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jhb171achill
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Senior had this rubber stamp. I had it eventually and I used it to date my schoolbooks.... the year date went up to 1972.....

You can see where GNR “Ireland” was - the GNR wording was now off centre because the word “Ireland” had been picked off when it became the GNR(B).

B8B72C04-6979-453A-AFA1-BAFA2C995BF6.thumb.jpeg.c031a238c8dce4544e0f257c602fab0f.jpeg

Edited by jhb171achill
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Today’s GNR view was taken at Enniskillen in mid-September 1957, about ten days before the entire railway system in Fermanagh closed, thanks to Stormont.

Railcars remained a rarity in this part of the world. Only three months earlier, this working had started - to be cut short before many were even aware of it. This railcar, often with a single brake third in tow, operated non-stop (other than reversal at Omagh) to Belfast. I am unaware of any other passenger train which did not stop at Portadown.

Thus, views of it are rare.

Rarer still was the prospect of Senior considering anything diesel to be worth photographing!

 

92763622-DD2E-4091-84DF-DEAC48B0564E.jpeg

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Apparently it was occasionally filled to the rafters in its short life - stories of a platform bench being lifted into the guards compartment for extra capacity!  Probably would never have been enough to save the line but a tantalising episode.

Edited by Galteemore
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1 hour ago, jhb171achill said:

This railcar, often with a single brake third in tow, operated non-stop (other than reversal at Omagh) to Belfast. I am unaware of any other passenger train which did not stop at Portadown.

Great photo Jon. It called at Bundoran Junction in both directions although as you say ran non-stop between Omagh and Belfast. The railcar was No. 705 and the trailer was No. 396, the former Brake/Second (then a Brake/Third, then Brake/Second) which ended up at Mallow with the GSRP group. No alterations were made in respect of No. 396 at this time as can be evidenced by the fact it remained in 'mahogany' livery. As your photograph (and others) show, the corridor 'screens' remained in place at both ends of the railcar, so there was no use of the gangway. However, by the time No. 396 got to Mallow via the Cork Breakdown train, it was fitted with BUT type corridor gangways.

image.png.62f5c493338e72348df4566e8eeefbc2.png

It would be of great personal interest to know when these BUT type gangways were fitted and when this vehicle became (if ever) a fully fledged BUT trailer?  

Edited by Lambeg man
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26 minutes ago, Galteemore said:

Apparently it was occasionally filled to the rafters in its short life - stories of a platform bench being lifted into the guards compartment for extra capacity!  Probably would never have been enough to save the line but a tantalising episode.

One would have expected it to be eventually filled up on a regular rather than occasional basis - as I mentioned elsewhere, I reckon that after a while it would have been a three or maybe four-car AEC set.

Being a new idea, it never got fully into its stride unfortunately.

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GNR / DNGR time!

An excursion in 1944. GNR brake nearest camera on the right, and a rake of Greenore carriages.

I think this may be Scarva, looking south but I am not sure. Other opinions, anyone?

I suspect that’s the platform on the left for Lenaderg, Lawrencetown and Banbridge, where it connected with the Lisburn - Banbridge - Newcastle line.

 

78C9859D-5213-4B36-975D-EF2FFA8ECACA.jpeg

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Now that I'm looking again at this (the original print is small) on a large screen, I notice a few more details.

Look at some of the doors of the DNGR carriages - they have been more recently painted, thus the main paintwork is faded. Look at the roof lines of the carriages - all higgledy-piggeldy, yet they are parked on some of the best track in the country. Thus, their suspension is far from good in condition!

This must be a spare rake of secondary stock.

The signal indicates the road is clear looking south. Thus, the loco is running away from the photographer to the far end; he will hitch up and go.

Nobody is about. Are they awaiting the return of their passengers? There's no sign of anyone in the train - you'd expect some of them, anyway, to be leaning out of open windows.

The bush in the distance has foliage on it - it's summer, thus again possibly July.

I cannot for the life of me imagine what Senior was doing there that day. He never had any business, nor knew anyone, in that area at that time. The orangemen - if that's what it is -would not be running any events that, let us say, might interest him! However, if the grapevine had told him that a rake of old DNGR stock would be allowed out of the Cooley Peninsula that day, THAT would have piqued his interest!

