CIÉ 6111

At a glance:

Builder:Park Royal Vehicles (London)
Build date:1953
Original company:Córas Iompair Éireann
Withdrawal date:1987
Final company:Iarnród Éireann
Arrived at DCDR:2015
Current status:Stored
Current owner:DCDR

6111 began life as one of 60 powered railcar vehicles built for CIÉ by Park Royal using traction equpment provided by the Associated Equipment Company (AEC) in 1953. Originally our example was numbered 2624 and was powered by underfloor engines – the AEC railcars played a key role in the dieselisation of Irish railways and were quite revolutionary for their time. At first, each sat twelve first class passengers and thirty-two seconds.

However withdrawal did not last long and in April 1974, 2624 emerged from Inchicore Works as 6111. It was no longer a railcar, with the engine and boiler having been removed, but had instead been converted into a driving trailer for C Class diesel locomotives. The AEC fleet had been re-purposed to work with the C Class on push-pull suburban trains in the Dublin area, which would tide the city over until the electric DART system was opened in 1984. As part of this new role, 6111’s capacity was increased by removing the low-density railcar seats and replacing them with plastic stacking chairs. This meant it was very unpopular with passengers!

6111’s last run took place in 1986 and it was officially withdrawn the following year, after being replaced by both the DART and our very own 80 Class No. 69, which was on loan to Irish Rail at the time. Though the rest of the AECs were scrapped, 6111’s historical importance was fortunately recognised before it was too late and it was set aside in Inchicore for preservation. After many years, it was acquired by us and we moved it to Downpatrick in February 2015. Though stored in the Cathedral Siding under protective tarps for now, 6111 has a lot of potential as an operational carriage and it is a strong contender for our next ‘big’ restoration.