On Friday 19 July 2019, the IRRS revisited the ESB (Electricity Supply Board) power station at Ardnacrusha on the River Shannon outside Limerick City. This was the first time back for the IRRS since the railtour to there in September 1962. Thanks to the ESB for hosting us on the day. The 2019 IRRS participants travelled by service train from Dublin to Limerick via Nenegh branch line and dined for lunch at The George Hotel Limerick before commencing the tour of Ardnacrusha. You can read more about the 1962 tour on the ESB Archives website: https://esbarchives.ie/2017/02/06/irrs-tour-of-ardnacrusha-september-1962/
The fourth and final outing of 2018 was a visit to Lullymore Heritage Park & Bog Railway and to the Steam Museum at Straffan, the former never previously being visited by the Society. A total of 42 members and guests took part on the day. Unlike other outings, the group travelled by coach throughout, given the close proximity of both locations to Dublin. Members assembled at the Society's premises at Heuston Station where the coach collected everyone at 10:00 and we headed straight to Lullymore, Co. Kildare. Upon arrival, we were greeted with a warm welcome from the Heritage Park team, who split us into two groups. We were first given a tour around the Heritage Park before joining the road train which took the group down to the bog to travel on the BnM railway, where we boarded the train (the carriage having formerly being used on the Clonmacnoise railway). After a 15-minute journey around the bog on the train, we re-joined the road train and assembled as one group again to have lunch in the restaurant, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all. We departed Lullymore at around 14:00 and made the short journey to Straffan to visit the Steam Museum, where we spent approximately 1 and a half hours, allowing plenty of time for members to view the beautifully built model steam engines and then to witness the heavy duty steam-powered machinery in operation, each one being worked in turn by the volunteers on site. Departing Straffan by coach shortly after 16:00 we headed for home, arriving back outside the Society's premises at Heuston Station on time at 17:00.
The second of the Societies outings took place to make an overdue visit to the West Clare Railway at Moyasta, Co. Clare, with the previous outing taking place in 2011. A total of 52 members and guests participated on the day. The group travelled on the 1000 Dublin Heuston - Cork service, as far as Limerick Junction, where we joined the 1136 service to Limerick, operated by 2-car DMU. The group was then greeted by John, our driver from Glynns Coaches. After a short journey from Colbert Station, we stopped at the George Hotel in Limerick for our dinner and an enjoyable meal was had by all. We arrived at Moyasta at about 3pm and were greeted by Jackie and Pauline Whelan who were both most welcoming. The train, with No. 5 (Slieve Callan), made two round trips for our members. There was plenty of other artefacts and railway memorabilia to see in the station building also.
On Saturday 18 November 2017, the IRRS had an exclusive trip over Dublin’s new ‘Cross City’ Luas tram line prior to its official opening to the pubic. The IRRS party boarded the tram at Stephen’s Green and travelled non-stop through the city centre to the new terminus at Broombridge in Dublin’s northern suburb, before making the return journey. Specials thanks to Luas and Transdev for arranging this enjoyable outing.
On Saturday 18 March 2017, the IRRS visited the brand new railway museum at Whitehead, owned and operated by the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland, prior to its official opening to the public. The IRRS party were given a guided tour of the museum site, including the exhibits, carriage sheds, locomotive workshops, station building and signal cabin. Train rides were also provided in the form of ex CIÉ GM diesel B142. Thanks to the RPSI for accommodating the IRRS on the day.
The Society's 2017 diesel railtour on 12 August travelled from Dublin Connolly to Howth, in Co. Dublin, behind 071 Class locomotive 075. Returning to Connolly with 201 Class locomotive 227, the tour then set off for the Sligo line behind locomotive 085, reaching Sligo in good weather. The train was made up of the RPSI’s excellent craven coaches in their attractive blue and cream livery and all enjoyed the day’s outing, with many participants taking advantage of the photo-stops en route. The train returned to Dublin as scheduled.
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the delivery of the 071 Class locomotives to CIÉ in September 1976, the IRRS organised a two-day diesel railtour on 9 and 10 April 2016, starting in Dublin and taking in Limerick (via Nenagh branch line), Killarney (overnight-stay), Tralee, Waterford and Kilkenny, with motive-power pooled from the Irish Rail 071 Class fleet. Thanks to the RPSI for providing and stewarding the RPSI craven coaches over the two days for what has become a very memorable IRRS tour for all participants.