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58 minutes ago, Galteemore said:

Almost certainly July 13 - Sham Fight day at Scarva - probably an excursion from Newry. Would explain why such antiques were allowed out on the main! 

Yes, it would. So it must be 13th July 1944. Got to be the only time my father went anywhere that sort of stuff!  🙂

It would actually be interesting to get hold of a GNR traffic circular for that date to see what was happening. I do know that they brought in excursions from many places during the whole 12th / 13th July period.  As a child, at that time of year, we were off to Dublin or Mayo for the holliers.....!

On one occasion, Senior saw a train composed of both GNR and DNGR stock in Enniskillen, of all places! A journey across the INWR in those old six-wheel thirds would not have been for the faint-hearted! He did not recall what the reason was, but thought that it was something to do with a pilgrimage.

So, the obvious "quiz question" is, how far did DNGR or SLNCR stock get away from home? GNR stock were occasional visitors to Sligo, while any time the SLNCR was busy, they used to get in MGWR / GS / CIE six-wheelers; thus, such things were to be seen now and again in Enniskillen. But CIE and the GN were big companies - how far away did SLNC and DNG stock go?

The DNG at one time had an advertised through coach to Belfast, which was hitched onto a GN train in Newry, so we'll discount that one.

Answers to that question could be of great interest to modellers.....

After the GNR was broken up in 1958, one wooden, brown-liveried GNR bogie worked on the West Cork, of all places, for a short time. Imagine a train with a GSWR 2.4.2T, a brand new shiny tin van, this GNR coach, an old Midland six-wheeler and a new laminate on a train! Possible.

 

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Just now, jhb171achill said:

Yes, it would. So it must be 13th July 1944. Got to be the only time my father went anywhere that sort of stuff!  🙂

It would actually be interesting to get hold of a GNR traffic circular for that date to see what was happening. I do know that they brought in excursions from many places during the whole 12th / 13th July period.  As a child, at that time of year, we were off to Dublin or Mayo for the holliers.....!

On one occasion, Senior saw a train composed of both GNR and DNGR stock in Enniskillen, of all places! A journey across the INWR in those old six-wheel thirds would not have been for the faint-hearted! He did not recall what the reason was, but thought that it was something to do with a pilgrimage.

So, the obvious "quiz question" is, how far did DNGR or SLNCR stock get away from home? GNR stock were occasional visitors to Sligo, while any time the SLNCR was busy, they used to get in MGWR / GS / CIE six-wheelers; thus, such things were to be seen now and again in Enniskillen. But CIE and the GN were big companies - how far away did SLNC and DNG stock go?

The DNG at one time had an advertised through coach to Belfast, which was hitched onto a GN train in Newry, so we'll discount that one.

Answers to that question could be of great interest to modellers.....

After the GNR was broken up in 1958, one wooden, brown-liveried GNR bogie worked on the West Cork, of all places, for a short time. Imagine a train with a GSWR 2.4.2T, a brand new shiny tin van, this GNR coach, an old Midland six-wheeler and a new laminate on a train! Possible.

 

This is for the quiz question. The SLNCR as far a Belfast and worked on the docks but a lot of withdrawn stuff went as far a Spain as the scrap yards could not hold all are engines. A lot of GNRI stock went on the midland line between Broadstone to Mullingar in the 60s but a VS class was used on the Dublin to Cork main line in 1961 as CIE tested them against the Queen class whitch lost against the VS (the vs had great superheated boilers ). Some  GNRI stock ended up on the GSWR an DSER lines. With the last GSWR 4-4-0 ending it days with S and U classes.

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2 minutes ago, Galteemore said:

SLNC wagons were regularly seen in Belfast, off the shipper naturally. I have never seen the coaches beyond Sligo, and Sprinks suggests that GN coaches were hired in for special trains that the SLNC couldn’t support from its own fleet.

That's correct - it's as good as certain that no SLNCR carriage ever left the line - as you say, they had barely enough for themselves. Senior remarked in the past that E W Monaghan and G F Egan were both embarrassed at the state of their few roadworthy carriages towards the end. I am only aware of two that were repainted at all in the 1950s (one of the bogies and six-wheeled third brake No. 4).

