• May 2017 newsletter

    Enclosed with this newsletter are the minutes of the adjourned Annual General Meeting on 19 April 2017 together with a copy of the audited accounts, and these come with an apology on behalf of the Committee.

    Simply, we accept that it was clearly a mistake to have the 30th birthday dinner on the same night as the AGM.  We seriously misjudged the interest that dinner would create amongst members.

    Therefore, we undertake that any future celebration dinners will be arranged separately from the main programme rather than sacrificing the traditional half meeting after the AGM.

    The AGM will therefore be reconvened at the beginning of the September meeting, and arrangements are later in this newsletter.

    Elsewhere in this newsletter we have news of a bus tour to the Clogher Valley Railway later this month, and a trip to Adelaide Train Depot.

    Clogher Valley Railway bus tour

    With stations at Augher and Fivemiletown hard to miss on the way from Belfast to Enniskillen, there are plenty of traces still to be found of this narrow gauge railway that closed in 1941.

    Our Chairman is acting as guide for an Irish Transport Heritage bus tour on Saturday 27 May, leaving the Europa Buscentre at 9am and travelling directly to Maguiresbridge before following the railway line back to Tynan.

    The fare for the day is £15.  If you would like to come, please use the contact page and we will put you in touch with Keith Ashe directly.

    Adelaide Train Depot Visit

    NIR has kindly agreed to facilitate a visit by the Society to Adelaide Train Depot at 7.30pm on Wednesday 14 June.

    There is a limit of 20 members on this visit, so if you would like to come, please contact the Secretary by Sunday 11 June.

    Railtour to Rosslare – 9 September 2017

    Members will understand that with our railtour being the first through special train to be operated by RPSI from Whitehead to beyond Dublin for some years, a significant number of arrangements have to be agreed between RPSI, who are operating the train, NIR and Irish Rail.

    Unfortunately, this means that it will not be possible to tell members more details of the itinerary and fare or to formally advertise the railtour until RPSI conclude their negotiations with the railway companies.

    We appreciate and share members’ deep frustration with this ongoing delay, and our next newsletter will include full details of the tour.

    Membership 2017-18

    Membership forms for 2017-18 will be issued with the next newsletter.  Membership rates remain at £10 (£5 concession) but members are asked to note that due to increasing bank fees, we can no longer accept payment in Euros.

    2017/18 Programme

    Full details will be issued later in the summer, but here are the dates and planned speakers:

    Wednesday 20 September (reconvened AGM) – Erwin Tisch and David Carson
    Wednesday 18 October – Chris Playfair
    Wednesday 15 November – Edwin McMillan
    Wednesday 17 January – Michael McMahon
    Wednesday 21 February – John McKegney
    Wednesday 21 March – Sam Somerville
    Wednesday 18 April (AGM) – Matthew Wilson

    Annual General Meeting

    As stated in the enclosed minutes, the Annual General Meeting on 19 April 2017 was inquorate, and we were unable to take any decisions.

    Although the reports were read, neither they nor the minutes of the 2016 AGM could be adopted, and the meeting was adjourned as the elections could not take place either.

    The Annual General Meeting will therefore be reconvened at the beginning of the September meeting on Wednesday 20 September.  All minutes and reports will be taken as read, but matters arising will be accepted in the normal way.

    In the spirit of the Constitution, notices of motion will be accepted up to and including Thursday 31 August, and nominations for the post of Treasurer and the three Committee posts will be accepted up to Sunday 17 September.

    The outline intended agenda is as follows:-

    1. Apologies
    2. Minutes of Annual General Meeting on 20 April 2016
    3. Minutes of adjourned AGM on 19 April 2017
    4. Matters arising from previous minutes
    5. Adoption of Chairman’s Report
    6. Adoption of Accounts and Treasurer’s Report
    7. Matters arising from reports
    8. Election of Officers and Committee members
    9. Election of Honorary Auditor
    10. Any other business

    The minutes and enclosures will be reissued with the formal agenda in early September.

