Next Events


Speaker Meetings

We have arranged a full season of monthly talks but due to Covid-19, the whole programme of talks will be delivered online at 19.00 on the dates given.

Those on the London Area e-mail list will be sent further details of how to join the meetings, which will be on Zoom. If you would like to be added to our e-mail list, please apply to . Codes and joining instructions will be e-mailed shortly before each talk. Please also check our website for any updates to this programme.

ONLINE MEETING -Thursday 21 Jan 2021 “Irish Ambulance Trains of the Great War” by Charles Friel
CPF on 186 14-03-2020small - photo by Westway Productions  Great War Ambulance Train No 13 approaches Omagh on 1st May 1915 - photo by Norman Holland

Irish railway preservationist, photographer, and author, Charles P Friel brings us his researches into No 13 Ambulance Train, provided by the GNR(I) and No 14 Ambulance Train, provided by the GSWR. The talk includes details of the vehicles involved and their adaptation using many rarely (if ever) seen photographs and drawings as well as Charles’ researches into the trains’ hitherto almost-unknown movements. The talk includes details of how the vehicles were used back in ‘civvie street’, including some reused in a World War II Ambulance Train.

ONLINE MEETING – Thursday 11 Feb 2021 – Railways throughout Munster in the 60’s & 70’s” – a Film Show by Ciarán Cooney


IRRS Photo-Archivist, Ciaran Cooney presents a feast of unique films by the late Joe St Leger. CCooney_Portrait_2019 From Mallow and rare glimpses of the Sugar Factory, we sample Cork mainline workings ranging from new Supertrain MkII stock to magnesite and loose-coupled goods trains. Then to the Cork City goods-line, GM and Metrovick diesels on summer excursions to Youghal, Sulzer-hauled ballast operations, beet specials, Tivoli oil flows, traditional goods trains serving Newcastle West and Castleisland, a PWD steam-crane plugging the ‘bridge gap’ at Abbeyfeale. Finally the development of the freight-only Ballinacourty branch, including the factory ‘opening’ train and the seldom photographed Deutz engine on lifting-trains. Plus a bonus film about the Loughrea branch.

ONLINE MEETING – Thurs 11 Mar 2021 – “UTA/NIR Spoil Trains of 1966-70” by Joe Cassells

joe cassells

Photo 1 for 2 May 1970 (002)


                                                          The UTA NIR Spoil Trains were the last great challenge for Irish steam. Over 3½ years, WT Class 2-6-4T locos operated 7600 trains carrying over 4m tons of spoil from Magheramorne to Greencastle. Lifetime recorder of the railway scene, Joe Cassells, keenly observed the operation but now using previously unavailable information, he has produced the definitive description of it – its conception, its planning, and day-to-day activity. There is a special focus on the locomotives and enginemen but through word and photos, Joe gives us a full insight to this impressively successful project.

ONLINE MEETING – Thursday 22 Apr 2021 “Locomotives of the Great Southern & Western Railway” by Michael McMahon 

McM 1
Photo of Michael on the left with Jeremy Clements taken in the “Trophy” room at IRRS HQ 

Michael McMahon, co-author, Jeremy Clements, of the recently published eponymous book, recounts the complex motive power story of the GSWR throughout the company’s existence from 1844 – 1924. This historic subject has never been comprehensively researched before and Michael and the team took 10 years to do it. Michael therefore covers, in depth, a huge part of early locomotive development in Ireland, mirroring the expansion and needs of GSWR operations. He unravels the convoluted loco numbering system and explains the construction, rebuilding and renewal of the large fleet (325 at the end) as it evolved over 80 years. A huge amount of new information is revealed. Hear it directly from Michael.
GSWR covers-2

Please note that Jon Beaumont has had to withdraw from the April meeting. We are delighted that Michael McMahon has stepped in at short notice.


We regret that our Market planned for March 2021 has been cancelled due to Covid-19