Midland Man - you're possibly also thinking of the two SLNC locos (Loughs Erne & Melvin) which went to shunt in Belfast. This was after the SLNCR closed - the UTA bought them and numbered them 26 and 27. No. 26 wasn't used much and was withdrawn by about 1965 but 27 "Lough Erne" of course survived and is now at Whitehead.

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I believe the SLNCR bogie carriages' bearings ran hot if operated at normal speeds not found on the SLNCR so were restricted to operating on home rails (and over the MGWR to Sligo).

I don't know about the 6 wheelers, although they appeared to be in a pretty shocking state by the 50s (apart from the re-painted no 4).

The SLNCR appeared to have borrowed 6 wheeled stock if one of the railcars broke down rather than using their own.

Edited by Angus
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53 minutes ago, airfixfan said:

If photo is 1944 unlikely to be an orange parade at the height of WW2. Could be a troop special during build up to D Day?

Now that's a very interesting possibility, Airfixfan. It could very well be - I hadn't even thought of that.

Were orange-related matters curtailed in those times? I didn't know that.

It could well be something of the sort. Was there a military base anywhere near Newry? Whatever is happening this day, a tank engine is running round the train, by the look of it. The branch was still open, but it would have used the platform on the left.

I sent the pic to a gentleman this afternoon who would be the leading expert on the GNR nowadays, I'll be interested to hear his views.

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Couple of points about the superb photo Jon.

1 hour ago, airfixfan said:

If photo is 1944 unlikely to be an orange parade at the height of WW2.

I would have been surprised given all the war time traffic that the GNR was running any Scarva specials and more surprised if such events were being held during the war.

1 hour ago, airfixfan said:

Could be a troop special during build up to D Day?

As you said above, if there were any passengers (especially if it was a loaded troop train), one would expect to see at least a few heads out of windows. So can we presume this is an empty carriages movement?

The GNR carriage appears to be No. 445, a classification 'J 8' Brake/Tricompo. If that is the train guard getting into the carriage, why is wearing a plain flat cap as opposed to a railway issue hat?

The train is sitting in the down platform at Scarva. We believe the engine is running around, but why? If the train has come north, why is the train engine (if that is what it is) running around here? The 'off' signal certainly confirms the engine has the up road clear. Surely if it was coming towards us, the up starter would not be 'off'. If the train has come south from the Portadown direction OR has come from the Banbridge direction, why is it in the down platform? Had it come south from either direction and paused to reverse down either line, again why is it in the down platform. A train from either Banbridge or Portadown would have arrived in the up platform, as both crossovers at Scarva were trailing. If the train was reversing, why is the engine heading off to the southern end?

Is the date confirmed as definitely being 1944?

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Scarva.  PRONI Map  - OSNI Historical Third Edition (1900 - 1907)  -   This map image gives every indication the train in the picture is at Scarva. Why, Bridge, signal posts, footbridge, track curvature, bay platform in relation to footbridge and waiting shelter on up-platform and, yes and King Billy. His hat is viable - Third carriage from left, and to immediate left of telegraph pole at the end of said carriage.   

Image may contain: text and outdoor

Edited by Old Blarney
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I did wonder about the date myself. It would be a rather risky thing to go taking pics of any transport activity in wartime - let alone a troop train - with a bystander in plain sight!

I agree Galteemore.

image.png.9d1fee988320f6e80993988481c9360c.png 

There appear to be heads/people on the bridge. If this is so, then it probably is a 13th July but not 1944. The tank engine having brought this special from say Newry is running around to take the now empty stock back to Goraghwood(?) for berthing until the return evening working?

Another point to remember is that post January 1951 most of the DNGR 6-wheelers still running were actually bought by the GNR(I) and given GNR running numbers.

Edited by Lambeg man
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"The tank engine having brought this special from say Newry is running around to take the now empty stock back to Goraghwood(?) for berthing until the return evening working?"

There were no cross-over facilities to the immediate South of Scarva Station. The engines exhaust and smoke direction is a puzzle too. It would appear to indicate the light engine is travelling toward the photographer, yet the up signal is clear! I'm off to search for the nearest crossover to the South of Scarva Station. Poyntz Pass?

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33 minutes ago, Old Blarney said:

There were no cross-over facilities to the immediate South of Scarva Station.

