Jack drifts down towards Leadhills station © Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011 The use of the high-speed catamaran ferries on the Holyhead - Dublin run in the 1990s made day trips to Ireland relatively painless. We could leave home at an (almost) reasonable hour in the morning, and be back by midnight - or so the theory went. Anyway, this was one of those trips, so to speak. Well, of course, it has changed enormously - but much of the original fabric of the works is still there and still in use. We used a Dublin-area day rover ticket which, for a very reasonable price, permitted travel over a fair part of the suburban network. Purchased on arrival at Dun Laoghaire, we began our explorations with a trip southwards on the 1500v DC "DART" route, to Killiney. The weather was hardly suitable for the beach there (neither were we, if it comes to it) so after a couple of snaps, we headed north again to Connolly. Illustrated here are 181 class no. 184 beside the turntable (!), NIR no. 111 "Great Northern" on a Belfast train. Time now to see what was going on at Heuston. "Not a lot" would be a fair comment. "River" class no. 214 departed in a paraffin haze, and "071" class no 079 arrived. Back to Connolly! Staying just a little while at the latter - "River" class no. 213 passing southbound with a very short freight - we caught another DART service as far as Howth Junction, where 219 hurried through on a Belfast train, and 079 trundled southbound on a Navan mines train. Next destination was Skerries, potentially a reasonable spot for a few photos. However, reconstruction work on the up platform meant a cluttered background. So, after a southbound push-pull, in the hands of "121" class no 124, and a northbound Navan mines train (073), we headed northwards again, to Balbriggan, at the northern limit of our ticket. We saw a fair bit of activity here, at this pleasant coastal location with its fine viaduct. "141" class no. 158 worked a local train, then NIR-liveried no 208 ran through on a Belfast - Dublin service. A couple of scenes of the viaduct follow - one of the Japanese-built "Arrow" units, and another GM diesel (can't read the number!). Lastly, another push-pull, this time in the hands of no. 127. Time to work our way south now - but not before one more stop on the former GNR(I) main line - this time at Donabate, where the buildings are more-or less intact and original. Here we saw no. 208 on its way back to the north, followed by 074 on a Navan mines train. And lastly, no. 189 on the train that would haul us back to Dublin, thence to Dun Laoghaire on the DART, then back to Holyhead and the car journey home. A busy day - but plenty to see, a bit different from the run-of-the-mill, and excellent value. An Irish Trip: Video action from Heuston to Balbriggan DART at Dun Laoghaire, Dublin-bound... DART by the sea, Killiney 184 beside the turntable, Connolly 111 "Great Northern" at Connolly 111 and IR sister loco 071, Connolly 214 at Heuston 214 leaves Heuston 079 arrives at Heuston 213 passes through Connolly 219 on Belfast train, Howth Junction 079 on Navan mines train, Howth Junction 073 on Navan mines train, Skerries 124 on push-pull, Skerries 158 on southbound stopper, Balbriggan 208 passes Balbriggan, Dublin train "Arrow" unit at Balbriggan Balbriggan viaduct, northbound local 127 on northbound service, Balbriggan Donabate signal box, ex GNR(I) Donabate station 208 on Belfast express, Donabate 074 on Navan mines train, Donabate 189 on Dublin local, Donabate