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121 class operation

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I noticed talk in another thread of US locos running long hood forward, and this made me think of the 121s.

I understand that for most of their lives they operated cab forward only for reasons of visibility, but given that they (just about) overlapped with the last years of steam, surely driving one long hood forward was just the same as a steamer, and drivers would be familiar with those?

Also, in the event that a 121 ran on the mainline in preservation, would it have to run in consist with an 071 to avoid running hood forward?

Sorry if that was a bit long, I just got a fit of curiosity!

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Someone will probably give a more detailed reply, but, 121's did run hood first in the early years of service, but that practise was banned after a fatal accident involving a 121 running hood first and some line workers...

As for one running in preservation, it would probably be paired with a 141, as was often the case in operation with IE.

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Thanks for the answer!

I never realised that a 121 had been involved in a fatal accident, and obviously every step should be taken to prevent it happening again. I hope that one of the preserved examples makes it back out on the main line again soon, they are the only type of Irish GM I never actually saw in service. Even if one ran at Downpatrick it would be fabulous.

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At one stage the DCDR was considering taking one, having had the offer made by IE. It was eventually declined in favour of 146, the reason being visibility at certain key points. Operation of one nose-first would have required a second man; something a voluntary operated railway does not always have the luxury of having on the day! Either on the DCDR or on the main lines, double heading with a 141 would be needed.

 

Double heading with an 071 would be unlikely.

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they are the only type of Irish GM I never actually saw in service. Even if one ran at Downpatrick it would be fabulous.

 

That's a shame as they were a sight to see double headed with another one of the class or a 141-181, especially on beet or cement duties. A 121 was the first class of loco of which I ever travelled in the cab. It was a set of empties to Wellington Bridge to be loaded. The trip along the Suir causeway, the Barrow bridge, Campile, Ballycullane viaduct, I'll never forget it.

 

Rich,

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The noise out of a pair of 121s on a laden cement or liner was something else too! :)

 

There were one or two short stretches around the country where 121s were permitted to run cab first, including the short stretch to Barrack Street at Dundalk...

 

http://eiretrains.com/Photo_Gallery/Railway%20Stations%20B/Barrack%20Street/IrishRailwayStations.html#Barrack%20Street_20100106_0014_CC.jpg

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There were indeed examples, like Dundalk Barrack St, almost to the end of their operation, but exceptionally rare and over short stretches only. And yes, the noise out of a heavily-laden pair was something to be remembered! Mind you, so was the sound of a pair of "jeeps" on a spoil train!

 

Personally I would love to see one of the two survivors in steam as it were. Like RedRich, cab jaunts stick in my memory; I had a lovely trip one summer evening from Sligo to Dromod in the 135 which was leading either 131 or 133, on the up evening passenger / mail..... Trailing us was a motley selection of laminates and Park Royals, with several bogie mail vans.

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The noise out of a pair of 121s on a laden cement or liner was something else too! :)

 

There were one or two short stretches around the country where 121s were permitted to run cab first, including the short stretch to Barrack Street at Dundalk...

 

http://eiretrains.com/Photo_Gallery/Railway%20Stations%20B/Barrack%20Street/IrishRailwayStations.html#Barrack%20Street_20100106_0014_CC.jpg

 

great pic there!

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Rich I had a similar pleasure around 2006 final years of beet campaign. A 121 and 141 paired up and we were coming up laden to the Taylorstown viaduct with sever banging noises under the 121, I was curious and asked the driver - he said she was slipping badly on the bank. A pair of them are awesome looking machines and many a time they'd be on the Rosslare-Connolly link back in the good old days. Also remember travelling to Belfast behind two of them pulling a 7 or 8 MK IIs and in the days when much of that route was still jointed track (1992/93), and I'd say she did a better timing than those being achieved today.

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They are my own personal favourite class closely followed by the 141-181 class. Taking into account the standard of technology today in the production of models, and what can be achieved, I seriously hope that there are enough of the other classes of models sold so that MM will be able to push ahead with a 121 model.

 

Just looking at the pic of 121 it's made me wonder were 121-123-124-134 the only members of the class to have had the two central windows on the bonnet end of the cab plated over.

 

Rich,

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Interesting shots in black'n'tan days... Where did those pics come from? Couldn't find them on flickr....

 

It's there alright if you look for 'B class ballina turntable', then search that up loaders collection for more.

 

Here's another interesting one on the www:

 

image.jpg

Edited by Southern Yard
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I loved the 121's! I cannot tell you why, but the sight and sound of a pair of 121's on a liner train, up at notch 8, was a sight and sound to behold!

 

You have probably all see these videos already of 121's in action which I posted on YouTube some time ago, but for those that haven't here's a reminder of the 121's in action:

 

 

Eamonn

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