Tuesday 24th July 1984

On my first visit to Ireland I travelled on the overnight ferry from Liverpool to Dublin and caught the bus from the ferry terminal across to Heuston station.

One of the "Dutch" steam heating vans No 3161 stabled at Heuston station.

Dublin Heuston carriage shed and freight yard viewed from the end of the platforms. The main line is on the right.

The main line out of Heuston. On the left is the so called "military platform" with some empty coaches stabled.

4-wheeled container flat at Heuston.

Bogie container wagon with pallets for Guinness kegs.

Partly loaded wagon with beer kegs in pallet

A rather backlit photo of the Guinness loading area outside Heuston station.

087 arrives at 08:35 from Waterford.

Mk3 generator van with the obelisk in Phoenix Park behind.

I then walked across Dublin to Connolly station.

Turntable at Dublin Connolly station.

My visit to Ireland coincided with the opening of the electrified DART services. Here 8306 arrives on a Howth to Bray service.

Looking north from the through suburban line platforms at Connolly. On the depot are 025 and 051.

The stock of the Galway mail train with a TPO and a post-war CIE 2nd class coach No. 1434.

TPO No.2974 and a 'Dutch' heating van

Northern Ireland Railways 112 arrives at Connolly with the morning 'Enterprise' service from Belfast.

Interior of terminal platforms at Connolly with a Northern Ireland railways train from Belfast beyond the customs barrier.

Station pilot No. 164 moves the stock of the 'Enterprise' out of Connolly to release the train engine.

A push-pull train from Maynooth to Dublin Pearse runs in with former DMU coach converted to a control car.

Propelling the train was 234.

133 and 132 have arrived at Connolly from Rosslare.

The electric DART service had started the day before my visit - here is unit 8104/ 8304 at Connolly on a Howth to Bray service. I travelled on unit 8132 with a service from Bray to Howth.

8122 and 8121 at Howth station.

Back at Connolly 173 is on a Dublin - Belfast service.

CIE 173 leaves Connolly at the head of a Belfast train made up of Mk2 coaches.

NIR buffet car No. 547

I the travelled on the 13.20 Dublin Connolly to Rosslare Harbour behind 012 seen after arrival at Rosslare.

The end of the line on the break-water at Rosslare.

The train was propelled back out of the station and the locomotive has run round its 6-coach train.

Former BR Mk1 generator coach no.3174. The TL means that the coach has a through line electric train heating cable.

Cravens coaches were the main second rank express coach in 1984 after the Mk2 AC coaches.

The Park Royal coaches with their distinctive flat recessed ends and ribbed sides were still a major feature of long distance trains in 1984.

Rosslare Harbour station.

Looking from the Harbour station towards Rosslare Strand.

A former tablet catcher.

Rosslare locomotive depot

Rosslare port with ferry to France departing.

Rosslare turntable.

From Rosslare I took the 19.30 train to Limerick as far as Waterford. This is 157 on its 4-coach train after arrival on a train from Waterford. As I had a cab pass from CIE I was able to travel in the cab of this train to Waterford. I was given the single line token by the driver and told to do the token exchange at Wellington Bridge loop - an interesting experience at nearly 30mph!

Wednesday 25th July 1984

Waterford signal box 

Waterford station

Waterford looking west towards the freight yards and the junction of the Limerick and Dublin lines.

No. 038 runs into Waterford at about 08.30 with the 07.15 Rosslare Harbour to Limerick which I took as far as Limerick Junction.

Carrick on Suir signal box. Note the CIE standard open wagons with corrugated sides.

Cahir station

Limerick Junction with 013 at the head of a Shelton to Cork ammonia train. Note the long platform with crossover to allow both north and southbound main line trains to call simultaneously.

157 on the 09.40 Limerick to Waterford train runs around the back of Limerick Junction station before reversing into the bay platform seen to the left.

080 runs into Limerick Junction with the 09.00 Cork to Dublin express.

080 is at the head of a Cork to Dublin service.

A wagon used for bagged fertiliser pallets.

157 is on a Limerick to Waterford train in the south end bay platform at Limerick Junction having run around the back of the station.

The "back line" at Limerick Junction used by trains going to the south end bay.

