728 being craned onto its bogies at Downpatrick
When the 70 Class was withdrawn the engines were reused in the 450 class but two vehicles were saved by the Downpatrick and County Down Railway but unfortunately theres a sad ending to the story
I was sent some images by Mike Beckett from the Downpatrick railway of the vehicles which come from the collection of the late Mike Collins.
The vehicles involved are Driving trailer 713 and trailer 728. The 70 Class were originally standard hauled coaches and converted into multiple units later on in life, the Motor cars were scrapped as the engines were reused to power the 450 class.
The units were all withdrawn by 1986 so its pretty miraculous that these vehicles survived lon enough to be preserved
The first set of photos show 713 being lifted off its bogies at an NIR depot for transportation to Downpatrick
713 enroute to Downpatrick about to negotiate a corner in the streets of Belfast
The last of the 70 Class
When I visited in 2017 I managed to see it and what a superb job they have done to it, the vehicle was completely stripped down and rebuilt and the line are quite rightly proud of it
On Boxing day 2002 vandals broke into the station building and set fire to it completely gutting the interior, sadly 713 was parked outside which was also caught alight and was completely gutted.
The images below came from the DCDR's own Facebook page
Sadly this meant that 713 had to be scrapped, the chassis remains in use as a permanent way vehicle.
We continue with some more photos from the Mike Collins collection showing the scrapping of 713
What happened to 728 the other vehicle I hear you cry, well its been fully restored and runs frequently on the line.
Heres an article from the Belfast Telegraph about it
713 makes its first moves on DCDR metals