17th April 2005

I.T.G. Railtours Ltd
Give an Inch

Locos Used IE: E421, G611, G613 & steam: 3 (O&K 12662/1935)
Stock Used 2419+1918+3223
Railbus Used RB3
Wickham Inspection Vehicle Used 416A (Wickham 8919/1962)

Route :


3 (2) set-back in platform at Downpatrick
[A] to [B] represents position of the rear of the train before and after the set-back move
3 Downpatrick (platform) - Inch Abbey branch (gate after river bridge) [Q]
3 (2) Inch Abbey branch (gate after river bridge) - Downpatrick (platform)
RB3 Downpatrick ("old" loco shed) [G] - Inch Abbey branch (just before river bridge) [E]
RB3 Inch Abbey branch (just before river bridge) - Downpatrick ("old" loco shed) [G]
G613 Downpatrick (platform) - Inch Abbey branch (beyond river bridge and gate, close to derailed wagon) [M]
G613 (2) Inch Abbey branch (beyond river bridge and gate, to approx 50' of derailed wagon) - Downpatrick (platform)
G613 Downpatrick (platform) - King Magnus's Halt - Ardglass Jn [P]
G613 (2) Ardglass Jn - Ballydugan - King Magnus's Halt - Downpatrick (platform)
G611 + G613 Downpatrick (platform) - Ballydugan - King Magnus's Halt [O]
G611 + G613 (2) King Magnus's Halt - Ballydugan - Jn at entrance to Downpatrick site [F]
G611 + G613 Jn at entrance to Downpatrick site - Inch Abbey branch LC [L]
G611 + G613 (2) Inch Abbey branch LC - Downpatrick (platform)
E421 Downpatrick (platform) - Inch Abbey branch (beyond river bridge and gate, close to derailed wagon) [M]
E421 (2) Inch Abbey branch (beyond river bridge and gate, close to derailed wagon) - Downpatrick (platform)
E421 Downpatrick (platform) - Ballydugan - King Magnus's Halt [O]
E421 (2) King Magnus's Halt - Ballydugan - Downpatrick (platform)

Notes :
(1) Letters in [ ] represent positions as shown on the track layout below.
(2) loco Propelling.
(3) Wickham Inspection Trolley (numbered 416A) was used to give rides between the "new"shed [T] and the platform headshunt [W].

From Rob Fraser: No booked times were provided, however 6 minutes is allowed between Downpatrick and King Magnus’s Halt (ref D&CDR leaflet).   Based on this I estimate 9 minutes would be allowed between Downpatrick and the site of the derailment near Inch Abbey.  It was intended to run each loco/railcar over each branch.   However, G611 was deemed unfit to make the journey on its own, and hence was paired with G613.  The Wickham Inspection Saloon was confined to shed/station limits.  It was intended to run to King Magnus’s Halt with the O&K Steam loco No.3 at the end of the day but this trip was cancelled due to lack of time.   Due to the unreliability of RB3, its trip to King Magnus’s Halt was also cancelled.   In an effort to make up time the run with G611+G613 reversed at the junction points rather than Downpatrick station between each leg.   Reversal points on the Inch Abbey branch included the River Quoile Bridge, the Level Crossing and the point at which a wagon had become derailed on Saturday 16th April 2005.  The first trip with the Wickham Saloon commenced before the arrival of E421 on its final run.

Thanks go to Rob Fraser for this "all explaining" map of the site. The letters in brackets
are as used in the traction/route detail above. Loop Platform is called Ballydugan in the 9th
edition of the Bakers bible.

RB3 at the entrance to the main Downpatrick site.

G11 & G613 in the rain at Downpatrick.

Sources : Gary Thornton & Rob Fraser (on the trains throughout)

Tour Review
(by Mark Honey)

Continued from "Beyond the Pale" tour Page.

Sunday April 17th

Up at 7.30 and throw everything into my bag.  Down to breakfast which is slightly better than yesterday.  Today, joy of joys, is a 3 hour + coach ride to the North, to the Downpatrick railway.  Find a seat at the back of the coach and promptly sleep all the way to Northern Ireland – as you do (Webmaster comment: wasn't that after a panic rush back to the hotel to rescue the bottle of Glenlivet which had been forgotten about and thus nearly left as a tip for the cleaner as a thanks for coping with the aftermath of two nights on the Guinness?).  Coach driver is an Eastern European import.  Thornton thinks he knows him. He looks like a porn star – that’s where Gary obviously recognises him from. “Downpatrick please, Driver”. “Da”. “OK, that way”.

And the rain came down. And down.  And down.  Arrive at Downpatrick and it’s shut. The start proper of a surreal day.  Gates are locked and nobody has the key.  Old Escort van (the fastest thing that the Downpatrick boys have got) screeches up and the biggest bolt cutters known to man splice through the chain.  Huddle under the station canopy and the wind blows and the rain still comes down. Get on the stock.  Decide it’s warmer on the platform.  At least someone’s got the kettle on – but not yet on the front.

Walk round the shed before doing the kettle to the gates across the river bridge.  Thornton has listed all the moves in intricate detail, so I won’t repeat it all.  But – highlights involved piling onto the RB3 railbus that was completely knackered in the shed by the aide of an old chair.  RB3 blew up three times en route (I think).  Hand out scotch left over from yesterday.  Wonder if the railbus will run on it? Lithuanian coach driver offers assistance and swears at it in native tongue.  Wonder what he made of the whole experience.  Must beat a Methodist Ladies Knitting weekend jaunt.

