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Just had a look at the CIE 1980 WTT Loose coupled goods trains hauled by a 001, 181, 141 or pair of GMs were allowed to load to a maximum of 560 tons or 45 vehicles including a 30 ton brake van between Ennis & Claremorris, a 121 or 201 was allowed 10 tons less


Laden trains would have been restricted to 30 opens plus van, trains could be loaded up to 780 tons or a max of 66 wagons on most of the main lines.


CIE carried a lot of goods and mineral traffic at the time, ore traffic probably peaked around 1980 with Zinc from Tara & Silvermines, Byrytes from Silvermines and Dolomite and Magnesite in an out of Ballinacourty heavy traffic all years rather than a seasonal traffic over 3 months.


Tuam used to process beet from Dundalk, Navan, Enfield and Kerry in addition to stations on the Ennis-Athenry line

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Awesome , great shots of Claremorris , especially the goods yard , in the supertrain era. Yummy yummy


Loved the beet video , in the early seventies I can remember seeing all those long long beet empties running across the river from my school.


Interesting the platform starter at Tuam was replaced to danger rather quickly as the rule was the guard was supposed to verify a signal. ( or else it was a SPAD !!! )

Edited by Junctionmad
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Isn't it strange that trains were limited to 30, in the fledgling H&S-obsessed world! Twenty five years earlier I remember 35 and 40 - and loose coupled at that - as commonplace.



I suppose you could argue that the 30 wagon limit was an elf and safety thing as it kept a fully laden train within the 560 ton load limit for a loose coupled train on the WRC and hopefully allowed the driver and guard to keep control and prevent a run away.


Taking a load limit of 780 tons on the majority of main line routes a beet train could theoretically load up to 40 12 ton opens with a gross weight of 18 tons.


I wonder whether laden beet trains from midlands and east loaded to the 780 ton 40 wagon limit for the journey over the MGWR line and excess tonnage left at Athenry for collection by a Gort-Tuam special or an overload goods.


Overloads were common enough on lines with heavy goods traffic and severe load/weight restrictions. An overload would be run for just 1-2 wagons once the regular goods was fully loaded. In steam days overloads were common over the Limerick-Sligo line as the heaviest loco allowed was a J15

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Not sure, John.


In layout planning terms, for those interested, such a manoeuvre could provide interest. While I am not sure about beet trains, certainly in the past it was not at all unknown for trains to be split into sections to go over lines with lighter load limits or steep gradients.


I have seen - somewhere - a photo of a battered looking J15 trundling along the Cork main line of all places, some time in the late 50s or early 1960s, with an overload of one "H" van and a 20T brake van. that's a bit extreme, but obviously it did happen; this was in pre-photoshop days!


In the forthcoming book, there's a shot at Gortatlea of one of the last Tralee mail trains. it consists of a single 141 and a single mail van.

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