The new Dublin & Blessington trams consisted of double deck passenger cars hauled by small steam powered tramway locomotives, with a small selection of various kinds of goods wagon available for commercial traffic.
The double deck cars consisted initially of a fleet of ten 30 foot long bodies mounted on a pair of bogies situated at either end of the vehicle. The upper decks had roofs, but were open sided, which gave them a rather tall and ungainly appearance. They were later rebuilt with decency boards along the sides. There was one first class car, four third class cars, and five composite cars with capacity for both first and third class. The first class car was designed with the idea in mind of through running into the city using the lines of the DUTC, although in practice, this never happened.
There were ten vehicles available for goods traffic, too, all four wheeled wagons, including four open wagons, four cattle wagons, and two closed vans. Finally, two brake vans were required to work the goods trains. Goods trains were normally mixed in with passenger cars, and one locomotive might haul one or two double deck cars, or a double deck car and a small goods train.
The first locomotives were six brand new tramway type
The next new locomotive to arrive was built by Thos. Green & Son, Leeds in
1892 and received number 7. This very heavy locomotive was a
In 1896 came number 8, an
In 1916, an
The rolling stock was much modified and added to down the years. By 1902 there were eight composite bogie cars as well as the four original third class cars. By now the goods wagons included seven open wagons, thirteen cattle wagons, four closed vans and two timber wagons. All of these were small four wheeled wagons with the exception of the timber wagons which were carried on a pair of bogies each.
By 1912, there were just six composite cars, with five third class cars and four brake vans. The goods wagons consisted of sixteen cattle wagons, two covered vans, seventeen mineral wagons, and four of the bogied timber wagons. By this time, bank holiday trains would be loaded with Dubliners heading for the tourist catchpoints of Blessington and Poulaphouca, and during these busy times, the timber wagons were fitted with seats and a protective wire frame, and used as 'cage cars'.
As can be seen, there was much rebuilding of rolling stock as the changes in traffic demanded down the years. As the railway began to go into decline, with rolling stock falling into disrepair, and increased competition from road transport, some new initiatives were needed to keep the tramway in some kind of economic state. In 1915, two petrol-electric tramcars had been obtained. These were 33 feet in length, mounted on twin bogies, with accommodation for both first and third class passengers. Each were driven by a six cylinder Aster petrol engine powering a maximum traction type bogie at one end. They too were designed with through running to the city in mind, but again, this proved impossible in practice. The new tramcars were hopelessly underpowered and unsuitable, and were soon broken up.
In 1925, with the DBST in serious financial trouble, two small Ford
railcars were purchased. These were based on the Ford
The last fling for the DBST was a Drewry petrol railcar with seating for 40 passengers, which arrived in 1926. It was a single deck vehicle with two driving axles and two pony axles, and could be driven from either end. After the break up of the DBST it was sold, along with one of the Fords, to the County Donegal Railways, where it was converted to their 3' gauge, operating successfully for many years. It is now the sole surviving vehicle from the Dublin & Blessington Steam Tramway, as it resides today in the transport museum at Cultra, near Bangor, in the North of Ireland.
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