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60 years S.L.& N.C. and Dromahair Station

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Posted (edited)

Yes is rather nice. Much of the material comes from Michael Hamilton’s book - ‘down memory line’. This is a cracking little book, and one of the best descriptions I have ever read of the traffic flowing through an Irish station. As a child visiting my grandparents in Dromahair, I hadn’t the wit to realise that most of the old farm equipment that was there in the 70s must actually have made its way there via the SLNC.

Edited by Galteemore

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I had an aunt who lived in Hazelwood in Sligo and she had an East Downshire wagon body in a shed
It was used to store feed for livestock. One side was fairly rough but the side closest to the wall of the shed was perfectly preserved
Around 15 years ago they widened the road outside her home and the shed was knocked, and I never saw the wagon body again

 


362640019_Hazelwoodloco.thumb.JPG.28e904b6d931e6673b186fb1991c73b7.JPG

 

 

 

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Love the Hazlewood, the real thing sadly just missed out on a place at the new Belfast Transport Museum as it was known in 1957. Nice story about the wagon too. When travelling the back road from Manorhamilton to Dromahair in the 80s, there was still part of an SLNC carriage in a garden. Gone when I visited last year.

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11 minutes ago, Galteemore said:

Love the Hazlewood, the real thing sadly just missed out on a place at the new Belfast Transport Museum as it was known in 1957. Nice story about the wagon too. When travelling the back road from Manorhamilton to Dromahair in the 80s, there was still part of an SLNC carriage in a garden. Gone when I visited last year.

Pity that the engine Hazelewood was never preserved and that Lough Erne lasted as a working engine for the RPSI until the 70s.In my mind all 20 of the standard preserved engine should be put into working order and rotated around Cutra,Whitehead and Downpatrick like in the UK.

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Yes it’s a shame that Ireland just doesn’t have the economic basis to support anything like the same variety UK preservation sees. Having said that, the restoration of 131 from what had become a kit of dispersed bits is highly impressive. Lough Erne is a lovely loco but too big for Downpatrick (ie inefficient to run) and too small for mainline work. The same issue means that 186 and 184 will almost certainly never steam again. There is a case to be made for Dunluce Castle but I suspect the money would be better spent on the new build NCC Mogul ( although a 2nd WT class probably has more utility).

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12 minutes ago, Galteemore said:

Yes it’s a shame that Ireland just doesn’t have the economic basis to support anything like the same variety UK preservation sees. Having said that, the restoration of 131 from what had become a kit of dispersed bits is highly impressive. Lough Erne is a lovely loco but too big for Downpatrick (ie inefficient to run) and too small for mainline work. The same issue means that 186 and 184 will almost certainly never steam again. There is a case to be made for Dunluce Castle but I suspect the money would be better spent on the new build NCC Mogul ( although a 2nd WT class probably has more utility).

So true 

They should get meadh rebuilt in Germany as they have steam engine works there.(Its where they are geting the new P2 boiler)As well as that meadh is the pefict engine to get restored. its big but is not as heavy as a 201 so it can run to westport or Galway and second It would look great for rail tours. but there is cons  like that its boiler and chasis are broken and that the coal problim facing all preserved railways.

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Posted (edited)
53 minutes ago, Galteemore said:

Yes it’s a shame that Ireland just doesn’t have the economic basis to support anything like the same variety UK preservation sees. Having said that, the restoration of 131 from what had become a kit of dispersed bits is highly impressive. Lough Erne is a lovely loco but too big for Downpatrick (ie inefficient to run) and too small for mainline work. The same issue means that 186 and 184 will almost certainly never steam again. There is a case to be made for Dunluce Castle but I suspect the money would be better spent on the new build NCC Mogul ( although a 2nd WT class probably has more utility).

Dunluce Castle is the “one that got away”.

In the late 1990s, as RPSI Treasurer, I was approached by a member who I also knew outside the RPSI too. He was a man of means and had just seen No. 74 in Cultra. He recalled having been taken by his parents on one of those old Sunday School excursions in the 1930s (poor man has gone to his reward now) and on arrival, been invited up onto the footplate of that very engine, which he had remembered.