    Senior Travel Pass Group

    Ken Harte writes:

    On Wednesday 24 May we plan to travel to Waterford returning direct or via Limerick Junction. Ex Central 06:45 (Code: Carrick on Suir  85). Depending on the weather etc. there will be an opportunity to stop off at Carlow on the way down OR to visit the seaside resort of Tramore by bus before getting the 16:25 hrs service to Limerick Junction.  At Tramore the original terminus building of the seven mile Waterford and Tramore Railway is clearly visible.

    TIMETABLE

    Belfast Central     dep    06:45
    Dublin Connolly    arr     09:00

    Dublin Heuston    dep    10:15
    Carlow                 arr     11:11                  or dep         14:12
    Waterford            arr     12:20                  or               15:25

    RETURN DIRECT

    Waterford            dep                                        14:50
    Carlow                 dep    14:11                  or               16:09
    Heuston               arr     15:15                  or               17:06

    RETURN VIA Tramore/Limerick Junction

    Service 360 to Tramore from Waterford Bus Station
    Waterford (bus)    dep    12:30                  or               13:00
    Tramore               arr     13:15                  or               13:45
    Tramore               dep    14:45                  or               15:15
    Waterford (bus)    arr     15:30                  or               16:00
    Waterford (rail)    dep    16:25
    Limerick Junction arr     18:05
    Limerick Junction dep    18:17
    Dublin Heuston    arr     20:22

    As a backup the no 4 Bus departs Waterford at 15:00 arr Busaras 17:30 and 18:00 arr Busaras 20:30.

    The last train to Belfast departs Dublin Connolly at 20:50.

    The next trip will be on Wednesday 28th June.  Possible destinations over the summer include Killarney Tralee / Western Corridor and Nenagh / Cork Kinsale.

    Contact: To add your name to the mailing list, please use the contact page and we will pass your details on


  • April 2017 newsletter

    Happy Easter to all our members!

    Notice is given in this newsletter of the Annual General Meeting of the Modern Railway Society of Ireland on Wednesday 19th April 2017.

    A reminder of dinner after the AGM is also included.

    Annual General Meeting

    Notice is given of the Annual General Meeting of the Modern Railway Society of Ireland, to be held at 7 pm on Wednesday 19th April 2017 in Shandon Park Golf Club, Shandon Park, Belfast.

    Agenda

    1. Apologies
    2. Minutes of Annual General Meeting on 20th April 2016
    3. Matters arising from previous minutes
    4. Chairman’s Report
    5. Accounts and Treasurer’s Report
    6. Matters arising from reports
    7. Election of Officers and Committee members
    8. Election of Honorary Auditor
    9. Any other business

    Minutes of Annual General Meeting 2016

    Minutes of the 2016 AGM have been issued to members.  A small number of print copies will be available at the AGM, but members are asked if possible to bring their own copies in order that the minutes can be taken as read before adoption.

    Elections procedure

    In accordance with the Constitution of the Society, one of the officers of the Society retires each year by rotation, and this year the Treasurer’s post falls vacant.

    Our Chairman David Carson will continue in office until the 2019 AGM, and our Secretary Andy Boal will continue in office until the 2018 AGM.

    We therefore invite nominations as follows:-

    • to the post of Treasurer for a three year term, retiring in 2020, and
    • for up to three ordinary committee members, to serve for one year.

    Nominations should be forwarded to Andy Boal, 1 Reid Street, BELFAST  BT6 8PE, or via email to society@modernrsi.org stating:

    • The name of the person you are nominating
    • Your own name
    • A seconder
    • Confirmation that the nominee has agreed to be nominated

    Nominations must be received no later than Sunday 16th April 2017.

    Eligibility to vote

    Only members who have paid their annual subscription for 2016-17 and life members will be eligible to vote in the election.

    30th Anniversary dinner

    As well as having our AGM in the pleasant surroundings of Shandon Park Golf Club, we are pleased to invite you to share a celebratory dinner afterwards in the Golf Club restaurant.

