WORK to safeguard the future of RPSI steam operations received a major boost in mid-October as two more Iarnród Éireann-Irish Rail drivers underwent an intensive footplate-training course at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.
The course was run in conjunction with West Coast Railways, and aims to ensure continued operation of steam locomotives on the IÉ network.
Connolly-based drivers Keith Farrelly and Connie O’Gara spent a week in North Yorkshire, beginning with classroom sessions that explained in detail elements relevant to both the driving and firing aspects of steam operation.
The training then moved on to practical footplate experience on ‘4MT’ 2-6-4T No. 80136, with some light engine and shunting moves performed to enable familiarisation with controls, and movement of the locomotive under shunting conditions.
Next came full-line running using a dedicated training train, and featuring two round trips each day.
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