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Moving motive power around the network

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My question relates to the heydays of GM power on the Irish network, so I suppose up to the late 90s. Would it be conceivable that from time to time depots or yards would end up with surplus motive power, or the wrong mix of power? Example, at the end of the beet season, knock specials etc.


What I'm really asking is, if this happened, how was stock re-allocated? Light engined to new destination? Light engine but part of a freight or passenger consist?


The reason I'm asking is that I clearly recall in the mid 90's seeing 3 x 141s (and other oddball mixes) on both ammonia trains and evening passenger train that were Arklow/Rosslare bound. I'm wondering was this when IR was at that low point just before the arrival of the 201s, when everything was on its last legs? In this case the extra loco being a thunderbird. Or were extra locos 'in transit'?

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Four Baby GMs, coupled to one-and-other, (I'll search for their numbers) were used to test Embankment and Bridge strength upon the completion of re-doubling the track between Clonsilla and Maynooth. There is a photograph of them in one of the IRRS Journals.


Also found this information:-


Work commenced around the middle of February 1999 on the doubling of the Clonsilla to Maynooth section. A base has been established at the former Lucan North station and the first activity of any significance was the demolition of the Down platform and most of the station building. Incidentally the latter had been occupied until relatively recently and was of a similar design to that at Leixlip (Louisa Bridge). The running line through Lucan was slewed away from the Down side during this work but has now been reinstated in such a way as to provide sufficient room for the new Up road formation. The formation for the new Up road was substantially complete and partially ballasted for a distance of over two miles from Barberstown level crossing to a point just short of Leixlip (Confey) by mid-May. At the time of writing in early June the track had been slewed on either side of Confey and work had started on the construction of a new Down platform a short distance on the Maynooth side of the existing station. When this is ready the existing platform will be demolished and the Down line returned to the position it occupied prior to 1990 when the track was realigned to make way for existing Confey station. It is expected that the new platform will then be extended back as far as the overbridge in order to provide sufficient length to accommodate an eight-piece railcar set. Commencing on 10th April 1999 the Clonsilla/Maynooth section has been closed from about 20:00 on Saturdays to 17:00 on Sundays to facilitate work associated with the doubling project. Incidentally the existing line between Clonsilla and Maynooth, which was singled in 1929, generally follows the course of the original Down line. There are significant deviations, however, through and on either side of Leixlip (Louisa Bridge) due to curvature realignments which took place alter Leixlip ceased to be a block post in 1977

Edited by Old Blarney
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Knock and GAA specials often involved long distance empty stock working of trains that would have otherwise been idle on weekends.


Sets that worked Mon-Sat Intercity links and Mon-Fri Suburban links would have been available for weekend specials but would have to work back to their original starting point in time to take up their regular workings on Monday mornings.


Another practice was to operate a reduced outer suburban service on a Friday afternoon and use the stock released to operate a Friday evening extra to most Intercity destinations and the Monday Early Bird services to Dublin. These sets would also be available to operate specials on Saturday and Sunday.


On a busy weekend a scratch set made up of Park Royals and Laminates off a Dublin suburban service might work a Friday evening extra to Sligo, operate an overnight ECS to Limerick or Cork to work a Saturday IRFU special to Landsdown Road and its return working, operate ECS to Wexford or Tralee to work a Sunday Knock special and return overnight to Sligo to work the Early Bird to Connolly before taking up its regular weekday suburban workings. Sometime during the weekend the time table planners had to fit in loco and stock servicing, cleaning and maintenance.

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