IH News 2022

Guinness Bridge, Strawberry Beds, Dublin

The Irish Independent reports that Fingal County Council are to undertake conservation works on the derelict Guinness bridge, which spans the Strawberry Beds in Dublin.

Unfortunately, these are just stabilisation works – the bridge will not be restored to permit passengers to access Farmleigh from south of the River Liffey.


Niagra Falls power station

The decommissioned hydro electric power station on the Canadian side of Niagra Falls looks like the sort of place that would be interesting to visit in its own right.

The operators of the site have recently added a new attraction to the site – a walk through the former outflow tunnel culminating in a balcony below the Falls. CBC News have an article about it.


Northern Ireland’s Mines

The BBC have a video article about mines in Northern Ireland.

IH News 2022

We like cross border projects……

Or so you would think, given the enthusiasm for Thon Sheugh in the Irish Government.

However, there is another cross border project that is ready to go, except that, according to the Irish Independent, the Government of Ireland is having issues around planning permission (An Bord Pleanala level so not a Donegal County Council issue) and the granting of a foreshore licence in relation to the River Foyle.

Perhaps some of the enthusiasm for Thon Sheugh could be diverted to this project to get it across the line.


The Conflict on Irish Railways

RTE has an article entitled “Enemy lines: the conflict on Irish Railways 1922-23” on their site, looking at aspects of Ireland’s railways 100 years ago.

A worthwhile read, I did notice an error in photograph selection, with RTE publishing a stock photo from SSPL/Getty Images, which they claim is of a Great Southern & Western Railway locomotive at Inchicore Works in Dublin.

I will be the first to admit that I have little to no interest in trains (including locomotives) and I know nothing about what type of locomotive this is or anything about it.

However, I did note that the initials on the side of the locomotive are:

“G&SWR” and not “GS&WR”.

A small difference, but significant in ruling this out as an Irish locomotive and also determining that the photo is not Inchicore.

There was a British railway company – the Glasgow & South Western Railway – the initials of which were “G&SWR”.

IH News 2022

Ulster Canal – Irish Government asks NI to pay

In a rare outbreak of common sense, the Irish Government has asked the (suspended) NI Assembly to commit to Thon Sheugh and “restore” the Ulster Canal in Co. Armagh to aid the Peace Process ™.

Per the BBC, Government Minister Heather Humphries was quoted thus:

“This here is about bringing our communities together,”

“It’s showing the benefit of working together and it will make a difference here in Clones, of course that will also make a difference along the route where it travels through Northern Ireland and right into Castle Saunderson in County Cavan.”

The arguments against the “restoration” of the Ulster Canal as anything other than a greenway remain. That Humphries is asking others to commit to facilitate this fetish of the Irish Government is appalling – what next, ask NI to pay to drain the Shannon?


Essexford Station, Co. Monaghan

I have (finally) started to process the photos I took over the last few months and one of these was taken at Essexford in Co. Monaghan, which was the intermediate station on the Carrickmacross branch.

The Google Streetview image of the station master’s residence is below (dates from 2018):

The photo I took is below:

Essexford Stationmaster's house
Essexford, Co. Monaghan
Essexford Stationmaster’s house, Essexford, Co. Monaghan. Copyright Ewan Duffy 2022

I think the house looked better before the new owners went at it (the house was on the market in recent years).

IH News 2022

Narrow Water Bridge tendered

The on/off bridge proposed to connect Co. Louth with Co. Down has gone out to tender, with the Government of Ireland playing rich uncle and offering to pay for the whole thing.

Still, better this than the Ulster Canal.


The County Donegal Remembered

Jim McBride will give the above titled lecture (about the County Donegal Railway) on Monday 28th November 2022, to the Ballybofey, Stranorlar & District Historical Society.

The event is being held in the Henderson Hall, Stranorlar at 8pm and all are welcome.


Irish Rail timetable changes

Irish Rail’s new timetable is due to commence on 11th December with small changes overall. On the webpage announcing these changes, IR also listed the main suggestions for service improvements from the public consultation process and the reasons for such suggestions not being implemented – the main one being insufficient drivers.

One of the suggestions which I disagree with (and which IR swiftly and correctly passed over to the NTA) is that Newbridge should be brought within the Short Hop zone.

This is a ludicrous suggestion and would see a commuter in Castleknock (10km as the crow flies from Dublin City Centre) paying the same annual fare as someone in Newbridge (42km as the crow flies from Dublin City Centre).

Some would argue that the distance determinations should be based on actual rail mileage. I would argue against that as modern day commuters should not be punished for engineering and landlord appeasing decisions made over 150 years ago when railway lines were built.

If the NTA were to include Newbridge in the Short Hop Zone, they would similarly need to extend the zone to Drogheda, Wicklow Town and Enfield – not an appropriate definition of Short Hop.

A better use of NTA resources would be to move PSO bus routes in the rail short hop zone that are currently with Bus Eireann/Go Ahead Regional services to the Dublin Area contracts, extending such services into North and East Kildare, thereby standardising bus and rail services in one zone. I will declare an interest here, residing as I do in Kilcock and would therefore be a beneficiary of such a move.