Grand Hibernian sees range of diesel traction

The Belmond Grand Hibernian train (BGH) has been active during the period under review on its regular programme, with an 071 Class locomotive continuing to be booked for the Connolly to Waterford and return (to Heuston) via Bagenalstown legs. No. 077 was noted on this duty on
May 28 and also the following day.

Retro-liveried 071 Class leader No. 071 makes a fine sight at the head of the Grand Hibernian luxury train at Dublin Connolly on June 4, prior to departing for Waterford and Bagenalstown. This leg of the journey is booked for the ‘large’ GMs. Cathal O’Brien

Retro-liveried No. 071 transferred the BGH from Heuston to Connolly on June 3, while dedicated loco No. 216 worked it from Connolly to Belfast and return as far as Dundalk later the same day.

On June 4, No. 071 worked the luxury train from Connolly to Waterford, thence to Bagenalstown (overnight) and on to Heuston the next morning. The BGH was out of traffic for maintenance purposes from June 5-8, and was then hired to transport a private party from Dublin to Galway and Cork from June 9-11.

Dedicated trouble

On June 24, dedicated Belmond locomotive No. 216 proved troublesome while working the Roscommon to Heuston leg, and was failed upon arrival at the terminus. The train of ten BGH Mk.3s was subsequently transferred from Heuston to Connolly by GM No. 080, while NIR ‘Enterprise’-liveried loco No. 8209 worked the Connolly to Belfast Central leg after following the BGH light engine from Heuston.

The following morning, June 25, No. 8209 hauled the train from Belfast Central to Dundalk and from there to Connolly. No. 080 replaced the NIR machine at Connolly and hauled the BGH to Waterford and thence to Bagenalstown later the same day. No. 080 then continued to Heuston with the luxury train on June 26.

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