Previous Events

Below is a summary of the most recent talks and events hosted by the IRRS London. If you would like any further information about a subject or wish to get in touch with the speaker, please use the Contact Us page.

For events from previous years please select the following:

Programme of Events 2017-18

Programme of Events 2016-17

Programme of Events 2015-16

Programme of Events 2014-15


Thursday 6 December 2018 

“Listowel to Cobh 1978-86” by Gerry McMahon

Gerry McMahon and Tim Morton

Gerry McMahon shared his splendid memories of railways in the Tralee area in the 1970’s and 1980’s with a capacity audience. He reminded us of rural railway operations at the time when nothing had changed since the steam age apart from the traction.

We saw long lost goods yards, branches, stations and semaphore signalling, loose-coupled wagonload and beet trains, steam cranes in use by the civil engineering department, and shunting by gravity and by cable. We appreciated the experience, skills and teamwork of a bygone era of railwaymen who made it all work. Gerry’s memories of the time were vivid and comprehensive and brought it all alive once again.

Following Gerry’s talk there was a complimentary Christmas drink and followed by the London Area AGM.


Thursday 15 November 2018
“Current and Future Fleet development on Irish Rail” by Peter Smyth (Chief Mechanical Engineer, Irish Rail)

Peter Smyth and Dick Fearn

Peter has principal responsibility for the procurement, maintenance and overhaul of all rolling stock operated by Irish Rail. He covered day-to-day operations and many recent innovations including remote diagnostics, condition monitoring, acoustic monitoring of bearings, automatic wheel measurement and other measurement systems. He also considered what form future Irish rolling stock might take, and how it might be operated and maintained.


Thursday 18th October 2018

“Valencia Harbour Branch” by Barry Carse

Tim Morton and Barry Carse

Longstanding Irish enthusiast and regular contributor to the Journal, Barry Carse, revisited the London Area with fascinating new research about the Valencia Harbour branch. Building on a recently discovered report, “Closing of Unremunerative Branch Lines” written by railwaymen rather than accountants, he described the branch, its history and its steam and diesel locomotives, finishing with railcar trials and GAA specials. This most westerly and scenic Irish line had a character all of its own.