20th August 1994
The Western Ranger
|Locos Used||IE : 015 & 177|
|015||Bray - Dublin Connolly - Islandbridge Jn - Portarlington - Athlone - Ballina|
|015||Ballina - Athlone - Mullingar - Dublin Connolly|
|015||Dublin Connolly - Howth|
|177||Howth - Dublin Connolly - Bray|
Sources : Jonathan Wilcox
(taken from Websites/ITG "Irish Mail") & Kim Fullbrook
(from Martin Barnsdall)
It was time for another un-missable tour from those fellows at the ITG.
001 class loco’s were starting to get a bit thin on the ground and haulage was getting difficult with very few passenger diagrams remaining.
The track wasn’t that difficult although the connection at Manula Junction off the mainline onto the branch was only featured by 2 trains a week.
Steam loco 461 was pootling around Connolly as we left, the run up to Ballina was otherwise fairly uneventful. At Ballina the train loco was uncoupled for what we thought was the run round to the other end of the train.
In the event, the ITG committee and others piled into the cab and set off up the stub of the old Killala branch, all 400 yards of it.
Having extracted my travelling companion from his seat on the train, we waited for the loco to return off the branch, and we successful in squeezing into the rear cab for a journey up the old branch – which ends in a goods siding.
The driver then changed ends –just!, and we set off back to Ballina station, although this time the loco did not stop at the north end of the station, but sped on down past the train and reversed back onto the stock – complete with 30 or so hardened bashers!
Yet again the return to Dublin was uneventful, with a couple of photostops, at Claremorris and Athlone, the train then reversed at Dublin Connolly and set off for Howth – it was a rare sight to see loco’s at Howth, usually the preserve of EMU’s.
It was getting dark by the time the train left Howth and I seem to remember photography being very limited, I do not seem to have recorded the loco at this point.
All in all, a good trip by I.T.G.
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