Beet traffic wagons stored at Limerick Junction.

079 leaves the Junction with the 08.40 Dublin to Tralee express.

036 leaves Limerick Junction heading towards Cork with a loaded train of bagged fertiliser.

The south end bay platform. This was often used when connections were being made between northbound trains and trains for Waterford or Limerick to avoid passengers having to make a long walk along the platform to the north end bay.

Looking north: on the left the Limerick bay platform and on the right the main line platform, then the two through roads and the old locomotive shed.

The north end junction with the Limerick line to the left. The flat crossing between the direct Limerick to Waterford and the main Dublin to Cork line can be seen just to the right of the signal box and the semaphore signal controlling this is to the left of the box.

Looking towards Cork with the Limerick bay and the 'back road' on the right.

The locomotive release points and station canopy looking towards Cork.

Having a cab pass, a track pass and a pass to get me into every depot and works on the CIE meant I could wander freely - even across the main line. This is Limerick Junction looking south.

The forbidding looking station building.

An ancient passenger coach in use by the PW department.

Inside the shed was the wreck of the Sligo, Leitrim and Northern Counties Railcar B (CIE 2509)

Limerick Junction shed

Various withdrawn vans.

A beet wagon.

188 looks as though it's not long out of Inchicore works

167 and 149 on a Tralee to Dublin additional relief train.

I the travelled behind 184 on the 12.55 Limerick Junction to Limerick train.

Bagged cement wagons at Limerick

019 is on a train to Limerick Junction at Limerick

Another view of 019.

My depot pass allowed me to visit the depot and wagon works at Limerick.

Another view of the bagged cement wagons with the counter-balanced body sides.

Irish Cement bogie wagons.

Dolomite wagon in the works yard.

Wagon works and fuelling point.

Limerick Check signal box.

Bell line and CIE Uniload containers.

Fuelling point.

4-wheel cement wagon.

4-wheel flat with uniload container. In the background is a CIE school bus.

Limerick station signal box.

I then took the 15.30 Limerick to Ballybrophy along the branch through Nenagh seen here in the bay platform at Ballybrophy.

At  Ballybrophy 228 was on a short engineering train.


Looking towards Dublin whilst I awaited 13.45 Tralee to Dublin with 075.

Thursday 26th July 1984

I left Dublin on the 08.30 to Sligo behind 050. This view is at Mullingar

The 07.45 Sligo to Dublin has 132 and 133 at its head as it arrives at Mullingar.

Sligo station with the train from Dublin in the platform. The mail van on the left will work the 19.45 to Mullingar where it will be added to the 22.00 Galway to Dublin mail.

A brake 2nd coach no.1914.

A 2nd class coach.

Sligo shed with 185 and 186 in view.

050 propels its stock out of the station to run round.

Sligo signal box.

sligo station.

I walked down the short harbour branch past the cement silo.

The freight and container depot at Sligo at the end of the harbour branch.

Fuel oil wagons that operated from Dublin three times a week

Uniload and beer flats .

CIE Expressway bus.

I decided to travel in the cab of 050 back to Dublin on the 13.50 service, being made to feel most welcome.



Longford station with container depot alongside,

The terminal was served twice a week at this time.

Mostrim with 173 arriving on the 13.30 Dublin to Sligo. The driver promised me he would leave without me!

A brake 2nd class coach at Dublin Connolly.

Park Royal open 2nd class.

From Dublin Connolly I travelled in the cab of 211 as far as Drogheda on a Dublin Pearse to Drogheda train. The train is seen after arrival there.

At Drogheda 048 was on a Tara Mines to North Wall zinc ore train.

One of the large bogie wagons used on the Tara Mines trains.

Drogheda looking towards Dublin with the branch from Navan on the right

Cement wagons in the yard at Drogheda.

From Drogheda I travelled north to Dundalk in the cab of 224 working a Dublin to Dundalk service.

The gauntleted track over the |Boyne Viaduct.

Arrival at Dundalk behind 224.

Looking towards Belfast from Dundalk.

Northern Ireland Railways No. 113 was stabled at Dundalk.

224 runs round its train.

Looking towards Dublin with quite a lot of freight traffic evident.

