At a glance:
Builder: Great Southern & Western Railway (Inchicore Works)
Build date: 1888
Original company: Great Southern & Western Railway
Withdrawal date: 1968
Final company: Córas Iompair Éireann
Arrived at DCDR: 1992
Current status: Under restoration
Current owner: Privately owned

69 was built by the Great Southern & Western Railway at their Inchicore Works in 1888. It was originally a full brake, meaning it had no passenger accommodation. It instead housed a Guard’s compartment and large luggage space, and to this end had both a birdcage and duckets; these were protrusions from the roof and sides respectively that afforded the Guard better visibility when looking down his train.

In 1923, 69 was rebuilt, losing its birdcage in the process. It retained the duckets however, and today it is one of only three carriages in Ireland to have them. A carriage of the same type – very possibly 69 itself – appeared in the 1952 film, ”The Quiet Man”, which starred John Wayne. When 69 was withdrawn from service in 1968 it was one of the last three six-wheeled carriages on CIÉ’s books, and the only six-wheeler in the country to have had gangway connections (although these were later removed).

69 was purchased for preservation by the ‘BCDR Museum Trust’, who stored it at Adelaide yard in Belfast until they were asked to move it in 1979. Accordingly, it was relocated to a quarry in Seaforde, where it remained until 1992 after being purchased privately by one of our members. It was subsequently moved to Downpatrick, and work had been ongoing in recent years to turn it into a first class saloon with large observation windows at both ends.