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A Steam Engine For Irish Rail’s “The Gathering 2013”

princessA Welsh steam-engine crossed the Irish Sea yesterday and is to be placed on display in Dublin’s Heuston Station as part of the Gathering Ireland 2013.

The narrow gauge railway engine ‘Princess‘ from the Ffestiniog Railway in Snowdonia was built in 1868, just 30 years after Stephenson’s Rockets and was shipped the 175.4 km to Dublin on board the Stena Adventurer, latter following the Holyhead-Dublin Port route.

The steam-locomotive, one of six remaining out of a total of six built by George England of London, today representing one of the oldest surviving narrow gauge locomotives in the world & which was originally used to haul empty slate wagons between Porthmadog Harbour and the slate-quarrying town of Blaenau Ffestiniog, a distance of some 13.5 miles.

Public Transport Minister & Tipperary TD Mr Alan Kelly has stated that the Princess represents a piece of our transport history that we will rarely see and for rail and history enthusiasts and the general public, it is great that this locomotive has come to Dublin. “It is important we recognise our history of rail travel and this being the year of “The Gathering,” the Princess locomotive is the perfect way to do so,” he stated.

With rail tickets, Thurles to Dublin, costing €46.50 (Day return,), €51.50 (Monthly open return,) or €27.99 (Booked on line,) for a journey distance of 139.05km one way, with passenger usually positioned in a ‘standing only,’ pose for 1.25 hours, it is unlikely many locals will be tempted to take the trip solely, over the six week period this engine will remain on public display.

This is the same powerless Tipperary TD Mr Alan Kelly, who remained silent when asked to locate the Derrynaflan Chalice back to its home town of Thurles, just 152.3km away, claiming deceitfully, through his office, via Tipp FM radio that he received no communications in relation to same.

Meanwhile, in a recent conversation with Tipperary Deputy Noel Coonan, we learn that officialdom in North Tipperary Co Council and in Thurles Town Council, are solely to blame, in that no submission was ever made to the National Museum in relation to Tipperary artefacts, currently financially benefiting our capital city of Dublin, at the Tipperary Taxpayers expense.

Three Questions: (1) Who is paying for this return trip of a train to Snowdonia? (2) How many extra rail fares & jobs would have been generated, by locating the Derrynaflan Chalice back to Thurles? (3) With the Tipperary electorate mad to vote Labour, when is the next local election?

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