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Coach Movements at Terminus Stations

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Gents,

Considering a terminus station in the future layout and just wondering how coach movements were handled in the days before DMU's when coaching stock was still  loco hauled. Looking at real life Irish station examples, Limerick, Sligo and Galway would anyone be able to give an insight into how this was managed, whether it was propelled out or there was a station pilot? If points were provided then running around can be done, this could save space on a layout, but using a pilot as I've read and seen on some good youtube videos at UK stations. Another thing I'm just thinking is that a small terminus like Galway would not have had the frequency of train arrival/departures. 

On pilot duties, what locos could you expect, A class / 121?

 

Regards,

 

Mark

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Galway either ran around in the station or propelled out to the loop. The latter happens today with Belmond, and I recall seeing a photo of a propelling move with a 201 back in regular loco hauled days

Pilots were used at Heuston, Connolly and Limerick, not sure whether anywhere else used them 

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I remember watching trains being formed up within Heuston - propel in, attach, shove, detach, pull away, propel in, attach, shove, detach, pull away - the new set extending one coach at a time towards the buffers past a shunter defying death as everything bounced backwards and forwards. This would have been a Sunday afternoon in 2001 so maybe splitting and reforming Gaa specials, something like that.

Edited by NIR
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During the 1970's after both the A & C class were re-engined and loco reliability and availability improved pilot engines were generally withdrawn from around the country. Railplan 80 called for fixed rakes of coaching stock and block liner trains creating the so called "No Shunt " railway. Most maintenance was centralized in Dublin.  During the 1980's Heuston passenger station always had at least one pilot engine generally a Maybach until they were withdrawn and after that usually a 141 with worn wheels due a bogie exam., All trainsets were pulled out of the platform road either to the wash, carriage maintenance depot or just to release the locomotive. The locos released usually went up to the running shed in inchicore for fueling and daily exams. An interesting feature of that time was that often two  071s would couple together for the run down the gullet to Heuston, one towing the other.  I think Connolly had a passenger pilot as well for both Dundalk and Belfast trains but i think the Sligo train was run through to the Boston sidings to run around. While Cork used to have locomotives based in the shed there all mainline trains pulled out towards Cobh through a carriage wash where the train locomotive ran around. I don't think there was a passenger pilot based in Limerick and I am pretty sure that all passenger trains were propelled out of the station to run around and propeled back in. All other country locations either ran around at the platform ( incl. Waterford, Kilkenny, Tralee Dundalk) or propelled out the line to run around ( incl Galway & Sligo). Rosslare was interesting in that the train continued on empty all the way onto the pier to run around before pulling back towards the platform.

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18 minutes ago, mfjoc said:

During the 1970's after both the A & C class were re-engined and loco reliability and availability improved pilot engines were generally withdrawn from around the country. Railplan 80 called for fixed rakes of coaching stock and block liner trains creating the so called "No Shunt " railway....

Thanks really informative, 

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I can't speak for Limerick or Galway,  but Sligo had no run round loops at the station:-

2010063191_SligoStation.thumb.JPG.926924b09a20e0f17ae182725cdfad67.JPG

The two centre roads (now only one) were used for carriage and rolling stock storage and regularly full to capacity.

There doesn't appear to be any run round facility without blocking both main lines so presumably a station pilot was used here.

If my scaling is correct then the whole station from the back of the engine shed to the end of the station building would fit in 9' x 2' in 2mm scale...........hmmm.........

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I think Sligo's two platforms were an arrivals platform and a departures platform, the platform on the left when arriving and the platform on the left (the other one) when departing, so the arriving coaches were pulled out and set back into the other platform.

Edited by NIR
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There was some sort of loop at Sligo, as RPSI trains were always able to run round. It was a bit further out.

In Ireland “pilot” engines were just spare ones, probably having brought the previous train in. Dublin used the “E” class, of course, and I remember seeing those (well, one) at Limerick in the 1970s. Cork had “E”s too at one time, but I think they ended up all going back to Dublin as I never saw a single one there in the ‘70s.

