Irish Steam Locomotives

This gallery is entirely devoted to the Irish steam locomotives that have survived into preservation. Steam locos in Ireland were mainly constructed during the late 19th & early 20th centuries, with some early examples surviving until the end of steam on CIE in 1965, and Northern Ireland in 1970. Later advanced steam locomotives were built between 1930s right until the 1940s, these mainly been constructed by the Great Northern and LMS Northern Counties Committee railway companies. The principal operators of main line steam trains in Ireland are the RPSI, and those run at the preserved Downpatrick & Co.Down Railway.
No.3BG makes a spirited departure from the RPSI platform at Whitehead. The busy loco is employed for shunting as well crew training, and for the 'Summer Steam' train rides it is operating here. One of the RPSI shunting locos is an 0-4-0 saddle tank loco No.3BG, which was built by Hudswell Clarke in 1919 for shunting the railway yard in Guinness's brewery at St James Gate, Dublin. After withdrawal in 1965, the loco was presented to the RPSI. No.3BG, is seen at the south end of the RPSI platform at Whitehead while performing 'Summer Steam' train rides during an open day. The train consists of a British Rail built Mk2 coach and an ex Great Northern Railway brakevan. Ex Great Northern Railway V Class compound 4-4-0 No.085 'Merlin' heads through Killester, north Dublin, with a steam 'Enterprise' from Belfast in 2002. This loco is currently under restoration by the RPSI.
GNR V Class compound 4-4-0 loco No.85 'Merlin', is seen stored at Whitehead, complete with 'Enterprise' headboards. No.85 was built at Dundalk Works by the GNR in 1932. No.085 Merlin stands at the head of the RPSI Saint Canice railtour at Drogheda. The locomotive returned to Belfast, while 206 hauled the RPSI's Mk2 stock on the final leg of the journey from Whitehead to Dublin. Ex Great Northern Railway S Class 4-4-0 No.171 Slieve Gullion, complete with 'Bundoran Express' headboard, rounds the curve through Pearse Station, Dublin, on the RPSI's 'Sea Breeze' special. In the summer of 2002, Greystones, Co.Wicklow, plays host to ex GNR No.171 'Slieve Gullion', seen having arrived on a RPSI  'Seabreeze' special from Dublin.
Close up of No.171's name plate. The locomotive is painted in the Great Northern's 1950s sky blue livery. GNR No.171 'Slieve Gullion' is seen awaiting overhaul at Whitehead, complete with 'Bundoran Express' headboard. No.171 was built in Manchester by Beyer Peacock in 1915, but was rebuilt in 1938 at the GNR's Dundalk Works. No.171 was eventually withdrawn in 1965. Ex GSWR J15 Class 0-6-0 No.186 passes through Ashtown Station with a rake of 1950s vintage CIE coaching stock, heading a Railway Preservation Society of Ireland special to Mullingar. Ex GSWR J15 0-6-0 No.186 is seen next to 29000 Class diesel railcar No.29421 in the carriage sidings at Connolly Station, Dublin. There is a 125th year difference in railway technology between these two motive powers.
No.186 is seen at the north end of Dundalk Station, Co.Louth, preparing to head into the carriage sidings to collect a rake of Craven coaches which will form a return RPSI special to Dublin. No.186, one of the RPSI's oldest locomotives dating from 1879 and built by the Great Southern & Western at Dublin's Inchicore works, heads away from the platform at Dublin Connolly having brought in a special from Belfast. No.185 makes a spirited departure from Connolly Station, Dublin, while operating the return working of the RPSI's 'Strawberries & Steam' special to Belfast. No.186 approaches Malahide Station, nortth Co.Dublin, with a RPSI 'Steam Enterprise' special from Belfast, formed of their Mk2 coaching stock.
