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Official owners of 5T?

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2 hours ago, Mayner said:

I wonder how many would pitch physically or financially to restore the loco or re-open the railway.

Not a ONE!

That’s for “somebody” to do.

In a far-off time when I was restoring carriages at Whitehead as my leisure and holiday time, the odd armchair visitor would turn up and look at one of the wrecks in the sidings.

”Shame to see the state of that”, they’d say, “it’s disgraceful that they’re not securing it or re-roofing it at least”.

You feel like saying to them, “Give me your wallet and bank details, I’m about to bill you the price of your house. That should cover the materials. Then get your sleeves rolled up, cancel your holidays, and be here  every single Saturday, Sunday and bank holiday for the next few years”.....

 

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12 hours ago, Georgeconna said:

Was this not build on Standard Gauge formation or is it some deviations near the new roads, Not that I don't believe you but how is it too tight, Around the point areas?

 

The problem is that the track bed is now shared with a greenway! While the track can be moved a away from the station platforms there is less room at Bilberry and Mount Congreve. The main problem though is the Dan Donovan Tunnel. When it was built the motorway builders took the cheapest option and did nit build the tunnel to match the optimal line of the track. This again has been made worse by now sharing the tunnel with the greenway.

As you can see from the map, the radius of the curves are quite tight and I have been advised that while an 0-4-0 (like the diesels) can take these at a slow speed with some flange squealing,  a 2-6-2 like the beautiful 5T would probably not make it safely. 

Entering Dan Donovan Tunnel, Co.... © P L Chadwick :: Geograph IrelandWaterford Greenway cycle trail Co Waterford- Waterford City to Dungarvan

Tunnel.jpg

Edited by Wexford70
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The folks at the New Jersey Museum of Transportation when i visited told me people often remark 3T should be sent back to Ireland.

Not a chance!

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Posted (edited)

I believe the Leeds Industrial Museum, not far from its birthplace, had an interest in acquiring 5T, it would have been better off going there.Better off anywhere but here. 

The Jeanie Johnston was another Tralee fiasco, a scandal that is, of course someone else's fault, is now slowly rotting on the quays in the capital. Famously one 'colourful' Kerry public representative, I'll leave up to you guys to guess which one, suggested burning it.

In the case of 5T it's worth keeping in mind these are the sorts of people you would have to deal with! Only interested in the making of money, things that go moo or the pucking of a football around a GAA pitch.

Edited by minister_for_hardship
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56 minutes ago, minister_for_hardship said:

I believe the Leeds Industrial Museum, not far from its birthplace, had an interest in acquiring 5T, it would have been better off going there.Better off anywhere but here. 

The Jeanie Johnston was another Tralee fiasco, a scandal that is, of course someone else's fault, is now slowly rotting on the quays in the capital. Famously one 'colourful' Kerry public representative, I'll leave up to you guys to guess which one, suggested burning it.

In the case of 5T it's worth keeping in mind these are the sorts of people you would have to deal with! Only interested in the making of money, things that go moo or the pucking of a football around a GAA pitch.

Much as I hate to say it, this is true.

Rant warning.

In my time in the RPSI committee / board (or whatever it's called these days), there was talk of a national transport museum at Mullingar, and also, as a separate issue, developing Whitehead. A decade earlier, it was a potential branch line from Scarva to Banbridge. A decade later, it was various aspects relating to the development of the Downpatrick line. In between, I was involved in a consultancy role (as a then RPSI finance person) in relation to a proposed railway preservation scheme at Belcoo, and another proposal near Tullow.

In ALL cases, local authorities, local councillors and any other gombeen men who thought they'd jump on the bandwagon, were full of enthusiasm, and assured local papers that they'd do everything they could to help the projects. Nothing ever happened - and in the case of Carrickfergus and Mullingar they would do anything BUT help.

When the RPSI tentatively explored local assistance with several other issues over my 25 years involved directly or indirectly with the Council, same.

Other projects have encountered the same; Kerry being an especially disastrous zone as mentioned above.

In the north, if it's got anything to do with the Battle of the Somme, no problems with money. Anything else, forget it. In the south, if it's got anything to do with an American President whose great great great great great great great great somebody once knew someone who had been to Ireland, or the GAA - no problem. Anything else, forget it.

In 32 counties, industrial heritage can go take a running jump. No money.