    A menu is available by contacting us – your menu choices and your payment (£20, £25 if you choose steak) must be received by the Secretary by Sunday 16th April.  Cheques should be made payable to MRSI as usual.

    Members are encouraged to bring their wives and partners to this auspicious occasion.  Dress code is smart casual – the golf club have requested shirts with collars, and no jeans or trainers.

    Senior Travel Pass Group

    The next few outings will be on Wednesdays 26th April, 24th May and 28th June.  Details will be announced closer to the time, due to the ongoing Bus Eireann industrial action.

    Contact: To add your name to the mailing list, please send your details to us and we will pass them on.

    Dates for your diary

    Clogher Valley Railway bus tour

    Irish Transport Heritage are organising a bus tour from Maguiresbridge to Tynan, guided by our Chairman David Carson.  Further information will follow, but it will be in late May or June and cost around £15.

    Railtour

    This remains provisionally scheduled for Saturday 9th September.  More information will be issued when available.

    2017/18 Programme

    Wednesday 20th September

    Wednesday 18th October

    Wednesday 15th November

    Wednesday 17th January

    Wednesday 21st February

    Wednesday 21st March

    Wednesday 18th April (AGM)


  • February 2017 newsletter

    As we mentioned in the September newsletter, the Society is now 30 years old, and we kicked off the anniversary year with Michael McMahon reprising his first talk from January 1987, followed by a look at some of his photographs of 071s.  We look forward to his 32nd talk to the Society!

    February and March meetings

    Our meeting on 15 February will be addressed by Colin McVea, Signalling and Telecommunications Engineer for Northern Ireland Railways, who will give us a presentation on Phase 2 of the Coleraine-Londonderry railway project, which saw a new station for Bellarena and the end of token working (both electric and manual) on Northern Ireland Railways as Coleraine, Castlerock and Londonderry signal cabins closed and Portrush ceased to be a block post.

    The evening of 15 March will be a special meeting – Kit Spackman, Tilt System Development Engineer, will look back on his work on the Advanced Passenger Train (Experimental) (APT-E)

    Both meetings will be in Ashfield Girls’ School, Holywood Road, Belfast at 7.15pm.

    Annual General Meeting

    Continuing the celebrations, this year’s Annual General Meeting will be followed by dinner!

    The AGM proper will be at 7pm (note the earlier time) on Wednesday 19 April in the Shandon Park Golf Club in East Belfast.

    The MRSI 30th anniversary dinner will be held after the AGM, and seats must be reserved in advance at a cost of £20 (£25 if you choose the steak option on the menu.)

    First priority will be given to Society members and partners.

    Membership

    If you haven’t yet renewed for 2016-17, please complete the form on the website and send it with payment to Andy Boal as soon as possible.

    As usual, membership cards will normally be issued at our meetings.

    Diesel Railtour

    We are planning a diesel railtour with our friends in the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland.  Further information will be made available closer to the time, but current plans are to travel to Rosslare on Saturday 9 September.

    Programme 2017-18

    Dates for the 2017-18 season are: 20th September, 18th October, 15 November, 17th January, 21st February, 21st March and 18th April (AGM.)

    Early plans are in train – booked speakers include Edwin McMillan, Sam Somerville, and of course Michael McMahon for the January meeting.  We hope to have the full programme ready for the AGM.

    Senior Travel Pass Group

    Wednesday 22nd February:  Taking the 0645 from Belfast to Dublin, the destination will be Wexford, with choices to travel home via bus to Waterford or return up the east coast.

    Wednesday 22nd March:  Destination to be confirmed.

    Contact: To add your name to the mailing list, please send your details to Ken Harte.

    Crewe to Ballywatermoy

    Retired headmaster of Ballee High School and MRSI and RPSI member Shaun Martin published his first book late last year, and brought copies to the November meeting.

