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jhb171achill

What closed lines have people been on?

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Pointless I know; but I remember at age 10 being fascinated by the tales of the late Mac Arnold about his travels on the GNR many years earlier. The fact that at that time, the GNR lines in Fermanagh etc had been closed over ten years seemed an eternity to me....

 

But looking through stuff for a forthcoming project today, it occurred to me that I have myself been over many a line no longer in existence, and in some cases almost vanished without trace... now, I may well be suffering increasingly from an incurable malaise called "Too Many Birthday Syndrome"; but I know I'm not (quite) the worst sufferer here....

 

So these are the places I've been by rail, no longer possible.

 

CDRJC's Victoria Road Derry station - short trip in CDR railcar 12, courtesy of NWIRS about forty years ago.

 

The derelict Blennerville fragment of the T & D

 

Midleton - Youghal

 

Port Laoise - Coolnamona

 

Dromin Jct - Ardee

 

Waterford - Kilmacthomas - Ballinacourty

 

Waterford - New Ross

 

Rosslare Harbour (Pier) line

 

Harcourt Street - Bray when it was AEC railcars (actually, two days before it shut, exactly fifty eight years ago this very day 29.12.58). Not the same today in a tram!

 

Curragh Siding (with 186 on an RPSI special)

 

Loughrea - Attymon Jct (2 days before closure; re-engined "C" in charge, to my dismay - I wanted a "G" but it was away shunting beet at Tuam! Sure ye get a "C" any time to Howth...)

 

Athenry - Claremorris (I travelled on the Limerick - Ballina train with a 141, two laminates and a tin van; also several IRRS & RPSI specials)

 

Athlone - Mullingar

 

Drogheda - Navan - Kingscourt

 

Lisburn - Antrim

 

Belfast Yord Road station to various places

 

Belfast Central Services Depot (ex-BCDR Queen's Quay)

 

I almost got to Wicklow (Murrough) station. At the very end, only one train a day served it. About a week or two before it closed, I got a train from Amiens St to Wicklow and back. The train was scheduled to go to Murrough but it went to Wicklow (mainline) instead.

 

I got into Albert Quay in Cork while shunting was in progress but via walking the tramway, not in a loco!

 

I may have been taken to Castlecomer. Senior thought he brought me, but I've zero recollection of it.

 

And on those travels I saw steam still in use on the UTA & NIR (GNR locos shunting at Lisburn, "Jeeps" on the Larne line and York Road); I travelled behind GNR 207 "Boyne" (not 207 the tin diesel thing) in a still-brown GNR 1st class carriage to Dublin, MEDs, MPDs (opening day Lisburn to Antrim), AECs of GNR / UTA / NIR and also CIE parentage, 70, 80 and Castle class railcars, B121, B141, B101, "A", "C", and Hunslets; and I sat in ex GNR, ex NCC Park Royal, laminate, Bredin, Mk 2 and Craven stock.....

 

I narrowly missed the famous journey of preserved GNR Railbus en route to the UFTM about 20 years ago! I was RPSI treasurer, and had planned to go on it, but was too busy with paperwork! (Not what one joins a heritage organisation to do, but it has to be done)....

 

I well remember the old steam era Portadown station, before that absolute eyesore of a concrete block which today masquerades as a station. It is more like a Soviet nuclear bunker, and on occasion some of the staff are about as friendly. I also explored post-closure GNR Foyle Road station in Derry - a sad sight. All complete, track only just lifted.

 

So; to my older colleagues here; who'll be first (I think I can guess) to say they did the Derry Road, or Enniskillen or the Donegal or SLNCR?

 

(I do remember seeing immediate post closure Strabane, Stranorlar, Dungannon and Killybegs stations.... the entire lot now swept away. CDR rolling stock was still at Strabane (Cox's stuff) and Stranorlar...)

 

Footplated - A, C, B101, B121, B141, 071, (new) 201, 80 class.

 

I've given myself indigestion recalling all that. It's the too-many-birthday thing again.

