Railway People – Bill Garrioch – Railway Protection Society of Ireland | Season 3 – Episode 83
Wheels Nov 17, 2023
Welcome to the second episode of our interview series featuring ‘railway people’, the men and women who volunteer with the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland (RPSI).
In this episode we interview Deputy Train Manager Bill Garrioch on a recent RPSI return trip from Dublin to Kilkenny city in south-east Ireland. A native of the seaside resort of Dalkey, located southeast of Dublin city, Bill trained as a Chef and his career brought him to Switzerland, UK and Ireland. As Bill’s mother was from England, each year the family travelled from Dalkey to Dagenham by boat and train. It was this early exposure to trains that gave Bill his life-long interest in steam travel.
Christmas 1988 found Bill on a RPSI steam train doing Santa Claus runs between the towns of Mullingar and Killucan, Co Westmeath. Encouraged to have a ‘go’ on the steam engine, he was invited onto the footplate to join the drivers. He was then handed a shovel and despite wearing his good clothes, instructed to start shovelling coal to feed the boiler. After a few round trips, Bill was totally hooked on joining the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland, but his clothes did not survive his experience! That was thirty-seven years ago, and Bill has been a volunteer with RPSI ever since. In 2023 in his role as the Deputy Train Manager, Bill oversees the work of the RPSI volunteers, watches over the passengers and if required is one of three people on board trained in cardiac first response.
Established in 1964, the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland safeguards Irish steam locomotives and rolling stock, operating them on the mainline rail network. With a global membership of 1,000, the society preserves traditions, relying on volunteers and partnering with Irish Rail to ensure the continued operation of steam trains.
Find out more about volunteering with the RPSI https://www.steamtrainsireland.com/membership/volunteering
Check out our first episode of ‘railway people’ featuring Peter Rigney, Chairman of the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland – “Summer in Ireland steam train to Kilkenny | Season 3 – Episode 57” https://fb.watch/oi3PZosiKY/