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irishrail201
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Users,

 

I heard on another site that the front section of an AEC railcar has been saved in the back garden somwhere near monkstown on the Bleach green to antrim line.

 

Also half of an SLNCR coach at manorhamilton??

 

Are these true??

 

They would make great models

I don't know if they are true,but I do know that a former AEC

Railcar-formally Dublin suburban push pull is in a

shed in Inchicore suppose to be preserved.I have heard

nothing about this unit in a while and the last time I saw

it she needed a hell of a lot of work and money.Anyone

know its future?.

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All three are true. In Manorhamilton (on private property) is half of one of their bogie coaches which (with owners permission) I surveyed a good 15 or 20 years ago with a view to advising Downpatrick about it. Even then there was but half of it, but another half of a different one was to be found in a field near Glenfarne. The portion at Manorhamilton is now as good as fallen apart, and the Glenfarne one vanished. The AEC cab was indeed in someone's back garden on the down side of the railway line near the junction of the "back line" with the NCC main line. I do not know if it is still there, but it was in recent times.

 

With regard to the one in Inchicore, it is No. 6111 and it remains in storage there. For a potential preservationist it would require to be entirely rebuilt, as the body is well beyond repair as it is; also, it has no engine, control gear or interior. It would require an eye-wateringly large budget to fix it up - and the only place it could probably operate would be on the DCDR, who have enough stuff as it is! It would, of course, be great to see this iconic type of railcar in preservation; they saw service everywhere from Great Victoria Street, via Dublin and Cork, to Bantry; most CIE main lines, Enniskillen, Clones, Harcourt Street Line, Tramore.... and my recollections of them were that they were very solid and comfortable even if the engine produced noises suggesting distress at times....

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That is unfortunate, I am trying to help the tralee and dingle steam railway reopen, there are draft plans for a museum to be there, with 5T, meenglas, lady edith in the usa, the tdlr coaches at dromod and the TDLR stock in USA repatriated. Another loco would be broughtfrom the UK to run services while funding gathers for an overhaul and new boiler for 5T.

 

Plans also sought a small 5'3" display with the possible display of ex WLWR 6w coaches 900 (belturbet) and 907 (halfway, cork) and the storage of 6111, i stress storage as tere is no way a small railway like us could possibly overhaul it alone! I would propose we store it away from the elements.

 

I also asked the ITG if they would be interested in displaying G601 or G616, they unfortunately declined.

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Lady Edith is, as I understand, mechanically in a very bad state indeed. It certainly needs a brand new boiler and firebox, and I would imagine much more besides. The cost of this alone would be several hundred thousand euros, and the cost of sending it from the USA to either Whitehead or England would be eye-watering, and then the cost of bringing it from there to Tralee... Meenglas also needs something similar. The funding issues for these two locomotives alone would almost certainly far exceed half a million euros. I don't know what the state of 5T is.

 

Regarding carriages, replicas would be cheaper. To give an idea of coach repair costs to standards required nowadays for public operation, carriage bodies or even "kits of parts" require reassembling with much new material and replica chassis built. Based on work done in Whitehead and Downpatrick over recent years, I would estimate the cost per coach as €100k from "farmyard" condition to that required by statutory bodies (H & S etc) for public operation. Take those three locomotives and just a few carriages and you are clocking up a million in a very short time. Just saying! But, yes, I'd love to see something like that happen...

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The plan is to display Lady Edith and Meenglas: because meenglas is too big to run for the 3km operation and as regards lady edith I believed shge was in ok mechanical condition? Anyway she would be on static display also as 5T would get priority for a return to steam, I believe her boiler alone would cost something like £140,000! Transport to whitehead is roughly £3000 each way. While waiting for funding for her, I believe it may be possible to restore an english 3ft saddle tank loco or import a 1000mm loco from greece of all places!

 

468854509_177db2219b.jpg

 

The coaches in dromod (if we can get them out!) would cost something like £60,000-70,000 each, the coach 10T is in reasonable condition. Not all wooden bodied coaches would be restored to operational condition like the composite 18T in the USA would be static display. the movement of the vehicles by a ro-ro service to cork, isnt too bad at roughly £10,000 excluding marine insurance (based on value) and customs, hopefully a situtaion where relief could be gotten on the items like in the UK as they are of historical significance.

