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Early photos from the jhb171 Catacombs

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Here, now and again, I'll post older photos taken by jhb171senior, and jhb171inchicore, back in the day when Jesus was learning his spellings, and pussy was a kitten......

 

I don't have exact dates to hand, though eventually I'll be able to match the pictures with notes taken at the time. Based on what I know of their travels, though, I can estimate.

 

 

Larne narrow gauge (B & L station). Early 1940s.

 

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I think this is Magherafelt, with a goods train shunting. I believe it's about 1938.

 

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And finally, about 1929, Cavan & Leitrim No. 1, still in badly worn C & L lined green livery.

 

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They had 1:1 gradients on the Cavan & Leitrim.... Well, I did all right with the beet pictures I posted!

 

I'll try and fish out some more pics later. Doing a tidy of part of the Catacombs today.... Anyone out there fancy restoring some extremely ancient (but almost all NON railway) glass plate negatives? In some cases I don't know if there's any point, as they are of long forgotten - and thus long unidentifiable - great-great-great aunts etc.....

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Your genius knows no limits, GSR! :-)

 

In 1956, heavy rain as bad as we had in December last, plus a slight rise in the level of Lough Erne due to the construction of the Ballyshannon hydro-electric power station, led to this happening on the Lough shore near Castlecaldwell, Co Fermanagh. Jhb171senior was called out to examine, stroke his chin, murmur, and fix.

 

Eighteen months later, the Stormont government decided to close this, and every other ex-GNR railway within half a day's drive of it.

 

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I'm glad THIS one turned out the right way up, or anyone reading this would be drowned by water emptied out of Lough Erne....

Edited by jhb171achill
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Way back now, to 1940. First up, jhb171senior/senior's photo of original Dublin & Kingstown Railway track stored at Inchicore. This immensely historically important artefact was donated, at Senior's behest, to the fledgling Witham Street museum in Belfast, and should now be at Cultra.

 

Anyone know if it is? Or if - God forbid - it's got lost in storage there or no one knows what it is?

 

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Next, it's still 1940. This time, jhb171senior decides that a free pass from Amiens Street to Burtonport and back is an appropriate way to while away some time. He photographed the one coach on the train, but didn't set foot in it, of course. A teeth-and-bone-shaking footplate ride was better, at a breakneck 20 miles per hour: one of the big tanks to Letterkenny from Derry, and a footplate run on the last operational 4.8.0 tender engine from there to the Wilds of Burtonport.

 

Oh, to turn back the clock....

 

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Early 1940s. Anyone fancy a doing up the Derry Central today, and maybe the tram to the Giant's Causeway?

 

The Derry Central train is composed entirely of old Belfast & Northern Counties Rly coaching stock, as shown by the tell-take design feature of straight sides. Some of these managed to see UTA service into the 1960s.

 

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And finally, for today, here are two pictures, neither of great quality, though I have the negatives which will certainly yield better.

 

Quiz Question: explain both pictures. The apparent mist or glare is not that - it's smoke.

 

The first prize for a correct answer is a free ride in a 450 class. Second prize is two free rides in one, and third prize is an annual ticket for one. Booby prize is a gift of a full three car set.

 

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The "misty" one is from the top of the tram, and the smoke is from detonators, as the tram leaves Fintona for the very last time. The other is of the loco being attached to it. The tram had no proper coupling, and the horse's harness wasn't the best fit for the loco. So, as Senior (who organised the move from there to Omagh, and the tram's preservation) said, "it was attached to the engine by all sorts of bits of chain and things - whatever seemed to hold it". Ohhh, what a great day our Health & Safety Taliban would have had! No day glo, of course, and several hangers-on hitching a lift with Senior and other railwaymen. Senior travelled on the tram to the junction, and on the loco footplate to Omagh from where another loco took it forward - very slowly - to Belfast.

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Great story about the Fintona tram. Believe it or not my father was one of the hangers-on that day!! Word had got out that the tram would be passing through Omagh and a crowd of local people gathered to see it. At Omagh they were allowed to board the tram for a short trip along the platform, most going up to the top deck. Suddenly there was much shouting and arm waving from the footplate when it was realised that the standing passangers on the top deck might not make it under the station footbridge!

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Great story about the Fintona tram. Believe it or not my father was one of the hangers-on that day!! Word had got out that the tram would be passing through Omagh and a crowd of local people gathered to see it. At Omagh they were allowed to board the tram for a short trip along the platform, most going up to the top deck. Suddenly there was much shouting and arm waving from the footplate when it was realised that the standing passangers on the top deck might not make it under the station footbridge!

 

 

Fantastic story, Mike, that's the sort of stuff historical archives don't tell us!

 

The health and safety men would have had serial conniptions with complications!

 

Senior went to back to Enniskillen after travelling with the tram to Omagh. I'm not sure how he got there. Sadly he's no longer here to ask, but on another occasion after the 1957 closure he went to Omagh and back on a light engine. I can't remember what for, or why....

Edited by jhb171achill
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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks jhb. Unfortunately I missed all the fun that day as I was a young lad at school back then. I do, however, remember seeing the tram in operation at the Junction on our way to Bundoran on summer excursions. I also remember seeing the little petrol engined luggage trolley in use at Bundoran Junction. Happy days indeed.

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