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There is tactless and there is tactless

Many accuse me of being tactless (I prefer the term “honest”). However, compared to these guys, I am a diplomat.

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Clongriffin Station

Many years ago, when the Kildare Route Project was being proposed as Irish Rail’s Celtic Tiger vanity project, I (unsuccessfully) lodged an objection to same, suggesting that an alternative (and cheaper) method of improving capacity between Inchicore and Hazelhatch and Celbridge would be to 4 track the stations and have commuter trains pull into the loops at such stations to allow mainline trains to overtake.

I was out and about in Dublin yesterday, which included taking me to Clongriffin Station. The DART I was on pulled into the loop on the Down side of the station and waited. The reason for this – to allow a Belfast bound train to overtake.

Amazing what can be done when you don’t have access to taxpayers’ money to spaff up against a wall.

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Out and about in Dublin

I spent yesterday riding the rails in Dublin – my first time on a train in over 2 years.

One of the things I noticed was this appalling act of virtue signalling (apologies for the poor quality – daylight was fading when I took this shot):

Facemask on train

For the benefit of the slow of learning, there are over 30 studies on the effectiveness of facemasks which show that they make no difference – even where properly applied in a medical setting, never mind when improperly applied and re-used as is the case amongst the sheep.

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Welcome to Kilcock

Industrialheritageireland.info has moved.

No longer living in beautiful Ballyfermot, I am now residing in Kilcock.

Royal Canal Harbour, Kilcock, Co. Kildare.
Royal Canal Harbour, Kilcock, Co. Kildare. Copyright Ewan Duffy 2021.
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Drogheda Traincare Depot

I was out and about today taking photographs for the Gazetteer (small number of short lived stations sites on the line between Howth and Drogheda via Howth Junction).

I finished up in Drogheda, taking a photograph of the approach to the original D&DR station in Drogheda, which was to the east of the present station and the site of which is now occupied by the Drogheda Traincare Depot.


View Larger Map

Looking at the photos I took and at the track layout on openstreetmap.org, there is effectively only one access point to the depot (technically there are two but they are side by side). This is not best engineering practice as if a train were to fail along the section of track covering the two access points, the depot (and potentially all trains therein) are stranded in the depot.

This is not an unrealistic prospect as this did happen in the Traincare Depot in Portlaoise.

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A pot of gold at the end of the rainbow

Looking out my back window, I see a rainbow ending roughly where Inchicore railway works is.

Rainbow

The only pot of gold there is the site value when CIE Property get to demolish it and sell the site off for housing.

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Updating the site

For the last 15 months or so of this new abnormal, I have been wondering whether or not to bother continuing with this site, but have recently decided to do so.

As part of the process for relaunching the site, I am checking various sections of the site outside of WordPress prior to reloading the entire site to my webhost. This includes checking links to external sites and one of these was to the Dundalk Museum.

For the uninitiated, this is located in a former tobacco warehouse and its primary focus is industrial heritage. Upon following the link to the site, the following message is displayed:

The Dundalk Museum website has been taken down.

If you have any queries, please contact Brian Walsh – Brian.Walsh@louthcoco.ie

In an era where government is throwing money (that it doesn’t have) at anything that moves and one where overseas travel is actively discouraged, the removal of a website dedicated to a tourist attraction in the Republic of Ireland is inappropriate and a false economy.

industrialheritageireland.info calls on Louth County Council to reinstate this website immediately. I wont even blink if they claim that doing so would be to “build back better”.

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Were they wearing masks?

I will declare a conflict of interest here – I don’t believe that COVID19 is anything more than a bad flu season and mask wearing is virtue signalling.

The question does arise though, in the case of those reported to Irish Rail for doing lines of cocaine off train tables, were they wearing masks?

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Canal “houseboat” Go Fund Me

I have had a look at the GoFundMe page for this emoting session (no, I am not giving you the link) and I despair. From the page:

” Hi, I am raising money to help my friend get his house boat back after Waterways Ireland wrongfully took it from the canal, after the same Waterways Ireland officials told him to take his time getting his permit and congratulated him on building a great houseboat. “

First off, do you have evidence that WI “wrongly took it from the canal” or do you know more about the canal and WI regulations than they do? If so, I would be happy to give you an opportunity to explain why they are wrong with reference to the relevant regulations.

Second, whilst I obviously wasn’t there when WI officials talked to the owner, I would imagine that he fell foul of classic public sector behaviour of damning you with faint praise whilst mentally running through the list of offences you have committed. In addition, telling you did great is just a way of being polite – it in no way indicates compliance with the rules (in fact, I would suggest that if the structure was compliant, he would never have heard from WI). The claim that he should take his time getting a permit was probably a case of them realising that his permit application was only going to have one outcome – that which occurred.

“Anthony has a very good job with Kildare County Council.” But according to reports elsewhere, he can’t afford rent. If he has a very good job, why can he not pay for a room in someone’s house. A quick search on Daft.ie today and I found a room in a house in Naas for €470/month.

“Not only does this houseboat meet all the Canal sizing guidelines of Ireland, it also is aesthetically pleasing and adds to the surroundings.”

What are “Canal sizing guidelines”. WI have indicated that the structure is non-compliant (based on its description, I’d be worried if it was compliant). As above, please advise exactly why WI are wrong and you are right.

“… it also is aesthetically pleasing and adds to the surroundings. ” That is a matter of personal opinion. Anyway, it is also irrelevant due to it being non-compliant with WI regulations.

“This house boat followed the designs of European Houseboats (that can be seen in Dutch Canals for decades) and Waterways Ireland are now calling it “a shed on barrels”.” Whilst I don’t dispute having seen a houseboat in Amsterdam which, above water, bore similarity to this structure, this does not mean that the below water structure of such houseboats is composed of barrels. Even if it was, the Netherlands have their rules, Ireland has its rules and your friend is non-compliant.

” Anthony is now in a situation where he has to pay an extortionate release fee to get his property back”. No, he is in a position of having ignored the rules and WI are seeking reimbursement of their costs (and rightly so). The taxpayer would have to pick up the tab otherwise.

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Canal “houseboat” removal – update

Ireland is doing what Ireland does best – it is emoting rather than thinking.

Per the Irish Independent, some “well meaning” friend of the houseboat shed atop floating barrels owner has started a GoFundMe to raise money to release the houseboat shed atop floating barrels from Waterways Ireland’s storage depot.

What he would do with it if released is a matter for concern. Will he put it back on the water or if he puts it on land, why did he not take that course of action in the first place? Would the fact that his employer (Kildare County Council) would not allow planning permission for such a course of action be a relevant factor?

I am reminded of the writings of my late friend, Brian J Goggin, of irishwaterwayshistory.com (I suspect that Brian would have as little sympathy for this person as I do), in pointing out that Waterways Ireland are not a housing authority and as such, to expect their assets (designated navigable waterways) to be used as such is not reasonable nor to be encouraged.