New Year, same old trains

After spending a few days in the family homestead over Christmas, I returned to chez nous in advance of a trip to Sligo. There’s only enough pudding and tea I can consume in a 24 hour period. Ms 73man had camped there shortly after Christmas, having fulfilled her own domestic obligations by then. I decided that I would get the train to Sligo, and like a 6 year old, eagerly anticipated that Dempsey’s shiny new train awaited me in Dublin’s Connolly Station. You know, save the planet, feel all self-righteous, let her do the driving there, that sort of thing. I imagined a sleek new machine chomping at the diesel bit to get me to my destination. 

How disappointed was I then when I arrived in Connolly to find the usual Commuter style train waiting at platform 4 last Saturday? These carriages are the ones used on the Kildare commutes and the one that I get when I occasionally go to work on the train. These carriages suck….no room for long distance luggage, no operative heating, uncomfortable seats and usually no tea and coffee service. I quickly got over it, me being on my holidays and all. I read now that: 

In-service trials have begun on the daily 11.05hrs Dublin-Sligo and 14.55hrs Sligo-Dublin, with more new trains to be brought in to service on the Sligo line in the New Year. 

Great, new trains on one line and only for two of the five daily services. Genius. That’s worth getting the CEO and Minister to pose for alright! The journey was uneventful enough but punctuated by an older man who insisted on telling the young Indian family opposite me to “stay” after muttering to himself. The fine gentleman then went to inform us all – although I am not sure it was elicited by anyone in particular – that he has NEVER owned a television, Bertie is a STUPID man and how sixteen of his seventeen houses had been donated to the St Vincent de Paul. None of his millionaire offspring would ever get their hands on them. 

This would have really started to grate but how do you deal with a situation like this without inflaming a mental illness? Luckily, at Mullingar, a tall man wearing a long coat and a wide brimmed hat sat next to him and the older man proceeded to repeat the whole thing again, until the Mullingar man pulled out a naggin of Jameson. Passing it liberally between them, the Mullingar man had managed to give the older man what he wanted, an ear to listen and a drink. Both got off at Longford station, with Mullingar man donating the remainder of his naggin and a large bottle of some other spirit to the older man. A sweet moment between the two men. It was only after another Mullingar passenger took a phone call and recalled that “everyone was there, Ronan Keating, loads of celebrities…” that it struck me that this was the day of Joe Dolan’s funeral. 
You should definitely go and see the Viking longboat in the National History Museum at Collins’ Barracks, Dublin. It is impressive. 
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4 thoughts on “New Year, same old trains

  1. Ahhhh, lovely. Now I really feel like I’m back to normal…freezing my bum off back at the computer reading 73 putting the world to rights. Bliss.

  2. 73…re the viking ship in Collins Barracks..I’m sure since you’ve been along to see it, you saw tha history of the thing.It was found in the fjord at Roskilde in Denmark in the seventies or eighties ( or maybe the sixties..can’t remember) along with some other long boats and the finders deduced that since the (well rotted and barely there) ships were filled with large rocks, they’d likely been used to block the fjord from enemy attack..most likely sweden if you know the history and the position of Roskilde.On further inspection (having undertaken a mamoth recovery operation) they discovered that one of the boats (the one in Collins Barracks) was made from a type of oak tree (think it was oak) peculiar to Ireland.
    Anyway the point of the story is Mr isitjustme? and were visiting my sister (married to a dane and living there) and decided to go on a little road trip..Roskilde, Helsingor etc and saw that ship being reconstructed in the specially built shipyard!!.
    I’m very excited to see the finished ship..

  3. That’s a very cool link Is It…? The panels in the limited Museum presentation outline the blocking of the fjord diagramtically although given what I know about that terrain, I cannot yet figure out how scutttling the things would prevent invaders from just disembarking at another point, i.e. isn’t is ALL flat?

    If you can at all, get out of the Victorian conditions in the house and take a weekend jaunt to Dubling on the train to see it. Sher tis only over the road from the station. You never know: Dempso might have laid on one of his new trains for you!

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