There are two trailing crossovers shown in the station diagram for Scarva in the 2nd edition of 'Golden Years of the GNR - Part Two'. The northern most is shown as just ahead of the turnout for the Banbridge line, the other at the south end of the station, just the other side of the bridge.

The south crossover can be seen in Drew Donaldson's photo on page 61 of 'Golden Years of the GNR Vol. 2'.

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5 minutes ago, Lambeg man said:

There are two trailing crossovers shown in the station diagram for Scarva in the 2nd edition of 'Golden Years of the GNR'. The northern most is shown as just ahead of the turnout for the Banbridge line, the other at the south end of the station, just the other side of the bridge.

I apologise.  Can you scan the layout please! Thank you.

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Many thanks for this information. I was basing my remarks on the PRONI Maps and something that was at the back-of-my-mind which related to single line working from Scarva for special trains travelling in the down direction.   Again, my apology for having provided inaccurate information.

 

Edited by Old Blarney
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Post 1962 I think, when the Scarva signal cabin was closed, 13th July specials from Portadown ran to Goraghwood for storage and turning. When Goraghwood closed, specials ran to Pontzpass and steam engines propelled their empty trains back to Portadown right line. I suppose in the evening they propelled from Portadown to Pontzpass on the up line, before then running right line back towards Scarva.

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Yes, the date seems to be 1944; it is with other photos from that year in sequence. On the same day he took a picture in Lisburn.

I wonder if the people on the bridge are Orangemen? Do we know for a fact that orange events were curtailed that year? My understanding is that had not been since a time when the British government actually banned them for a few years in the 1850s or something.

This might explain the carriages, and the loco running round. maybe there's a wartime shortage of GNR stock all over the place, and the GNR has borrowed secondary stock from the DNG to deal with a party from Newry to Scarva. The loco is running round, thus will reverse onto the far end of the train to go back. Maybe the people up on the bridge are coming to get back onto it.

The man in the flat cap could be a porter?

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I may be wrong, but if the people are walking over the bridge west to east, are they not heading in the direction of the Sham Fight? Not familiar with Scarva. If so it would mean they have got off the train, hence no heads out of windows. Curious also is why is the man is entering the carriage from track level, rather than the platform? Surely the fireman would have uncoupled the engine?

Would it be possible to put the Lisburn picture up at some point Jon?

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Regarding the S.L.N.C.coaches not leaving their own line, it seems that four of them may have been responsible for a train over-running the buffers in Greenore on 30th June 1904 according to D.S.M.Barrie in The Dundalk, Newry & Greenore Railway,  page 32.   Perhaps that is why other companies declined to accept them on their lines.

DSERetc 

 

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2 hours ago, Lambeg man said:

I may be wrong, but if the people are walking over the bridge west to east, are they not heading in the direction of the Sham Fight? Not familiar with Scarva. If so it would mean they have got off the train, hence no heads out of windows. Curious also is why is the man is entering the carriage from track level, rather than the platform? Surely the fireman would have uncoupled the engine?

Would it be possible to put the Lisburn picture up at some point Jon?

Will do when I find it, Steve!

The man on the track will have hopped down off the up platform. I remember station staff scuttling back and forth across platforms here and there - Lisburn included!  I did it myself.....

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2 hours ago, DSERetc said:

Regarding the S.L.N.C.coaches not leaving their own line, it seems that four of them may have been responsible for a train over-running the buffers in Greenore on 30th June 1904 according to D.S.M.Barrie in The Dundalk, Newry & Greenore Railway,  page 32.   Perhaps that is why other companies declined to accept them on their lines.

DSERetc 

 

There is an interesting account of the incident in the July 2019 IRRS Journal and in  N J Spink's "The Sligo Leitrim and Northern Counties" book, the train which ran as a special from Enniskillen to Greenore was made up of 4 SLNCR & 2 GSWR 3rd class coaches and a GNR van from Enniskillen.

At the time the SLNCR braking system was incompatible with the automatic vacuum brake system used by the GNR & GSWR.

Interestingly no brake tests were carried out when locomotive changes were carried out at Enniskillen and Dundalk not unlike the recent "Caledonian Sleeper" incident when the train ran away on the approach to Edinburgh Waverley Station.

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