At a glance:
Builder: Córas Iompair Éireann (Inchicore Works)
Build date: 1954
Original company: Córas Iompair Éireann
Withdrawal date: 1986
Final company: Córas Iompair Éireann
Arrived at DCDR: 1988
Current status: Stored
Current owner: DCDR

3223 was one of hundreds of new steel-clad carriages built at Inchicore during the 1950s to replace CIÉ’s existing fleet, the average age of which was over 40 years old. It was a composite ‘side-corridor’ carriage that sat both first and second-class passengers in individual old-fashioned compartments, all of which were connected by a narrow passageway. In 1973, this arrangement was replaced with a modern ‘open’ layout with a guard’s van at one end. The van contained not only an bay for transporting parcels, but also an electric generator (to power the train’s lights as on-board dynamos were replaced) and an oil-fired steam boiler. Passenger compartments were initially heated by steam provided by a steam engine, but when CIÉ replaced these with diesel locomotives, the original steam-heating system was retained to save costs. This meant that many brake compartments were fitted with steam generators to heat these older carriages in spite of the new form of traction.

Since 3223 was moved to Downpatrick in 1988, it has been one of the stalwarts on our passenger running set. Its generator facilities have been particularly useful for providing light for our passengers during the darker Autumn and Winter months for our Halloween and Christmas services. Unfortunately 3223 has been continuously exposed to the elements as we lack covered accommodation for our running set, meaning that some minor repairs will need to be carried out on its roof before it can be a regular on our passenger steam trains once again.