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10 minutes ago, minister_for_hardship said:

Some people are beyond shaming, it hardly matters when most locals may not care whether or not they have a steam railway. If locals are indifferent you can forget about help, volunteers or putting on political pressure from that quarter.

That’s 100% true, Minister.

I am aware of Irishrail201’s efforts, plus those of the erstwhile GSRPS.

It simply amplified the point I have made elsewhere that in Ireland as a whole, there simply is little or no interest among the public in “old trains”, and ZERO interest, but some hostility, at the idea of putting local authority money into such a scheme.

When I was involved with Downpatrick, and the restructuring of it in the early 2000s, I had to attend meetings of Down Co. Council to try to get money and funding. I needed £50k badly, and I told them that the railway would go bankrupt otherwise, which was true.

I got the money - a lump sum plus the annual subsidy which keeps it going - but quite a few councillors were vehemently opposed, taking the view that the money would be better spent on other things.

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The blennerville line closed in around 2009, they borrowed Jackie Whelan's loco, but it derailed. They had no equipment to jack it. As a result they had to bring in a heavy crane! They had't and still

That about sums it up JHB. Comparing the UK and Ireland is like comparing apples and oranges - pointless - in essence the British peoples neurotic obsession with their past and their so called "G

The RPSI, as a registered museum, is not allowed to randomly lend out listed artefacts unless the likes of the Downpatrick & Co Down Railway, in other words, a properly accredited museum. Even if

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6 hours ago, minister_for_hardship said:

A platform, a signal and a footbridge. The rails in the station area were lifted years ago, now the rest is being lifted. The branch is to become yet another greenway although the virus has possibly stalled that.

There was talk to make it dual gauge and run 5T there in GSRPS days. 5T went to the Blennerville and everyone knows the rest of that story.

 GSRPS lifted a load of track panels from somewhere with a steam crane in the late 80s, was that for the Blennerville line?

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In regards to local councils in 2000 Derry City Council closed the Foyle Valley Railway and Museum down to save 6,000£ per year. Since then the Council in Derry has spent tens of thousands of pounds on a series of feasibility projects which went nowhere. Now the whole Museum and its unique collection has been handed over to a local disability charity

 Despite various promises the Museum remains closed but they have deliberately lost their museum accreditation status.

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54 minutes ago, airfixfan said:

In regards to local councils in 2000 Derry City Council closed the Foyle Valley Railway and Museum down to save 6,000£ per year. Since then the Council in Derry has spent tens of thousands of pounds on a series of feasibility projects which went nowhere. Now the whole Museum and its unique collection has been handed over to a local disability charity

 Despite various promises the Museum remains closed but they have deliberately lost their museum accreditation status.

Disgraceful, yet sadly I could believe it. That was always a mess, and they vandalised coach 14 inside it, to try to turn it into some sort of 1st class open saloon - when I had a run in it in the early 1990s (late 80s, even), it was in pristine ex-Donegal condition.

The best that could happen that lot would be id the Donegal station people took it over and ran the two with "proper volunteers"!

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1 hour ago, K801 said:

 GSRPS lifted a load of track panels from somewhere with a steam crane in the late 80s, was that for the Blennerville line?

That was in the Mallow Beet Factory sidings in 1989 and most of the sleepers and soleplates went into the Fenit line. However, quite a large quantity of materials 'found' their way to Blennerville.

 

CRANE1.jpg

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27 minutes ago, Midland Man said:

So true 

Fry is one of the lucky one as It was reopened but even then  it need more space as you can't bend. To sea the bottom display cases without creating a jam. 

Sadly, that's all the space there is! More exhibits will be displayed in the place by degrees. There's an attic full of non-model exhibits still....

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55 minutes ago, DERAILED said:

That was in the Mallow Beet Factory sidings in 1989 and most of the sleepers and soleplates went into the Fenit line. However, quite a large quantity of materials 'found' their way to Blennerville.

 

CRANE1.jpg

Great photo, thanks for sharing. On the day I was there, that crane nearly tipped over, more than once lol

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2 hours ago, Midland Man said:

I thought If you put a O gauge American styled layout That you follows you around would work space wise

Now your talking, that's exactly what should have been done! - see more here and discuss this issue here;-

Eoin

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On ‎4‎/‎4‎/‎2020 at 8:44 PM, minister_for_hardship said:

It can all be distilled down to lack of interest and the very small gene pool of people inclined to work and support such things.

