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DVD: The Irish Railways Vol. 2

The Irish Railways Vol. 2
only £7.99
including free delivery

Rating: E (Exempt from classification) 
Length: 60 minutes 


By early 1960s steam traction had virtually disappeared from the railways of the Irish Republic; however it still flourished on the lines ofthe Ulster Transport Authority in Northem Ireland where the years up to 1964 can rightly be described as providing the Swansong of Steam in Ireland.
As a young man, John Laird set out to record on film as much as he could ofthe steam action in his native province, and in this selection from his work, published for the first lime, is to be found a wonderful record of those exciting years. The programme opens with a glimpse of some of the last CIE steam locomotives in service in the Irish Republic, (the survivors of Ireland s most numerous class, the ex-Great Southern & Westem Railways 101 class 0-6-0s, which were built from 1866 onwards). Moving north, the rest of the DVD concentrates on covering all the lines and classes still in operation in Northern Ireland between 1962 and 1964.
We begin with steam excursions on the last surviving part of the old Belfast 8. County Down Railway, the line to Bangor, and in a unique sequence, the Bertram Mills Circus Train is also captured on that line. Our travels continue along the ex-GNR main line, between Belfast and Dundalk. We take a trip from Goraghwood on the main line down the scenic branch to Newry and Warrenpoint. The former LMS/NCC lines are not forgotten and the programme concludes with extended sequences on the GNR mute to the north west, The Derry Road.
Among locos featured are ex GNR U and S class 4-4-0s, U6 and SG 0-6-0s and one of the last GNR 4-4-2Ts in service. A special sequence pays tribute to the VS class, the last 4-4-0s built in the world and the final flowering of Great Northem locomotive design, the LMS/NCC 0-6-s. The last conventional steam locomotives built for an Irish railway, the pair of 0-6-4Ts supplied by Beyer Peacock to the Sligo, Leitrim & Northem Counties Railway in the late 1940s, are also seen at work.
For anyone with even a passing interest in the railways of Ireland and for all lovers of the steam locomotive, John Lairds superb colour films provide a wonderful evocation of those last great years of 5n 3m gauge Steam.

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