jhb171achill Posted January 6, 2013 Share Posted January 6, 2013 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. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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