News on the Carriage Gallery

Artist's impression of the interior of the planned carriage gallery

Artist’s impression of the interior of the planned carriage gallery

The DCDR have had a further meeting with Heritage Lottery Fund this week and are confident of successfully progressing this project to securing a Stage 2 pass.

The project, which would see the vast majority of our vintage carriages stored in a visitor accessible building where they could be visited outside running days, as well as protecting them against the weather, acheived a “Stage 1” pass in September 2008 for £450,500 grant.

We hope now to put the “brief” out for the building in the coming weeks to interested consulting engineering and architectural firms, which is the next stage in the process. While this is happening slightly later than we had hoped, we are glad that this is proceeding as planned and are confident of securing a Stage 2 pass.

At this present time the proposed link to the St. Patrick’s Centre has been put on hold due to the timescales of construction involved, but the possibility remains open for this to be explored again at some point in the future.

New Plates for No. 90 From Irish Rail

Mike Collins, Billy Glenn, John Beaumont and John Wilson, with the replica number plates for No. 90

Mike Collins, Billy Glenn, John Beaumont and John Wilson, with the replica number plates for No. 90

The DCDR was presented with a set of two specially cast bronze number plates for GSWR locomotive No 90, now in the care of the DCDR, yesterday by Iarnrod Eireann‘s Chief Mechanical Engineer, Phil Verster at a ceremony in Dublin’s Inchicore Works. The plates were cast from worn out brass fittings of old diesel locomotives, and this gift was warmly received on behalf of the Society by our Finance Officer, John Beaumont.

The DCDR was attending Iarnrod Eireann’s ‘Family Day Out’ in Inchicore Works in Dublin on Saturday 22nd August. The team consisted of Chairman Mike Collins, Deputy Chairman John Wilson, Finance Officer John Beaumont, and volunteer Billy Glenn. IE had provided a hall where a number of the key players in the Irish railway preservation and modelling scenes were able to display their wares. Represented at the show were the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland, IRRS, West Clare Railway, Irish Railway Modelling Soc., Murphy’s Models, and Stradbally railway’s famous bookshop staffed as usual by Clifton Flewitt; while The Irish Traction Group had several of their diesel locomotives on show in the works itself.

The event was an opportunity for family and friends of IE employees to wander around the normally tightly secure Inchicore Works and admire the works, locos and rolling stock but also enjoy music, children’s amusements and dine from various outside catering facilities, one of which was serving superb hot dogs! IE had on display many examples of new and current locomotives and rolling stock, but also a couple of heritage vehicles. The RPSI also had several important items on display, including locomotive 186, which was in steam. Amongst the items the ITG were showing off were two ‘A’ class locomotives, A3r, and soon to arrive at Downpatrick, A39, which was growling away contently in the warm sunshine.

There were several other gems on show, including pioneer Sulzer locomotive B113, newly resplendent from the paint shop, twin 121 Baby GMs, 124 and 134, GSWR State Coach 351, which could be contrasted with the current IE State Coach 5408, beautifully restored GSWR all first 1142, railcar 22 213, and Driving trailer 4003. On display in the hall was a magnificent OO gauge model of the GNR Works in Dundalk as it was in its heyday.

The plates will be mounted on the side tanks of No. 90 in the coming weeks.

Former Station Master Returns to Marino

Randal Cave waves to the train below the station nameboard at Marino Station

Randal Cave waves to the train below the
station nameboard at Marino Station

On today’s BBC Radio Ulster’s Good Morning Ulster programme, there was a short feature when former Station Master Randal Cave returned to the platforms for the first time in fifty five years.

While Marino may not seem atypcial of any other small NIR station, it has the distinction of once having the youngest ever station master in Britain or Ireland.

Randal was only 17 when he was promoted from his usual position of Junior Relief Clerk. Randal paid us a visit recently when over on a trip from his home in Canada, and it was this visit that perked the interest of the media.

You can listen to the excerpt from the programme here: