Chairman Pip's Railway Thoughts

Ignorance is not always bliss

Posted in Ireland, Rolling stock by Chairman Pip on 16 January 2011

For the past few months, I’ve been writing with an increasing level of annoyance about the idea of open access in Ireland, with one area being the potential for Enterprise going to an hourly service. In this, as a means of being able to increase the fleet with little expense, I’ve been commenting of the fact that Iarnród Éireann has a large number of redundant Mark 3 coaches, with five sets being push-pull equipped. I’ve been rabbiting on about how a potential operator could come in and, if Iarnród Éireann and NI Railways can’t afford to run an hourly service, could run the additional services, and how they could take on the redundant Mark 3 sets that Iarnród Éireann apparently have no further need for. Given the lack of news that comes out about the railways in Ireland, I’ve been goining on safe in the knowledge that what I was suggesting was entirely possible. Indeed, my only seeming concrete source of news is the Journal of the Irish Railway Record Society, which is published three times a year. Excerpts from this are also published on the IRRS website, but as much as three months after the journal itself is published. As a consequence, the most recent issue (October 2010) has only just been released on the website, and thus I’ve been able to get the news that has come out over the course of the spring and summer of last year. Imagine my surprise then upon reading the news in the most recent issue and coming across this sentence:

Push-pull driving trailers 6102, 6103 and 6104 were scrapped in Inchicore on 21 May, 17 May and 13 May respectively.
Journal of the Irish Railway Record Society, Issue 173

Which kind of puts the kibosh on running passenger trains using them doesn’t it? Given that the Minister for Regional Development said on the 25th June 2010 that the cost of refurbishing three of Iarnród Éireann’s trains was too much for them (even though it was merely £7.5m), there would have been every likelihood that they would have been put into store until such time as they were needed. But not now. And why? Call me a conspiracy theorist, but could it be to avoid them ending up with another operator? I think so. Of course, that then means that they shoot themselves in the foot, because how much more would it cost, in the event that they are then able to introduce an hourly service, to procure brand new trains?

An Irish Mark 3 Driving Trailer - have Iarnród Éireann shot themselves in the foot by sending them for scrap?


2 Responses

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  1. Ewan Duffy said, on 24 January 2011 at 10:40 pm

    At least the IRRS let you be a member. I am not permitted to become a member – because I have upset too many people in Irish Rail with my honesty.

    • Chairman Pip said, on 25 January 2011 at 9:37 am

      Nope, I’m not actually a member of the IRRS. I just use the limited free stuff they post on their website. If I’d known about the scrapping of the driving trailers back in October, then you would have heard the explosion from me back then 😛

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