Tales of the Permanent Way
|Publisher||Andalus Press, 7 Frankfort Avenue, Rathgar, Dublin 6|
This book is based around interviews with former and current staff on both IR and NIR with responsibility for the track or ‘Permanent Way’ of the respective railway systems on the island of Ireland. The author – an engineer with Irish Rail – has chosen a good cross section of staff from Chief Civil Engineer down to track maintenance staff on the ground.
As the narrative is direct from each employee/retiree, the book represents an excellent insight into the operating methods of track maintenance that would not necessarily be picked up by an analysis of formal operating procedures as the latter will always be subject to an ideal world ‘reality’ which does not necessarily exist on the ground where the work is actually carried out. The book is profusely illustrated with many photos that I have never seen published elsewhere.
The one point that struck me was that despite the age of the retired interviewees, the accompanying photographs of each did enormous credit to their ages. Would it be unfair to suggest that a lifetime of hard manual labour has led to an increase in longevity and health?
Days Hotel Belfast - located in a lovely area of Belfast where the Union Jack flies from every lamppost and the kerbstones are painted blue white and red.
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