    He writes:

    The main focus of the story centres around life and work on the Northern Counties Railway as seen through the eyes of Malcolm Ross, the newly appointed Chief Officer who in 1946 has been transferred to Belfast from Crewe.  As he travels around he meets stationmasters, drivers and guards who share their stories with him.

    Memories are evoked of warm summer days at Portrush and Sunday School Excursions.  Through the developing relationship between Malcolm and Hazel Blair, his secretary, a farmer’s daughter from Ballywatermoy, a snapshot is revealed of life in Ulster in the immediate post Second World War austerity years. The couple, who have each suffered tragic personal loss during the war, come to terms with their past.

    Malcolm, a former army colonel, is haunted by the wartime memory of being on a convoy which was attacked by German U-boats with tragic loss of life. On a happier note  there are glimpses of Paris and Languedoc, where his elderly uncle arranges a visit to see the white horses and black bulls of the Petite Camargue.

    At an early stage Brigadier Sir Hector Woodside, the Chairman of the Northern Counties Board, is introduced.  He plays an important part in bringing Malcolm and Hazel together but unfortunately he was unable to attend their wedding. On the way to his castle at Lisnagarron, near Kells, the reader will glimpse the streets of Ballymena as they were in the 1940’s.

    This novel shares with the reader railway yarns, romance, a wedding, a funeral and wartime experiences.

    Welcome to the age of ration books, petrol coupons, currency restrictions and customs stops on the Belfast to Dublin railway line.

    A reader’s response:

    “I am enjoying the book so much I don’t want it to end. I love the way you have written an enjoyable story around what is basically a factual book about the NCC including some social history. I am glad you have written about the NCC as so many Irish railway books favour the GNR(I).  Having lived in L’Derry, Castlerock and now Coleraine it is great to be reading about my local line and stations.

    Excellent book. Very interesting and readable book full of facts on the NCC.”

    Crewe to Ballywatermoy is available from Waterstones, Ballymena and on eBay.  There is more information on Facebook.


  • Newsletter September 2016

    Welcome to the 30th season of MRSI meetings!

    Programme

    We are pleased to announce that David Franks, Chief Executive of Irish Rail, is coming to address our October meeting.  Other events include a retrospective along closed lines with Richard Hayes, a visit by our friend and member Edwin McMillan following up his April book launch, Michael McMahon’s annual visit, and Colin McVea of NIR reviewing Phase 2 of the Coleraine-Derry/Londonderry railway line scheme.

    The programme is here – more details, including March and April meetings, will follow in due course.

    Venue

    We are continuing to meet in Ashfield Girls’ school, Holywood Road, Belfast.  Unfortunately, increasing room hire costs mean that we now ask members to contribute £3 a night towards this.

    Membership

    Membership fees for 2016-17 are now due.  Please complete the enclosed form and send it with payment to Andy Boal as soon as possible.

    As usual, membership cards will normally be issued at our meetings.

    Please note:  If you have not paid your subscription for 2015-16 or 2016-17 this will be the last newsletter you receive.

    30th Birthday celebrations

    MRSI was founded in 1987, and we are therefore thinking about how to celebrate this anniversary.

    We are in the initial stages of planning a Diesel railtour with RPSI for Autumn 2017, and we will keep members up to date with plans for this and other events during the 2017-18 session.

    Committee 2016-17

    At the AGM, the following were elected to the Committee:

    Chairman                      David Carson (until the 2019 AGM)
    Secretary                      Andy Boal (until the 2018 AGM)
    Committee member      Matthew Tennis

    Roy Thompson continues as Treasurer until the 2017 AGM.

    Senior Travel Pass Group

    Wednesday 28th September:  Taking the 0800 from Belfast to Dublin, the destination will be Carrick-on-Shannon

    Wednesday 26th October:  Taking the 0800 from Belfast to Dublin, destination to be confirmed

    Contact: To add your name to the mailing list, please use the contact form and we will pass your details on to Ken Harte.


  • April 2016 Newsletter

    Notice is given in this newsletter of the Annual General Meeting of the Modern Railway Society of Ireland on Wednesday 20th April 2016.

