The Dublin Society of Model and Experimental Engineers (DSMEE) is a DLR PPN member and recently submitted an item which was published in our July ezine.
Now that concerts in Marlay Park are finished for this year, things are getting back to normal on the DSMEE miniature railway in the Park. Saturday 8 July was their first day back and was well supported, notwithstanding that the Park was active with crews removing concert equipment. They look forward to providing their free train rides for children every Saturday afternoon from now until October, weather permitting.
DSMEE has had a number of requests from special interest groups to visit their set-up in Marlay Park. Among the more recent ones are:
A visit from 1st/10th Cub Scouts of Leixlip to see the railway and workshops was arranged as part of the Scouts Merit Badge scheme. On the evening of 23 June, approximately 15 scouts and 7 of their leaders came to Marlay Park and the working of steam engines was explained to them and they were all given train rides on both the raised and ground line. (See photo above).
On the morning of 21 June, special needs children from Kilcoskan National School , from The Ward, Co. Dublin, visited the railway and all were given rides on both the raised and ground lines.
On 11 July another group of children from Sciol Cholmcille Junior in Ballybrack also visited, accompanied by their teachers and helpers. They travelled on the ground line several times.
If you represent a group and wish to visit the railway, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, outlining your proposal and they will get back to you.
During the concert break, a DSMEE member, living outside Dublin, invited the society members to visit his private railway where they were well entertained. The railway is at an advanced stage of completion and the members were very impressed with what had been achieved and in particular the quality of the work done.
On a less satisfactory matter, the ground line railway in Marlay Park suffered some vandalism on the weekend of 9/10 July. A member of the public alerted the DSMEE to the event on Sunday morning (10 July) and for this they are very grateful. Fortunately, DSMEE members were able to quickly complete the necessary temporary repairs to get the line back into operation. One of the groups of special needs children mentioned above were scheduled to visit the railway 2 days after the vandalism was found, but fortunately it was repaired in sufficient time so that these special children could enjoy the railway. However more extensive repairs will be required to replace the damaged sections, and this will be done in the near future. It must be pointed out that interference with a railway has the potential to be very dangerous. This incident has been reported to the authorities.
On a brighter note, the Society has been given a generous grant under the Community Recognition Scheme. They intend to spend this grant to improve the railway, and are in discussions with the Park Authorities as to how this may be best achieved. One feature which they plan to add is a wheelchair-friendly passenger car, which will enable them to carry passengers who are wheelchair- bound on the ground line. Unfortunately, it simply is not possible to carry wheelchairs on the raised line. At the moment they have no ability to carry such passengers on the ground line and are most anxious to rectify this deficiency as soon as possible. They have contacted the Wheel-Chair Association of Ireland in this regard, and appreciate their advice and encouragement.