On Saturday 19 August 2015, a party of over 40 IRRS members and guests participated in an outing to the Irish Steam Preservation Society railway (ISPS) at Stradbally, Co.Laois. Upon arrival at Stradbally, members inspected the new and impressive locomotive and carriage shed recently constructed at the railway. On behalf of the IRRS, Mr Alan Hyland (Hon. Treasurer) presented a fund donation to ISPS Railway Supervisor Clifton Flewitt, which will aid the ISPS shed project. After the presentation, the IRRS party were treated to several photo run-pasts and trips on the railway featuring ex Bord na Mona and ESB steam and diesel traction. Additionally members visited the ISPS steam traction museum in Stradbally village. Thanks must be made to all the ISPS members and volunteers for accommodating the IRRS party on what was an extremely enjoyable day out for all.
On 19 September 2015, the IRRS visited Iarnród Éireann’s main Permanent Way Department (PWD) engineering facilities at Portlaoise, where Ireland railway’s track, rails and sleepers are manufactured. The society was given a guided tour of the facilities as well as a demonstration of the engineering equipment on show. Thanks to Iarnród Éireann for accommodating the society on the day.
On 19 September 2015, the IRRS visited Iarnród Éireann’s Intercity Railcar maintenance depot at Portlaoise (Laois Traincare Depot), which opened in 2008. The society was given a guided tour of the facilities, both inside the maintenance sheds and the stabling sidings in the depot vicinity. Highlight included a look at the depot’s own shunting locomotive G621.
The IRRS's 2015 diesel railtour on 18 July 2015 travelled to the rail heads in County Mayo. Departing Dublin, the train headed west before taking the Mayo line at Athlone and onto the branch line north to Ballina. Returning to Claremorris, the tour then headed west again to the terminus at Westport. The train then returned to Dublin. Photo-stops were limited due to the inclement weather, but all tour participants enjoyed the outing. Thanks to the RPSI for providing the craven stock and to the Irish Rail for accommodating the society.
The IRRS's 2014 diesel railtour on 19 July 2014 travelled by 071 Class motive power, firstly 078 on the Dublin-Waterford leg, followed by 079 on the Waterford-Limerick section, before 074 took us up the Nenagh branch line to Ballybrophy and home to Dublin. Thanks are due to the RPSI providing the excellent craven coaches, some in their last year of Irish Rail black and orange livery.
After an absence of some years, the IRRS organised a diesel railtour on 20 July 2013. This railtour was special in many ways; firstly, it featured two 071 Class locomotives hauling the train between Dublin and Cork, splitting individually for the runs to Cobh and Midleton. Secondly, it was the first occasion in over twenty years that a locomotive hauled passenger train visited Midleton, Co. Cork. Thanks to the RPSI for providing their excellent craven coaches and to the Irish Rail crews who managed the operations in Dublin and Cork.
Courtesy of Luas / Transdev, the IRRS visited the main tram depot for the Luas 'red line' at Redcow, Tallaght, on 29 June 2013. The society members were given a guided tour of the maintenance sheds and tram stabling sidings at Redcow, as well as the Luas vehicle maintenance fleet. Thanks to Transdev for accommodating the IRRS party on the day of our visit.
Courtesy of NIR / Translink, the IRRS paid a visit to the new diesel railcar maintenance depot at Adelaide, Belfast, on 25 May 2013. The society members were guided through the depot and yard by Translink staff and all enjoyed the informative commentary and sights seen both inside the maintenance sheds and stabling sidings. Thanks again to Translink for accommodating the society on the day.
Prior to the official opening of the Luas 'Red Line' extension from Tallaght to Saggart in west Co. Dublin, the IRRS were given a preview of the new line courtesy of Transdev on 9 June 2011. The outing began with society members boarding a special tram at the Redcow tram depot, with a guided tour of the facilities (including a run through the tram wash), before departing for Saggart, with photo opportunities been taken en route at the new tram stops.
Prior to the official opening of the extension of the Luas 'Green Line' from Sandyford to Brides Glen, the IRRS travelled over the new route on a special tram on the evening of 6 October 2010. The tram made photo-stops en route to the terminus at Brides Glen. Thanks to Luas for accommodating the society on the day of the outing.