    We are extremely honoured to be hosting a second book launch this season at the AGM, that of member Edwin McMillan’s book Dark Days and Brighter Days for Northern Ireland Railways.

    Annual General Meeting

    Notice is given of the Annual General Meeting of the Modern Railway Society of Ireland, to be held at 7.15pm on Wednesday 20th April 2016 in the Drama Studio, Ashfield Girls’ High School, Holywood Road, Belfast.

    Agenda

    1. Apologies
    2. Minutes of Annual General Meeting on 15th April 2015
    3. Matters arising from previous minutes
    4. Chairman’s Report
    5. Accounts and Treasurer’s Report
    6. Matters arising from reports
    7. Election of Officers and Committee members
    8. Election of Honorary Auditor
    9. Any other business

    After the formal business, we will host the launch of Dark Days and Brighter Days for Northern Ireland Railways by Edwin McMillan (details below), which will be followed by a presentation from the Downpatrick and Co Down Railway.

    Minutes of previous General Meetings

    Minutes of the 2015 AGM are enclosed with this newsletter.  A small number of print copies will be available at the AGM, but members are asked if possible to bring their own copies in order that the minutes can be taken as read before adoption.

    Elections procedure

    Normally, and in accordance with the Constitution of the Society, one of the officers of the Society retires each year by rotation, and this year the Chairman’s post falls vacant.  However, Ken Harte, having served as a committee member and Secretary for a total of nine years, would like to retire, so this post must also therefore be filled.

    Our Treasurer Roy Thompson will continue in office until the 2017 AGM.

    We therefore invite nominations as follows:-

    to the post of Chairman for a three year term, retiring in 2019;

    to the post of Secretary for a two year term, retiring in 2018; and

    for up to three ordinary committee members, to serve for one year.

    Nominations should be forwarded to the Secretary stating:

    The name of the person you are nominating

    Your own name

    A seconder

    Confirmation that the nominee has agreed to be nominated

    Nominations must be received no later than Sunday 17th April 2016.

    Eligibility to vote

    Only members who have paid their annual subscription for 2015-16 and life members will be eligible to vote at the election.  A membership form is available on the website.

    Senior Travel Pass Group

    Wednesday 27th April:  Planning is in progress for a visit to Cashel and Cork using trains and busses.

    Spring/Summer outings: Destinations to be confirmed after the new timetables have been introduced.

    Future dates: (to be confirmed one month in advance): Wednesdays 25th May, 22nd June, 27th July and 24th August.

    Contact: To add your name to the mailing list, please send your details using the Contact us link.

    Membership

    If you haven’t yet renewed your membership for 2015/16, please complete and return the application form to Ken as soon as possible.

    Book launch

    Dark Days and Brighter Days for Northern Ireland Railways

    EddieMRSI is absolutely delighted and honoured to have been asked to host the official launch of Edwin McMillan’s book Dark Days and Brighter Days for Northern Ireland Railways at our Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 20th January.

    Edwin has sent us the following information about his book:

    Northern Ireland Railways was formed in 1967 and was made up from the surviving portions of three long established railway systems.  During the mid 1960’s the railway system in Northern Ireland escaped complete extinction with a last minute change in government policy leading to the formation of NIR.  Onwards now and almost 50 years in existence, NIR has survived at least three more attempts to either close the network or shed some of its routes, thankfully all of these attempts have failed.

    The small railway system has remained open but has been wounded and shattered on many occasions due to “The Troubles” which dealt a heavy blow on the network from the early 1970’s.  Passengers and staff have been killed and injured, rolling stock destroyed, buildings and infrastructure continually targeted and of course constant disruption to train services, often running into days of closure.  However, railway staff, including the author, had a determination to keep services running and many staff put their own lives at risk.

    But on the brighter side, through it all, new railway routes and abandoned routes were opened; new stations were built and even when they were destroyed by terrorists, new stations were built again; all of the old trains from the early years of NIR have been replaced.

