Member – Colin Boocock

Member Colin Boocock

Occupation I am a retired railway chartered mechanical engineer. I worked on six of British Rail’s Regions managing maintenance of trains and finished up at Railtrack leading a team producing railway group standards for trains.

Do you have a role in the society?
Just as member number 2279.

When did you first become a member of the Irish Railway Record Society in London and why?
I became a member in 1955 for around ten years and then re-joined in 2006. I enjoy attending the London Area meetings and make occasional visits to the Irish Railway Record Society in Ireland.

What is your favourite Irish railway station or location and why? It has to be Dublin Connolly with so much activity to watch and enjoy. But my favourite railway location is the cliff-top above the tunnels through the Downhill estate, where the NCC Derry line passes under those high cliffs and past that wonderful, empty sandy beach. On a nice day you can see the Isle of Islay from there!.

What area of railways interests you the most? All types of traction and rolling stock, performance, modernisation, history, and photography.

If you could take a journey on any railway in the world, which would it be? Or describe it if you’ve already done it! In 2004 my wife Mary and I travelled around the world by train. London to Beijing via the Trans-Siberian and Mongolia; then Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand through Malaya to Singapore; Perth to Syndey; Christchurch to Auckland in NZ; isolated railways in Argentina which was the highlight; then Bolivia, Peru, Panama, USA and Canada; and back home through Ireland from Shannon/Limerick, Dublin and the Holyhead ferry. We were supporting the charity Railway Children. I’d do it all again if I were younger!

Do you have any other hobbies or interests? Railway photography and writing. I write for magazines, and have had 20 railway books published since 1968, three of them about Irish railways (Irish Railway Album, 1968, Irish railways – 40 years of change 1996, and Locomotive Compendium, Ireland 2009).

One unknown fact or claim to fame
I am a founding member of the Famous Trains model railway in Derby which opened to the public from April 2014. It is open every weekend and Mondays from 11am to 4pm. We have the biggest OO-scale model railway in the East Midlands, are number 15 out of 68 ‘Things to do in Derby’ on TripAdvisor, and we’re expecting our 40,000th visitor in October 2019. Will that be you?