What they put an engine like that on a presumably heavy excursion for is beyond me; while fast, these engines, in the words of the late Harold Houston, probably the greatest ever authority on NCC engines, "couldn't pull the skin off a rice pudding"!

Our friend told me that if the Society sought grant aid, he would match it pound for pound. At the time, the ERDF funding was in full flow, as was IFI funding. I informed the Society's Loco Officer, and a major inspection was organised.

The report was brutal. Like No. 30 beside it (the BCDR engine), the UTA had absolutely run it into the ground. Polished up though it is, from memory, this is what No. 74 "Dunluce Castle" looked like 25 years ago; it's condition won't have improved since.

  • 1. Boiler - scrap. Straight to skip; new one needed.
  • 2. Smokebox - not good, probably better replaced.
  • 3. Cylinders - one scrap for sure, other one looks ok, but just about ok.
  • 4. Driving wheels - one scrap, other 3 badly worn.
  • 5. Tender - from floor up, scrap, entirely; floor down in need of serious TLC.
  • 6. Motion - while I cannot recall the details now, there were major issues here too.

There was more, which I can't remember. I have a note somewhere, probably. Basically, the loco requires a total, and very substantial rebuild. It is held together with shiny paint and Mr Sheen.

Once restored, No. 74 is not a strong engine - they were not one of the NCC's finer moments design-wise. Whereas, the 2.6.0 "moguls" very certainly WERE. Thus, yes, you're right, a new "W" class 2.6.0 would very certainly be a much better bet operationally. but also no more expensive.

The bill at the time worked out at £250,000. Recent rebuilds of 4 and 461 had cost less than £100,000. At today's process, you're looking at the guts of a million euros / sterling. The new No. 105, if that's what it will be, will come in cheaper!

I agree that 184 and 186 are unlikely to run again, though it's a pity. I have always had a soft spot for 186. They are too small for mainline and too big (only in a coal consumption sense) for Downpatrick.

Often, in the preservation movement, hard decisions have to be made and the stark reality is that 27, 184 and 186 are museum items. Unless the Society literally wins the EuroBillions, there is zero financial case to be made for restoring them to working order. Whitehead train rides can adequately be taken care of by the Guinness loco, or (if you're wearing sunglasses!) the Derry engine No. 3.

Talking of "soft spots", in my carriage restoration late teenage years, all shunting at Whitehead was done by the clapped-out suitcase-sized Planet diesel No. 23. I'd love to see that quaint little thing operational again!

 

ANYWAY........ I applied for and got the approval for the funding. Our generous benefactor, God rest him, was unperturbed. But the paperwork..................................the PAPERWORK!..............to get a loan agreement drawn up with UFTM and approval for the RPSI to gain grant aid for something it didn't own, was so interminably drawn out, that the funding offer period had expired by the time outline agreement was reached.

By now, funding rules had changed and it was no longer possible (this is still the case) for anyone to get any grant aid of any sort from any fund for something they don't own.

So that was that. Given the great limitations of this loco, it was probably as well in the long run. 131 is much better machine.

Edited by jhb171achill
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1 hour ago, Midland Man said:

Pity that the engine Hazelewood was never preserved and that Lough Erne lasted as a working engine for the RPSI until the 70s.In my mind all 20 of the standard preserved engine should be put into working order and rotated around Cutra,Whitehead and Downpatrick like in the UK.

Sadly, there's nothing remotely close to the money available, nor anything close to the manpower. There aren't the workshop facilities.

I'm on your page, though, in terms of "wish list" - we may all keep buying euromillions tickets! Of locomotives not currently in working order, the easiest and smallest will have a price tag to restore of €50k - €100k each. Bigger ones and you're edging very close to a million. Also, in some cases the work would take many years.

