Chester MRC on tour to Dingle

 The gang at Dingle, left to right; Tom (trip co-ordinator for Dingle Historical Society), Jim, Andy, Robert, Simon, John, Steven

Just to prove we really were in Dingle, the layout had a short sojourn out in the sun - probably the first time ever!  Dingle harbour and frontage is behind us.  The tour party and friend to left!  With Tom Fox centre, on right. 

 

John shunting.  Are we really in Dingle?  Could be anywhere!

Tom and Bernie talking with locals.  This really was the best bit of the tour.  Hearing stories and tales from those who knew or were related to people who worked or travelled on the line.

Many people who knew the line visited us including the son and granddaughter of engine driver Billy Hanlon.

Some of us found it all a bit too much!

Castlegregory Junction water tower; Steven and Jim

Views from the guesthouse some of us were privileged to stay at.  Dingle Bay in the morning - the weather was just one good part of the tour!

The first set of buildings are the station, beyond that the Skelligs Hotel complex.  This gives you some idea of the proximity to the sea.  Tralee is to the left, the harbour branch off right.

Model, 1950's to present day (29-05-05) - station and barn

The 1 in 29 gradient from the harbour up the the station.

The railway then went behind the buildings on the left, which as you can see from Peter Allen's picture of 1951, weren't there at the time of the railway, over the bridge and on towards the pier.  I think the girders are original and although the 'footpath' looks too narrow, from centre to centre the girders measure 3ft!

On the left another of Peter Allen's pictures taken in 1951 - to the right the harbour branch today!  You can only make out the line by reference to the buildings.  Road improvements and land reclamation have altered the scene!  The road is on the route of the railway.

Lispole viaduct today.  A very fragile structure that needs some care!

Annascaul West bridge; no JF didn't go any further, a couple of paces in and he was back again!

Annascaul East bridge.  For some reason the approaches to these bridges are being removed.  The railways heritage is under serious threat!

A visit to the local pub is always worthwhile, in this case the Railway Tavern at Castlegregory Junction.  Mike played the genial host and showed us much of what he has collected from the old railway.  In this case a branding iron to mark cases and barrels travelling by rail.  Note the 'T&DLR' on the end!

An old crossing sign warning drivers of impending destruction at the hands of a narrow gauge Hunslet!

Sadly 5T is under repair (injector trouble) for the next few weeks so we had a clamber but nothing else.  Typical of the friendly nature of the poeple, all we hoped for was to peek through the shed door on the way home with the van, but the driver and other crew arrived to do some work on the engine, recognised us and let us into the shed, opening up the main door - thanks lads!

Courtesy of Tom Fox - 'Chester in Gleannteenasig'. 

 

Hopefully more pictures will appear here when the others come home.

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