From the mid 1980s onwards, any pilots you saw anywhere were inevitably 141s or 181s. By this stage, all 121s were almost always one half of a “pair”, either paired with one of their own, or a 141 or 181.

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In the old days steam days in Heuston there was a loco release road between platform 4 and 5 (ie 3rd track), which ended up being used just for coach stabling until it was removed about 17 years ago. P4 & P5 were arrivals, loco detached ran ahead a little then revised into the central loco release road. In the diesel era, sometimes the arriving loco might uncouple, and another loco take over at the other end of the train for next departure, or shunt the rake out of the  platform for servicing, washing, etc. Pushing the rake back into P2 or P3 for departures.

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Steam days also had the unnumbered one-offs that were the shunters in Kingsbridge and Waterford: Sambo* and Jumbo**, and of course the oddball "Pat" on the coal gantry in Cork. 

One wonders what the PC and Easily-Offended-Brigade would make of such names today! 

* = racist, and

** = oooohhhh, "body shaming"! 

Times change, folks, don't they, as Tempus tends to Fugit itself away........

In the 1950s and 60s, York Road and eventually Grosvenor Road in Belfast had the unique BCDR bogie diesel and several one-off NCC diesel shunters; this family an interesting subject in their own right. I think I've already posted a pic of the BCDR one somewhere.... that in itself is surprising, as Senior rarely took pictures of anything without a firebox and boiler tubes!

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As already mentioned, trains arrived in Sligo at the left hand platform, furthest from the station building. The train locos would then propel the coaches back out of the station well beyond the signal cabin where they would run round the train and then propel back to the right hand/near platform. This was certainly the procedure in the late 80's/ early 90's. 

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6 minutes ago, jhb171achill said:

Steam days also had the unnumbered one-offs that were the shunters in Kingsbridge and Waterford: Sambo* and Jumbo**, and of course the oddball "Pat" on the coal gantry in Cork. 

One wonders what the PC and Easily-Offended-Brigade would make of such names today! 

* = racist, and

** = oooohhhh, "body shaming"! 

Times change, folks, don't they, as Tempus tends to Fugit itself away........

In the 1950s and 60s, York Road and eventually Grosvenor Road in Belfast had the unique BCDR bogie diesel and several one-off NCC diesel shunters; this family an interesting subject in their own right. I think I've already posted a pic of the BCDR one somewhere.... that in itself is surprising, as Senior rarely took pictures of anything without a firebox and boiler tubes!

I have a (rubbish) photo I took on an MRSI trip to Inchicore in, I think, 1989 of withdrawn Maybach E425 and it has the name 'Sambo' chalked on one of it's engine compartment doors. A reference to a previous pilot engine perhaps?

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6 minutes ago, MD220 said:

As already mentioned, trains arrived in Sligo at the left hand platform, furthest from the station building. The train locos would then propel the coaches back out of the station well beyond the signal cabin where they would run round the train and then propel back to the right hand/near platform. This was certainly the procedure in the late 80's/ early 90's. 

Yes, that's what I remember.... I don't remember any actual pilot loco there and I doubt if there had ever been, certainly since Midland days anyway if at all. I daresay that in steam days there might have been a loco to shunt the quays, but only a guess. In more recent times, it was the train loco.

(The story causes me to recall my first ever trip by train to Sligo - in those days it was laminates, including a dining car. There was an oul guy in it who was a bit gargled, let's say, and any time the guard / ticket checker passed him, the two would get into a heated argument!)

1 minute ago, MD220 said:

I have a (rubbish) photo I took on an MRSI trip to Inchicore in, I think, 1989 of withdrawn Maybach E425 and it has the name 'Sambo' chalked on one of it's engine compartment doors. A reference to a previous pilot engine perhaps?

Wow!!  That's exactly what it was a reference to - that would make an interesting display nowadays!