Edited by jhb171achill

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I walked a fair bit of the Ballycastle line. Long long gone , but there is the odd gatepost here and there.

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There are also a couple of standard NCC style mileposts, Richrua. I'm not sure what's happening the old station now - I think it's in a precarious state.

 

I've done Achill - Newport on the Achill branch - but by bicycle! And I've driven on rough ground over parts of the Clifden line.... I almost, nearly, quite - managed to get to Murrough, but also the Burma Road and the North Kerry, but it was not to be. Had I made suitable arrangements, it is galling to know that I never got a passenger train out of Queen's Quay (only empty RPSI ECS), nor did I get to Fenit or Castleisland - I could so easily have. I could also have footplated UTA steam.

 

Oh yes - I actually DID get to Ardee as well!

 

Lesson for all: if you CAN do it now, GO! Not all things will always be possible.

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It does, Hurricane, in my book anyway! I did a few turf lines too as a child but I don't remember which. Coolnamona was one. Also the 2ft gauge Ardara system - beautiful line.

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Tralee to Blennerville let's face it can't see that reopening, Waterford to Rosslare, was also on the Waterford to New Ross and to Ballinacourty but can't remember much of those trips.

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Its actually a telling indictment of Irish public interest in railway heritage, that of the seven "preserved" lines I've been on, three are no longer possible! Possible: DCDR and Waterford & Suir Valley; not possible - Dromod (temporarily), Tralee, and Derry (Victoria Road). If Finntown reopens, it will again be possible.

 

And I know of at least three potentially excellent preservation schemes which never got off the ground, despite (in two cases anyway), even funding being possible! Lack of interest, lack of anyone prepared to lead the project, let alone an army of committed volunteers. C'est la vie...

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Have walked the path of the Annalong Harbour - Silent Valley line in Co. Down. Mighty strange to see a bit of rail used as a gatepost, or dressed stone suddenly appear in the middle of dry stone wall country, but never travelled on any, alas. R

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As a child I travelled to Belfast with my mum a few times from Omagh but I recall little about it. Where we lived we could hear the permanentway men working on the lines. My grandfather was a GNR(i) permanent way man for 43years, including a stint as foreman too. During his spell with the GNR(i) he also took up the position of crossing-keeper at Edenderry, a position which gave you a free home next the line. My dad and his brother hated being out of the town and would cycle in every day to Omagh. We'd watch the steam engines pass the back of the house very day. I also remember the comfort of my bed and sounds of the late night goods trains.

Edited by TonyMcGartland

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As a VERY young child I was on the original Giants Causeway tram. I have no recollection of it but there was a photo, now sadly mislaid, to confirm the event.

I must also include many trips from Omagh to Bundoran on Sunday excursions.

The highlight of my travels must be a Sunday excursion from Omagh to Strabane on the GNR, changing to the CDR for a fantastic run via Donegal Town to Ballyshannon. There we were transferred by bus to the GNR station for the afternoon train to Bundoran for high tea at the Great Northern Hotel. The return to Omagh was on the GNR evening train via Bundoran Junction. A long and tiring day which sparked an interest in railways which has lasted to this day.

I also used the Derry Road on a weekly basis for three years to attend college in Derry and Belfast.

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I've travelled the length of the Castlrederg line albeit by Land Rover,whats more with Letterkenny station in the back ! Andy.

 

As a child I travelled to Belfast with my mum a few times from Omagh but I recall little about it. Where we lived we could hear the permanentway men working on the lines. My grandfather was a GNR(i) permanent way man for 43years, including a stint as foreman too. During his spell with the GNR(i) he also took up the position of crossing-keeper at Edenderry, a position which gave you a free home next the line. My dad and his brother hated being out of the town and would cycle in every day to Omagh. We'd watch the steam engines pass the back of the house very day. I also remember the comfort of my bed and sounds of the late night goods trains.

 

He probably knew Senior, who was civil engineer of PW based in Enniskillen 1953-7! Then the UTA shifted him to Belfast after a short spell with the GNR in Amiens St....