27 minutes ago, Midland Man said:

So true 

They should get meadh rebuilt in Germany as they have steam engine works there.(Its where they are geting the new P2 boiler)As well as that meadh is the pefict engine to get restored. its big but is not as heavy as a 201 so it can run to westport or Galway and second It would look great for rail tours. but there is cons  like that its boiler and chasis are broken and that the coal problim facing all preserved railways.

Oho! NOW you're talking - what a sight.

But she still couldn't go to Westport or any of those places because she's too big to fit under the bridges. There probably is no turntable in Ireland left that is suitable for her. And you're looking at a VERY big bill to restore her, as she was in woeful order when CIE withdrew her.

Needless to say, she wouldn't be too economic to operate at Downpatrick!

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32 minutes ago, Midland Man said:

So true 

They should get meadh rebuilt in Germany as they have steam engine works there.(Its where they are geting the new P2 boiler)As well as that meadh is the pefict engine to get restored. its big but is not as heavy as a 201 so it can run to westport or Galway and second It would look great for rail tours. but there is cons  like that its boiler and chasis are broken and that the coal problim facing all preserved railways.

Not a chance in hell will Meave run again, the costs would be astromonical. When the 800s were built, they could only fit on the Cork line and the loading gauge has only decreased since then.

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If there was the spare cash (and I think all our spare cash for decades will go to paying for the current crisis) I suspect that a new build one of these might be better - no less Irish but rather more manageable size. How fast they could shift a rake of Mk2s to meet timetable paths is another story....https://transportsofdelight.smugmug.com/RAILWAYS/IRISH-RAILWAYS/CORAS-IOMPAIR-EIREANN-STEAM/i-2ZdkRzC/A

Class D17 - 57 - GS&WR Class 52 4-4-0, built 1888 by Inchicore Works - 1925 to GSR, 1945 to CIE - 1950 rebuilt with Belpaire boiler - withdrawn 1957 - seen here at Cork Glanmire Road in June 1948.

 

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Posted (edited)

I suspect you're onto a good thing there, Galteemore.

However, the big issue for future steam is turntables and restricted speed for tender-first running.

It surprises me that the RPSI, if it must build a new engine, didn't go for a second "Jeep", because though not my own favourite engine, it is undeniably a very good design, very versatile, and not called a "jeep" for nothing. A second one of these would perhaps have been a better bet in practical terms, albeit perhaps with a larger bunker of that was possible. One hopes that 105 doesn't inherit the one Achilles' heel of "Jeeps" - their injectors' ability to dump a tank of water on the ground! I have no information on how "W"s performed in that area - one assumes the same equipment.

While I am not the expert, I have been told by those who were that much as a BCDR "Baltic" tank might look the part, and have speed and strength, these engines were heavy on coal and unreliable.

So, is there any other tank engines out there? Perhaps Bredin's never-built 850 class?

Edited by jhb171achill
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4 minutes ago, Galteemore said:

Bandon tanks were pretty good - and held their own when drafted into DSE commuting turns...

They did, but far too small fuel capacity for the RPSI!

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I once herad a story of 30 engine to be preserved by CIE meadh was one of them. The engine were going to be part of a museum in Inchicore or Mullingar but CIE decided not to go true with the plans and all the angine except meadh were srapted.If this is true I have reason to believe that G2 class 654 clara was part of the 30 as it was withdrawn in 1965. Does anyone know anything about this?

 

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Posted (edited)

True. I suspect any new build steam will have to be fuelled by coal scented ethanol anyway :) 

7 minutes ago, jhb171achill said:

They did, but far too small fuel capacity for the RPSI!

 

 
Edited by Galteemore
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Posted (edited)

However, the big issue for future steam is turntables and restricted speed for tender-first running.

JHB, you're right about the turntables, No.4 seems to be overly restricted under the present regime's thinking - mind you, I've never timed a tank at more than 76mph bunker first (1960s, of course - the fabled Billy Steenson).

The other Big Issue is coal, a little matter which is exercising the minds of the great and good of the HRA these days.

Now, if I won the Euromillions......

First, I don't participate, so I'm safe from such bounty, but if I had the dough - it'd be another Class VS 4-4-0 (and use the change for a couple of turntables!!!!

