Steve Johnson    Modelmaker




Back to Irish Railways

A Class

071 Class

B101 Class

B113 Class

B121 Class

B141 Class

B181 Class

C201 Class

201 Class

D301 Class

E401 Class

E421 Class

F501 Class

G601 Class

G611 Class

K801 Class


The Republic of Ireland embarked on its dieselisation programme a little earlier than the United Kingdom and its experiences led to some interesting locomotives. The B113 Class were Inchicores attempt at main line diesels in 1950. The D Class were built to dieselise shunting mainly around the North Wall.

The main tranche of diesels came in 1955 with an order for 94 locomotives of two types from Metropolitan-Vickers. These were the A and C Class locomotives. Unfortunately, the Crossley engines fitted to both types proved temperamental and unreliable in rail service, as British Railways found out with their Class 28 Co-Bo's.

By this time, the former CMME of the British Southern Railway, O. V. S. Bullied had joined CIE as CMME. His advice was that if you wanted reliable diesel locomotives, buy American. As a result, the B121 Class were supplied by the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors and the results spoke for themselves. Since then, all further orders were from General Motors!

A deal with EMD enabled the A and C class locomotives to be re-engined with GM power units. This was unusual at the time as GM would not allow their engines to be fitted into other manufacturers locomotives.