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Claremorris - Ballina 1988

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The branch train awaits departure. I have silent cine of 155 with the same set of a Park Royal and BR van a couple of days later, leaving Ballina behind 155.

 

The young ladies on the platform are now 29 and (next week) 32.

 

The younger of the two, on the left, had a footplate run from here to Ballina a short time after this photograph was taken. She had no PTS, no steel capped boots and no day glo nappy. And, she's still alive, having survived this near-death experience!

 

Her verdict: "it was very noisy in that train".....

 

Well, this was before they relaid the branch, and the cab of a 141 at even moderate speed is not the most silent environment to be in at the best of times..... going over the Moy bridge in a 141 was like going down a tin staircase in a biscuit tin full of marbles in an echo chamber, while you've a migraine. But I wouldn't miss it for the world.

 

Mum, upon whose knee she sat in the locomotive, was not impressed either, I regret to have to advise.

 

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JB,

 

The years, the year! Where have they gone too? My little one will be thirty this year. Born on the morning of the 11th of May, 1987. Yes, I was there for her arrival at 00:20Hrs, three weeks late. Not even CIE could manage such a delay.

 

Nature is wonderful, is she not?

 

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Tis very true, Old Blarney, tis true.

 

Leafing through these pictures I've posted today I find many family ones too which seem like yesterday but were 20, 30 and 40 years ago.

 

Somewhere amongst it all, for those with a strong stomach, there are shots of an infant me in an AEC on the Harcourt Street line, and standing beside a Donegal 2.6.4T at Strabane. Now, even an oul elephant like me doesn't remember that, still less bring held up to a window in the upstairs of the old Hillsborough railway station as the lifting train did its work below me....

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Although I know the area reasonably well I only travelled once on the train from Ballina to Claremorris. Earlier in the day I had taken the bus from Westport to Ballina. The train was made up of a Park Royal and a BR Van with 3-4 teenage passenger, one of whom commented that it was only "a fart of a train"

 

Maybe it was because of the insignificance of the little train, but nothing prepared me for the sheer remoteness of the view over Lough Cullin towards the Nephin Mountains between Foxford and Pollock. The noise of the locomotive and lively ride of the Park Royal coaches on a springy trackbed contributed to the feeling of being on a very small boat on a very large ocean.

 

Possibly the closest in Ireland in terms of scenery and isolation to the Clifden and Achill Branches.

 

The rest of the journey home behind an 071 in MK3 comfort was totally un-remarkable by comparison with the Buffet Car attendant complaining that he was worked off his feet frying chips and burgers in a rail borne Mc Donalds.

Edited by Mayner
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Brings it all back, Mayner. Yes, it was and is like the other branches you mention - a truly beautiful area. And of course, ttc of this community is so lucky to live there.

 

The track was woeful in those days, which made for a lively ride. This enhanced the experience on rickety jointed track, another similarity with Achill and Clifden in their later years!

 

Achill and Clifden now, had they survived, would be the preserve of a single two-car 2800 each, I suppose. Maybe it's just as well they closed!

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The branch train awaits departure. I have silent cine of 155 with the same set of a Park Royal and BR van a couple of days later, leaving Ballina behind 155.

 

The young ladies on the platform are now 29 and (next week) 32.

 

The younger of the two, on the left, had a footplate run from here to Ballina a short time after this photograph was taken. She had no PTS, no steel capped boots and no day glo nappy. And, she's still alive, having survived this near-death experience!

 

Her verdict: "it was very noisy in that train".....

 

Well, this was before they relaid the branch, and the cab of a 141 at even moderate speed is not the most silent environment to be in at the best of times..... going over the Moy bridge in a 141 was like going down a tin staircase in a biscuit tin full of marbles in an echo chamber, while you've a migraine. But I wouldn't miss it for the world.

 

Mum, upon whose knee she sat in the locomotive, was not impressed either, I regret to have to advise.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]23148[/ATTACH]

 

JB, given its super train era, how come the station is blue and not grey

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It's just about into the IE era all right, but Park Royals never received either "supertrain" OR the later "tippex" liveries - all remained Black and Tan until the end. The last 3 or 4 which survived into the early 1990s (on Waterford - Rosslare duty) got a single tippex line below the Windows, but that was it.

 

The locomotive simply hadn't been repainted yet. Engines in CIE "supertrain" livery were commonplace well into the early 90s. The railway was cash-strapped at the time (quelle surprise) so rebranding was slow. In fact the introduction of the "tippex" white lines was just to avoid a proper re-livery exercise, as the basic orange and black colours remained exactly the see and in exactly the same place.

 

The BR vans were initially all left in B'n'T as well, but into the 90s most ended up with a singke tippex line below waist level. For fans of supertrain era liveries, you can maintain accuracy and still get away with operating them on a layout up to mid 90s, albeit mixed in with tippex-era stuff.

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Exactly, StevieB, that's what I was referring to in the first sentence. It wasn't "tippex livery" as such; this is generally taken to mean "supertrain" with white lines above and below the black. "Supertrain" was never applied to any non-air-conditioned coaching stock.

 

What your picture shows is normal old black'n'tan (pre-supertrain, dating from 1962) with the simple addition of a single white line at waist level. The old black'n'tan livery already had a (thicker) white line above window level.

 

I believe that up to 3 or 4 Park Royals received this, only in the last couple of years, and only to be seen on their very last duty on Limerick - Rosslare. There could even have been as few as two of them.

 

One of these, incidentally, is No. 1944, preserved in the DCDR and currently undergoing restoration. I believe it will be outshopped in late 1950s green.

Edited by jhb171achill
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The Cravens obviously had standard B'n'T for most of their lives, and probably all of their lives in a few examples.

 

Rather than the "tippex" livery, they received a specific livery which no oth vehicles carried, in IE times, with the first being repainted this probably about 1990 or so. This leafy the basic B'n'T the same, but instead of the broad white line above the windows, a thinner one plus an orange one were substituted. Only one or two ever got a white line below the windows too, and they didn't retain it long. Similarly, one at least, and possibly two, got the "set-of-points" logo at each end, again for a temporary period.

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All the Cravens had the same 6" band, stevie. That's just the light. All that was done to them was - like the BR vans which had a thinner line due to the design of the roof - was addition of the white line below. A few years later, an orange line started being added above window level, then the white line there was narrowed to make room for it.

Edited by jhb171achill
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I see now - I thought he meant a 3" line ABOVE the windows until I re-read it!

 

To clarify. B'n'T inception until early 1990s. Then white line below added, with 6" white above altered to thinner white + orange by degrees.

 

The odd one in original style was still about into the late 90s.

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JHB I bow to your superior knowledge. Incidentally, there was a variant carried by some Cravens of a white line added at waist level with the original, thicker white line above the windows.

 

Stephen

 

Yes, that variant is a "half way house"; upper orange yet to be applied. A bit like the occasional loco in those days with new "set of points" logo instead of the CIE one, but as yet no "tippex". Or current ICRs with no logos, or the writing but no "flag".

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Tis very true, Old Blarney, tis true.

 

Leafing through these pictures I've posted today I find many family ones too which seem like yesterday but were 20, 30 and 40 years ago.

 

Somewhere amongst it all, for those with a strong stomach, there are shots of an infant me in an AEC on the Harcourt Street line, and standing beside a Donegal 2.6.4T at Strabane. Now, even an oul elephant like me doesn't remember that, still less bring held up to a window in the upstairs of the old Hillsborough railway station as the lifting train did its work below me....

Ah John you couldn't be THAT terrifying surely?

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