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Camping Coaches

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Jawfin
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The GSR didn't use them, Jawfin; it was only in the fifties that they came into fashion. CIE had them at various locations, including Tramore, while the UTA had 2 or 3 (based on 5'3" gauge BNCR six wheelers!) at Ballycastle.

 

Most CIE ones were ex-GSWR non corridor thirds, though I think there was one of WLWR origin somewhere.

 

Obviously, many older carriages - usually former 6 wheelers and usually of GSWR origin - were sold privately as holiday homes. The GNR also sold old carriages like this, as the few remaining at Giles' Quay near Dundalk bear witness to.

 

If modelling them in any shape or form, CIE painted them Donegal-esque red and cream. They carried roof boards with "CAMPING COACH" on them. The period in which you might place them in sidings in a model station would be about 1958-68.

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Isn't that a coach in Departmental grey with just the board clapped up on it?

One of those boards hung around Mallow for a long time after the GSRPS imploded, don't know where it went, landfill perhaps. Think it had a dark green background with eau de nil letters.

 

An attempt to copy what BR were doing in around the same time, not sure if it was all that successful.

Iirc saw a pic of a number of them at the then recently closed Tramore station, maybe they were stabled at other seaside type locations as well? Youghal maybe?

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The left hand one there is 935, the ex WLWR Director's Saloon. Sadly burned by vandals where it stood, though earmarked for preservation.

 

The one on the right is ex-GSWR 1110, a former third.

 

Both were departmental vehicles. I doubt if 935 was ever a camping coach, and I suspect those roof boards were added post-withdrawal. If it WAS ever used as a camping coach, it can't have been for long. 1110 was never a camping coach.

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Yes. The Midland six wheeler was indeed MGWR No. 13 (GSR / CIE 13M). The departmental livery for 1110 and others like it was red ends and a plain green side, with black or grey roof. It's faded to a salmony pink / orange shade there!

 

It, or one much the same, was at one time in a siding at Rathmore on the south Kerry road. I saw it there between 1975 and 1978 several times.

 

813 is a former GSWR third, owned by several RPSI members (as opposed to the society itself). It's been incarcerated in the shed there for forty years or so. I don't know if it was ever a camping coach. There was certainly one like it at Tramore, and I think another too.

 

935 was always grey when I knew it, which is why I doubt if it was a camping coach. There was, however, another old GSWR third at mullingar, parked the other side of 1110, which HAD been; it wore badly faded camping coach red and cream until it was scrapped / vandalised.

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[quote name=minister_for_hardship;88258

 

 

An attempt to copy what BR were doing in around the same time' date=' not sure if it was all that successful.

Iirc saw a pic of a number of them at the then recently closed Tramore station, maybe they were stabled at other seaside type locations as well? Youghal maybe?[/quote]

 

I wonder if the camping coaches were aimed at visitors from the UK, with through booking including train and ferry between stations in the UK & Ireland. This would have been appealing in the days before ro ro ferries and nearly every family having a car.

 

Dungarvan seems to have had one or two camping coaches, not sure if there were any at seaside stations on the South Eastern and the Northern Line between Malahide & Laytown which would have been ideal for the purpose.

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The Camping Coaches were announced in the Spring of 1959. Six were prepared for the 1959 season, two each for Dungarvan, Killarney and Carrick-on-Shannon, available from 2nd May to 24th October. Each coach cost £650 to convert and included sleeping berths for eight, a spacious living room and fully equipped kitchenette. Lighting, heating and cooking was by Kosangas. Bed and table linen, crockery, cutlery and cooking utensils were also provided. Livery was described as being CDJRC style or dull pink and cream. HC1 was completed in early March and put on display in Platform 3 at Amiens Street from 16th to 28th March, presumably to advertise the service and encourage bookings.

HC1 to HC6 were converted from 803, 811, 802, 934, 832, 347. Unfortunately which went where is not recorded.

 

Apparently the season was successful and two more coaches were converted for the 1960 season, for Tramore. However, the two at Carrick-on-Shannon were transferred to Galway. HC7 and HC8 were converted from 818, 837. The W&T closed on 31/12/60 and apparently all coaches, including the HC's, were moved to Waterford, where one at least had to be removed, as the next mention of allocations is as late as 1967, (which appears to be the last season), when HC4 and HC5 were at Killarney and HC1, 2, 3, 6, 7 were at Youghal.

 

Early in 1968 the Camping Coaches were withdrawn. They were stated to be for likely use as Staff Sleeping Cars and it was noted two had been at Tuam during the beet campaign. HC7 became 529A and was located at Dungarvan for the lifting crews on the Mallow - Waterford route. HC6 became 528A and was seen at Limerick Junction on 18th March 1968. 529A retained its roof boards reading "Holiday Camping Coach" and both were still red and cream.

 

That appears to be the last reference. Pender & Richards shows the following conversions to Departmental use.

523A from 803, 524A from 811, 525A from 802, 526A from 934, 527A from 832, 528A from 347, 530A from 837. It doesn't show 529A but that must be 818 as above. Presumably, if they did become staff coaches, they were replaced by the ISO type boxes placed on four wheel flats, dating from 1970?