If I had a quid for every person who said how nice it would be to have No.800 out again - I'd have built No.211 years ago! Regrettably, a superb looking as 800 is, she's quite impractical due to her restriction due to height - couldn't even get up the GN mainline in 1964 with some surgery to footbridges.

Now, No.27 and the two J15s / 101s - the RPSI should consider passing one of them to the DCDR.

A final thought - if only we could have foreseen the inflation of the 1970s in 1970 when we bought No.4 for £1,275 - we would have risked a loan to buy a second one (like No.53?).

I'm off to bed to see what else I can dream up!

 

 

Edited by leslie10646
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16 minutes ago, Midland Man said:

I once herad a story of 30 engine to be preserved by CIE meadh was one of them. The engine were going to be part of a museum in Inchicore or Mullingar but CIE decided not to go true with the plans and all the angine except meadh were srapted.If this is true I have reason to believe that G2 class 654 clara was part of the 30 as it was withdrawn in 1965. Does anyone know anything about this?

 

A number of engines were to be retained, rather than preserved, in case of emergencies. There were probably about that number or thereabouts - I've a note somewhere. No. 800, by this stage had already ben donated to the Belfast Transport Museum, so it wasn't one of them.

Apart from the 1964 7-day enthusiast's tour, the last steam in normal use ended on CIE in 1963, and NIR in 1970. The CIE locos were stored and officially withdrawn in 1965. 184 and 186 were among them; 186 going to the RPSI straight away, and 184 following some years later, along with 461.

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, leslie10646 said:

However, the big issue for future steam is turntables and restricted speed for tender-first running.

JHB, you're right about the turntables, No.4 seems to be overly restricted under the present regime's thinking - mind you, I've never timed a tank at more than 76mph bunker first (1960s, of course - the fabled Billy Steenson).

The other Big Issue is coal, a little matter which is exercising the minds of the great and good of the HRA these days.

Now, if I won the Euromillions......

First, I don't participate, so I'm safe from such bounty, but if I had the dough - it'd be another Class VS 4-4-0 (and use the change for a couple of turntables!!!!

If I had a quid for every person who said how nice it would be to have No.800 out again - I'd have built No.211 years ago! Regrettably, a superb looking as 800 is, she's quite impractical due to her restriction due to height - couldn't even get up the GN mainline in 1964 with some surgery to footbridges.

Now, No.27 and the two J15s / 101s - the RPSI should consider passing one of them to the DCDR.

A final thought - if only we could have foreseen the inflation of the 1970s in 1970 when we bought No.4 for £1,275 - we would have risked a loan to buy a second one (like No.53?).

I'm off to bed to see what else I can dream up!

 

 

Yes, I had a conversation with the character who was RPSI treasurer in 1971 (when No 4 was secured) about this. I suspect he might agree! Mind you, wasn’t there also a UG and an SG3 kicking around Grosvenor Road till about 1970? 
 

What name for 211, Leslie? Tolka, Bann, Farset ?!

Edited by Galteemore

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7 minutes ago, jhb171achill said:

A number of engines were to be retained, rather than preserved, in case of emergencies. There were probably about that number or thereabouts - I've a note somewhere. No. 800, by this stage had already ben donated to the Belfast Transport Museum, so it wasn't one of them.

Apart from the 1964 7-day enthusiast's tour, the last steam in normal use ended on CIE in 1963, and NIR in 1970. The CIE locos were stored and officially withdrawn in 1965. 184 and 186 were among them; 186 going to the RPSI straight away, and 184 following some years later, along with 461.

It is a real pity that CIE did nothing to save some engines.One of my favorite engines ever is 301 of the D11 class witch was the last ever GSWR 4-4-0  in service.It spent its time working on the DSER line until 1961. This engine realy should have been preserved as a display loco as the engine was raised from the dead once or twice due to the demand of the line.

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4 minutes ago, Galteemore said:

Yes, I had a conversation with the character who was RPSI treasurer in 1971 (when No 4 was secured) about this. I suspect he might agree! Mind you, wasn’t there also a UG and an SG3 kicking around Grosvenor Road till about 1970? 

