Chairman Pip's Railway Thoughts

Not in my lifetime

Posted in Ireland, Rolling stock by Chairman Pip on 3 May 2012

While I know that the likelihood of anyone coming up with a viable proposal for open-access passenger operations in Ireland will remain significantly unlikely, it certainly helps if any prospective open-access has an option of gaining some rolling stock immediately so that it can start straight away, while it looks at its more long term options. But, as I’ve said time and time again, and even in spite of the upcoming end of the derogationIarnród Éireann and their co-conspirators NI Railways will do everything they can to prevent any kind of competition. The latest wheeze is NI Railways’ almost immediate disposal of its now redundant Class 450 units, the first two of which have been sent for scrap. Admittedly, this is not as much of a problem for an open-access operator as it would have been a year ago, what with IÉ in the process of storing its 2700 and 2750 Class units. Nevertheless, it still reduces options. NIR’s rationale is:

 The cost of repairing and continuing to run them would not have been economically viable.

Entirely possible I suppose, but then NIR has its fleet of shiny new trains and has no interest in keeping its old rolling stock, and so will obviously play down the condition that they are in. To illustrate, an NIR driver interviewed by the BBC had this to say:

The engines lasted a good 40 years and kept going. The trains were basic and uncomplicated.

For quiet rural journeys, basic and uncomplicated is ideal. Otherwise why do the TOCs on the British network not get hold of shiny whizzbang units for their quiet, rural services? No, as far as I can see, the only reason for sending them for scrap now is so that no one else can get hold of them.

“Northern Ireland Railway’s farewell to old trains”
“End of the line for old trains”

With the Class 450 units now it seems destined for the cutting torch, there is that much less choice for any prospective open-access operator in Ireland


8 Responses

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  1. Colin McLeod said, on 7 May 2012 at 7:31 am

    Chairman Pip
    It is normal practice to dispose of redundant stock when no longer needed. It is hardly a “conspiracy”. Such comments are childish. What is your problem and why all the knocking of the railway companies in this and many of your other articles? Have you ever been a professional railwayman? If so you should understand more about running a railway. If not – then you are hardly qualified to pontificate so much.
    Best regards

    • Chairman Pip said, on 7 May 2012 at 9:05 pm

      No, I am not and have never been a professional railwayman. I have never worked in the railways, nor earned any kind of living from the great iron roads. To paraphrase Richard Burton from my favourite film of all time, I am “just a passer-by you might say”. I’m also someone that has opinions and, fortunately, live in a country where I’m free to express them, both vocally and via the web. You may not like my “pontificating”, but frankly I could give a damn about that, as I’ve said before. And, as I’ve also said before, if you don’t like it, then don’t read it.

      Love and kisses
      Chairman Pip

  2. Colin McLeod said, on 7 May 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Chairman Pip

    Quote: “Love and kisses” Sorry mate. You’re not my type.

    However I am glad to read that you “could give a damn” There are others who may have said that they “could not give a damm”

    Can’t typos be frustrating when you write the opposite of what you meant to? LOL

    Best regards


    • Chairman Pip said, on 7 May 2012 at 10:35 pm

      And can’t people that don’t know the language who think they do often leave themselves open to ridicule – follow the thread of the line and you’ll see that yes, I could give a damn, but frankly I don’t. In case you hadn’t noticed, I never write anything I don’t mean.

      Merry Christmas

      Chairman Pip

      • Colin McLeod said, on 8 May 2012 at 7:43 am

        I remember an old school teacher who when caught out at making an error, always said it was a “deliberate mistake” even when it obviously was not.

      • Chairman Pip said, on 11 May 2012 at 8:37 am

        Well obviously I MUST be wrong as you are obviously the clear font of all knowledge and wisdom and you know absolutely everything there is to know about the use of language and the construction of sentences. I humbly submit to your magnificence and will lead the call for you to be carried, in the manner of Loki, before your new subjects.

      • Colin McLeod said, on 12 May 2012 at 8:40 am

        Thank You

  3. Mick Heaphy said, on 27 May 2012 at 6:01 pm

    it is true to say that the railway companies dispose of redundant rolling stock but this is usually when the rolling stock is life expired which the class 80s and to an extend the class 450s were. from what i understand the class 450s had underframes from mark 1 carriges and refurbished power units and traction motors from class 70s and 1 had parts from a withdrawn class 80 but i could be wrong. so that means realy the body shell was the only new part of the carriges when they were built. so when NIR say The cost of repairing and continuing to run them would not have been economically viable, their most lightly right. had everything been new in them when they were built i would be disagreeing with NIRs statement. if their was a way of turning them into loco hauled rolling stock with some new underframes they could find a new use maybe? but it would probably cost way to much to do and no operator would put up the cash to do it. of course its true that NIR and IE wouldn’t want private competition coming in to the rail network. IE on the other hand are guilty of leaving good rolling stock (the mark 3 carriges) to rot around the country, they will most lightly never see service again. whether the 2700s will suffer the same fate is anyones guess. so i would say NIR are most lightly telling the truth in relation to the class 450s.

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