Edited by BSGSV
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In the early 1970s I had the "privilege" of spending a week in an ex-CDR coach in Rossnowlagh, Co Donegal. Its railway heritage was obvious and the facilities basic to say the least. It had a solid fuel stove fitted, a very welcome addition for summer holidays in that part of the world.

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In the early 1970s I had the "privilege" of spending a week in an ex-CDR coach in Rossnowlagh, Co Donegal. Its railway heritage was obvious and the facilities basic to say the least. It had a solid fuel stove fitted, a very welcome addition for summer holidays in that part of the world.

interesting - never knew there were ones there. They'd have been privately owned, I presume - not CIE. I suspect ex GNR or CIE coach bodies though?

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The Irish college in Ballingeary had 3 or 4 grounded six wheeler bodies as dorms, two were GS&WR origin iirc, they were incinerated in the 1990s.

Internal partitions were partly cut away to access the length of each coach, fitted out with bunk beds and a wash hand basin at the end. The GS&WR ones still retained luggage racks with 'GSWR' cast into the brackets and one had a window with 'SMOKING' etched into it.

Edited by minister_for_hardship
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interesting - never knew there were ones there. They'd have been privately owned, I presume - not CIE. I suspect ex GNR or CIE coach bodies though?

 

It was privately owned by the site operator at that stage. It was ex-CDR so there was not much space although the entire coach was rented out as a single unit. It has long since been removed from the site.

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I'd love to know which one it was, Mike! As you say, there can't have been much room in it - I think the internal width of a Donegal coach would only have been about 8 feet! You'd wonder at anyone using a narrow gauge coach for such a purpose!

 

Out of curiosity, were you ever able to identify which vehicle it was?

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The Camping Coaches were announced in the Spring of 1959. Six were prepared for the 1959 season, two each for Dungarvan, Killarney and Carrick-on-Shannon, available from 2nd May to 24th October. Each coach cost £650 to convert and included sleeping berths for eight, a spacious living room and fully equipped kitchenette. Lighting, heating and cooking was by Kosangas. Bed and table linen, crockery, cutlery and cooking utensils were also provided. Livery was described as being CDJRC style or dull pink and cream. HC1 was completed in early March and put on display in Platform 3 at Amiens Street from 16th to 28th March, presumably to advertise the service and encourage bookings.

HC1 to HC6 were converted from 803, 811, 802, 934, 832, 347. Unfortunately which went where is not recorded.

 

Apparently the season was successful and two more coaches were converted for the 1960 season, for Tramore. However, the two at Carrick-on-Shannon were transferred to Galway. HC7 and HC8 were converted from 818, 837. The W&T closed on 31/12/60 and apparently all coaches, including the HC's, were moved to Waterford, where one at least had to be removed, as the next mention of allocations is as late as 1967, (which appears to be the last season), when HC4 and HC5 were at Killarney and HC1, 2, 3, 6, 7 were at Youghal.

 

Early in 1968 the Camping Coaches were withdrawn. They were stated to be for likely use as Staff Sleeping Cars and it was noted two had been at Tuam during the beet campaign. HC7 became 529A and was located at Dungarvan for the lifting crews on the Mallow - Waterford route. HC6 became 528A and was seen at Limerick Junction on 18th March 1968. 529A retained its roof boards reading "Holiday Camping Coach" and both were still red and cream.

 

That appears to be the last reference. Pender & Richards shows the following conversions to Departmental use.

523A from 803, 524A from 811, 525A from 802, 526A from 934, 527A from 832, 528A from 347, 530A from 837. It doesn't show 529A but that must be 818 as above. Presumably, if they did become staff coaches, they were replaced by the ISO type boxes placed on four wheel flats, dating from 1970?

 

Thanks very very much, very useful information :D

Any idea what 'HC' stood for?

Edited by Jawfin
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The almost-preserved last survivor of that rare species, a WLWR bogie coach. Few though they were, they were a very elegant design indeed, none more so than their Director's Saloon, which of course became GSWR / GSR / CIE 935.

 

The usual sub-normal scum of vandals put paid to her.

 

From the list above, consecutively numbered 934 was a camping coach. This was an entirely different design, however, being a standard type of 1st / 2nd compartment composite.

 

I surveyed 935 while I was heavily RPSI-involved, with a view to having it brought to Whitehead. But it was in way worse order than even this picture suggests, and it was burned soon after by aforementioned citizens.

 

image.jpg

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Does anyone know if there are photographs of the Camping Coaches while they were in use. The majority appear to have been converted from GSWR 50' coaches from the early 1900s. The coaches were unusual by the standards of the time with the seating arranged in one or two saloons rather than the more common side corridor arrangement and either one or two sets of external doors which would have made loading difficult.

 

818 & 832 were originally had clerestory roofs, I wonder did they retain this arrangement as Camping Coaches

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I've seen pictures of British ones in use, Mayner, but the nearest I can think of to the Irish ones is in the book on the Waterford & Tramore Railway by Fayle & Newham; you can see one in the distance in the photo of Tramore in letter days.

 

It seems reasonable to assume that they weren't that popular here - they weren't in use for long!

