At a glance:
Builder: Deutz (Cologne, West Germany)
Build date: 1962
Original company: Córas Iompair Éireann
Withdrawal date: 1991
Final company: Iarnród Éireann
Arrived at DCDR: 1996
Current status: Stored
Current owner: ITG

G611 is one of the five diesel locomotives at Downpatrick owned by our good friends, the Irish Traction Group. Built by Deutz of Cologne, West Germany in 1962 for CIÉ, the G Class to which G611 belongs was intended for light branch line work and shunting- with that in mind it isn’t hard to work out why three of them ended up at DCDR!

G611, as well as its sisters, were used all over Ireland from Dublin to Tralee, whether it was shunting any of the former’s large yards or working goods trains between the latter and Fenit. Perhaps most famously, they worked the Loughrea branch in Co. Galway, usually hauling a single carriage and a few goods wagons from the town to the mainline at Attymon Junction.

G611 was officially withdrawn by CIÉ in September 1977, but it passed hands into Cómhlucht Siúicre Eireann Teoranta (CSET), the state-owned Irish Sugar Company. Rehomed at Thurles sugar factory, G611 was used to shunt wagons of sugarbeet until the factory closed its rail yard in early 1980s. Unusually however, after its career at CSET ended, G611 made its way back into service with CIÉ. It was ‘adopted’ by Limerick depot, where it worked as the yard pilot – even shunting around Mk3 carriages – until 1991 when it was finally withdrawn.

In March 1991 the locomotive was sold to the Irish Narrow Gauge Trust, who stored it at Cahir station in Co. Tipperary. Over the next three years the locomotive would be kept fully operational and in 1994 it was sold to the Irish Traction Group, who moved it to Carrick-on-Suir the following year. In 1996 it was sent to Inchicore to participate in the depot’s 150th Anniversary celebrations. When the festivities ended, the ITG were reluctant to send it back to Carrick-on-Suir where it couldn’t be used and so it was sent to DCDR instead, to join G617 which had arrived here the previous year.

Just like G617, G611 wasted no time proving its worth at Downpatrick, putting in frequent appearances on shunts and diesel days, although its use in later years was rarer and it was finally withdrawn in late 2014. Today, G611 is stored inside the Maghera Shed pending overhaul.