No.186 seen passing the ferris wheel at the north end of Dun Laoghaire, heading a RPSI special to Wicklow. The carriage behind No.186 is No.1142, was built in 1921 by the GSWR at Inchicore Works, and is a '1st Class Corridor'. No.186 is on the disused Athlone line at the western end of Mullingar Station, prior to turning around in the yard during the RPSI-HRA special. No.186 has been turned on the turntable in Mullingar yard and heads back to the station prior to forming the return RPSI-HRA special to Dublin. These were the numerious type of steam locos to operate in Ireland, amounting to 111 such engines. No.186 is approaching Downs Bog, or 46th Mile Box, east of Mullingar with the return RPSI-HRA special to Dublin.
No.186 is captured just east of Leixlip Confey, west Co.Dublin, as it heads an RPSI 'Eggspress' special to Mullingar. No.186 was eventually withdrawn by CIE in 1963. No.186 hurrys past the small harbour at Dunleary with a Lions Club special from Dublin. No.186 runs alongside the Royal Canal at the east end of Leixlip station with the 'Trinity Express' special from Dublin to Mullingar. No.186 is caught again as she speeds through Enfield while operating an RPSI 'Trinity Express' special from Dublin to Mullingar.
The late filmmaker Brian Stinson records 186 as she reverses away from the disused Athlone line platforms at Mullingar station having taken on water for the return working to Dublin. No.186 rounds the curve by the N52 road bridge east of Mullingar with the return 'Trinity Express' special to Dublin. No.186 runs through the then recently reopened station at Dunboyne with the RPSI Province of Leinster railtour. No.186 runs light-engine past Hansfield on the Dunboyne line while working back to Dublin to rejoin the Province of Leinster railtour.
No.186 is captured a little later having rejoined the Province of Leinster railtour, seen working up the Midland Great Western's Liffey Branch at Glasnevin. No.186 iis hauled north past the Army Camp bridge at Gormanston by NIR's 111 Class locomotive No.112 while working back to the RPSI base at Whitehead north of Belfast. No.4 approaches Lansdowne Rd, south Dublin City, from the north with a RPSI 'Seabreeze' special to Greystones, formed of ex CIE coaching stock. No.4 nears the end of its journey as it approaches Clontarf Rd, north Dublin City, with a RPSI 'Steam Enterprise' special from Belfast.
No.4 heads for the loco shed at the north end of Dublin's Connolly Station, in the company of 201 Class loco No.207 dating from 1997, and 141 Class No.171 dating from 1962. Viewed from the footbridge at Claude Rd, Drumcondra in north Dublin City, No.4 leads an RPSI 'Santa' special to Maynooth. No.4 stands at the buffer stops in the train shed at Dublin Connolly, having arrived with a special from Belfast. No.4 was finally withdrawn by Northern Ireland Railways service in 1971, following which it entered preservation. No.4 makes the climb towards Dalkey Tunnel, south Co.Dublin, with the return RPSI's 'Kingstown Special' from Bray.
No.4 leads a special across the twin arched Clontarf Rd bridge, north Dublin City. The bridge here is a Dublin & Drogheda Railway structure dating from the 1845. No.4 heads bunker first past Seapoint, just north of Dun Laoghaire, with a private charter special to Wicklow. No.4 is resting outside the RPSI base at Whitehead, Co.Antrim, during an the 'Summer Steam' open day. No.4 arrives into Pearse Station's down platform prior to forming a 'Santa Special' from Dublin to Maynooth, formed of ex CIE coaching stock, mainly of the Craven type.
No.4 stands at the north end of Dublin Connolly having worked an intensive schedule of 'Santa Specials' from Dublin to Maynooth. The loco, complete with Santa face, prepares to head for the stabling sidings at Connolly. No.4 makes a spirited run into Pearse Station, complete with Santa headboard, prior to forming one of the several specials from Dublin to Maynooth which operate throughout December. No.4 is now seen making an impressive exit from the train shed at Pearse Station as it takes the first morning Santa Special out of Dublin on the final day of RPSI trains to Maynooth. The loco has since returned to the RPSI's base at Whitehead in Northern Ireland for an overhaul. Ex Sligo Leitrim & Northern Counties Railway 0-6-4 tank 'Lough Erne', built in 1957 by Beyer Peacock, and withdrawn by NIR in 1969 as No.27, is seen stored at Whitehead, Co.Antrim.