Much as I hate to say it, we are billions of light years behind Britain - or most specifically England - in this. And I DO hate to say it, as we have so MUCH here worthy of a small amount of local government help.

But our local councillors seem, for the most part, to be a shower of navel-gazing parasites, like the characters out of the (underrated!) British comedy "The League of Gentlemen", all with their noses in a "local trough for local people". Any concept of forward planning for the good of the area and the preservation of culture and heritage..... forget it. If it doesn't put money in their grubby paws, or suit petty party interests, they're not only not interested - they will oppose it, and very often without even listening to the arguments as to why it is of value.

There was some councillor in Tralee who set up a website which stated that he would get the derelict Blennerville Railway going. I think his name was Barrett. Yes, I'll name him. What he DID was to shut down any debate, and shut the whole thing down. Completely, depressingly, gombeenly typical.

Rant over. For the moment.

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Going on from JHBs "rant", I think the underlying problem is that there is an expectation in Ireland for someone else (Councils, Government and EU) to solve their problems and fund their pet projects rather than try and fund a project locally.

Comparing sporting bodies like the GAA with several hundred thousand of a membership and railway preservationists who can probably muster a couple of thousand across the Island of Ireland is a bit like comparing apples and bananas. Put simply fixing 5T and re-opening the Tralee Steam Railway is not going to attract a lot of votes when there is a problem with affordable housing and hospital waiting lists.

Many of the preserved railways and museums in the UK were established and operate without Government support, some such as the Dartmouth and Vale of Rheidol and Brecon Mountain are fully commercial operations usually owned by wealthy individuals or family trusts as their own private railway without a supporters group. The Festiniog is a hybrid the railway was rescued by a group of wealthy individuals in the early 50s and controlled by a group of Trustees appointed by the owners with a large supporting society. Some of the preserved railways and museums in the UK are not unlike the RPSI established by enthusiasts in the 1950s and 60s largely dependent of sympathetic railway officials, volunteer and enthusiast support.

I don't buy the Ireland is too small and spread out to support preserved railway or museums, New Zealand has similar population to Ireland spread out over the land area of the British Isles, with preserved railway and museums at most major centers over the length of the country. Although there is some local government support very few could be classed as financially viable, with restoration, repairs and maintenance funded by the owners and preservation groups.

Another big difference for NZ and Ireland is Kiwi Ingenuity or No 8 Baler Wire Mentality being in a remote country people had to work out solutions for themselves.

The South Island practice of restoring steam locos that were dumped in rivers is probably the best example.   https://www.waimeaplainsrailway.co.nz/rogers-K92

Edited by Mayner
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Was told at a meeting only 2 days ago that a Heritage Railway closed since 2000 would reopen next year. Then how a steam engine last used early 1960 would be in steam next year. Complete lack of reality from that group and their influential support within their local Council

 Whilst all those involved know nothing about railways and think operating a steam engine is as easy as buying a train set! Rant 3

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9 hours ago, Mayner said:

.....I don't buy the Ireland is too small and spread out to support preserved railway or museums, New Zealand has similar population to Ireland.......

Yes, I’ve heard that one too, but there is a related element of truth. While, as per the NZ example, smallness of population or size doesn’t prevent things getting done, the “culture” and market may do.

The only full-size preserved line on this island, at Downpatrick, has been successfully operating for thirty years, but in one (normal) year gets less people than the Severn Valley would in a couple of busy gala weekends.

Its not so much the lack of population, it’s the lack of interest. You hit the nail on the head about the attitude of many that “someone” ought to do it, but not they - and certainly not if it involved providing meaningful personal donations.

That is the cultural difference here, as prevalent among private individuals as it is among councillors and public bodies.

Even railway enthusiasts. In my early days as RPSI Commercial Officer in the late 70s and early 80s, to my surprise and disappointment I discovered that selling teddy bears to the public was lucrative, but selling ANYTHING railway-related to enthusiasts was a very different matter!

it is still the same. On the May Tour each year, who buys the stuff being sold? Englishmen. Not our lot, north OR south.

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4 hours ago, airfixfan said:

Was told at a meeting only 2 days ago that a Heritage Railway closed since 2000 would reopen next year. Then how a steam engine last used early 1960 would be in steam next year. Complete lack of reality from that group and their influential support within their local Council

 Whilst all those involved know nothing about railways and think operating a steam engine is as easy as buying a train set! Rant 3

Cannot criticise the support group too much for their lack of reality. There is only one way to gain experience in restoring and running a railway, though talking and considering the advice of other preservation groups helps.