An SG3, certainly - maybe two in the late sixties? I remember seeing them.

I think I've met your character!

1 minute ago, Midland Man said:

It is a real pity that CIE did nothing to save some engines.One of my favorite engines ever is 301 of the D11 class witch was the last ever GSWR 4-4-0  in service. It spent its time working on the DSER line until 1961. This engine realy should have been preserved as a display loco as the engine was raised from the dead once or twice due to the demand of the line.

Trouble is, it wasn't CIE's job to preserve things - the unfortunate fact was that there just wasn't anything like the interest in what was then just seen as old-fashioned dirty, slow trains.... this was the "swinging sixties" and everything had to be shiny and new! Pity!

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7 minutes ago, jhb171achill said:

An SG3, certainly - maybe two in the late sixties? I remember seeing them.

I think I've met your character!

Trouble is, it wasn't CIE's job to preserve things - the unfortunate fact was that there just wasn't anything like the interest in what was then just seen as old-fashioned dirty, slow trains.... this was the "swinging sixties" and everything had to be shiny and new! Pity!

True

There is one new loco idea that is possible and that is a 5ft 3in jintie.The reson is that there is a full chasis and boiler in England that is not used. It could be used a Downpatrck 

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Even the gift of 186 was the result of a chance intervention by the Chairman of Guinness - someone who must have had considerable clout back then! He chaffed the chair of CIE when Guinness handed a shunter over to the RPSI - ‘we have two steam locos and we gave them one. You have a lot more - why don’t you donate one?!’. 

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9 hours ago, Midland Man said:

True

There is one new loco idea that is possible and that is a 5ft 3in jintie.The reson is that there is a full chasis and boiler in England that is not used. It could be used a Downpatrck 

There's no shortage of small native locos to suit Downpatrick's needs. 

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2 hours ago, minister_for_hardship said:

There's no shortage of small native locos to suit Downpatrick's needs. 

Indeed; five steam locomotives have operated on it so far: O & K Nos. 1 & 3, GSWR No. 90, and the two RPSI No. 3’s - Guinness & LPHC.

(Thus, of the five locos used, three are numbered 3!).

Hypothetically, the following could be used too:

LPHC No. 1 in Cultra

GNR 2.4.2T in Cultra

..... That’s seven in total!

 

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Posted (edited)

And this one really is held together with matchsticks by all accounts...Image from cork heritage.ieimage.jpeg.2d5d50af96c2720d0d5543aa3ff58239.jpeg

Edited by Galteemore
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44 minutes ago, Galteemore said:

And this one really is held together with matchsticks by all accounts...Image from cork heritage.ieimage.jpeg.2d5d50af96c2720d0d5543aa3ff58239.jpeg

There seems to be dents at the back of the loco does anyone know why they are there.

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26 minutes ago, Midland Man said:

There seems to be dents at the back of the loco does anyone know why they are there.

Just age. The thing was stored outdoors for years at Inchicore and it's actually very fragile.

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Hazards of age is right. ‘Lion’ of ‘Titfield Thunderbolt’ fame still has a dent in her rear end from a rough shunt in the 1952 movie 

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Posted (edited)

Even the gift of 186 was the result of a chance intervention by the Chairman of Guinness - someone who must have had considerable clout back then! He chaffed the chair of CIE when Guinness handed a shunter over to the RPSI - ‘we have two steam locos and we gave them one. You have a lot more - why don’t you donate one?!’

Yep, Chapter and Verse, Mr R - it certainly saved us a bomb!

As for the new VS, it'll really be a replica and be named after Ireland's Holy River - "Boyne".

Edited by leslie10646
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A V and a VS class togethor would just be class. I remember there were 2 tenders at Mullingar both from the VS class. I beleive the RPSI are building a new NCC W class whitch sounds great but I would like to sea something CIE running but the RPSI have to do withwhat they got as they picked up some WT class wheels in the 70s

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