Irish Railways in the 1950s and 1960s (Hardback)
A Journey Through Two Decades
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In the 1950s and 1960s the railway system in Ireland became a magnet for enthusiasts from Great Britain who realised that, as on the mainland, a way of life was fast disappearing as diesel traction replaced steam and the size of the rail network across Ireland was shrinking. Much of the interest stemmed from the similarity with the railways in Great Britain. Also, the existence of several narrow gauge systems, two railway-owned tramways and some cross-border operators added to the fascination.
This album covers those main line and narrow gauge railways in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland during the 1950s and 1960s, which were photographed in colour and the images used are believed never to have appeared in print before. Although most of the pictures depict individual locomotives or ones hauling trains, the opportunity has been taken to show some of the railway infrastructure of the period as well, since this is of particular interest to railway modellers. There has been a very active preservation movement in Ireland over the years, with many wonderful steam-hauled rail tours being operated that continue to this day, however this book will focus on the normal every day operations.
The disappearance of the steam locomotive in the land of its birth touched the hearts of millions, but when the government announced the Modernisation Plan for Britain's railways in 1955, under which steam was to be phased out in favour of diesel and electric traction, few people took it seriously. Steam locomotives were an integral part of our daily lives and had been for almost one and a half centuries. Furthermore, they were still being built in large numbers. It was popularly believed that they would see the century out and probably well beyond that. But the reality was that by 1968 – a…By Colin Garratt
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