Observations from our field trip to Portarlington Train Station June 2nd 2011

Thank you to Michael and Des who told us so much about the station and trains on our visit to Portarlington. Thank you to Ms Butterly for arranging our visit.

The railway came to Portarlington on June 28th 1847. Michael our guide has worked at the station for ten years and before that he worked in Kildare. He told us that 42 trains go through the station each day. We interviewed Donal Fallon when his goods train pulled into the station. He told us that he was driving for 16 years and that it was fun. There is a large screen on the platform just where the driver stops so that he can see what is happening all along the platform. (Isabelle)

We talked to a train driver. He was going up to Westport to get a load of logs. (Simon)

We asked lots of questions. Des told us that trains can go at 80km/hr. through a station. We went over the big bridge and it was very high. I wonder what next Thursday will be like. (Emily)

Michael knew everything about the station. He told us that it cost €18,000,000.00 to refurbish the platform. He showed us where the cattle bank was and the stores. The cattle bank is gone now. (Séamus)

When we were waiting for our friends to arrive at the station a train passed through at about 80kn/hr. There was a good view from the bridge. (Gavin)

Four trains came in one after another. One of the trains was a goods train. It was very long. (Ciarán)

We saw the old bridge and then we saw the new bridge and that answered our question about how people who required assistance got from one platform to the other. Now they are independent because there is an elevator up and an elevator down. We got to see down on the top of a train and to see it from the side. We got to go into the shed and see an old train with stone and everything inside it. We had a great time. (Michael)

We saw where the trains park if they are working at night. (Finnán)

Michael who worked at the station told us all about signals and rules about how fast trains can go through the station. (Senan)

We found out that you cannot drive a train if you are colour blind. (Jack)

June 3rd 2011

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