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As a child I regularly travelled on the Dublin-Galway train from Amiens Street which used the Mullingar route to Athlone and the old station on the west of the Shannon. Its now a cycleway. Also used to get the train to and from Moate.

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Here is my Boasting Book List!

 

Cork - Youghal -Cork - Knock Special - Cork 800. Footplate.

 

No sleep that night. I had been informed I needed to report to Cork Station no later than 04:30.Hrs from which the Special Train was due to depart at 05:00. Naively, I believed I would be the only individual to be privileged to travel on the Locomotive that morning. Wrong. The scene resembled a Disney Cartoon Film. Bodies hanging from every available space of the Locomotive's rear Cab. Not only that, many of the MKII Carriage Doors were festooned with fellow travellers as we gently meandered over rails that willingly dispersed their rust to the atmosphere, our eyes, our ears and nostrils. Returning to Cork in time to catch the Sunday RPSI return to Dublin and Belfast, those who had participated in our early morning adventure resembled Aliens from the red Planet as we excitedly boarded our train.

 

Waterford - Kilmacthomas - Ballinacourty - Waterford. Footplate.

 

What a privilege, what a beautiful journey. One incident still reminds me of that day - it was when we passed a quarry or something similar on the outward journey to the Quigley Plant. I noticed there were large yellow earth-moving lorries travelling to and from the works. In doing do they crossed the railway line on which there appeared to be no gates or barriers to protect the railway. My concern for the return journey was this, might we be less fortunate and not have a clear road ahead of us? Well we were jolly nearly involved in a collision with two of the yellow monsters when we returned! The Driver had sounded the Warning Device upon our approach, but it made no difference. Additional warnings were sounded, and yet, two of these monster lorries made a mad dash for the crossing as we approached it. I expect they believed it to be their right-of-way as the line was little used in comparison to its earlier days when it was a through line to Mallow, and all places south and South-West. Anyway, we all lived to tell the tale.

 

Limerick - Waterford - Rosslaire - Rosslare Harbour (Pier) line. Footplate.

 

Various journeys on both passenger and Bell Ferry trains.

 

Belfast - Dun Laoghaire on the first through NIR Enterprise Service between these locations. Footplate.

 

On reaching Amiens Street their was some doubt as to whether, or not, this Northern Ireland Railways Train would be allowed to proceed to Dun Laoghaire. After hurried discussions, on the platform and locomotive, we were allowed to proceed with a CIE Driver taking over the controls, along with an explanation as to why I was in the cab. On arrival at Dunlaoghaire, down platform, we ran round the train, re-coupled and waited for a down DART to overtake us on the up-line. I then left the train and got a following DART to Killiney.

 

Harcourt Street - Bray when it was AEC railcars.

 

Me too, along with a certain David Houston. We returned from Greystones, First Class. This upgrade cost us an additional six pence each. (6d each, 6d = 2.5P today) and it allowed us to see the track as we returned to Sandymount Halt.

 

Athenry - Limerick - Last Passenger train - Footplate.

 

Limerick Foynes - Ore Train - Footplate.

 

Athlone - Mullingar - Passenger and Mail trains - Footplate.

 

Drogheda - Navan - Kingscourt - Ore Train - Footplate.

 

If my memory serves me correctly, at the time I travelled this line the Speed Limit was 25.MPH? The majority of crossing-gates were opened and closed by the Train Crew, necessitating the second man to walk the length of the train at each crossing once we had cleared it. There were some track lengths that were extremely short, and were laid with Midland Great Western Rails. The rail length may have been either 25 or 30 feet, I'm sure one of you out there will know the correct length, suffice to say, these short rails, and the sound emanating from them as our wheels passed over them gave an impression of speed that was utterly false.

.

Lisburn - Antrim.

 

RPSI.

 

Belfast York Road - Larne Harbour Station. Service Trains from the early 1950 whilst travelling to School in Dublin from from my parent's Home in Scotland.Recent journeys too.

 

Belfast Queens Quay to Bangor.

