-4-0, 2-4-0 & 0-6-0 locos are likely to have shared the workings with the GSWR classes until withdrawn in the late 1940s.

 

A Decade of Steam speaks about the staff at Athenry shed (surely Tuam?) struggling with a leaking foundation ring on 59 afraid to send her to Inchacore lest she would never return.

 

I doubt whether the C Class would have had adequate power for goods trains over the Limerick-Sligo line as traffic density (Ton/mile carried) was higher over the line north from Limerick to Athenry, than the lines into Waterford or Athlone-Galway.

 

Daily Limerick-Claremorris & Limerick-Sligo were required from the late 50s until the closing of the Burma Road in 1975.

 

Its possible that locos working Limerick-Sligo goods were changed at Tuam in steam days rather than working through between terminals and the shed was far busier than would normally be expected for a relatively small through station.

 

A steam loco would require major servicing having been on the road for 7-8 hours with a pick-up goods and the crew out of time on the road.

 

Its interesting that by 1960 the Tuam goods now runs through to Claremorris in approx. 12 hours and the through Limerick-Sligo goods in approx. 17 hours probably without change of locomotive.

 

Personally the greatest drawback to developing Ballyglunin as a tourist attraction is its remote location and its limited nature as an attraction a scene from a movie made 60 odd years ago, Cong and locations in Connemara have a much stronger appeal

 

Perhaps a restoration with more of a community based focus such as the Kiltimagh Museum or Templeport Community Centre than a commercial tourist focus may have a greater chance of success.

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I went to Kiltimagh for the first time recently. I have to say it isn't up to much.

 

Tuam had an allocation of six J15s (nothing else) in the 1914-20 period, according to the late Billy Lohan.

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Well, they've raised the target sum of money, fair play.

 

I would agree that it is a very out-of-the-way place, unless someone there is running some specialist tour of the movie sites (possibly bundled with other attractions) or pay for its upkeep by other means, I don't see how it would attract a lot of visitors.

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In general, across Ireland, a museum devoted to anything at all will not be financially self supporting if it is an out-of-the-way place.

 

If this could be fine with IE's full cooperation and full funding from somewhere, and permanently run by volunteers, well and good. And I hope it can be. However, as others suggest, making a busy attraction out of one scene out of an (albeit famous) film 66 years short is a bit far fetched.

 

In order to visit Kiltimagh museum, you have to ring a mobile phone number and someone from the town appears. The day I went, I noticed spiders. They outnumbered the people there by a considerable amount....

 

Ballyglunin wouldn't be much different.

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Is there any remote possibility that part of the 'western rail corridor' might reopen in the next 10 years (i.e. if traffic levels viable post recession)? I think it was part of the original WRC 'dream' but I've no idea if that section of the WRC was wishful thinking or viable.

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