HUNDREDS of passengers braved inclement conditions to join the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s (RPSI) ‘South Western Railtour’ from Dublin to Cork and Limerick on October 13.
This was the latest of the society’s fundraising tours for the overhaul of Class 121 No. 134.
The eight-coach set, featuring seven Cravens and a BR Mk1 ‘Gen Van’, left Connolly station’s platform 5 behind Class 071 No. 088 at 07.55. This was five minutes later than the booked time, and the start of a catalogue of delays that would impact the tour later in the day for the 331 passengers aboard.
The situation was not helped by the single-line working in force from Portarlington to Portlaoise which, after an unexpected photo stop at Monasterevin, resulted in the train being blocked outside Portarlington, by which time the tour was 32 minutes down.
After passing through Thurles, Limerick Junction and Charleville the deficit had increased to 48 minutes, but engineering work in Cork Tunnel saw the tour stopped outside for a track inspection. It eventually rolled into Kent station at 12.16, almost 75 minutes late.
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