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    I thought it would be better to include some examples of station layouts in the resources section than in NIRs Generic Signalling thread in the general discussion section.

    An example of a small country junction station: Ballingarne County Limerick.

    To most enthusiasts Ballingarne was the junction between the Limerick-Tralee line and the Foynes Branch although the Limerick and Foynes which opened in 1858 was originally the "main line", the line to Newcastle West opened as an improvished branch line in 1866 the line from Newcastle to Tralee opening in December 1880 and presumably becoming the "main line'

    There appears to have been relatively little change to the track layout at Ballingarne during its years of operation as a Block Post the main changes appear to be the reversal of the crossover at the Western end of the station depending on whether the Foynes Branch was considered the more important.  In 1940 the station was re-signalled and the crossover reversed to allow bi-directional working through both platform roads by North Kerry Trains, Foynes trains using the Up platform road. 

    The station handled tar traffic to a Limerick County Council depot from the early 1960s, the turntable disconnected and the passing loop extended eastward in 1967 in connection with heavy freight traffic on the Foynes line. Although heavy ore and oil trains regularly crossed at Ballingarne it was necessary for one of the trains to perform a shunt as the crossover at the western end of the station was set up for crossing trains on the Tralee line.

    Ballingarne-Tralee was closed completely in October 1975, Ballingarne closing as a Blockpost in 1988. 

    The diagrams are based on photographs and a diagram in the North Kerry Line by Alan O'Rourke


    The Limerick and Foynes, Rathkeale & Newcastle Junction and Limerick and North Kerry railway companies were originally worked by the Waterford & Limerick which was extremely frugal in its operations.

    At one stage both the Foynes and Newcastle West trains were worked by a single locomotive. A Limerick-Newcastle West-Foynes train would first run directly to Newcastle West the return to the junction then make a side trip to Foynes before returning to Limerick, I am not sure if passengers were expected to wait at Ballingarne while a train made it detour or allowed stay in the train.

    The Waterford and Limerick became the Waterford Limerick and Western during the 1890s and was absorbed in the the GSWR in 1901, the GSWR & GSR appears to have operated a reasonable service with up to 3 passenger trains and a daily goods in each direction daily.  The Foynes trains varied between connecting with the North Kerry train at Ballingarne or running to and from Limerick, in addition the GSR operated an afternoon Limerick-Abbeyfeale return passenger train in addition to the tralee services.

    Trains were originally operated by W&L & WLWR locos, with the 101 or J15 taking over passenger and goods services as WLWR types were withdrawn, though WLWR & GSWR tank locos appear to have worked the Abbeyfeale train and a Sentinel steam railcar was used on the Foynes Branch during the 1930s.

    CIE had little interest in passenger traffic on either line, passenger services were cut back to a daily Limerick-Tralee passenger train and a daily mixed to Foynes in CIE days, an AEC railcar set took over Tralee passenger services in the early 50s, few passengers except enthusiasts appear to have used the Foynes mixed in its latter days.

    A G611 was tried with a MGWR 6w 3rd on the Foynes Mixed the final mixed was hauled by a B101s, the North Kerry goods was officially steam into the early 60s though Crossleys As & Cs appear to have been used, B141 appear to have been the main motive power in "goods only" days, though 213 a re-motored C Class (possibly on layover from Mungnet-Athy bulk cement) worked a Limerick-Abbeyfeale goods in 1973.

    The run-down of the North Kerry section was gradual following the closure to regular passenger traffic in 1963, the daily Limerick-Tralee goods service was cancelled in 1972 and replaced by trice weekly trip workings from Tralee to Abbeyfeale and Limerick to Newcastle West, Abbeyfeale and Newcastle West lost their regular goods service when sundries traffic went over to road haulage in 1974, a goods continuing to run for wagon load traffic as required, Tralee-Listowel remaining open for goods traffic until January 1977. 

    Special passenger trains continued to operate over the North Kerry until the line was closed in sections during the 1970s, passenger specials continued to operate to Foynes and Ballingarne into the 1980s.



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