    This book looks at the history of NIR through the eyes of the author who worked for the company for 40 years and observed all these things taking place.  This is not a book of photographs, although there are around 140, it is a book setting out the history of NIR since its inception and through its ten chapters there is a mass of information which I have accumulated over my years in the company.  The first chapter covers NIR in its Infancy; the next three chapters looks at the author’s time at NIR; Chapters five and six looks at how “The Troubles” effected NIR; the next chapter recalls Special Train Movements and Rolling Stock; chapter eight looks at Stations and Infrastructure changes; Anti-Social Behaviour, The Railway Patrol and Prosecutions is covered in Chapter nine; and the last chapter deals with Operational Accidents and Incidents.  There are two Appendices listing periods of Terrorist Incidents on NIR.

    Copies of the book will be on sale at the meeting.


  • January 2016 newsletter

    A happy new year to all members!  Some of you may have received an email wishing you a merry Christmas, but for technical reasons it didn’t reach all members.

    This newsletter brings news of our spring meetings, including exciting news about Michael McMahon’s book Irish Railway Rambler and a visit from railway signalling consultant and no stranger to Northern Ireland John Tilly.

    Book launch: Irish Railway Rambler

    rambler MRSI is absolutely delighted and honoured to have been asked to host the official launch of Michael McMahon’s book Irish Railway Rambler at our meeting on Wednesday 20th January.  The following description comes from the Colourpoint website:

    This is a personal photographic memoir drawn from three decades of observation, starting in 1975, during what are now regarded as the “museum years” of post-steam Irish Railways.

    This period of great change saw the traditional infrastructure of mechanical signalling, travelling post offices, steam heating, goods services, and 19th Century station buildings etc. progressively give way to the utilitarian, electronic era. Train formations and their operation also changed beyond recognition as the locomotive and carriage combination was replaced by modern, anonymous multiple unit operation.

    The author was uniquely positioned to witness the closing years before regeneration changed so much. His early photographic locations were limited to stations and the line-side but he later made extensive use of Rail Runabout, Rover and Rambler tickets. Later he enjoyed the rare privilege of all Ireland footplate passes, leading to an estimated 80,000 miles of footplate travel between 1982 and 1995, an achievement that is probably, and will remain unique in the annals of Irish Railway enthusiasm.

    During these wanderings Michael met and made friends with innumerable railwaymen at stations, on trains and in signal cabins, exchanging news and views, and listening to stories from times past. These selected 230 images from his immense collection are a fitting tribute to the railwaymen and the railway of a bygone age, and to the fellow rail enthusiasts who so willingly helped along the way.

    Copies of the book will be on sale for £16.

    After the book launch, Michael will give us a presentation looking back to a time of great change, both north and south:  1995.

    March meeting: John Tilly

    At our November meeting, we announced that Mr John Tilly would be addressing the March meeting.

    John started out as a signal engineering Apprentice for London Underground in 1968, rising to Incident Manager in 1990.  In 1993 he worked for TML, managing and witnessing signal commissioning activities, before moving to Halcrow Transmark, where he worked on projects across the UK and in Kuala Lumpur, including work on Great Victoria Street, Bleach Green-Antrim, accident investigations, and the 1999 Strategic Safety Review for NIR.

    In 1999 he joined HMRI where he worked on level crossings across the UK, including NI, and was involved in the Ufton Nervet and Potters Bar investigations.

    Since (official) retirement in 2009, John has run his own consultancy in railway signal engineering, still specialising in level crossings, and involved in training Incident Managers.  He also repairs bicycles.

    This is one of John’s final talks before he finally retires from his consultancy business, and he will be taking a heavily illustrated look at level crossings, including some of the ones he has worked on in NI, and looking at overseas practice and novel technology (does this mean our unique AHBDs at Cullybackey will get a look in?)

    We hope to be joined at our meeting by members of the Institute of Railway Signal Engineers.

    John has two websites: consultancy and personal.

