CIÉ is a semi-state company in Ireland that controls the transport services. It was formed in 1944 as a private company when the Great Southern Railway and the Dublin United Tram Authority were amalgamated. In 1950 the company was nationalised and formed a semi state company when it absorbed the Grand Canal company.

Over the past 61 years CIÉ has immensely changed the transport scene in Ireland, however not all of these changes made things better, CIÉ decided after it's nationalisation that it would operate without state subsidy, however this was not at all feasible given the huge losses all it's lines were running under and this resulted in the closure of many small railway lines. Also, as a way of cutting running costs, CIÉ dieselised quickly in comparison to other major railways and started it's dieselisation in earnest in 1955 with the order 94 diesel locomotives from metropolitan-vickers, however the quality of these locomotives was atrocious and this resulted in a reasonable number of steam engines remaining in service far past their life expectancy, this came to a partial end with the ordering of 101 class in 1956. To supplement the existing locomotives 15 121 class locomotives were ordered from EMD, these caused the steady decline of the remaining steam locomotives on the network and, in 1962, steam finally came to an end on CIÉ's railway network due to the order of the 141 class from EMD. However NIR owned steam locomotives remained in service until 1971.

Fast forward to the 1970s and CIÉ is getting new-found investment from the Irish government leading to the rebuilding of the horribly unreliably metropolitan-vickers locomotives with EMD power units, the 101 class were considered for rebuilding but were instead retired and replaced by a 1976 order of 18 071 class locomotives from EMD, with the last unit of the 101 class being withdrawn in 1978.

Over the next few years CIÉ experienced large losses at the taxpayer's expense leading to a "Make CIÉ pay" campaign in the 1980s leading to CIÉ being restructured and formed into 3 divisions, Íarnród Éireann(Irish Rail), Bus Éireann and Dublin bus.

Sadly the future looks rather bleak for this company as it looks likely that it's three divisions will be made into companies in their own right and CIÉ dissolved.

Locomotives Page.

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