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"Barrow Bridge" Railtour
Dublin - Carlow - Waterford - Clonmel -Waterford

Jeep No.4, 2-6-4T built in Derby in 1947, took the steel bodied Mk.2 train for the remainder of the tour.
All photos by C P Friel.

RPSI Photonews Image While the passengers were finding their seats, Peter Marsden (left) was getting the pan going for his famous bacon butties. Just after giving out the tour's massive 80-page Railtour Brochure (available in our online shop), our photographer caught this moment when Peter and Fergus McDonnell were gearing up for the demand. Breakfast was only half an hour ago but steam trains give you an appetite! For next year's May tour, Peter and Fergus will have the newly refurbished former NIR dining car No.547 to cook in. 

RPSI Photonews Image After the Kildare water stop, we stopped at Cherryville Junction to explain why a hot box detector had tripped. The former junction signal cabin is visible beyond the road bridge - the Carlow line swings to the left just beyond it. 

RPSI Photonews Image After a brisk run down to Carlow, we ran through the picturesque station and forged on to the water stop at Bagenalstown. 

RPSI Photonews Image  At Bagenalstown, the loco left the train in the up loop and ran forward to the road overbridge where the road-borne watering crew had set up a standpipe. Coming the other way was a push-pull set from Kilkenny to Dublin, propelled by an inter-city liveried 201 class diesel electric loco No.219.

RPSI Photonews Image  Carriage and Wagon Officer Francis Richards has every right to feel proud of "his" Mk.2s. Here he spares a moment for the photographer - and a suitably cryptic comment to go with it. 
Let's start a caption competition. 

RPSI Photonews Image During the water stop, passengers were allowed (under supervision) to move off the platform and stand along the embankment which now marks where the line to Borris diverged to the right.  Here No.4 is easing back on to the train before continuing towards Waterford. 

RPSI Photonews Image South of Bagenalstown, Fergus McDonnell (in the white shirt) led the group delivering the pre-ordered packed lunches to those participants who had ordered it.

RPSI Photonews Image This is Thomastown Viaduct, just south of the station of the same name. It spans the river Nore and is the largest single-span on Irish Rail.

RPSI Photonews Image On the last lap into Waterford, No.4 and her train had to wait for a Dublin-bound push-pull set (hauled by another 201, this time No.224) to clear the platform. Waterford, as you can see, still retains many of its semaphore signals. 

RPSI Photonews Image After Waterford,No.4 worked a short trip to Clonmel and back. Here, running bunker-first, she pauses at Carrick on Suir. In the background are the premises of the Irish Traction Group. Two of their locos, G601 and B103, are visible beside the former goods store.

RPSI Photonews Image  Another view during the Carrick stop. As you can see, the track here has been much simplified in recent times. 

RPSI Photonews Image  This is No.4 running round her train after arrival at Clonmel, as seen from the footbridge. Note the fine station building to the left, now sadly much under-used.

RPSI Photonews Image Looking the other way from the footbridge, towards Waterford, as No.4 approaches her train. The former goods store is beyond No.4.

RPSI Photonews Image  On the way back to Waterford, the loco inspector gave up the Clonmel to Carrick staff and collected the Carrick to Waterford West staff from the signalman as we sped through.

RPSI Photonews Image Approaching Waterford West, we passed this fine bracket signal. The semaphore on the left controls the line from Kilkenny. The post on the right used to carry a signal controlling the line from Dungarvan. Beyond the signal is the lifting span from the Suir Viaduct which used to carry the Scenic Line over the river Suir. The span has been lifted out to facilitate shipping heading for Fiddown and Carrick on Suir.

RPSI Photonews Image A final view of the train on this day as No.4 sits at Waterford's Platform Three before retreating to the goods yard for servicing and overnight storage. 

RPSI Photonews Image Most tour participants gathered later in the Bridge Hotel (now Day's Hotel) for a grand dinner in convivial company. Towards the end of the evening, John Beaumont took the microphone to thank everyone for their support. A quick count revealed that 6 of the company had been on the first two-day tour back in 1968 - forty years ago. Most of them are still actively working for the Society!

View our Helping Us Page to see how you can volunteer in Dublin or Whitehead and get involved.

Or, join us as a passenger.

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