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October Newsletter

September 30th, 2010

October Newsletter

It is called the season of mellow fruitfulness and so it has turned out in west Clare. The sun still generally shines and the heavy rain, strong winds and greyness have been kept at bay leaving all here feeling lively and interested in the future. Tourists are still here and visiting the railway. Many are from the UK with the occasional Australian and European but the majority are from Ireland touring the west instead of chasing the sun in far off climes.

The weather certainly assisted the engineering staff of the WCR who excelled themselves in their new track maintenance programme and succeeded in upgrading the track all the way from the road crossing to the signal box (including the Kilrush branch line) within 4 days. All fishplates were greased and the points oiled, the cambers were re-aligned, short lengths of track and worn sleepers were replaced, gaps between the rails shortened, and the ballast was tamped and cleaned. The ride on the steam engine following these improvements was noticeably smoother and much future maintenance of the springs, wheels and tyres of the rolling stock will be saved quite apart from any safety issues that such maintenance demands.

The restored Bord na Mona loco played its part in this programme hauling the tippler wagons and flat wagon loaded with a compressor and tools. Such an “industrial” sight is very pleasing on a heritage railway especially where the purpose is real. A second loco is now under restoration and just waiting for spare engine parts.

October will not see any further track maintenance as the new attraction of Hallowe’en is occupying Jackie’s mind. Much work at the station has begun with the ex-BR\IR Mk11 dining car being cleaned and converted into a cinema. Many other scary features will litter the railway by the end of the month and hopes of a successful evening on Sunday 31st October from 5 pm are high particularly since the local amature-drama theatre company, “The Crack’d Spoon Company”, have agreed to join in the fun. Marvellous to see the railway and local groups working together!

Although we have advertised the “closure” of the railway temporarily from Sep 30th, please do not let that put you off from visiting. What we are announcing is that we cannot guarantee our attendance every day in October to casual visitors but a telephone call giving notice of your wish to come will ensure our full attention wherever possible. This applies particularly to the steam engine which will always be steamed if there are enough passengers wishing to travel and adequate notice given.