 

10T.jpg

 

 

Replicas would cost somewhere between £80,000 and £130,000 in boston lodge works.

 

Never say Never!!!!

2779.jpg

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No offence, but it makes no sense whatsoever to repatriate 'Lady Edith' for static display only. Given the huge costs involved in getting her back there would need to be some means of generating revenue from her subsequently and static displays don't cut the ice in that regard.

 

If you're serious about getting Blennerville up and running again I would suggest that it would be better to take baby steps first and get what's currently available up and running first and then build on that if possible.

 

I do think though that if Blennerville is to survive then it needs to make a serious effort to create a proper heritage railway as distinct from the current fairground ride setup which is utterly devoid of atmosphere. It badly needs a makeover to create some atmosphere of the period when the T&DR was current. It needs things like platforms which don't look like they were transplanted from the DART system, appropriate station buildings, timber crossing gates rather than the current steel Bord na Mona ones, some form of relevant signalling (even if it's not operational to begin with), rolling stock which is made over to make some effort to look like T&DR (painting them in the appropriate colour would help), etc. All of this costs a small fortune of course, and don't for one second think I'm saying that it's a trivial matter, but I believe that the railway has no future if it is not developed along these lines.

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Exactly, ei6jf. I was involved in costings in recent years for various things elsewhere and the info I gathered there would suggest that to provide three decent steam engines (IF they were avalaible), plus a minimum set of three decent coaches fitting all modern requirements but also looking the part, as well as wiping "Ballyard" (Ball Yard? Bally Ard?) station and the DART terminus off the earth, replacing them with something that looks like a heritage railway, would cost several million euros. No less. To run a reliable steam service, at least three good locos are needed. At any one time, one will be newly in traffic, another nearing the end of its ticket, and a third in overhaul. Thus, once the seco d one comes out of traffic the third enters traffic and the wheel goes round - literally. As a general rule you'll get 7 years use out of every 10 for a steam loco in preservation, if it is very well looked after, less if not. I would again say that i wish anyone well in trying to make something of this mess in Tralee - not one created by anoyone on here, I know; just a great pity like the same in Derry, where apart from letting it go to rack and ruin, they vandalised CDR coach No. 14 from absolutely original condition into a revoltingly botched and utterly inacurate fairground exhibit. I saw that coach before it was treated as it is, and whoever did that to it ought to be locked up. Anyway; I digress.

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In relation to the above comments:

 

I think I should make this clear, I nor any other member of the group have not been involved with the previous ring masters of the railway, we are a voluntary group, everyone is willing to contribute, not just a few sections of society, so i cannot comment on the serious mistakes of the past, they are not our doing!

 

Yes I have made a 5-10 year plan (10,000 words), which focuses on what both of ye are saying! i.e to change from a ride to a steam railway. I hate the fact it was a fairground ride for 20 years (this summer actually 1993-2013) The plans should be released as soon as the company is reorganised to form a charity etc..

 

There would be a plan for one steam loco to be in traffic, and one under overhaul (I know jhb171achill said 3, but thatsnot economic at the moment)

 

Yes there are immediate plans for buildings of railway architecture atall 3 stations, and signals within the kerry area have been identified for future static use (like kilmeaden), mostly CIE and GSWR versions,i the future Tralee signal cabin along with abbeydorney or killarney may be on the cards. (there is no need to have working signalling as there are no crossing loops as one-engine in steam is used)

 

 

Yes you may think repatriation is a waste of money (its a future proposal, after we have things running) but if brought back it will be the oldest n.g locomotive in the ROI (or joint oldest in all ireland) thats pretty important historically wouldnt ye agree? the museum will be of national significance, in that it would be the national narrow gauge museum of Ireland, not like any junkyard or cash cow operations in other parts of Ireland (in the south at least).