Straight into shunter heaven for the next 2 hours or so.  A riotous ride in a completely smashed up Wickham trolley finished the day. Sight of trolley full of cranks hanging out of it is bizarre to say the least. Surprised myself by being able to leg it to McDonalds and getting back in time for the next service out.  Got wet.

Everyone back on the coach.  Sleep all the way to the airport, buy some duty free and go home.  To Birmingham and bed.


I’ll let you know when I’ve sobered up…

Mark Honey

Webmasters footnote: Oh I do hate reviewers that answer back...

As you were Thornton…
Must take umbrage at the comments made on your scandalous web site.

1/ I was extremely knackered after a heavy week – anyone can clip a few motorway cones.  Anyway it wasn’t me who opened my car door when I was watching telly in complete comfort (granted - but isn't it a tad pompous to have a car with a TV fitted?).

2/ I didn’t see you put up much argument when I dealt out the scotch at Downpatrick – (OK, accepted - it was a nice tipple and kept out the cold very well...hic...).

RB3: Mr Honey arrives with the Glenlivet :-)

3/ I even legged it through the wind and rain to Maccy D’s to get you a burger and fries because you were bone idle.  I didn’t even argue when you tried to pay me in DSS out of date milk tokens (Yes, I must bow to your good nature and willingness to keep me supplied with junk food).

Good thing you don’t know what I stirred your coffee with….
(Oi - no need for that!)

Timings (Actual Only)
(from Rob Fraser)

Traction: Steam No 3

Miles Location Actual (out) Actual (rtn) Miles
0.00 Downpatrick (platform) 12.34d 12.44a 0.74
0.16 Jn [F] 12/35½ 12/42½ 0.58
0.39 North Jn [D] 12/36½ 12/41½ 0.34
0.74 River Quoile Bridge [E] 12.38½a 12.39d 0.00

Traction: Railbus RB3

Miles Location Actual
0.00 "Old" Loco Shed [G] 12.58½d
0.10 Jn [F] 12/59½
0.34 North Jn [D] 13/00
River Quoile Bridge [E] 13.01½a ~ 13.06d
0.30 North Jn [D] 13/07½
0.42 engine shut-down [Z] 13.08a ~ 13.09d
0.55 Jn [F] 13/10
0.60 Photo stop (engine stop) [H] 13.10½a ~ 13.15d
0.65 "Old" Loco Shed [G] 13.16a

Traction: G613

Miles Location Actual (out) Actual (rtn) Miles
0.00 Downpatrick (platform) 13.33d 13.53½a 1.06
0.12 Jn [F] 13/34½ 13/51 0.95
0.36 North Jn [D] 13/35½ 13/50½ 0.71
0.72 River Quoile Bridge [E] 13.37½a ~ 13.40d 13/48½ 0.35
0.73 Gate [Q] 13.40½a ~ 13.141d ? ?
0.97 Jn with old line [K] 13/43½ 13/46½ 0.10
1.03 Level Crossing [L] 13/44 13/46 0.03
Site of derailment [M] 13.44½a 13.45d 0.00

Traction: G613

Miles Location Actual (out) Actual (rtn) Miles
0.00 Downpatrick (platform) 13.58d 14.17½a 0.73
0.09 Jn [F] 13.59a ~ 14.01½d 14/16½ 0.62
0.39 Loop Jn [N] 14/03 14/14½ 0.34
0.65 King Magnus's Halt 14.05a ~ 14.10½ 14/13 0.07
0.74 Ardglass Jn [P] 14.11½a 14.12d 0.00

Traction: G611+G613

Miles Location Actual (out) Actual (rtn) Miles
0.00 Downpatrick (platform) 15.01d  
0.11 Jn [F] 15/02 15.12a 0.57
0.38 Loop Jn [N] 15/03½ 15/09½ 0.28
0.66 King Magnus's Halt [O] 15.05½a 15.07½d 0.00

Traction: G611+G613

Miles Location Actual (out) Actual (rtn) Miles
- Downpatrick (platform) - 15.25a 1.01
0.00 Jn [F] 15.14d 15/24 0.91
0.25 North Jn [D] 15.15½ 15/23 0.67
0.61 River Quoile Bridge [E] 15/17 15/21½ 0.30
0.86 Jn with old line [L2] 15/18½ 15/20 0.05
0.92 Level Crossing [L] 15.19a 15.19½d 0.00

Traction: E421

Miles Location Actual (out) Actual (rtn) Miles
0.00 Downpatrick (platform) 15.41d 15.56a 1.06
0.11 Jn [F] 15/42 15/54½ 0.95
0.34 North Jn [D] 15/43 15/53 0.72
0.71 River Quoile Bridge [E] 15/45 15/51 0.36
0.96 Jn with old line [K] 15/46½ 15/49½ 0.11
1.02 Level Crossing [L] 15/47 15/49 0.04
Site of derailment [M] 15.47½a 15.48d 0.00

Traction: E421

Miles Location Actual (out) Actual (rtn) Miles
0.00 Downpatrick (platform) 16.01½d 16.13a


0.11 Jn [F] 16/02½ 16/11½ 0.55
0.39 Loop Jn [N] 16/03½ 16/09½ 0.28
0.66 King Magnus's Halt [O] 16.06a 16.06½d 0.00

Traction: Wickham 416A
(second run only)

Miles Location Actual
0.00 "New Shed" [S] 16.18½d
Neck [W] 16.20½a ~ 16.20½d
"New Shed" [T] 16.22a ~ 16.22½d
Neck [W] 16.23½a ~ 16.23½d
0.12 "New Shed" [T] 16.25a

n.b. all mileages are actual taken from Rob Frasers GPS device.

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