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The Heuston set up in the late '90's & 2000's (as l would remember it) was the best!          Loco hauled sets with Dead end lines, always requiring another loco to be attached at the other end (as @Noel said) to either move the rake (of Mark 3 or 2- occasionally Cravens) out for valeting or to another departures platform.   

And all before the platforms were closed off like today so you had great views too!

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19 minutes ago, MD220 said:

As already mentioned, trains arrived in Sligo at the left hand platform, furthest from the station building. The train locos would then propel the coaches back out of the station well beyond the signal cabin where they would run round the train and then propel back to the right hand/near platform. This was certainly the procedure in the late 80's/ early 90's. 

 

Hi MD220,

I'm intrigued,  If the train was propelled past the signal box then, from the track plan posted there is only one crossover so the train can't run round.

I can see that working on the modern rationalised layout as the line reduces to single track.

https://photos.signalling.org/picture?/19486/category/1974-2000_may

I don't know when the line was singled, prior to that was there another crossover not shown on the OS plan?

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MD220 - superb info on that pic, thanks!

All - the track plans on OS maps often omitted points and crossovers. I saw one, one time of Strabane which didn't show the Letterkenny line as being connected to the rest at all. The absence of a suitable crossover in the above doesn't mean it wasn't there - it had to be. But as others have already said, there were no turnout up against the buffers - just the four parallel track we all remember.

By the way, the singling of much of the Midland was in 1928, but Sligo to near Collooney was double tracked until the SLNCR closed. Latterly I think it was Sligo - Ballysodare.

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5 minutes ago, Angus said:

 

Hi MD220,

I'm intrigued,  If the train was propelled past the signal box then, from the track plan posted there is only one crossover so the train can't run round.

I can see that working on the modern rationalised layout as the line reduces to single track.

https://photos.signalling.org/picture?/19486/category/1974-2000_may

I don't know when the line was singled, prior to that was there another crossover not shown on the OS plan?

Hi Angus, I'm not sure of the exact track layout in those days but I'm pretty sure that was the procedure. One of Gerry Conmy's videos on YouTube ( Trains at speed, Ireland part 3 or 4 perhaps) shows 2 141's backing out of Sligo and then reversing in to the other platform, and I witnessed it myself back in the day!

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40 minutes ago, jhb171achill said:

MD220 - superb info on that pic, thanks!

All - the track plans on OS maps often omitted points and crossovers. I saw one, one time of Strabane which didn't show the Letterkenny line as being connected to the rest at all. The absence of a suitable crossover in the above doesn't mean it wasn't there - it had to be. But as others have already said, there were no turnout up against the buffers - just the four parallel track we all remember.

By the way, the singling of much of the Midland was in 1928, but Sligo to near Collooney was double tracked until the SLNCR closed. Latterly I think it was Sligo - Ballysodare.

Yes, JHB, Sligo to Ballysodare was double tracked with normal up and down operation. Beyond Ballysodare the two tracks continued for a mile to Carrignagat Junction, but were at this point parallel single lines - SLNC and CIE. Collooney itself, of course, was a fascinating place with 3 stations and an SLNC -WLW link line passing under the MGW.

Edited by Galteemore
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Checking some more plans on the Historic Environment viewer the cross overs are shown in a different position which correlate to MD220's memory and the signalling schematic in the link.

https://webgis.buildingsofireland.ie/HistoricEnvironment/

The link above didn't work sorry!

image.thumb.png.99bb2d8d0f981bdd3d502df61e9cee4f.png

So, either the cross overs were shifted back at some point or the 25" drawing is wrong.

Edited by Angus
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42 minutes ago, Galteemore said:

Yes, JHB, Sligo to Ballysodare was double tracked with normal up and down operation. Beyond Ballysodare the two tracks continued for a mile to Carrignagat Junction, but were at this point parallel single lines - SLNC and CIE. Collooney itself, of course, was a fascinating place with 3 stations and an SLNC -WLW link line passing under the MGW.

