Although Abbeyfeale was a much smaller town than Newcastle or Listowel the station seems to have been reasonably important in terms of traffic serving as a railhead or a large area of North Kerry and West Limerick, at one time there were even plans for narrow gauge feeder lines to serve the town and villages south of the man line. During GSR days in addition to the three daily through passenger trains Abbeyfeale was the terminus off a daily passenger train from Limerick. The working was unusual by GSR standards worked by a tank loco and involving bunker first running as Abbeyfeale did not have a turntable.
Abbeyfeale again acted as a terminus for a short while in the early 70s when regular operation over Barnagh ceased and the Limerick-Tralee goods trains were replaced by trice weekly trip workings from Limerick to Newcastle and Tralee to Abbeyfeale. Operation over Barnagh resumed and Abbeyfeale was served from Limerick for a short period following a bridge strike at the western end of the station. There is a photo of a supertrain livery B201 hauling one of these trains through Ballingarne in AJ O'Rourke's North Kerry book. Traffic to Abbeyfeale appears to have ceased with the ending of sundries traffic some time before official closure.
The buildings and structures at both stations appear to be to a standard design for small stations on the North Kerry, including, Barnagh, Devon Road, Lixnaw and simply shouts out North Kerry. Abbeydorney originally had just a single siding the goods loop appears to have been added in GSWR days to break up the long section between Listowel and Tralee.
Loads were restricted to 25 wagons between Tralee and Ardfert with heavier loads allowed westward to Tralee. A high beet loading bank appears to added in CIE days allowing beet to be tipped directly into wagons, Abbeydorney a loading ramp and possibly a mechanical shovel may have been have been used for loading beet from ground level bins. The ramp could only be used by one vehicle and was too steep for a truck or tractor and trailer.
Signalling at Abbeydorney was interesting, while most of the shunting signals from the loop to the main line were probably the original with an upright revolving lamp housing, movements from the yard to the main line were controlled by a modern(ish) disc signal on a standard GSR/CIE galvanised steel post. from memory the disc was a disc rather than the square pattern often used by CIE.
Next episode I will look at my most likely 4mm plan a simple U shaped design with two stations and an N gauge double decker walk around design to fit a similar space.