 

First journey was when at a Scout Camp near Helen's Bay in the 1950s. The then new MED were gracing the line which I used whilst visiting Bangor to procure supplies for my fellow Scouts to dine upon. I had, or perhaps it were they, who suffered, as I was Quarter Master that year.

 

Bray to Wicklow (Murrough) Station.

 

Guards Van from Bray to Greystones - Footplate to the Murrough. Accompanying one Cousin and her Pony on their way to Brittas Bay.

 

Dublin to Tynan, and Dublin to Killybegs.

 

A distant memories of these two journeys which may have taken place in 1947 or thereabouts! I don't remember a great deal about the journey to Tynan other than my standing in the Gangway section between the coaches and watching the rails pass beneath my feet. I also recall standing in the corridor section of the carriage when travelling to Tynan. What I cannot remember is whether or not we went via the Irish North West, or via Portadown.

On the way to Killybegs, I certainly remember Great Northern Buses at a Railway Station, whether or not, it was Ballyshannon, I cannot recall. Whilst in Killybegs, I do remember the Red and Cream Railcars of the Count Donegal. I also remember the remarks made by the proprietor of the Guest House or Hotel I was staying in. " You are the nastiest wee boy I have had staying in here, I hope I never see you again." I cannot recall what I did to upset that Woman, however, I believe that visit was made very shortly after the Death of my Father, and that I had been taken to Killybegs by my Grandfather who was not the most caring and loving person in this world. He tended to shout and rather loudly too.

 

 

Footplated - CIE Railcars, Push-Pulls, A, C, B121, B141, 071.

 

I too have given myself indigestion recalling all that John, so off to have a very large G and T. Like you it's the too-many-birthday thing again. just hope I get through 2017.

 

Happy and Prosperous New Year to all our Members and Readers.[/color]

Edited by Old Blarney

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Cycled the Newcastlewest to Abbeyfeale section of the GSR and back.

Walked the Listowel line before it became a bypass

Walked 4 miles of the Mallow to Fermoy Line

Cycled Newport to Mulranny and back (Greenway)

Travelled by train on the Waterford to Rosslare harbour just before its closure

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Fascinating stuff....Old Blarney - Tynan!!! Not too many about now who can claim to have actually got off a train there. The beautiful Gothic station still exists on private land, untouched in sixty years.

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as a very young child i was on the original giants causeway tram. I have no recollection of it but there was a photo, now sadly mislaid, to confirm the event.

I must also include many trips from omagh to bundoran on sunday excursions.

The highlight of my travels must be a sunday excursion from omagh to strabane on the gnr, changing to the cdr for a fantastic run via donegal town to ballyshannon. There we were transferred by bus to the gnr station for the afternoon train to bundoran for high tea at the great northern hotel. The return to omagh was on the gnr evening train via bundoran junction. A long and tiring day which sparked an interest in railways which has lasted to this day.

I also used the derry road on a weekly basis for three years to attend college in derry and belfast.

 

w o w !!!

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I had a relation working for IE, I travelled many times down the D.S.E.R. sections to Shelton, Arklow and other stations, and on one occasion we had to open the long section (some pw work earlier in the day) Arklow-Enniscorthy, we had to crawl through the section to open it with a pilot on board and then we took the very late Rosslare-Connolly back through the section, it was an 071 with the PP mk3 set, that train was empty returning back to Connolly and it was put through it's paces on a very good road from Enniscorthy to Arklow. I was also on the South Wexford line with some of the most recent rail tours and I was on the footplate of some of the beet trains during the last season, including 121/141s and 071. I recall the 121 making very loud 'banging' sounds as she slipped approaching Taylorstown viaduct while paired with a 141 and pulling a heavy beet train up the bank. I was on the Blue Thunderer railtour that ran over the lisburn-Antrim section. I saw a great photo recently from the cab of the last weed spray train that ran up to New Ross, the line looked like a jungle with the rails nearly completely covered, once I also visited the short spur off the Wolfhill branch, to the Tegral factory in Athy.