The big questions are whether there is a written agreement in place between the Council and the Support Group to restore the railway and whether there is anything in the 2021 or 2022 Budget to finance or underwrite the restoration otherwise nothing happens.

In a way the Tralee steam railway is in a similar position to the Welsh Highland Railway during the 1960s after spending several years overcoming Caernarfon County Councils objections to restoring the northern end of the railway, the Council was abolished and negotiations had to start from scratch with the newly established Gwynedd County Council which ultimately delayed the restoration of the railway for 30 years.

I won't go into the internal in-fighting between the pragmatists and dreamers within the original preservation group but at the end of the day the dreamers won and the pragmatist lost, but that another complicated story.

Going back to JHBs point on passenger numbers passenger numbers the busier NZ preserved railways would have a similar operating pattern and carry similar passenger numbers to Downpatrick https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/business/416927/glenbrook-vintage-railway-seeks-passenger-support-for-historical-train,  other lines carry far few passengers operate once monthly or less frequently, on the majority of lines locomotive and rolling stock restoration and maintenance is financed, by individuals and groups with little or no public money.

Edited by Mayner
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Problem with this group is that they assume that running a railway is easy as they have Zero knowledge/experience of Railways

 So just the group for the local Council concerned to hand over a Museum and Heritage Railway on a 99 year lease to give them control so they could  download 250,000 in grant money for vague projects. Rant 4

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I wish to apologise to any reader whose blood pressure, stress or anxiety levels have been adversely affected by my original post! It was not my intention. 🥴

I do agree with most of the comments stated here and believe unless there is a national policy for industrial heritage preservation, even the dream of accessing funds from Europe (which does exist!) will remain out of reach for capital investment.

Seeking funds to subsidise the day to day running costs is a fools errand in any case as any rail venture must wipe its own face financially whether or not it is purely commercial or aided by volunteers.

My limited experience of having interacted with local and national government echoes the experiences previously mentioned here. Sound bites and photos but no action. But be absolutely sure if a group achieve something under their own steam (no pun intended) you will be swotting away elected members like mosquitos as they try to claim political brownie points on the back of others' efforts.

Quiet, selfless individuals giving of their time and resources to the fullness of their individual capacity and interest are invaluable and deserve better. (Now I'm ranting, apologies)

 

 

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4 hours ago, Wexford70 said:

I do agree with most of the comments stated here and believe unless there is a national policy for industrial heritage preservation, even the dream of accessing funds from Europe (which does exist!) will remain out of reach for capital investment.

I think there may be a background perception in the general public that our railways aren't really "Irish"; are imposed upon us by outsiders and Anglo-Irish who would have made up the bulk of directors and shareholders, Irish persons of lesser rank being compelled to build and work them and far less fondly, remembered as a means of transporting our emigrant population to the transatlantic and cross channel ports. Maybe it may explain why our National Museum to all intents and purposes practically ignores their presence, and industrial heritage, preferring stories about prehistory, Vikings, Normans before skipping deftly onto what's called now the Revolutionary period.

Additionally perhaps the dislike of many here shown towards old things in general as a reminder of inefficiency, bad times and maybe our erstwhile masters as well, especially wrt the built environment.

Edited by minister_for_hardship
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6 hours ago, minister_for_hardship said:

I think there may be a background perception in the general public that our railways aren't really "Irish"; are imposed upon us by outsiders and Anglo-Irish who would have made up the bulk of directors and shareholders, Irish persons of lesser rank being compelled to build and work them and far less fondly, remembered as a means of transporting our emigrant population to the transatlantic and cross channel ports. Maybe it may explain why our National Museum to all intents and purposes practically ignores their presence, and industrial heritage, preferring stories about prehistory, Vikings, Normans before skipping deftly onto what's called now the Revolutionary period.

Additionally perhaps the dislike of many here shown towards old things in general as a reminder of inefficiency, bad times and maybe our erstwhile masters as well, especially wrt the built environment.

Quite possibly, yes.

I understand that those with an interest in architectural heritage often encounter such ignorant ideas too........

