MALLOW TO CORK CUT FROM RPSI’S MAY TOUR
Pathing problems have forced the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland to truncate its itinerary for this year’s big May trip – axing a planned run from Mallow to Cork. But the silver lining is that an additional carriage can now be added, making the train seven vehicles long. This means that passengers on the reserve list can be accommodated on the hitherto fully booked tour, which will still run from Tralee to Mallow and back on May 13. The six-coach restriction was imposed because of the 1-in-70 gradient out of Cork through the 1,335-yard Glanmire Tunnel, followed by 1½ miles at 1-in-60. The RPSI said the decision had been taken “following feedback from Irish Rail” and apologised to those who had paid deposits. The absence of a turntable in Cork meant that GNR(I) 4-4-0 No. 85 would have had to operate tender-first from Mallow to Cork. The RPSI said: “Tender-first running with the Compound is restrictive and it was impossible to find a path to Cork within the permitted nine-hour day. “There is also the need to take into account the 12-hour overnight rest period for crew before the early departure on Monday.” The Compound will work from Whitehead to Dublin on May 10, and will then run on the Saturday from Dublin to Mallow, where LMS-NCC ‘WT’ 2-6-4T No. 4 will take over. The Monday will involve 345 miles of steam from Tralee to Whitehead – virtually from one end of the Irish network to the other.