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Fascinating stuff....Old Blarney - Tynan!!! Not too many about now who can claim to have actually got off a train there. The beautiful Gothic station still exists on private land, untouched in sixty years.

 

John,

 

I visited the Station in 2013 whilst working and staying with one of my Cousins who lives in Tynan. You are absolutely correct, at that time, the GNR Station at Tynan is still extant, but in a very poor condition. Believe it or not, the footbridge was still in place along with the GNR Shed, and the building of the Narrow Gauge line, although they were being used as residential properties when I visited. Looking carefully you could trace the Narrow Gauge platforms and then trace the alignment of the track down to the main road where there is a Triangular junction; one third of which is now part of the road, the section from the old Station to Caledon. During my visit each of the property owners was more than helpful in providing information to me, and allowing me on their lands.

 

http://irishantiquities.bravehost.com/armagh/tynan/tynanstation.html

Edited by Old Blarney

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In the late seventies as a teenager I was fortunate to have traveled on the North Kerry goods from Tralee to Listowel twice, to Castleisland once and from Tralee to Abbeydorney and Fenit on beet trains several times. The experience of standing on the veranda of a 30 ton brake van watching the long string of open wagons hauled by an A class climbing out of Tralee is one I will never forget as is the cocktail of diesel exhaust axle grease and paraffin oil from the marker lamps and turf smoke from the stove of the brake van in the cold morning air. In the early eighties while living in Limerick I got to travel the Mungret branch and from Silvermines to Foynes on a barytes train.

Edited by patrick

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The experience of standing on the veranda of a 30 ton brake van watching the long string of open wagons hauled by an A class climbing out of Tralee......the cocktail of diesel exhaust, axle grease and paraffin oil from the marker lamps and turf smoke from the stove of the brake van in the cold morning air.

 

This nails it for me. Stuff of dreams.

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in the late seventies as a teenager i was fortunate to have traveled on the north kerry goods from tralee to listowel twice, to castleisland once and from tralee to abbeydorney and fenit on beet trains several times. The experience of standing on the veranda of a 30 ton brake van watching the long string of open wagons hauled by an a class climbing out of tralee is one i will never forget as is the cocktail of diesel exhaust axle grease and paraffin oil from the marker lamps and turf smoke from the stove of the brake van in the cold morning air. In the early eighties while living in limerick i got to travel the mungret branch and from silvermines to foynes on a barytes train.

 

 

yum!

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I saw that Upton thing, Minister, though I didn't travel on it! In terms of "pleasure railways", I suppose my best moment was travelling on the very beautiful and well-put-together Shane's Castle Railway. I've yet to do the newer Difflin Lake line in Co. Donegal but it looks nice too.

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Lisburn – Antrim

Belfast (York Road) – various destinations

 

Shanes%u00252BCastle%u00252BSeries%u00252BNo.3.%u00252BFRONT%u00252B-%u00252BCopy.jpg

 

Shane’s Castle – Last day of operation. Picture is from a postcard and ticket from last day - forget date.

Foyle Valley Railway to end of the line at its furthest extent.

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Upton (2ft gauge) – “The Upton Rocket”

 

Midleton – Youghal – Knock Specials, Summer Sundays, Cork 800.

 

Irish Steel Haulbowline (4ft 8.5") - IRRS tour sometime in 1980s.

 

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Collooney – Claremorris – inspection car. 30th November 1981.

 

The Burma Road is a 47 mile long line linking Claremorris to Collooney Junction (on the Dublin/Sligo line). Nicknamed after the notorious railway built by Japanese POW’s during World War II the line has always been unpopular with railwaymen due to its numerous level crossings, gradients and switchback nature

Closed to passenger traffic as far back as 1963 and to freight in 1975 the line literally owes its continued survival to divine intervention! This takes the form of Fr.Micheal McGreil S.J., who has tirelessly campaigned to have the line re-opened since the late 1970’s. Although this hasn’t happened to date the line remains in situ which is more than can be said for many of the other lines mothballed at the same time.

