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Whilst the CIE Property Department continued their search for a new site, the ITG started to make its own enquiries. One proposal was to approach one of the existing preservation groups to ask if they would be prepared to share their base with the ITG. Approaches were made to WESTRAIL, based at Tuam, Co. Galway, who initially agreed in principal to our proposal. However, the CIE Property Department objected to this proposal as they did not want two different organisations sharing the same base. Eventually, in December 1991, the CIE Property Department suggested the former goods shed at Carrick-On-Suir Station, Co. Tipperary. This site had originally been rejected by the Group due to its location, being almost impossible to get to in a day from Dublin by rail. However, it was made clear that this was the only site still available, and so an inspection of the shed was made just before Christmas 1991.


The goods shed at Carrick-On-Suir station is of stone construction, with a slated roof and an overhanging canopy alongside the access road into the station yard. The main building itself is approximately 72 feet long, by approximately 35 feet wide. There is a separate kitchen extension added at the Waterford end of the building. There is a large concrete platform inside the building alongside the track that runs thought the building. Rail access to the shed is via a large door at the Waterford end of the building, with another door at the Limerick end to allow vehicles to be pushed right through the shed if required.


When the ITG first inspected the building it was found to be in a poor state of repair. Firstly, the track leading to the shed doors from the access siding had been lifted, leaving a gap of around 70 feet of missing track between the end of the siding and the doors of the shed, although the track was still in situ inside the building. The wooden access doors were rotten, and needed to be replaced. The roof was in poor condition, with many slates missing and several timbers in need of replacement. At the Limerick end of the building, on the track side, one of the main roof beams had rotted away where it met the wall, resulting in a partial collapse of the roof at that end. Finally, there was a considerable amount of rubbish and debris dumped inside the building, and the floor itself was around 3 inches deep in pigeon droppings.


In late May 1992, the ITG finally reached agreement with the CIE Property Department to rent the goods shed on a licence basis. They agreed to an initial rent free period of one year to enable the Group to undertake the necessary repairs to the building and to convert it into a workshop. With this agreement in place, Iarnród Éireann then agreed to start the process to enable 201 (C) class locomotive 226 to be sold to the Group.


Over the following six months, the shed was cleared of all the rubbish and pigeon droppings, the rotten wooden doors removed and replaced with steel shutters, and the shed wired out with lights and a 3-phase power supply. A tool store and changing room/bedroom were constructed within the shed building and shelving, on which to store our large collection of spare parts, was erected. In September 1992 Iarnród Éireann replaced the missing section of track between the end of the existing siding and the goods shed. In addition, many of the missing slates were replaced, except for the large hole at the Limerick end of the shed, which meant that most of the floor area within the building could now be kept dry. Meanwhile, the ITG submitted an application to the Irish Heritage Council to try to obtain a grant to have the roof timbers repaired and the roof completely re-slated.

Carrick-on-Suir goods shed. 2007

One of the main conditions imposed upon the Irish Traction Group by Iarnród Éireann before they would agree to sell any locomotives, was that the Group first had to acquire a site at which to store and maintain its locomotives. With the assistance of the then Business Development Manager of Iarnród Éireann, the CIE Property Department were approached in mid 1990 to enquire if there were any rail connected properties still available for rent/lease to the Group.


Just before Christmas 1990, the ITG was told that the former goods store at Portarlington was available. This building was ideal, in that it was still rail connected and relatively close to Dublin, although the building itself was in a state of disrepair. There were also sidings adjacent to the building which could have been utilised at a later date should we have needed to expand our facilities there. Over the next six months, various plans were drawn up with regard to undertaking the necessary repairs to the building and converting it into a workshop in which the Group could restore its locomotives. However, in mid May 1991, we were contacted by the CIE Property Department who informed us that the goods shed at Portarlington was no longer available as there were now plans for the site to be redeveloped and the goods shed demolished! Therefore we had to start again from scratch.


The interior of the goods shed when first taken over by the ITG in May 1992.


The exterior of the goods shed taken in July 1992, prior to the missing track being reinstated. Note the old wooden doors have been replaced with steel shutters. The large hole in the shed roof, where it has partially collapsed, can also be seen at the far end.


The gap between the end of the existing siding and the shed doors prior to the track being reinstated, taken in July 1992.


The goods shed photographed from the Limerick end in September 1992, showing the trackbed dug out ready for a new section of track to be laid by Iarnród Éireann.


The new track panel in place prior to ballasting, taken in September 1992.


Spare parts and building materials are starting to be accumulated inside the goods shed. Note the tool store and bedroom/changing room under construction in the far corner, taken in late 1992.


A snowy day in early 1996 showing no less than seven ITG locomotives lined up on the siding outside the goods shed. From left to right, locomotives B103, G601, G611, 231, and former ITG locomotives 1, 3, 2.


On 5th December 1992, ‘spare parts’ locomotive 231 was moved to Carrick-On-Suir and became the first ITG owned locomotive to go into the shed, albeit for one night only. Locomotive 226 was delivered to Carrick-On-Suir the following day, Sunday 6th December 1992. As the shed was only long enough for one 201 (C) class locomotive, plus one other small shunting locomotive, only locomotive 226 could be kept inside the shed, whilst 231 had to remain outside. Over the next few months, more work was carried out on the shed, whilst restoration work also commenced on locomotive 226. The sheds other occupant, apart from 201 (C) class locomotive 226 is Deutz locomotive G616, which arrived on 21st August 1993.


In December 1994, the Group received a grant of I£ 7500 from the Irish Heritage Council towards the cost of repairing the shed roof, which was around 50% of the total cost of the work. Between April and May 1995, the shed roof was completely stripped of slates, the rotten timbers replaced, and then completely re-slated using most of the original slates together with some second-hand slates to replace the missing/damaged ones.


Over the years, no less than ten ITG owned locomotives have been delivered to Carrick-On-Suir. Those locomotives are detailed below, together with their arrival dates and subsequent departure dates, if applicable.


Loco Number

Date Arrived

Date Departed

231

5th December 1992

3rd May 1996

226

6th December 1992


B103

14th August 1993


G616

21st August 1993


G617

21st August 1993

26th August 1995

1

14th January 1995

23rd November 2005

2

14th January 1995

7th July 2005

3

14th January 1995

7th July 2005

G601

5th February 1995

*

G611

5th February 1995

22nd April 1996

*Note: G601 briefly left Carrick-On-Suir on 22nd April 1996 to attend the ‘Inchicore 150’ anniversary celebrations. It was eventually returned on 5th July 1996 and has remained there ever since.


Over the years, the goods shed has been progressively filled with several tonnes of spare parts for our growing fleet of locomotives. A container was also acquired several years ago in which to store some of the more bulky spares, e.g. traction motors, brake rigging etc. However, a certain amount of rationalisation of our spares stock took place during 2006, which freed up a little bit more space. In addition, as the restoration of locomotive 226 continues, more and more of the parts removed from this locomotive are gradually being replaced. However, space within the shed is still at a premium.


The goods shed at Carrick-On-Suir has proved to be a valuable asset to the Group, as without it the ITG could not have continued in its current form. The restoration of locomotive 226 inside the shed continues to make significant progress, all of which would not have been possible outdoors.


In September 2013, Iarnród Éireann locked the passing loop at Carrick-On-Suir out of use. This was done prior to the removal of the loop which was then replaced with plain track through the station on 29th and 30th November 2013. The downside of this work from the ITG’s perspective, is that the goods shed is no longer rail connected and the track from the goods shed now only extends as far as the signal box.


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