 

and in relation to coaching stock, the spanish set may not be irish or historic (they have kitchen door handles!! whivh is a no no as far as im concerned), but they have large carrying capacity and shouldnt be cast off so quickly, the TDLR stock from dromod (if we can get them out) willl be restored as funding is available. If we cannot get them I have secured notice from the isle of man railways that it is possible we could use some redundant "pair" compartment coaches.(for vintage trains)

 

It is possible (over time) to be the leader of narrow gauge railways in ireland (a narrow gauge mirror of Downpatrick), but only if we have the imagination and will to do it!

 

We will have to see this as a new begining, like the downpatrick railway did in 1989. We do have disadvantages in that downpatrick for example hasnt, like they have the HLF crossborder "peace" grants and a willing local authority and tourism board support.

 

Watch this space....................

 

http://www.facebook.com/groups/traleeanddinglesteamrailway/

dingletrain@live.ie

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I'd only go about repatriation if the loco is actually under threat. Otherwise it's just a horrendous cost that would be impossible to recoup.

Add to that, purchase price if not donated FOC, cosmetic restoration and covered accomodation for same.

By and large people come to steam railways to pay and see something that actually moves and can ride behind.

Steer clear of collecting sundry broad gauge stuff of little use or relevance to a ng line, grounded modern coach bodies are a particular bugbear of mine.

 

A wee bit misleading calling it the Tralee & Dingle steam railway, seeing as it's never going to extend to Dingle.

Edited by minister_for_hardship
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Many thanks,

 

The downpatrick railway have a carriage hall of unrestored and restored vintage coaches, we can do the same on the narrow gauge with whats left! Surely that has added to their steam railway?

 

The west clare are also building their museum of ITG diesels, that will also surely add to their railway?

 

On the question of the name of the railway, the company founded in 1993 (just befor my time!) was the Tralee and Dingle Steam Railway co. ltd. but is colloquially known as the blennerville railway.

 

Does the West Clare Railway go all through west clare i.e kilrush and kilkee towards lahinch etc.??

 

Does the downpatrick and county down railway go from downpatrick to newcastle or comber??

 

Does the cavan and leitrim steam railway actually enter county cavan??

 

I think they are all slightly misleading, wouldnt you agree???!!!!!!

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First of all while you have challenges you have the advantage of an established railway with a locomotive and some rolling stock, the main drawbacks are that the original operation never developed beyond taking passengers from the Tralee Ring Road to Blennerville and the absence of a suitable building for a museum at Blennerville.

 

From experience you will find it difficult to cover the railways running costs without a gift shop and cafe, a museum or shed tour acts as a hook to keep visitors on site longer so they spend more in the shop and cafe.

 

On a short railway you will quickly find that the vast majority of visitors/passengers are likely to be made up of holiday makers and local families looking for a reasonably priced way of spending a few hours than railway enthuiasts and few will recognise the difference between a steam loco and a diesel.

 

If you are planning on volunteer operations, a supporters society, preferably with a UK element is essential to provide support and funding for restoration projects. Most Irish schemes that failed seem to have been dependent on FAS schemes and tax breaks for tourist enterprises.

 

I am not sure if the RPSI or other preservation societies have been able to register as charities in the Republic, but provided you can prove there is an educational element (perhaps publishing the odd book like the ITG), UK subscriptions and donations could be made tax deductible, but there is a lot of work involved in registering a Charity and HM Inspector of Taxes may take a dim view of the British taxpayer subsidising a railway in another country.

 

I am sceptical of the value of restoring 5T or another large loco for operation on the existing railway, it would probably be better to do a cosmetic restoration and use her as a museum centre piece, a partially or un restored T&D coach would make an interesting exhibit in its own right, the Corris did this with one of their original coaches and built a replica for regular operation.

 

Given the right support it might be worth while putting a proposal together for building a new railway to Castlegregory in connection with one of the Governments work for the dole schemes.

 

5T would be expensive to operate and maintain for such a short line, a small diesel would be better option for regular operation, with a small steam loco for the holiday period and busy weekends.

