Thursday, 12 October 2017

Ireland in 2008

078 arrives into Dublin Heuston with one of the several daily trains to be powered by the 1977 built GM 071 class. 31/03/2008
The GM 201 'River' class were delivered in Orange/Black and
worked the majority of passenger trains. 31/03/2008
With an RPSI tour featuring IÈ Class 071's this coming weekend I thought it was about time I looked back on my trip to the Emerald Isle back in Easter 2008 where locomotives, and the classic Orange & Black livery very much ruled the Irish rails.
Days were numbered for traditional trains in Ireland with the first of the Rotem 22000 DMU's having recently entered service. Steam Heated 'Cravens' coaches had finished in 2006 and BR built Mk2's had worked their last train the morning we arrived in the country. The small GM's (classes 141 and 181) together with the single cab 121's had lost all passenger work, though small GM's could still be found working freight and on pilot duties at Dublin's Heuston station. Despite this almost all passenger services were still formed of loco's and stock at this time with the GM 201 class predominating and 071's making several daily appearances. None of the class 201 had been stored at this time and rolling stock was comfortable BR built Mk3's formed into traditional rakes with generator coaches as well as several smaller push/pull rakes which featured cab cars with a built in generator.
Today just a handful of loco-hauled trains remain, all hauled by the 201 'River' class on the Dublin - Cork main line (with Irish Mk4 stock) and on the Dublin - Belfast 'Enterprise' with De Dietrich stock.

'Small GM' 173 is one of two station pilots at Dublin Heuston. 31/04/2008
087 passes 077 at Limerick Junction. the 4 wheel cement 'bubbles' are now long withdrawn. 02/04/2008
River class 201 approaches Portarlington with an evening peak service from Dublin. 02/04/2008
In the then new IE livery, 085 approaches Thurles with the 13:25 Heuston - Limerick. 02/04/2008

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