Thirty years of Irish Rail marked with ‘retro’ orange & black livery

GENERAL Motors Class 071 No. 073 has been repainted into the original Irish Rail orange & black livery with white lining to mark the 30th anniversary of the rail operator’s formation on February 2, 1987.

Back in February, as Irish Rail celebrated the anniversary, staff members Ken Fox, Noel Enright and Neil Dinnen suggested to chief mechanical engineer Peter Smyth that another ‘071’ be repainted into the ‘white stripe’ livery.

Wearing its new Irish Rail ‘white stripe’ (or ‘Tippex’) livery, Class 071 No. 073 (right) lines up alongside CIÉ-liveried No. 071 at Inchicore during the launch of No. 073 on July 7. NEIL DINNEN

This came less than a year after the pioneer ‘Big GM’ No. 071 was repainted into its original Córas Iompair Éireann ‘Supertrain’ livery to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the class, also at the suggestion or Mr Dinnen.

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No. 073 was selected for the repaint as it was already undergoing a body overhaul at Inchicore. The paint shop completed the bulk of the re-spray in May, with minor finishing completed in June. The re-launch of the loco took place at Inchicore on July 7, when it joined No. 071 and grey-liveried No. 077 to showcase some of the different liveries the fleet have carried over the last 41 years.

No. 073 will be released to traffic in the coming weeks, and is expected to feature in the RPSI’s ‘Munster Double’ railtour on October 14, which will feature the use of two Class 071s in multiple for the first time on a day excursion to Cork, Tralee and Killarney.

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