A  short section of double track was retained on the approaches to Sligo when the Ballysodare-Sligo section was singled following the closure of the SLNCR. The signals and point controlling access to the double track section was power operated from Sligo Cabin.

During/following the Civil War the GSWR/GSR developed a system to control junctions remotely using hand generated electricity, the installation was first trailed at Cherryville Junction and later installed to replace signal cabins at branch line junctions including the junctions with the Banagher, Cavan & Macroom branch lines. The control equipment was moved around as junctions were closed or converted to manual operation, Sligo may have received the equipment that controlled the junction with the Banagher branch when the branch was converted to 'One Engine' operation in the late 1950s, Collonney Junction may have received the equipment from Inny Junction following the closure of the Cavan branch in 1963.

The train engine performed the run round operation at Sligo at least from the 1970s up to the re-signalling of the station in the early 2000, propelling the train out of the Arrival Platform running round via the points just past the Maugheraboy Road overbridge and propelling back into the Departure Road. The run round of intercity trains was performed in a similar manner at Galway. 

While there may not have been a loco specifically allocated for shunting or pilot duties at Sligo during the "Supertrain" Era, the train engine of the Night Mail or goods train may have been available for carriage shunting at the station during the trains lay-over. Night Mail Trains operated to both Galway and Sligo up to the early 1990s which would have involved an element of carriage shunting at the station, the Galway Night Mail in its final years ran as a Mail Goods effectively a mixed train with coaching and wagons stock.

The older CIE working timetables include a schedule of Pilot Duties for the entire rail system, in some cases the duties were undertaken by a train engine e.g. Nenagh where the loco of the Dublin-Limerick goods was allocated several hours to shunt the yard before continuing to its destination.

 

 

2111379893_Sligostationapproaches.thumb.jpg.438b0c543349facc8d5d0c871bf8dcb1.jpg

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I think part of the issue regarding the necessity of having a pilot engine in constant use is whether a terminus had locomotive 'Release Roads', i.e. a crossover near the buffers of an arrival platform to allow the locomotive to run around its train or escape to the depot. Most rural termini had such a facility. Taking bigger (urban) stations, Belfast York Road station had no 'engine release roads', the middle tracks between the platform tracks were purely carriage sidings, hence a pilot engine was always in use. Belfast Great Victoria Street station had likewise no 'release' roads. Hence a pilot in steam days, however the locomotive hauling the Dublin based "Enterprise" post 1965 released itself by reversing out of the station into one of two available loops. Belfast Queens Quay station in (B&CDR) steam days has 'release roads' for most platforms, but this was on account of the intensive services they ran.

I will stand corrected, but I think I discovered to my own surprise when doing some research on the subject a few years back, that the middle siding at Derry/Londonderry Waterside station, between the two platform tracks, was not an 'engine release road'. Ergo a pilot would have been necessary or did locomotive hauled trains reverse out to a loop?

Answers on a postcard..................

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I'm guessing mainline terminals had more unbalanced working than branchline terminals, a tidal flow, so the need for inward workings to be got rid of somewhere, therefore centre roads instead of runrounds, the characteristic trackplan.

Edited by NIR
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Thanks to all that have responded, really amazing information here and this gives a much better understanding of the movements at these terminus stations. Food for thought for sure. 👍

Mark

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Traffic Pilot Section from CIE 1960 WTT.  At that stage the majority of Pilot Locos were diesel electric most likely C Class with limited use of steam most likely Southern or Midland Standard goods or ex-GNR goods locos in the Dublin area.

A steam loco was scheduled as Galway Station Pilot 7:15am -9:00pm Mon-Fri. 7:15am-8:30 Sat

Sligo Pilot DE 16 hrs daily 5:55am-12:00 Midnight Mon-Sat with a 1hr break 3-4 pm possibly for a crew change.

Ballysodare was allocated a DE pilot loco for 50 minutes daily Mon-Sat 2:25-3:15 to allow the loco of the 03:40 Mullingar-Sligo goods to shunt Pollexfen's Mill sidings.