 

By good luck I had met Fr.McGreil some months earlier and managed to wangle an invitation for the big day - a trip over the entire line in an inspection car. On the outward journey 11 officials from CIE and members of the Mayo/Galway Regional Development Organisation packed into the nominally 7 seat inspection car. On the outward journey from Claremorris I travelled by road with two permanent way inspectors to open the level crossing gates and to take photographs.

 

The weather was atrocious, and the rain teemed down in a way that it only seems to in Mayo. At Collooney an Expressway bus whisked the VIP’s away for a feed/meeting in Sligo, and I made my way into town to buy a towel for myself and, more importantly, for my cameras.

Back at Collooney (GSWR station) I boarded the inspection car for a quick brew-up before setting off for Claremorris at 13.15. There were only five of us for the return journey so I was able to enjoy a front seat ride in the company of Chief PW inspector John Cronan, Driver Patrick Conroy, Platelayer Noel Armstrong (Claremorris) and PW inspector Jerry Dwyer (Claremorris).

 

Good time was made despite having to stop to remove illegal fences replaced since the outward run. Only in cuttings had vegetation encroached to any extent and in some places it was difficult to believe that the line hadn’t been sprayed or maintained for years! However, many of the stations had suffered considerable vandalism. Following a brief photographic stop at Kiltimagh, and a grisly encounter with some sheep we reached Claremorris at approximately 16.00.

 

The line is still intact today - the last movement over it being on the 24/9/88 when two carriages were delivered by rail to the Folk Museum at Kiltimagh station.

 

Sadly, I sold my Super 8 movie some years ago, and my stills were lost by a processing lab while the local photographer in Claremorris lost his negatives.

 

On a positive note I found this video yesterday which shows some footage of the outward Claremorris/Kiltimagh part of the inspection run.

 

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Waterford – Ballinacourty – Spray Trains, IRRS Farewell, Engineering trains

 

Ballinacourty.JPG

 

Above: at Ballinacourty: can't remember the date of this one either.

 

Waterford – New Ross – Spray train and various specials

 

Waterford – Rosslare Strand

 

Rosslare Harbour – Rosslare Pier (including the tiny pub out at the end of the pier!)

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Navan - Kingscourt

 

Just the one time and that was on "The Cavan Coup" railtour.

 

Cavan Coup.jpg

 

Also Dundalk – to Dundalk NW yard - trial runs with GNR Qs 131 before she was hauled to Mallow.

 

Sadly I never managed to get to Dundalk (Barrack Street).

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Posted (edited)

North Kerry (incl.Foynes) spray trains.

 

By the early 1980’s the last ‘exciting’ railroading left in Ireland was the annual traversing of the North Kerry line between Ballingrane Junction/Tralee by the weedspraying train. Overlooked by most enthusiasts this train was the only movement of any sort over the line from one end of the year to the next. Due to the heavily overgrown nature of the line and poor condition of the permanent way 5-6 hours was usually allowed for the 53 mile long journey. I was fortunate to make the trip on three occasions the first, and most memorable, was in June 1982.

 

A fellow enthusiast from Scotland, Andy Grant, and I had travelled down to Foynes the previous evening to pick up the Spray Train, armed with our ‘rarer than hen’s teeth’ footplate passes.

 

MEMOIRS 015.JPG

 

Overnight accommodation was offered to us in one of the two sleeping vans attached to the train and was gratefully accepted, before adjourning to a nearby pub for the night. The next morning we awoke with a heightened sense of expectation and following a hearty breakfast laid on by train guard, Liam Cronin, we set out for Ballingrane Junction some 9½ miles distant. Aside from Foynes station there was little of interest on the branch and we were glad when Ballingrane came into view. After running-round the train and signing the cabin register to say we were entering the Ballingrane/Tralee section we set out and effectively disappeared off the railway map.

