April 2016 Newsletter

Notice is given in this newsletter of the Annual General Meeting of the Modern Railway Society of Ireland on Wednesday 20th April 2016.

We are extremely honoured to be hosting a second book launch this season at the AGM, that of member Edwin McMillan’s book Dark Days and Brighter Days for Northern Ireland Railways.

Annual General Meeting

Notice is given of the Annual General Meeting of the Modern Railway Society of Ireland, to be held at 7.15pm on Wednesday 20th April 2016 in the Drama Studio, Ashfield Girls’ High School, Holywood Road, Belfast.


  1. Apologies
  2. Minutes of Annual General Meeting on 15th April 2015
  3. Matters arising from previous minutes
  4. Chairman’s Report
  5. Accounts and Treasurer’s Report
  6. Matters arising from reports
  7. Election of Officers and Committee members
  8. Election of Honorary Auditor
  9. Any other business

After the formal business, we will host the launch of Dark Days and Brighter Days for Northern Ireland Railways by Edwin McMillan (details below), which will be followed by a presentation from the Downpatrick and Co Down Railway.

Minutes of previous General Meetings

Minutes of the 2015 AGM are enclosed with this newsletter.  A small number of print copies will be available at the AGM, but members are asked if possible to bring their own copies in order that the minutes can be taken as read before adoption.

Elections procedure

Normally, and in accordance with the Constitution of the Society, one of the officers of the Society retires each year by rotation, and this year the Chairman’s post falls vacant.  However, Ken Harte, having served as a committee member and Secretary for a total of nine years, would like to retire, so this post must also therefore be filled.

Our Treasurer Roy Thompson will continue in office until the 2017 AGM.

We therefore invite nominations as follows:-

to the post of Chairman for a three year term, retiring in 2019;

to the post of Secretary for a two year term, retiring in 2018; and

for up to three ordinary committee members, to serve for one year.

Nominations should be forwarded to the Secretary stating:

The name of the person you are nominating

Your own name

A seconder

Confirmation that the nominee has agreed to be nominated

Nominations must be received no later than Sunday 17th April 2016.

Eligibility to vote

Only members who have paid their annual subscription for 2015-16 and life members will be eligible to vote at the election.  A membership form is available on the website.

Senior Travel Pass Group

Wednesday 27th April:  Planning is in progress for a visit to Cashel and Cork using trains and busses.

Spring/Summer outings: Destinations to be confirmed after the new timetables have been introduced.

Future dates: (to be confirmed one month in advance): Wednesdays 25th May, 22nd June, 27th July and 24th August.

Contact: To add your name to the mailing list, please send your details using the Contact us link.


If you haven’t yet renewed your membership for 2015/16, please complete and return the application form to Ken as soon as possible.

Book launch

Dark Days and Brighter Days for Northern Ireland Railways

EddieMRSI is absolutely delighted and honoured to have been asked to host the official launch of Edwin McMillan’s book Dark Days and Brighter Days for Northern Ireland Railways at our Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 20th January.

Edwin has sent us the following information about his book:

Northern Ireland Railways was formed in 1967 and was made up from the surviving portions of three long established railway systems.  During the mid 1960’s the railway system in Northern Ireland escaped complete extinction with a last minute change in government policy leading to the formation of NIR.  Onwards now and almost 50 years in existence, NIR has survived at least three more attempts to either close the network or shed some of its routes, thankfully all of these attempts have failed.

The small railway system has remained open but has been wounded and shattered on many occasions due to “The Troubles” which dealt a heavy blow on the network from the early 1970’s.  Passengers and staff have been killed and injured, rolling stock destroyed, buildings and infrastructure continually targeted and of course constant disruption to train services, often running into days of closure.  However, railway staff, including the author, had a determination to keep services running and many staff put their own lives at risk.

But on the brighter side, through it all, new railway routes and abandoned routes were opened; new stations were built and even when they were destroyed by terrorists, new stations were built again; all of the old trains from the early years of NIR have been replaced.

This book looks at the history of NIR through the eyes of the author who worked for the company for 40 years and observed all these things taking place.  This is not a book of photographs, although there are around 140, it is a book setting out the history of NIR since its inception and through its ten chapters there is a mass of information which I have accumulated over my years in the company.  The first chapter covers NIR in its Infancy; the next three chapters looks at the author’s time at NIR; Chapters five and six looks at how “The Troubles” effected NIR; the next chapter recalls Special Train Movements and Rolling Stock; chapter eight looks at Stations and Infrastructure changes; Anti-Social Behaviour, The Railway Patrol and Prosecutions is covered in Chapter nine; and the last chapter deals with Operational Accidents and Incidents.  There are two Appendices listing periods of Terrorist Incidents on NIR.

Copies of the book will be on sale at the meeting.

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