There has always been an underlying current in this country that railway heritage isn't really Irish, that it's all a bit "foreign". If Richard Maunsell was an All Ireland hurler, I'm sure there would be a statue of him somewhere!

Absolutely correct, Minister. It is interesting to note the political affiliations of a local representative who despite professing an interest in the Tralee scheme, seems to have deliberately hi-jacked it to prevent a voluntary group getting near it, then ensuring that its accelerated rot continues, and that of the single most vociferously anti-railway councillor in Downpatrick when I was trying to get money out of the local authority. These two gentlemen would share a party leader, let us say.

But they are a product of the low interest in such things, not the cause of it. I have been involved in three different feasibility studies over the years, which despite much in their favour, never stood a snowball's chance in hell, due to 100% total, TOTAL disinterest locally. And that's even before money was mentioned.

It's a pity, but it is exactly as you say, and "it is what it is".

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On 4/4/2020 at 1:50 PM, jhb171achill said:

Yes, the local authority issue is exactly as above - however - when there is a local sportsman or politician to be honoured in a rural  location, they'll get it done by hook or by crook. 

The lack of enthusiasm in local authorities is principally driven by the inescapable facts that in rural Ireland, "everybody" thinks a heritage railway would be a great idea, bit NOBODY is prepared to PAY for it; this, of course, introduces the local councillors who are influenced by their voters.

As long as there's a need to fix the bend in the road, refurb the GAA pitch, make a statute to the only famous person the town has ever had, house the homeless (very correctly so), and provide two new classrooms for the local school, no man-on-the-street would be remotely in favour of spendîng a solitary red cent on a heritage railway.

European grants..... no longer available in the north, and much more restricted now in the south as it is deemed one of the wealthy rather than poor EU countries.

Given our lack of population, mining industries and coal-based industry and the like, there isn't the same knowledge out there in the public domain as in Britain. Britain is twice the size of Ireland but has ten times the population, and an industrial past.

Sadly, public interest in railway heritage will never be anything but a small fraction of what prevails in Britain. C'est la vie!

That about sums it up JHB.

Comparing the UK and Ireland is like comparing apples and oranges - pointless - in essence the British peoples neurotic obsession with their past and their so called "Glory Days" works to the advantage of heritage railways in that its comes from a highly selective and edited part of their history (Victorian , Edwardian and the 20th century up to the 60s - ie from 1840 to the withdrawal west of the Suez with the late 60s)  that they love to celebrate and, all things considered,  would rather jump in a time machine and go back to live in.........railways are a cherished part of the British industrial revolution - combine that with a large urban population, an engineering heritage and  a very wealthy country in comparison to others - heritage railways have everything going for them in the UK.

Ireland , on the other hand , does not have the same history - diplomatically speaking - it couldn't leave the 1840s to 1960s behind fast enough - the 19th and most of the 20th century was a social, demographic and economic disaster for most of the island of Ireland. outside of the industrialised North East - railways never really made any money - most of the lines to the west were state social projects that were more about pacification than anything else...the massive reduction in the population of the island from 8 million in the 1840s to slightly over 2 million by the 1960s - most people leaving on the trains for the ports and emigration . Railways became a symbol of a "backward past" that couldn't be left behind fast enough. Its no surprise that  most of the heritage related organisations are in the North East where there is far more of an appreciation for them. For the rest of the country -  It probably didn't help that the CIE was given an unachievable dual mandate from the start - provide a public service and break even and road transportation was the priority from the start...when a line was closed CIE could not lift the line and sell off the land fast enough for fear they might be asked to re-open it...it still goes on to this day.....

Looking at all the various heritage projects - the one theme running right thru them is that they have been under capitalised and underfunded from the start - in a way its a bit of a miracle what has been achieved by a dedicated band of true believers on a wing and a prayer and a tiny budget in the face of official and public indifference. 

