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The last days of Irish Rail container services 2005

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Its hard to believe that IE container train services ended nearly 10 years ago. The run down between the closing of the Holyhead Yard container terminal in 2003 and the ending of the remaining container train services to Cork and Ballina in July 2015 was rapid to say the least.


I had to return to Ireland in May and July as a witness in some court cases from work.. It turned out I was not called for the July case, so ended up spending several days train spotting witnessing the last days of the Liners and the arrival of the MK4s but that was a !!!! wet day and I had to run for the airport.


Ireland May & July 2005 190.jpg


May 2005 220 emerging from the Park Tunnel with the down Cork Liner

The smoke screen was from a BoBo "yankee engine" with a worn prime mover piloting RPSI 186 through the tunnel.


Ireland May & July 2005 191.jpg


220 with a lightly loaded Cork Liner checked by a signal at Island Bridge Junction 29/5/2015

The Liner was checked by what looked like an Up Waterford passenger, while waiting the driver got off and manually released the brakes on the CPWs using the loco brake to hold the train. The driver explained that the loco compressor would take so long to release the wagon brakes he would probably loose his path through the junction.


Ireland May & July 2005 194.jpg

The culprit 6105 leading an Up Waterford passenger


Ireland May & July 2005 126.jpg

Devastation of the North Wall


The once great Holyhead Yard reception roads reduced to a backshunt for trains from the GSWR & GNR lines to access the Midland Yard.


Ireland May & July 2005 168.jpg


The Midland Yard 27 May 2005

Just two roads in use for loading containers empty CPW wagons for Cork, conventional flats for container traffic to Ballina


The lines under the gantry in the background lead under the Sherriff Street bridge to an area used for loading container traffic that was not handled in the Holyhead Yard mainly sundries and scrap steel for the Galway Metal Company.


The gantry was originally intended for transferring containers between fixed formation trains rather than shunting individual wagon loads, in practice this part of the Midland Yard continued to function as a marshalling yard for traffic to and from the Midland, Holyhead and Dardanells Yards until the function was transferred to the re-modelled East Wall Yard in 2003/4.

Edited by Mayner
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Thanks Kieran


Josfstadt's photo almost blew me away so much atmosphere almost timeless although the yellow British Railways Scammells and cars on open wagons sets the scene in the late 50s early 60s.


Going back to July 2005 the only remaining container services were from the North Wall to Cork and Ballina, trains seem to have been fully loaded during the last week of July, the yard even looked busier with containers stacked awaiting loading or collection.


Ireland May & July 2005 008.jpg

Not a great photo but probably the last time an 071 worked a container train to Cork



Ireland May & July 2005 088.jpg

Passing Straffan 201s were the usual power

Its hard to see how IE could break even let alone make a profit with the CPW trains restricted to 12 wagons.


Ireland May & July 2005 110.jpg

View of the "groupage" area 17 July

Cork Liner appears to have departed, what looks like the Ballina Liner being loaded on the right. The Cork Liner usually appeared to be loaded on the road under the tail of the gantry, the 5 roads under the gantry used to continue under the Sherriff Street bridge into the sundries loading area, now the National Conference Centre.


Midland Yard north of Sheriff St 20 July 2005 loading Cork Liner 1.jpg

The day the Sun came out 20 July loading the Cork Liner


Ireland May & July 2005 106.jpg

My scoop of the week the up Claremorris Liner

Possibly running late container traffic to Claremorris had ceased but Claremorris was now the railhead for Galway and possibly Sligo keg traffic.


Ireland May & July 2005 107.jpg

Empty ESSO tank wagons from Claremorris bring up the end of the liner. Possibly the oldest wagons in revenue service at the time, they were owned by ESSO built in the late 1950s and re-gauged for use on the Sligo, & Oranmore-Claremorris oil trains in the late 60s.


The ESSO wagons were quickly scrapped after the ending of Oil traffic to Sligo and Claremorris and the remains of the Midland Yard is now occupied by what was originally intended to be a "temporary" Dublin Docklands Station

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