Harp lager container

Satzenbrau Pils beer container.

Guinness container.

My return to Dublin was in the cab of 005 with an evening Dundalk to Dublin train.

Viewed from the cab the train is about to cross over the northbound line and enter the loop at Mosney holiday camp.

Friday 27th July 1984

I had set aside the Friday morning to visit Inchicore, having been assured in the letter from CIE that I would be welcome to visit the works and depot. I was surprised to find that it was the works' holiday and at first thought I wouldn't be allowed in but some the Works' manager himself came out and offered me a tour of the works and depot which took about an hour - a generous use of his time I'm sure.

Withdrawn Sulzer diesel 104 was in a line of locos by the side of the main line

E432 a 0-6-0 diesel was in the depot yard.

Another view looking from the cab end.

Inside the carriage maintenance depot.

077 looks almost ex- works.

There were no fewer than 86 locomotives in either the works or on the depot. Of these about 25 were withdrawn or had suffered crash or bomb damage, including 004, 010 and 207

Underneath this 201 class can be seen the electronic device used to do with the signalling system in the Dublin DART area. Locos so fitted had an S suffix after their number.

A Lyons Tea container.

A Mark 2 Supertrain 2nd class coach and beyond a former BR Mark 1 steam heating van.

A former DMU coach converted for use on push-pull trains.

One of the new Mark 3 electric generating vans that had just been introduced.

A Mark 3 restaurant car.

An anhydrous Ammonia tanker.

A withdrawn 6 wheel steam heating van.

Alongside the main line was a long row of withdrawn locos including B113 and B114.

Another long line of withdrawn locos; from left to right 104,110,109, 108, 103, 112, 106, 107, 102, 101, 105 and 037.

I then made a  round trip to Waterford travelling out on the 11.35 from Heuston and returning on the 15.15 both trains being hauled by 086.

At Waterford a cattle ship was loading on the far bank of the River Suir.

The bridge over the River Suir west of Waterford had been in use for magnesite traffic from Ballinacourty to Cork until 1982 and had once formed the line through to Mallow.

At Kilkenny all trains had to reverse.

086 is running round its train.

I spent several hours watching the heavy Friday evening trains heading west at Kildare. Between 17 .15 and 19.55 17 trains passed through.

This is 076 runs no stop through Kildare with the 17.30 Dublin to Cork train passing 075 on a Tralee to Dublin service.

155 arrives with the Fridays only 17.35 Dublin to Waterford.

The 15.10 Cork to Dublin mail train has 190 at its head.


130 and 127 pass with the 18.00 Dublin to Westport.

043 is at the head of the 15.55 Cork to Shelton ammonia train.

The emergency water tank carried on the last wagon.

071 brings the 17.30 Mark 3 stock Cork to Dublin through Kildare.

Saturday 28 July 1984

This was to be the first of two trips out to the west coast of Ireland from Dublin. i took the 08.20 from Heuston to Westport, a journey of 4 hours and 10 minutes behind 081.

Portarlingon station

We passed 127 and 130 on the 07.50 Westport to Dublin at Cloughjordan.

Westport loco shed

The wagons of the 0845 Claremorris to Westport liner train. These were detached from the previous night's Dublin to Claremorris liner which ran twice a week.

081 has run round its train and is setting the stock back into the departure platform.

Looking towards the end of the line at Westport.

I returned to Claremorris on the 13.35 to Dublin with 081.

081 is departing for Athlone and Dublin. The line to the right is the freight only line to Athenry and Limerick.

Looking towards Westport at Claremorris

Looking towards Westport and Ballina ; on the left is the three coach train that will form the 16.25 Claremorris to Ballina train whilst on the right is the Westport to Dublin service.  I will take this train to Ballina once the connection from the 13.02 Dublin to Westport has been made.

Claremorris signal box looking towards Westport and Ballina.

Claremorris looking towards Dublin.

On the right is 023 with two coaches that were part of the Fridays only Dublin to Ballina and had been worked back empty from Ballina late on Friday evening. As can be seen I was using my trackside pass again to take photos.

The Westport and Ballina end of the station.

In the yard at Claremorris were some petrol tankers that had been on the previous night's Dublin to Claremorris liner.