I've been involved in politics on and off for the last 30 years or so in one of the bigger political parties - County councils simply don't have the kinda money that is needed or the clout to tell State and Semi-state organisations what to do - if anything its the other way around - because of the bonkers way we have chosen to fund our local authorities and their services ( this fella called General Taxation pays for everybody and everything.) the local councillors have next to zero influence on any big strategic decisions and are reduced to fighting over the local public housing and roads budgets....ie peanuts...................IMHO you are totally wasting your time with local councils - I should know - I've contributed massively to getting many of them elected and I never once had to promise anything railway related to get anybody elected.........sad reality

What the whole Heritage railway movement in Ireland really needs is a serious sugar daddy - money is not the most important thing in life - but its up there with oxygen if you want to get anything done! . Get a Irish Millionaire/Billionaire on board ,enthused and prepared to throw down serious sponds to get things started -then things will start moving - you can ignore the local bureaucracy and go straight to the EU where if you have matching funds and a serious plan - you will be entertained - that then opens doors and permissions from the local government who will be delighted to help provided they don't have to put their hands in their pockets...............so..........Michael O'Leary is getting out of horse racing - maybe we could interest him in some Iron Horses!................JP MCManus - who throws money at everything in a Limerick jersey - would surely like to see a heritage line from Limerick to Foynes via Adare for the all the tourists coming over for the Ryder cup and beyond..............it all comes down to money - serious money - and more money follows serious money - its no fair - but there ye are!

I will keep yis in mind when I finally get my hands on the Euromillions ( tho I might need it all for a couple of MM141's looking at the going rates on Ebay)

my two cents

Ed

Edited by Edo
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4 minutes ago, Edo said:

That about sums it up JHB.

Comparing the UK and Ireland is like comparing apples and oranges - pointless - in essence the British peoples neurotic obsession with their past and their so called "Glory Days" works to the advantage of heritage railways in that its comes from a highly selective and edited part of their history (Victorian , Edwardian and the 20th century up to the 60s - ie from 1840 to the withdrawal west of the Suez with the late 60s)  that they love to celebrate and, all things considered,  would rather jump in a time machine and go back to live in.........railways are a cherished part of the British industrial revolution - combine that with a large urban population, an engineering heritage and  a very wealthy country in comparison to others - heritage railways have everything going for them in the UK.

Ireland , on the other hand , does not have the same history - diplomatically speaking - it couldn't leave the 1840s to 1960s behind fast enough - the 19th and most of the 20th century was a social, demographic and economic disaster for most of the island of Ireland. outside of the industrialised North East - railways never really made any money - most of the lines to the west were state social projects that were more about pacification than anything else...the massive reduction in the population of the island from 8 million in the 1840s to slightly over 2 million by the 1960s - most people leaving on the trains for the ports and emigration . Railways became a symbol of a "backward past" that couldn't be left behind fast enough. Its no surprise that  most of the heritage related organisations are in the North East where there is far more of an appreciation for them. For the rest of the country -  It probably didn't help that the CIE was given an unachievable dual mandate from the start - provide a public service and break even and road transportation was the priority from the start...when a line was closed CIE could not lift the line and sell off the land fast enough for fear they might be asked to re-open it...it still goes on to this day.....

Looking at all the various heritage projects - the one theme running right thru them is that they have been under capitalised and underfunded from the start - in a way its a bit of a miracle what has been achieved by a dedicated band of true believers on a wing and a prayer and a tiny budget in the face of official and public indifference. 

I've been involved in politics on and off for the last 30 years or so in one of the bigger political parties - County councils simply don't have the kinda money that is needed or the clout to tell State and Semi-state organisations what to do - if anything its the other way around - because of the bonkers way we have chosen to fund our local authorities and their services ( this fella called General Taxation pays for everybody and everything.) the local councillors have next to zero influence on any big strategic decisions and are reduced to fighting over the local public housing and roads budgets....ie peanuts...................IMHO you are totally wasting your time with local councils - I should know - I've contributed massively to getting many of them elected and I never once had to promise anything railway related to get anybody elected.........sad reality

What the whole Heritage railway movement in Ireland really needs a serious sugar daddy - money is not the most important thing in life - but its up there with oxygen if you want to get anything done! . Get a Irish Millionaire/Billionaire on board ,enthused and prepared to throw down serious sponds to get things started -then things will start moving - you can ignore the local bureaucracy and go straight to the EU where if you have matching funds and a serious plan - you will be entertained - that then opens doors and permissions from the local government who will be delighted to help provided they don't have to put their hands in their pockets...............so..........Michael O'Leary is getting out of horse racing - maybe we could interest him in some Iron Horses!................JP MCManus - who throws money at everything in a Limerick jersey - would surely like to see a heritage line from Limerick to Foynes via Adare for the all the tourists coming over for the Ryder cup and beyond..............it all comes down to money - serious money - and more money follows serious money - its no fair - but there ye are!

