Railway Children Charity Challenge ….

Posted on December 12th, 2015, by The Chairman

The Railway Children Charity is strongly supported by many in the rail industry. It’s based in Sandbach. MCRUA has donated some of its railtour raffle proceeds in the past to the Railway Children through our contacts in Network Rail.

Those with longer memories may remember when our Mid Cheshire Line services were run by First North Western (FNW) prior to Northern taking over in 2004. FNW had a number of Managing Directors over a short period, but the one we remember for achieving the most was David Franks who is now Chief Executive of Irish Rail (IE – Iarnrod Eireann) where he arrived in February 2014. Some of you may also remember Mark Hopwood who David brought in as Operations Director – Mark is now running Great Western Railway (GWR), until recently known as First Great Western (FGW).

Back to David Franks.

David has always strongly supported The Railway Children, ably assisted by his wife, Jo.

Jo and David took part in a charity fund raising event earlier this year to Everest Base Camp just before the terrible earthquakes in the Nepalese area. A video of the event was made, being presented at the annual charity dinner last Saturday. The video can be seen here. The password is “EBC”.

You may recognise some of the prominent railway faces. The event sponsored by First TransPennine Express raised over £60,000 for the charity’s worthy causes. Well done to all involved!

I mention this as last July/August whilst on holiday in Ireland, my wife and I met up with David and Jo. David took me on a tour of IE’s main works at Inchicore in Dublin as well as his rather grand offices in Dublin’s Connolly Station.

We’re looking forward to supporting the Railway Children again on our future railtours. We still don’t have a date for our next train as we’re having great difficulty getting confirmed quotes. There seem to be a lot of difficulties in that area at present.

Meanwhile, for those interested, here are some pictures I took whilst in Connolly and Inchicore, as well as some of other Irish Rail scenes. Great place to visit!

Connolly - on arrival from Belfast

Connolly – on arrival from Belfast in a very comfy NIR DMU – one of the Enterprise sets was away being refurbished

David Franks in his rather grand Chief Executive's office

David Franks in his rather grand Chief Executive’s office

Entering Inchicore using the staff entrance

Entering Inchicore using the staff entrance

A GM class 071 loco being rebuilt for infrastructure / freight work

A GM class 071 loco being rebuilt for infrastructure / freight work

A power plant from a GM Class 201 loco - there are about 15 of these locos currently out of use following a reduction in freight traffic, now starting to come back.  Given the dire shortage of freight locos in GB, with their wider gauge pity we can't use them here

A power plant from a GM Class 201 loco – there are about 15 of these locos currently out of use following a reduction in freight traffic, now slowly returning. Given the dire shortage of freight locos in GB, with the wider Irish track gauge, pity we can’t use them here

A completed class 071 ready to go.  They were very proud of the work they are doing

A completed class 071 ready to go. They were very proud of the work they are achieving within tight budgets

Cherished!

Cherished!

A line of some of the Class 201s awaiting an upturn in traffic

A line of some of the Class 201s awaiting an upturn in traffic

Later in our trip, some more pictures ….

A Class 22 Inter City Railcar (ICR) set passes slowly along the quay at Wexford

A Class 22 Inter City Railcar (ICR) set passes slowly along the quay at Wexford. No fences here! These Korean-built trains are superb, similar in layout to our Class 175s

A Class 28 DMU at Ballina.  These Japanese-built units are similar in layout to our Class 150s

A Class 28 DMU at Ballina. These Japanese-built units are similar in layout to our Class 150s. All the trains we went on were spotless

Freight being loaded in Ballina.  This is mainly logs and containers for Waterford and Dublin Ports for export

Freight being loaded in Ballina. This is mainly logs and containers for Waterford and Dublin Ports for export

Historic signalbox in Waterford (and rather a lot of the wet stuff!)

Historic signalbox in Waterford (and rather a lot of the wet stuff!)

A Cork-Dublin train at Mallow with hired-in NIR Class 201, 209, now 8209

A Cork-Dublin train at Mallow with hired-in NIR Class 201, no.209, now 8209

We can’t wait to go back. Our favourite places were Galway, Ennis and around Cork, plus the scenery on the way to Tralee.

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