256830844_PilotEngines11960WTT.thumb.jpg.f59b83d414bfee87e4787f07310ae752.jpg

1543792848_PilotEngines21960WTT10042020.thumb.jpg.881d6faeb89d84f2336d250063e23e1a.jpg

481483107_PilotEngines31960WTT10042020.thumb.jpg.b0a9304ac279de204533d77eb892dbf2.jpg

 

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6 hours ago, Mayner said:

Traffic Pilot Section from CIE 1960 WTT.  At that stage the majority of Pilot Locos were diesel electric most likely C Class with limited use of steam most likely Southern or Midland Standard goods or ex-GNR goods locos in the Dublin area.

A steam loco was scheduled as Galway Station Pilot 7:15am -9:00pm Mon-Fri. 7:15am-8:30 Sat

Sligo Pilot DE 16 hrs daily 5:55am-12:00 Midnight Mon-Sat with a 1hr break 3-4 pm possibly for a crew change.

Ballysodare was allocated a DE pilot loco for 50 minutes daily Mon-Sat 2:25-3:15 to allow the loco of the 03:40 Mullingar-Sligo goods to shunt Pollexfen's Mill sidings.

256830844_PilotEngines11960WTT.thumb.jpg.f59b83d414bfee87e4787f07310ae752.jpg

1543792848_PilotEngines21960WTT10042020.thumb.jpg.881d6faeb89d84f2336d250063e23e1a.jpg

481483107_PilotEngines31960WTT10042020.thumb.jpg.b0a9304ac279de204533d77eb892dbf2.jpg

 

Thanks Mayner. The prototypical example of a pilot loco being attached for a short turn at a station about 5 miles from Sligo helps resolve a neat operating dilemma for Rosses Point! Funnily enough I received 2 WTTs in the mail from my father today - SLNC 1950 and 57. Fascinating as ever. Small things one never noticed - the 7:20 stopped at Ballygawley in 50 but not 57. Also interesting to see the movements of staff and ticket. It also includes that wonderful WTT phrase ‘runs as required’. That 1115 goods out of Sligo was critical for steam fans - When it ran, it brought the bogie coach from Sligo ready for the 7:20 pm ex EKN. When it didn’t run, there was no coach and the 7:20 was served by a railcar, much to the chagrin of some unfortunate visiting enthusiasts ! Presumably there were additional cattle specials with separate notices.

CB6445B4-5FD4-4B69-BC19-CFD85B100D8E.jpeg

E127F7C7-CEA8-4C6D-A9AA-B48A6DE8D841.jpeg

Edited by Galteemore
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The middle road at the LMS NCC Waterside station was often used to store spare carriages and it was not a loco release. In the days of steam there was a lot of goods traffic to and from Derry. So a spare engine would usually take the coaches out and release the train loco for servicing at the Waterside shed and spare locks push carriages back into the station. In the early days like Sligo you had an arrivals and departure platform.

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  • 3 months later...
On 4/9/2020 at 1:24 PM, Sails said:

Gents,

Considering a terminus station in the future layout and just wondering how coach movements were handled in the days before DMU's when coaching stock was still  loco hauled. Looking at real life Irish station examples, Limerick, Sligo and Galway would anyone be able to give an insight into how this was managed, whether it was propelled out or there was a station pilot? If points were provided then running around can be done, this could save space on a layout, but using a pilot as I've read and seen on some good youtube videos at UK stations. Another thing I'm just thinking is that a small terminus like Galway would not have had the frequency of train arrival/departures. 

On pilot duties, what locos could you expect, A class / 121?

 

Regards,

 

Mark

"C"s seemed to get used at Hueston in the 1970s, there's a got photo of one shunting AC stock on Flickr I can dig up if you like.

 

As for Galway train frequencies, depends on the year; Westport and Sligo always had less though in loco-hauled days even in the heady days of the April 1973 timetable.

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