In many ways Ireland is a mecca for train lovers. The substantial network of Intercity routes is exclusively the domain of diesel locomotive hauled trains. Most of the network is single line, much of it still manually signalled. One of the most interesting and spectacular routes runs up the east coast from Rosslare Europort to Dublin Connolly .
After running round its train, our class 071 diesel sets off with a rake of Mk 2 coaches. At first the line skirts the coastline alongside the Irish Sea. At Wexford our train slows to walking pace as it traverses the long street-running section next to the harbour. Turning inland, the line follows the course of the River Slaney offering up further magnificent views from the cab.
There are only three trains a day on this route and we pass one of them at Enniscorthy. At Wicklow we are back on the coast for a high speed section on long welded track. The overhead wire heralds the start of the Dublin Area Rapid Transit (DART) at Greystones. Soon we encounter the most difficult section to build, at Bray Head. Here the much-photographed tunnels cling on to the side of the sheer rockface. Photographers rarely get the chance to see the tunnels from the driving cab let alone from a helicopter flying alongside.
Running through Dun Laoghaire (Dun Leary) the Irish equivalent of the Cote D'Azur, we enter the Dublin conurbation. This was the very first railway in Ireland, dating from 1834. Half a dozen or so level crossings close for our passage before we pass through Dublin Pearse station, the original southern terminus, and arrive at Connolly Station in the heart of Ireland's capital.
Filmed in the summer of 2003 with the generous co-operation of Irish Rail.
Narrated by Jon Slattery
Dolby Digital Stereo, Code free PAL
INFO-Programm gemäß § 14 JuSchG