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A photonews report from July and August 2011

Our busy summer season is in full swing, keeping our volunteers busy with public events and maintenance work.

Here's some of what has gone on recently.

20th July 2011 - 461
The long-awaited return of No.461 came a step closer in July when she moved under her own power for the first time since 2001 in a series of tests at Whitehead.  As expected a few minor problems were revealed.  Only once these were sorted was there time to start repainting - so do pardon her appearance!

23rd July 2011 - 'The Mystery Train'
Our Cravens carriages were in action on 23rd July to mark 40 years since the last regular 'mystery' excursion.  IÉ No.080 is seen here at Islandbridge working the train to Kilkenny.  Sister 076 took over for the return to Dublin.

(Picture: C Cooney)

30th July 2011 - 'Summer Steam'
July 30th was the latest in our series of 'Summer Steam' open days.  As usual there were steam train rides along the length of the platform, but while these are usually done by the Guinness engine, on this occasion No.4 took charge of the train.

(Picture: CP Friel)

It was 4's last weekend in steam before her boiler certificate expired after ten years' faithful service.

By pulling the rides train she was literally warming up for the exertions of the Portrush Flyer the next day!

(Picture: CP Friel)

Appropriately 4 was paired with 68, an original carriage from her old company, the NCC.

Dining Car 87 acted as usual as a stationary tea bar and museum exhibition.

(Picture: CP Friel)
Unusually there were four steamable engines at Whitehead all at once!  At right is the Guinness engine, possibly somewhat miffed at being left out of the action!

Presenting what are not quite their best sides to the camera are 186 and 461.  These three locomotives will constitute our operational steam fleet for the next few years.

(Picture: E Friel)

31st July 2011 - Farewell to 4!

The last of three 'Portrush Flyers' for this year was also, for the time being, the last day in steam for No.4.
(Video: Mike Beckett)

Maybe it wasn't as aesthetically pleasing but 4 proved herself more than happy running bunker-first up a steep gradient at the old Mossley station with a fairly heavy load of 8 carriages.

(Picture: CP Friel)

'Jeeps' like 4 were once a common sight in Portrush with excursion trains for the seaside - and this year, for three Sundays anyway, so it was again.

(Picture: CP Friel)
As usual we also ran a short trip from Portrush to Coleraine, where we encountered - and were delayed by - a new class 4000 railcar on a trial run.  It is seen here arriving at Coleraine from Londonderry Waterside en route to Portrush.

(Picture: CP Friel)
4 was mobbed by adoring fans at Portrush!  Oddly enough, the class 4000 at the next platform didn't get the same attention...

(Picture: M Crockett)
On the way home 4 showed little sign of being due for overhaul!  She is seen here storming up Ballyboyland bank, going out with a bang after a very successful decade of main line service.

(Picture: CP Friel)

7th August 2011 - Malahide Lions
186 took charge of the Cravens carriages for a trip from Malahide to Wicklow.  This was organised by Malahide Lions Club, who donated the proceeds to Ross Nugent Foundation to provide enhanced facilities in the Oncology Unit at Beaumont Hospital.

The train is seen here southbound at Howth Junction.

(Picture: C Cooney)
On the return journey 186 was chased by air!  She is seen here north of Greystones.

(Pictures: L Meehan / L Burke)

28th August 2011 - Trinity College
The Trinity College Community chartered 186 and the Cravens for a trip from Dublin Pearse station to Belvedere House.

186 is seen here near Tara street, between Westland Row and Amiens Street.

(Picture: B Pickup)

Cruising along the banks of the Royal Canal at Leixlip.

(Picture: C Cooney)
Running through the up loop at Enfield, passing the disused balloon tank at the end of the platform.

(Picture: C Cooney)
At Mullingar, at the old up Galway platform after taking water.  The engine was supposed to use the turntable here but due to a signalling problem was not able to do so.

(Picture: C Cooney)
186 ran tender-first back to Dublin.  She is seen here at Cloncurry, near Enfield.

(Picture: C Cooney)

The RPSI is owned and run by volunteers.  Whether your skills are clerical or practical, in artistry or accountancy, you could be helping us to keep preserved trains on the main line, or carry out one of our many other projects.

We are always short of volunteers - the more we have the more we can achieve, and the more everyone can enjoy it!
Join us today!

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