 

I was involved in the WHR in Portmadoc for several years and while we had locos like Russell and Gelert, most of the operating people and our accountant lusted after a Quarry Hunslet or small Barclay like Gretitude for regular operation. Overhauling Russell for main line operation is estimated to cost approx £200K without major boiler work raised by member subscriptions and appeals in the railway magazines.

 

One of the most important things we learned was that a nicely presented non-working loco was a valuable attraction and a rusting hulk an eyesore. Rather than being dismantled for boiler examination Karen has remained inside under cover since her boiler ticket ran out in 1993 and has remained the centre piece of our shed tour and later principal museum exhibit.

Edited by Mayner
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An operation in Camp/Castlegregory would be too far removed from a large centre of population for both visitors and volunteers and somehow I doubt Kerry Co Co would be very receptive to re-instatement of a roadside tramway, H & S being what it is.

I'd stick with Tralee.

 

Having a static collection is fine, but needs to be covered and protected from the elements. And lots of metal around in the open attracts unwanted visitors.

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An operation in Camp/Castlegregory would be too far removed from a large centre of population for both visitors and volunteers and somehow I doubt Kerry Co Co would be very receptive to re-instatement of a roadside tramway, H & S being what it is.

 

I was thinking in terms of a new railway from Tralee towards Castlegregory on its own right of way if someone else was foolish enough to fund it rather than a restoration of the old tramway.

 

The current length appears to be too short to establish a viable operation, though to be fair the group appear to be under no illusions of the risks and pitfall involved in railway preservation.

 

While my suggestion about extending the line westwards was tongue in cheek, the idea of establishing a Narrow Gauge Museum in Tralee even if its based around 5T is sound and while money is tight there may be scope for the Council as owner to fund/build a museum under some form of community employment scheme.

Edited by Mayner
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Many thanks for the kind comments john, much appreciated!

 

We have been talking to the WHHR, I really do like their operation.

 

I must admit 5T would be a mssive project, that is why a museum at blennerville was suggested. I like the idea of a partially restored coach, however it would depend on us getting them out of dromod and protecting them. id nearly think getting the coaches and lady edith would be easier!! the museum would naturally be enclosed unlike the line of rusting rustons and metal relics at dromod.

 

There are other locos other than 5T, and a diesel. There are two small 0-6-0T peckett locos possibly available one in the Uk called "scaldwell" the other in South Africa!! However it is important as it is the last peckett built loco, and has been offered for sale to us!

 

We can apply for charity status in the ROI like the waterford and Kilmeaden rly, however we must deal with the revenue commission here in IRL. Ideally a list of charities should be set up but I have no such "high" position!

 

I do think heading westwards towards Castlegregory would be difficult to sustain, I do believe the the railway as is sustainable (once effective marketing is implemented and seasonal events etc.) However a future extension in the other direction is a pipe dream, towards tralee town park, this is closer the town centre about a 5-10 minute walk unlike the current 15-25 minute walk!

 

The extension would follow the course of the river lee, and the new cycleway as far as the fbd building and curve sharply over the ring road onto the edge of the town park, the kerry county museum is located here along with tourist office.

 

I don't see why the NRA could object as there are new traffic lights where the railway should cross the road, the section is also in between two roundabouts roughly a mile apart, so there are speed restrictions. The crossing could be like Wexford with no barriers but warning lights, this would act as an advertisement for the railway, rather like what the downpatrick railway is planning with the proposed racecourse extension.

 

Darragh

http://www.facebook.com/groups/traleeanddinglesteamrailway/

Now at 160 members!!!

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  • 3 years later...

Who has possession of 18T at the moment?

 

As far as I know 18T is still on the Pine Creek Railroad in New Jersey along with C&L No3 Lady Edith.

 

The Cavan & Leitrim have a pair of complete but un-restored T&D coaches rescued from a builders yard in Callan in the carriage shed in Dromod. Lady Edith and her train was restored and operated for several years after arrival in the United States nearly60 years ago and no doubt a major overhaul/rebuild costing the best part of $250k is required to restore the train to service

Edited by Mayner
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My contact over there is unfortunately now no longer with us, but as recently as 3 years ago told me that the owners of Lady Edith and it's carriage would have been amenable to disposal back to Ireland. The combined shipping bill and rstoration costs would be truly, staggeringly, astronomical and only possible with massive state asistance, I would think.

