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A Trip to Ireland

Matt Taylor

MATT TAYLOR shows us what he found when he went searching for railways in Ireland.

This summer, my partner and I visited Ireland and Northern Ireland to try and take in as much of the Emerald Isle as possible. We decided that we would mainly use public transport over the week and avoid the use of cars as much as possible. But going into the holiday I didnít expect to see as much in terms of railways as I did!

We started in Dublin and one of the tourist spots we had to visit was the Guinness factory. Now I admit Iím not a massive fan of Guinness, but I was told it does taste very different directly from the factory. The Guinness factory is located at the St. James Gate Brewery in Dublin and once we started the tour I was pleasantly surprised to find how a local narrow-gauge railway was used around the factory to transport equipment and goods as required, up until 1945.

Ireland Trains

Planet Class Diesel 'No.47'.

Ireland Trains

Also, at the factory was a locomotive designed by Samuel Geoghegan, No.17. It's strange design was in order to protect the locomotives from dirt which was factor that affected a lot of locomotives before No.17 came into use.

Also on site there was a line called the Brewery Railway running from St James Street to the River Liffey. The brewery was also served by a broad gauge line running from the brewery to the Kingsbridge station. Some of the tracks used on this network are still visible today.

Ireland Trains

On our travels we decided to take the train from Dublin to Belfast. We arrived at the main station and booked our tickets for the trip. When I arrived at the platform I was impressed to find to find this as our train

Ireland Trains

This locomotive is part of the Enterprise fleet and franchise which runs services between Dublin and Belfast. Each service consists of seven coaches pulled by a 201 Class locomotive. The coaches are based on the same units used on the Eurostar.

When we got to Belfast we visited the RMS Titanic museum on the docks. This is a must for anyone visiting Belfast. This photo below shows the Titanic Slipway, where the ship was built in the Harland and Wolff shipyard. As you can see, Narrow Gauge railways ran down both sides of the ship to aid construction.

Ireland Trains

The trip to Ireland was an amazing experience and we are planning on visiting again. Let's just hope we can see some more railways on our journey, if she lets me!

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