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In my own experience over the last 10 years or so (christ I'm geting old!) there is a dismissal of our rail heritage in favour of argicultural heritage. I do think a big reason that has contributed to the lack of a seed for the general public for railways is the limtied good memories the national service gave them when they were young. In the UK, a lot seems to trade on memories of going to the seaside by train or nice days out visiting family and the adventure of travelling by train where here that seems to be lacking from the general public conscenious (bar memories of specials to Knock and religious experiences do not make great railway loving memories) and so heritage railways are treated somewhat like a novelty experience or something akin to a fairground ride.

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Its interesting, we are a small island with short distances and only one major population centre so no legacy of mass rail transport unlike our neighbours with their many dispersed large cities, longer distances and larger population where mass movement of people has been going on for the past 150 years. Comparatively we moved mainly cattle and agricultural produce by rail, but few people. Also the UK has had a long tradition of railway preservation and railway heritage due in part to population density. Per square mile practically nobody lives on island of Ireland compared to our EU neighbours. UK also has a long tradition of old trains in period dramas and movies. We only had Sean Connery balancing precariously on the roofs of six wheelers running through the curragh for the 'great train robbery', and perhaps John Wayne getting directions at Ballyglunin. :)  There seems a similar issue with heritage canals here.

Edited by Noel
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24 minutes ago, DoctorPan said:

In my own experience over the last 10 years or so (christ I'm geting old!) there is a dismissal of our rail heritage in favour of argicultural heritage. I do think a big reason that has contributed to the lack of a seed for the general public for railways is the limtied good memories the national service gave them when they were young. In the UK, a lot seems to trade on memories of going to the seaside by train or nice days out visiting family and the adventure of travelling by train where here that seems to be lacking from the general public conscenious (bar memories of specials to Knock and religious experiences do not make great railway loving memories) and so heritage railways are treated somewhat like a novelty experience or something akin to a fairground ride.

It's easier to assemble, repair and house a set of old tractors, those things are physically manageable by one person for the most part and practically bomb proof, compared to marshalling a team of people to perform thankless and pay less heavy manual labour on a preserved railway.

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24 minutes ago, Noel said:

Its interesting, we are a small island with short distances and only one major population centre so no legacy of mass rail transport unlike our neighbours with their many dispersed large cities, longer distances and larger population where mass movement of people has been going on for the past 150 years. Comparatively we moved mainly cattle and agricultural produce by rail, but few people. Also the UK has had a long tradition of railway preservation and railway heritage due in part to population density. Per square mile practically nobody lives on island of Ireland compared to our EU neighbours. UK also has a long tradition of old trains in period dramas and movies. We only had Sean Connery balancing precariously on the roofs of six wheelers running through the curragh for the 'great train robbery', and perhaps John Wayne getting directions at Ballyglunin. :)  There seems a similar issue with heritage canals here.

I'm also wondering why countries with no obvious partiality to railways like the uk or large uk expat populations, have steam rail tours or rail museums we can only dream of?

I've seen cracking museums or have been on steam excursions in Italy, Czech Rep, Slovenia and Poland. I know Spain, the Scandi countries, Switzerland, France, Holland etc etc have these also.

Edited by minister_for_hardship
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2 hours ago, Noel said:

Its interesting, we are a small island with short distances and only one major population centre so no legacy of mass rail transport unlike our neighbours with their many dispersed large cities, longer distances and larger population where mass movement of people has been going on for the past 150 years. Comparatively we moved mainly cattle and agricultural produce by rail, but few people. Also the UK has had a long tradition of railway preservation and railway heritage due in part to population density. Per square mile practically nobody lives on island of Ireland compared to our EU neighbours. UK also has a long tradition of old trains in period dramas and movies. We only had Sean Connery balancing precariously on the roofs of six wheelers running through the curragh for the 'great train robbery', and perhaps John Wayne getting directions at Ballyglunin. :)  There seems a similar issue with heritage canals here.

I am very familiar with the efforts to recreate the Lagan Navigation Canal in the north - I have been involved in much historical research on their behalf. Despite being almost totally semi-state-funded, and getting the exceptionally rare full support of both the Shinners and Snarlene's lot, this Lagan Navigation Trust (look them up) struggles to get funding from anywhere. Were it not for one particularly charismatic "leader", like MANY fledging railway preservation societies, and who is English (see my earlier points!) with a background in English heritage projects, I doubt if it would have achieved anything at all.

Their long-term plans depend 100% on public funding. Will they get it? As for private donations / interested millionaires, there is a better chance of clockwork spaceships being developed.

As I implied at the beginning, it's a cultural thing, not assisted by the fact that per square mile, we have one twelfth the population of England.

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