074, Portarlington, 20-01-2009
After nearly two years commuting, the writing was on the wall for loco-hauled services as more and more workings went over to ICR operation. This resulted in spare 201s being available, which ousted 071s from passenger work.
The evening 1710 Athlone and 1750 Galway trains were the last to drop 071s on any regular basis, in the week in any event, and the instances dropped off drastically at the end of 2008.
This was my final regular service run with the class - and in fact my last run behind an 071 for over 8 years, until the Munster Double tour. In retrospect I was glad it was a battered orange example, rather than a new black one! For the remainder of my time commuting, this service would be 201 hauled, even a push pull set on occasion, but still more fun than an ICR.