Also there were some container flats and a fuel oil tanker

020 has arrived at Ballina.

In the container terminal is the previous night's arrival from Dublin conveying containers for Asahi.

B+I Uniload and Freightliner containers.

A CIE Bedford lorry.

CIE school bus.

Ballina  station

Ballina with the service back to Claremorris.

The level crossing over the freight branch.

From Ballina I returned to Claremorris behind 020 and then behind 078 on the 18.25 Westport to Dublin arriving at Heuston at 22.05 - a long day!

Sunday 29th July

This was another long day with a trip to Galway and back leaving on the 08.30 from Heuston to Westport with 080 as train loco. I rode in the cab as far as Athlone and had the unnerving experience of almost hitting a person crossing the line near the Curragh racecourse when we were travelling at 90mph.

This is Portarlington with the train having crossed over onto the Up line from Cork and about to turn off onto the Athlone line at the bridge.


At this time Athlone was being rebuilt with a new station under construction on the east side of the Shannon bridge on the site of the old GSR station. However, the old MGWR station on the west side was still in use, The 09.25 Galway to Dublin is seen leaving behind 164 and 165.


Coach No. 1917 with a Cravens coach beyond.

1417 was a buffet coach.

080 is leaving with the 08.30 from Heuston to Westport.

Track work and resignalling work is underway. 218 is at the head of ballast wagons at the old loco shed. In the background the rear coaches of the Westport train can be seen diverging to the right. The Galway line continues ahead.

I now had just over an hour before my train to Galway. This is Athlone Midland station looking towards Dublin and the Shannon bridge.

The exterior of Athlone Midland station which would be closed in 1985 when services were transferred to the new station on the site of the old Great Southern and Western Railway station

The bridge over the River Shannon.

I must have walked over the railway bridge to take these photos. The former MGWR line to Mullingar (at the time this line only has a few freight trains and the night mail over it and is now closed) can be seen diverging to the left whilst the line to the right leads to the former GSWR station.

The "new" Athlone station is seen under construction .

I then returned to the Midland station to take the 10.00 Dublin to Galway behind 149 and 190. I rode in the cab as far as Athenry but in contrast to the other drivers he wasn't very friendly so I returned to the train for the rest of the journey to Galway.

Unfortunately the small number of photographs I took in Galway have disappeared so there are no further images for this day. After an afternoon spent on Galway beach - there wasn't much to do in Galway on a Sunday in the 1980s I returned to Dublin on the 18.50 to Heuston.

Monday 30th July 1984

On this day I travelled from Dublin to Killarney on the 08.40 Tralee service behind 075.

The train shed at the terminal station at Killarney. This station is situated on a spur of the through Mallow to Tralee line so all trains have to reverse in or out of the station.

Water tower at Killarney.

After a two hour break I carried on to Tralee on the 13.15 Cork to Tralee hauled by 017.

The bogie of one of the "Dutch" heating vans.

Tralee station after the arrival of the train from Cork.

Tralee freight yard with the stock for the daily 18.25 Tralee to Mallow liner. I then travelled on to Cork behind 017 on the 17.25 Tralee to Cork.

Tuesday 31st July 1984

I started this day with a round trip to Cobh behind 038 and then took the 11.30 to Dublin as far as Mallow behind 080

Cork signal box

The gantry crane at the container terminal at Cork.

A first Class Mark 3 coach on the Cork to Dublin.

The restaurant car on the same train.

Mallow looking towards Dublin with the container terminal on the left.

The Dublin end of mallow station with the former line to Waterford branching off to the right.

Inside the old steam shed was preserved GNR(I) 4-4-0 No 131

Mallow signal box

053  at the head of a Shelton Abbey to Cork bagged fertiliser train.

142 brings a Cork to Platin bogie cement train through Mallow.

I decided to return to Cork behind 077 on the 10.30 from Dublin and then to go back to Dublin behind the same locomotive on the 14.40 from Cork.

That evening after watching more trains at Heuston and Connolly I boarded the night ferry to Liverpool, where I was stopped by immigration (Special Branch) officials and asked to prove my identity. The letter I had from CIE giving me permission to be on railway property seemed to be enough!