GSWR 1287

At a glance:

Builder:Great Southern & Western Railway (Inchicore Works)
Build date:1915
Original company:Great Southern & Western Railway
Withdrawal date:1967
Final company:Córas Iompair Éireann
Arrived at DCDR:2004
Current status:Stored
Current owner:Privately owned

1287 is an excellent representation of a typical ‘tricomposite’ carriage – seating first, second, and third class passengers in individual compartments – which worked suburban services in Dublin a century ago. It was subsequently downgraded to an all-third carriage when it passed to CIÉ’s ownership. From a historic point of view, second class accommodation is of particular interest to our museum as it became unpopular among railway companies, notably apart from the GSWR, around the turn of the 20th century. Although this example may have been a world away from the DART units that trace its routes today, it still would have sat more passengers than the most modern 8520 Class electric multiple units!

Following withdrawal from passenger service in the 1960s, 1287 was used as a dormitory coach for departmental staff until it was purchased by the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland in 1974. It was used as steam crew accommodation at their base at Whitehead until its interior was unfortunately destroyed by an electrical fire in 2003, after which it was moved to Downpatrick where some remedial repairs were carried out. Situated semi-permanently behind the Carriage Gallery, it now contains a permanent way office, a changing room, and of course a mess room – where manys a scheme has been hatched over a strong cup of brew! 1287 serves us well as a ‘home away from home’ for our volunteers, a unique way of ensuring that this museum piece will be well looked after for years until its time comes for eventual restoration to operational condition.