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Irish Narrow Gauge Railways

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by lynbarn, May 27, 2016.

  1. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

    Mar 8, 2017
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    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    The fate of the T&B seems to be, as much as anything, the result of a reluctance of the Local Authorities to sever their connection with those previously associated with the line in favour of giving another group a shot. I don't believe this situation to be anything as sinister as that may sound, merely the LA taking a 'better the devil you know' stance, in the absence of anyone or any group with both a business plan and (crucially) sufficient funding to implement it, without involving scarce public money. An attempt was made, by a new grouping a few years ago, to reopen the line, but it fell on stoney ground with the local powers that be.

    Practical issues include PW and a formation in desperate need of quite a bit of attention, then there are those ex-metre gauge carriages (one at least I understand to be in very poor condition), which are very heavy, and are the limiting factor in choice of motive power. Even if it gets the rebuild (and probably new boiler) it needs, surviving T&D No.5 is way short of ideal for regular operations (being too big and too hungry), though at least it's securely stored nowadays.

    There are a few surviving items of T&D stock, one carriage safely in the care of Michael, up at the beautiful C&L station at Dromod, which is more working museum than operational railway (very, very worth a detour, if you're in the area btw, as even the restored half mile gives a flavour of the Irish NG and the workshops are fascinating) but anyone familiar with the original stock will know it's not all that suitable for tourist operations (with an internal layout similar to, but not as good as the W&L 'Pickerings').

    For the line to reopen, first it'd need a viable vision, which in rural Ireland means a cost-effective means of getting bums on seats. Any grand historic recreation would need to see some convincing evidence that a market exists, before ploughing a fortune into the line. Recall, this is a line running a couple of miles from a station on the western outskirts of town to a windmill and Wetlands Centre, beyond which there's not an awful lot to entice visitors to do more than admire the scenery as they drive through it.

    It's by no means impossible to think the T&B will rise again, but it sure as hall ain't going to happen without some serious thought and investment.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019

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