Five Foot Three Volume 42 Winter 1995-1996 72 pages Ireland

Five Foot Three Volume 42 Winter 1995-1996 72 pages Ireland

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Five Foot Three Volume 42 Winter 1995-1996 72 pages Ireland
 
Five Foot Three Volume 42 Winter 1995-1996    72 pages
In the last Five Foot Three your Editor, perhaps kite-flying or casting his bread upon the waters, mentioned that the magazine had been submitted to the judgement of a body drawn from the railway press. This produced several letters from readers who, in RPSI (D. Donaldson?) terminology, would be classed as "Sound Men" and who all said. "Keep it as it is". Many thanks, and apologies for not replying individually, to those who wrote.
Thus it is that this issue will only differ in content, but not in format, from its predecessors of the last few years. The timing fraternity, among whom the Editor -while not a practitioner himself - has several friends, would probably like to see the publication of lots of logs over which they could pore. Since timers are a minority of a minority not many logs appear hut in this issue they can get really stuck in (some already have), with Mr Weatherup's article on the Bangor line.
As will be seen in reports elsewhere, the Euro-money which rescued the Society from a potentially disastrous situation appears to have dried up. although the hope remains that some more money may become available. A proper loco workshop would be a blessing - and indeed a just reward - to those who have laboured over the last three decades. We have the equipment; all we need is a building to put it in.
In the big world outside, the past year has seen the retirement of both the last NCC and GN drivers. The former, Willie John McConnell of Coleraine, has not featured in a RPSI context for many years and slipped quietly into retirement. only to become a media star as the result of investing successfully in a Lottery ticket. It had been hoped that Jimmy Donnelly could have been coaxed into taking the regulator of No. 85 on the first steam working out of the new Great Victoria St Station hut this did not come about so Jimmy travelled in the trains as a very welcome guest. In pre-reunification days he was something of a rarity - a GN man passed to drive over the NCC lines, by virtue of a period spent in York Road. One of the old school, he felt that the modern railway was the poorer for the loss of the comradeship which he had enjoyed in days gone by. We wish both him and famous Willie John a long and happy retirement.
Still on age-related matters, our Antipodean correspondent, who was wont to describe himself as a septuagenarian, has now become an octogenarian. Congratulations, Laurence!
And finally, what of NIR wherein there has been a quiet hut not entirely bloodless revolution? In the 1960s the road transport-led UTA was disbanded and split up into railway, road passenger and road freight. CIE followed suit in 1986. Deregulated road haulage soon saw off the U'FA's former interests in that field hut road and rail passenger pursued their separate and presumably competitive ways under the new regime. Vast sums of money have recently been invested in NIR and one might well assume that this was with a view to ensuring the future and possibly the expansion of the railway system. However, hard on the heels of that came the news that we are to revert to a UTA type of body with the bus men again in the driving seat.

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