Irish Steam in the 1960s: End of an Era
This is a personal photographic record of a distinctive time on the Irish railway system. Covering the period around 1960–1963, and made up of largely unpublished images, the photographs might seem to suggest at first glance that the steam locomotive still reigned supreme on the railways of Ireland. However this was truly the end of an era – the initial dieselisation programme of CIÉ had been completed some years earlier, though hardly comprehensive, and although the UTA had embarked on its move to multi-purpose railcars in 1958 it too was still far short of a complete modernisation.
What still existed therefore was a perhaps surprisingly extensive and varied collection of steam locomotives for the enthusiast to seek out, photograph, and travel behind. The author treats us to a tour of the network north and south taking in the Great Northern mainline and branches, NCC lines, the Derry Road and Bangor line, suburban traffic around Belfast and Dublin, some of CIÉ’s rural survivals and a look around the GSR network on ballast trains and seasonal beet workings.
A beautiful collection of images that captures the changing railway scene in Ireland at a time when the keen enthusiast required a good deal of time, travel, and patience, but still faced a sometimes disappointing wait by the lineside. All photographs are accompanied by extended captions filled with detail, anecdotes and personal reflection.
Softback, 160 pages
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