I will keep yis in mind when I finally get my hands on the Euromillions ( tho I might need it all for a couple of MM141's looking at the going rates on Ebay)

my two cents

Ed

Again, 100% on the money, if you pardon the pun.

It's the way it is. As said by many elsewhere, we are lucky to have the few narrow gauge organisations- Dromod, Stradbally, Moyasta, Finntown.... and the sole 5'3 one at Downpatrick plus of course the RPSI.

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In the last post you refer to various Narrow Gauge projects. They are all facing financial problems due to the impact of Covid 19 crisis. You also omit the Donegal Railway Heritage Centre who have launched an appeal for financial support and help due to the cash flow impact of being forced to close their Museum.

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2 hours ago, airfixfan said:

In the last post you refer to various Narrow Gauge projects. They are all facing financial problems due to the impact of Covid 19 crisis. You also omit the Donegal Railway Heritage Centre who have launched an appeal for financial support and help due to the cash flow impact of being forced to close their Museum.

Yes, I’m aware of that, Airfixfan - I was particularly referring to operational preserved railways.

You are absolutely right, however, in terms of railway (and other) museums as well. It is going to be an exceptionally, indeed uniquely challenging time for these bodies too. 
 

Whitehead Railway Museum, the largest, will be very seriously financially compromised - and that at a time when it’s deeply “in hock” to the rest of the society anyway. For smaller bodies, or operational lines forced to operate only as museums, they deserve and need all the help and support we can give them.

 

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A group of us from the Uk came over in 1994 and called in at Tuam. We noticed on the way up that all the level crossing gates were nicely painted but the weeds were about 3ft high! Got to Tuam and a crew were working on the track. Had a look in the signal box (the wooden box was gone but the base and frame still there, rusted solid!) then got chatting to the crew and asked what was happening. They said the line was being upgraded and reopened up to Sligo. I asked when? MONDAY they said!!! :-)

Did the first train up have a brush cutter on the front????

There was still a lot of srtock in the station when we looked in, including a steam crane, turntable (I think both from Carlisle, my home at the time) but all very abandoned.

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18 minutes ago, Al Do said:

A group of us from the Uk came over in 1994 and called in at Tuam. We noticed on the way up that all the level crossing gates were nicely painted but the weeds were about 3ft high! Got to Tuam and a crew were working on the track. Had a look in the signal box (the wooden box was gone but the base and frame still there, rusted solid!) then got chatting to the crew and asked what was happening. They said the line was being upgraded and reopened up to Sligo. I asked when? MONDAY they said!!! 🙂

Did the first train up have a brush cutter on the front????

There was still a lot of srtock in the station when we looked in, including a steam crane, turntable (I think both from Carlisle, my home at the time) but all very abandoned.

Sounds familiar a group of volunteer friends from the WHR "64 Company" used to visit Ireland in the early 90s regularly visiting Westrails operations including riding on the train and chasing the train from Athenry to Tuam.

They came back after one of the later visits with news that the Limerick-Claremorris section was due to re-open with a daily Liner train carrying coal, oil, container and steel traffic.

Some of the group were professional railwaymen who at the time held Irish Rail in high regard as things were tough for BR staff in the run up to privatisation.

The news of a daily Liner & steel traffic on the Limerick Claremorris section left me gob-smacked as there had been very little regular traffic on the line apart from the Asahi Coal & Oil since the early 1980s

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The axis has tilted from east to southeast. I notice the South Wexford line is still receiving maintenance, so who knows.

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On 3/6/2021 at 1:25 PM, NIR said:

The axis has tilted from east to southeast. I notice the South Wexford line is still receiving maintenance, so who knows.

A lot of local support for reopening for commuters again to connect rural areas and for freight.

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