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I remember staying in a CIE camping couch near Youghal when I was a youngster. There were a number of them on a track section in a field. They were well fitted out with bunkbeds and running water etc. You entered by climbing a wooden staircase to the door. You had to travel by mainline rail to be allowed rent one of them. I don't think the experiment lasted all that long but as far as I remember I really enjoyed it. Don't think too many kids of today would be enamoured by the thought of staying in a converted railway coach in a field. I remember the grass as being long as we made our way through it everytime we left the field. Can't recall whether they were "ensuite" or whether we used a common facility in the fieldy .

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I wonder which station was it at, Spudfan - was it youghal itself?

Youghal was the nearest train station to where the field with the camping coaches were situated. The coaches were not at the station per se. It was a long time ago. I remember getting a train from Dublin to Cork, then a train to Youghal then going to the site. Probably was not very far from the station. Sorry I cannot be more specific.

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Youghal was the nearest train station to where the field with the camping coaches were situated. The coaches were not at the station per se. It was a long time ago. I remember getting a train from Dublin to Cork, then a train to Youghal then going to the site. Probably was not very far from the station. Sorry I cannot be more specific.

 

That's got me interested, Spudfan. The regular passenger service to Youghal ended in 1963, so it must have been extremely short lived - maybe only a season or two. Or possibly, and especially if the coaches weren't on the statio n site, they were privately owned rather than CIE owned. All sorts of absolute gems of old coaches were in fields all over the country.

 

They had a one or two in Tramore station for a short time.

 

I knew someone who holidayed in an old GSWR beauty (privately owned) in a field by the sea outside Dublin, and an old MGWR coach which was used for this purpose - again privately owned - near Wexford.

 

Interesting stuff.

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That's got me interested, Spudfan. The regular passenger service to Youghal ended in 1963, so it must have been extremely short lived - maybe only a season or two. Or possibly, and especially if the coaches weren't on the statio n site, they were privately owned rather than CIE owned. All sorts of absolute gems of old coaches were in fields all over the country.

 

They had a one or two in Tramore station for a short time.

 

I knew someone who holidayed in an old GSWR beauty (privately owned) in a field by the sea outside Dublin, and an old MGWR coach which was used for this purpose - again privately owned - near Wexford.

 

Interesting stuff.

As far as I know it was a CIE operation. In order to rent a camping coach you had to travel on mainline rail. It was an effort to get passengers on to rail. I remember a hedge at the back of the site behind the line of coaches and a signal was visible so it must have been near to the mainline and maybe the station. Perhaps I am misremembering a train journey to Youghal but as we had no car it was always rail we used. It would have been in the 1960's so a long time ago. At the time we thought the coaches were the height of luxury so they were well kitted out.

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There was a sizeable community of old carriages at Giles' Quay, outside Dundalk until very recent years. Some are still in the area. There was even a former GNR railmotor among them. That was by far the largest group of grounded railway vehicles I ever came across. As far as I remember and as one might expect, they were all ex GNR.

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In addition, Irish Railfan's News for April 1959 says(I should probably have thought to have looked at it before posting this thread, but it's started an interesting conversation anyway):

 

"Bookings are being arranged for one and two week periods on condition that the hirers buy in advance ordinary return rail tickets from their home station to the camping coach site for not less than six adults. Priority is being given to parties travelling the longest rail distance. The rentals of the coaches range from £7:10:0 to £12:0:0 per week depending on the month chosen."

 

 

April '60:

"CIÉ have also announced that charges for all camping coaches will be reduced in the off-peak periods while the obligation on those booking coaches to buy six return tickets from their homes to the site has been reduced this year to three return tickets. A special ticket costing £2:10:0 allowing unlimited travel in the area of the coach site is also provided this summer for those availing of the coaches. At the end of January last, English visitors alone had already booked for a total of 32 weeks holidays in the CIÉ camping coaches for the coming summer."

 

 

I'm no expert on inflation: was that a good price or expensive or what?

Edited by Jawfin
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This backs up my memory of only being allowed to rent a camping coach if you travelled to it by rail. I am almost certain that these were bogie coaches. They were on a length of rail hidden in long grass. Also I seem to remember them being of mainly red colour.

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Yes, spudfan, they were red and cream. The ones you describe, on the basis of what you've said, would indeed appear to be CIE ones. If they weren't, they wouldn't have been on rails. Where they were remains interesting; obviously it's on a disconnected siding adjacent to some station, as all CIE ones were. The prices given above in Jawfin's post indicate that they were not at all cheap! Bearing in mind that six full returns had to be bought too.... £7.10.0, or £7.50p, (equivalent to about €10 today) was about three weeks' wages to an ordinary working man. £12 was 50% more. Plus your fare.

 

When my family went to one in 1970 in North Wales (the British ones, incidentally, were green and cream), there were two adults and four children.... I have the receipt for it somewhere, must look it up. I think 1970 / 1971 was about the last year for the BR ones. I remember, incidentally, seeing Metro-Cammell railcars, and classes 47, 26 and (I think) 43's rattling past on long rakes of maroon Mk. 1's... (and some blue and grey ones!). We were just two years late for steam!

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