On its 'running in' trials, ex Dublin & South Eastern K2 Class 2-6-0 No.461 works a test train of the RPSI Cravens stock past Leixlip. Having worked to Maynooth and ran-around its trial train, No.461 takes the curve near the Intel complex on its return journey to Dublin. With the CIE 'Flying Snail' emblem now applied to its tender, No.461 approaches the then dormant station at Hansfield with the Dunboyne to Rosslare 'Spare Link' railtour. Having pauses briefly, No.461 runs past the renmants of Wicklow Junction as it takes the Spare Link tour south to Rosslare.
No.461 has just past the former Kilcommon station (closed 1863) as it begins to descend the Rathdrum 'bank' while working the Spare Link railtour. No.461 emerges from the cutting and onto the viaduct north of Rathdrum station as takes the Spare Link tour prior to taking the tour through the scenic Vale of Avoca. No.461 has just past the level crossing at Esker as it nears Gorey with the Spare Link railtour. No.461 makes an impressive sight as it departs Gorey station with the Spare Link railtour.
On the following day, No.461 with the Spare Link tour is captured passing the GNR(I) signal cabin at Sutton station on the Howth branch having left Wexford earlier that morning. No.461 runs along the coast at Seapoint as works a special train to Greystones prior to working shuttle trains between there and Wicklow. No.461 passes south through the former station at Newcastle between Greystones and Wicklow with the first of the shuttle trains between the two towns. No.461, now working tender-first, leaves Wicklow as it heads a return shuttle train to Greystones.
No.461 is captured again at Newcastle, this time at the north end of the former station, as it takes the shuttle special to Wicklow. Having worked the shuttle trains to and from Greystones and Wicklow, No.461 heads home and crosses the River Dargle north of Bray. No.461 has just past the level crossing at Porterstown, between Clonsilla and Coolmine, as it works an RPSI shuttle train from Maynooth to Dublin. Later that day, No.461 worked another special, this time on the 'Meath Road' to Dunboyne, where it is captured at the north end of the M3 Parkway station
No.461 and its 1960s Craven coaches stands at the relatively new station of M3 Parkway, prior to working an RPSI steam special back to Dublin. Having departed M3 Parkway, No.461 is captured south of Dunboyne as it heads for Dublin. No.461 takes the RPSI Cravens across Rogerstown Estuary between Donabate and Rush/Lusk as it heads north to work steam shuttle trains between Balbriggan and Drogheda. Another steam special on the Northern Line sees No.461 climbing Rush bank as it heads for Skerries to work trains between there and Drogheda.
Working tender-first, No.461 crosses the River Nanny south of Laytown station as works an RPSI steam special from Drogheda to Skerries. No.461 slows at Colp Bridge on the approach to Drogheda as it arrives with the steam special from Skerries. No.461 enters the South Eastern line side of Connolly station as it arrives on an RPSI steam special from Kilkenny. No.461 makes an impressive sight as it climbs up the gradient from Drumcondra station with the first 2013 RPSI 'Santa Special' to Maynooth.
The following day, No.461 is captured at Glasnevin Junction as it takes the morning RPSI 'Santa Special' to Maynooth. No.461 is captured passing the site of Shackleton's Mill Siding en route from Dublin to Maynooth with the RPSI 'Santa Special'. No.461 approaches Clonsilla station with last of the day's RPSI 'Sant Specials' from Dublin to Maynooth. Working shuttle trains between Dundalk and Drogheda, No.461 approaches Milltown Bridge as it descends Kellystown Bank with the first special from Dundalk.
No.461 runs through the former Dromin Junction station with the RPSI shuttle special from Dundalk to Drogheda No.461 pauses for a photo-stop at the little-used single platform station at Mosney, located between Laytown and Gormanston, while returning from Drogheda having worked the shuttle specials between there and Dundalk.