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IRRS October Journal

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Received and spent most of Thursday morning reading the October edition of the Journal rather than getting on with my days work!

Three articles in particular caught my attention:

"The final years of the Castlederg and Victoria Bridge Tramway

"Clements on the Midland'

"The B&I Liner Trains"

Ernie Shepherds Castlederg paper  brings the final years of the line to life with the somethings difficult working relationship between GNR and local management when the GNR assisted the smaller company during its final years.

The CVBT had been a fairly prosperous company by Irish Standards but turned to the GNR during the 1920s for support in managing and operating the tramway. Castlederg management and staff had been used to doing things in their own particular way since they tramway opened in the 1880s and found GNR advice and involvement in day to day management difficult to accept leading to distrust between parties on both sides.

This lead on one occasion to a Technical Assistant travelling from Dundalk to remove the magneto & carburettor from Castleder's home railcar to ensure the vehicle. The vehicle had earlier been condemned by the Castlederg engineer/fitter because of mechanical problems  but was concerned the Castlederg manager would authorise its use.

Interestingly Henry Forbes of the County Donegal considered buying the Kerr Stuart diesel 4415 which was trailed on the CVBT tramway in 1930, but appears to have been beset by mechanical problems while at Castlederg.

4415 was built as a 60cm gauge loco and operated on the Festiniog and Welsh Highland Railways in 1928 before returning to the manufacturer and re-gauged as a 3' gauge demonstrator. The loco was subsequently re-gauged to 60cm by Hunslet and operated on a sugar cane plantation in Mauritius until 1971 and is currently being restored for use of the Festiniog and re-opened Welsh Highland.

Cian Scanlans article and Gerlad Beesleys biographical sketch, sheds light on the difficult staff working conditions and the run down condition of CIE steam from the mid-1950s onwards and the interesting life of one of Irelands foremost professional railway enthusiasts.

The B&I Liner trains by Barry Carse provides a good overview of CIEs Liner train operations from the Derry Vacuum of the mid 1960s to the present day. On the "Southern" CIE commenced operating a "fully fitted" Liner Train without brake van between Cork & Dublin with connections from Limerick and Roscrea from Jan 1969. Interestingly Dublin-Limerick & Roscrea containers worked down on regular goods trains.

The article includes several of Barry Carses photos of Liner Trains at different locations including some with B121 and B201 haulage.

The B&I Liner was introduced in June 1969 to replace Cork-Liverpool shipping service and initially operated twice weekly in each direction.

CIE introduce a separate Dublin-Limerick Liner in October 69 but the train was later withdrawn as traffic did not meet expectations.

A daily Bell Liner train began running between Heuston Goods and Waterford in October 69.

The Roscrea traffic appears to have been export meat from the processing plant beside Roscrea station, there is also an interesting photo of B147 "making up a Liner Train" at Rathkeale on the North Kerry circa 1969 presumably with export meat from the local processing plant.

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