 

Our first obstacle was encountered not far from the junction when we arrived at a level crossing recently tarred over by the County Council. Half an hour’s work with crowbars and picks saw us on our way and we are soon through Rathkeale station with its signal cabin shattered but still standing guard on a scene of desolation. With plenty of horn blowing at the numerous accommodation crossings and occasional frantic hand signals from the footplate crew to those in the spray van to shut off the sprayer as crossing keeper’s gardens were approached. Newcastle West with its twin arched bridge and double set of gantry semaphores made a fine sight but sadly this once extensive double terminal station is now a wreck, and a vandalised point lock almost prevents our entry into the station. Running round in the dense undergrowth provided excellent photographic opportunities with freshly painted Metrovick 209 soon sporting quite a collection of camouflage!

 

209.jpg

 

After a poke around in the remains of the station we were soon on our way and climbing the notorious Barnagh Bank - scene of several runaways involving loose coupled goods trains. Just before the summit is the Barnagh tunnel - narrow and very wet - and we are glad to find no obstruction here. On through a deep cutting and past the derelict Barnagh station with its diminutive goods shed...

 

We now slipped into a routine whereby the train would stop outside each station allowing us to get down from the footplate and walk ahead to photograph the trains arrival. The loco driver that day was the late Paddy Neville who had had charge of the weedspray train over the entire CIE system for years. Paddy was an amiable character and it took no great effort to persuade him that we should lay over at Lixnaw station for an hour long lunch break at the adjacent Railway Bar. This set a precedent for the next couple of years! The Railway Bar, then untouched since its building in the 1890’s was a rare gem and its owner Jack McCarthy a mine of information of local railway folklore - his uncle had been General Manager of the Listowel & Ballybunion Railway for almost its entire existence. An ancient semaphore signal, long defunct, with two arms on opposite sides of the same post stood guard at the station level crossing.

 

Lixnaw.jpg

 

Above: Lixnaw with train crew and locals posing for the camera.

 

We were sorry to leave but promised to call again the following year and we were off. All too soon we passed through Ardfert and the outskirts of Tralee appeared in the distance. On our right the derelict line from Fenit trailed in and ran parallel for the remaining 1½ miles into Tralee. At Rock Street level crossing a van was blocking the gates but its owner was soon traced and we entered the old North Kerry yard (now Dunnes Stores). Although our train was now visible from (Tralee) Edward Street signal box the driver was obliged to walk ahead and sign the cabin register to say we had arrived before being allowed to proceed into Tralee station.

 

NCW.jpg

 

Newcastle West on another spray train - possibly 1983?

Edited by DERAILED

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Barry Carse did a few of those epic journeys too, and in fact we featured an entire chapter in "Rails Through North Kerry" on this fascinating operation. Unfortunately, although an opportunity arise, I never did Tralee - Ballingrane, though I did get into Foynes twice.

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Other long gone lines that I was luck enough to travel over include

 

Tuam Bfs

 

Thurles Bfs

 

Mallow Bfs

 

Beet 012.JPG

 

Above: 1987/88 GSRPS volunteers recovering sleepers.

 

Dun Laoghaire – Dun Laoghaire Pier (an RSPI tour was my last trip over the pier line)

 

Athlone – Mullingar – regular services, specials.

 

Sligo – Sligo Quay (RPSI)

 

Athenry – Claremorris – Knock specials, enthusiast specials and a loose coupled beet to Tuam.

 

Cahir Railway Museum

 

Dromod – Clooncolry (unlikely to reopen. I drove the first loco into Dromod Shed since the line closed!

 

Roosky Supermarket Private Railway (2ft)

 

REGRETS – lines that were intact when I became an enthusiast but were already closed.

 

Cork City Railway

 

Ardee

 

Loughrea branch

 

Castleisland branch

 

NO REGRETS

 

Tralee – Blennerville (unlikely to reopen) but I never travelled on.

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Collooney – Claremorris – inspection car. 30th November 1981.

 

Great find. Thanks for posting that fabulous video clip. Pure nostalgia. It is amazing the line was in such good condition and even passable six years after it closed. What is the status of the track bed now?

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