    Senior Travel Pass Group

    The next day out is Wednesday 27th January, destination to be announced.  As ever, please contact Ken Harte for more information.


  • Newsletter update

    Senior Travelcard outing

    Unfortunately the Dublin Bay Cruise isn’t running on Wednesday 23rd October, so the outing will now be to the National Maritime Museum, Dun Laoghaire.   Departure will still be on the 08:00 service from Belfast Central to Dublin.

    Facebook

    We now have a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/modernrsi


  • September 2015 newsletter

    Welcome to the September newsletter, and another year of meetings.

    As ever, we have a full meetings programme this year – details of the March meeting are still being finalised, and we hope to include this in the next newsletter.

    Elsewhere in this newsletter we include news of a trip to Norway in June 2016.

    Society news

    It came as a big surprise to the committee when our former Chairman Ian Wilson announced his intention to retire a year before his term of office was due to finish, and this was clearly shared by members at the AGM.

    As those present will be aware, no nominations were received for Chairman at the AGM. At its first meeting the new Committee elected Andy Boal as chairman, so the committee for 2015-16 is as follows:-

    Chairman   Andy Boal

    Secretary   Ken Harte

    Treasurer   Roy Thompson

    Committee Members    David Carson, Matthew Tennis

    Andy will complete Ian Wilson’s term of office, standing down at the 2016 AGM. Ken has been elected for the three years until 2018, and Roy has two years remaining of his three year term, and will stand down in 2017.

    Subscriptions

    Subscriptions are now due, and the renewal notice is attached. Early return of the forms with your payment is appreciated – as usual, membership cards will be handed out at our monthly meetings where possible.

    If you include your email address, we will be able to send you our newsletters and other notices by email, which saves a lot of money in postage. We will ensure that addresses will not be circulated to the rest of the membership.

    Programme for 2015/16

    A copy of the programme for 2015/16 is attached. Thank you, in advance, to all our presenters.

    Website

    Members may be aware that the Society currently has no online presence! A new website is being built, and we will let members know as soon as it is ready.

    Senior Travel Pass Group

    The next day out is Wednesday 23rd September 2015 – destination: Dublin (Dep. Central 08.00 hrs). Weather permitting we plan to go to Howth via Dun Laoghaire on the Dublin Bay Cruise which departs from the Quays opposite the Conference Centre.

    Future dates will be Wednesday 28th October and 25th November, destinations to be agreed amongst the group. Please contact Ken Harte for further information.

    Visit to Norway 2016

    One of our Committee Members, David Carson, is willing to lead a tour party to Norway in June 2016, which will focus on the standard gauge railway network in the Norwegian system over an eleven day (or so) period. The tour will function using Inter-rail passes and seats will be booked in advance. Overnight stays will involve pre-booked ‘hostel bed and breakfast’ accommodation costing approx £50 per night. Flights will probably use the Dublin to Oslo route.

    Planned rail trips include: Oslo-Stavanger; Oslo-Flam-Bergen; Oslo-Hamar-Trondheim via Roros; Trondheim-Bodo; Trondheim-Dovre-Andalsnes via the Raumbanen; Andalsnes-Oslo, together with visits to the Norwegian Railway Museum in Hamar, the Norwegian Aircraft Museum and the sights of Trondheim.

    Day and evening meals and all other en route expenses (incl your own travel insurance – a pre-requisite) will not be provided. This is not an easy trip – it’s what David calls ‘hard-railing’, so travel light is the order of the day.

    The party would ideally be comprised of 6-8 persons, who should declare an interest before 15 October (leading to a full commitment and booking by 1 November 2015), when it will be time to make cheap airflight bookings.

    It should be possible for David to provide a roughly accurate cost of Rail Pass, flights, accommodation and the Trondheim boat trip before 15 October. In the meantime if anyone has additional questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with David.  David writes, “I did this trip in 2014 and it was a terrific trip – full of both railway and general interest and some of the most wonderful scenery in the world. Bring your camera – weather never guaranteed in Norway!”