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Summer 1956: Comments from Enniskillen

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Posted (edited)

"Well, I was standing on the platform - it was a sunny evening"

     What was happening?

"A goods engine was shunting cattle wagons, and there were a lot of them in the station, as there was a fair somewhere the next day"

     I thought you used to go fishing at that time of year? Would it not have been in the evening?

"I had an early start the next day, so I watched the shunting for a while and went home"

     Where was home?

"Up the Chanterhill Road - the railway owned the house. The Sligo Leitrim's traffic manager lived next door, but I doubt if the Sligo Leitrim owned the place. It was at the top of the hill behind the station and you could hear the early morning shunting"

     So what happened?

"Well, the engine stuck a few Sligo Leitrim wagons onto the front of the train, making it up to maybe forty wagons. The rest were Great Northern, maybe a couple of CIE, because on fair days they'd borrow them now and again. The van was on the end. He coupled up to the lot and got the road - that was a shunt signal, of course. When he opened the regulator, off went the engine with the coupling off the leading wagon dragging behind it. The wagons stayed put!"

     What happened? Did the guard have the brakes on?

"Not at all! The train was ready to move. The leading few wagons were Sligo ones and I had noticed were as rotten as anything I'd seen. They were falling to bits!"

     So what happened?

"They just took it off, and had a good look at the other Sligo ones, and told Manorhamilton to come and take it away!"


This story was told to me years ago by jhb171 senior, and is almost a mirror image of what had happened to a sand train in Lisburn some ten years earlier!


Edited by jhb171achill
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