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To answer a few points above, the RPSI is indeed registered as a charity and has been in the south for some 20 years, and in the north about 30. So, incidentally, is the DCDR, though that's another matter. The RPSI is also registered in the south (only) as a train operating company and thus, bona fide railway operator.

 

The C & L coaches at Dromod are sides and ends only and would require as big a rebuild as a new-build, if you know what I mean.

 

The derelict operation at Blennerville is subject to attention by a new group, who assure enquirers that they are making great strides, though nothing has happened, Local stories - which I have no way of verifying one way or another - seem to suggest that vested interests in the local authority may be making it difficult for what's really needed - a skilled enthusiast group - to take over. A carbon copy situation exists with the badly managed and equally defunct Foyle Valley operation in Derry.

 

18T and the C & L loco are indeed still in the USA, and the loco at any rate requires very substantial work, including a brand new boiler. The one member of their operation who took a great interest in it, having been involved in its move from here, has now passed away.

 

The remains of the SLNCR coach - one half if it - have now almost totally decomposed back to nature, along with the last remaining cattle truck, which fell apart about 15 years ago.

 

Based on the RPSI's and DCDR's experience, extremely few fare paying passengers are enthusiasts. Thus, exact accuracy isn't a big deal; if it was, who would travel behind a CIE diesel or CSET steam loco in a 70 class trailer on a part of the BCDR, or in a BR Mk.2 coach behind an NCC tank engine on the MGWR! Studies have shown that a Severn Valley style operation, with a seven-train-a-day timetable with maybe three main line steam locos out, would be utterly unrealistic for Ireland. Economically, for 5ft 3, as well as 3ft gauge steam, the optimum length of line here is 2-5 miles. Shorter, and you won't get as many people as you might, and you'll have to pitch the fare quite low. Beyond 5, and you'll find the public won't pay a fare sufficient to deal with track maintenance costs for a longer line, and more coal per journey.

 

You also need a good population centre.

 

Moyasta survives because Co. Clare is quite busy tourist wise. Tralee was a mess because it was run by a county council and was thus almost doomed to failure. Finntown has wobbled financially because, again, wages have to be paid; this is utterly unsustainable in a set-up like that. Downpatrick is sufficiently close to Belfast, just as Suir Valley is to Waterford plus a good tourist area. Suir Valley manages a longer run because of much lower operating costs; a turf or ESB diesel will run thrice round the world on the amount of diesel that would take A39 to Inch Abbey and back. An Alan Keef loco of that size will run for three years on a bottle of PC correct, eco-friendly, no-emission, low sugar, non-sectarian vegetable juice. May contain traces of nuts; do not try this at home.

 

And there we have it. Now; to old coach bodies - DCDR has numerous ones, but until and unless $$£$$£$£$£€€€€€€€€€€ appears, a laminate and 70 class trailer will operate public services. Accurate? No. Popular with the paying public? Yes.

Edited by jhb171achill
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Succinctly put, do you need a vast amount of immigration to make these things viable? If so my case is packed! If ferry fares were lower from the UK I expect more tourists would come to Ireland. Somewhere I have some photos of the Lady Edith I took in Alaire State Park NJ which I took in 1976. I must find them.

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Succinctly put, do you need a vast amount of immigration to make these things viable? If so my case is packed! If ferry fares were lower from the UK I expect more tourists would come to Ireland. Somewhere I have some photos of the Lady Edith I took in Alaire State Park NJ which I took in 1976. I must find them.

 

Interesting, Mike - was it working then? I think the reason they laid it aside was that they needed a more powerful loco for whatever trains they were operating. In retrospect I wonder might it have been working over there with a reduced boiler pressure or something, as it could haul a serious amount of coal between Derreenavoggy and Dromod, via (on the branch) some savage gradients and twists and turns.

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