This is prompted by the "Railway History & Nostalgia" thread "...Woolwich Arsenal to Stranorlar..."; am making a new thread rather than risking derailing that one. In discussion of how the grandfather of that thread's OP may have made his way home to County Donegal in 1919, mention is made of the Irish Sea ferry route which then existed between Holyhead, and Greenore in County Louth: connecting there with the Dundalk, Newry & Greenore Railway (this post -- should there be any need -- "legitimised" as being OK here, as opposed to belonging properly in the "International" section: by a portion of the DN&G's trackage being in County Down -- thus in the UK post-1921, and the line's former route still in the UK today ). I've always found the DN&G -- an Irish and Irish-gauge branch-line "outpost" of the LNWR, including saddle-tank locos of an LNW design and class -- very interesting; but the "how-come?" of Greenore's being developed as a cross-Irish-Sea ferry port, has always eluded me. Mention is made in the "Woolwich -- Stranorlar" thread, of the LNWR's "Greenore Boat Express" having been withdrawn as a consequence of World War I, and never reinstated; but my understanding is that the Holyhead -- Greenore ferry functioned regularly, essentially from 1873 to 1951. (Presumably between the WWI years and 1951, passengers had to accommodate themselves to what trains happened to be conveniently running between Holyhead and Euston.) I understand that said ferry, and the DN&GR, were creations of the LNWR; but wonder why the LNW found this undertaking, worthwhile. Ireland is really not all that big; the LNW already had a "lock" on serving Dun Laoghaire from Holyhead; and serving Belfast, from (then) Fleetwood -- what advantage of any kind, could there have been in their seemingly setting up in competition with themselves, with this intermediate route? "Wild surmises": a more direct connection -- via Dundalk -- than otherwise available, with places "due west", such as Enniskillen / Bundoran / Cavan? Some kind of governmental financial reward for commercial ventures which might be to the benefit of disadvantaged Ireland? One presumes anyway, that in 1873, this whole thing made some kind of sense to those involved in promoting it; and for sure, for nearly eighty years it provided for those who liked that kind of thing, a charming transport curiosity -- but certainly from a present-day perspective, it seems strange. Would be interested in any suggestions -- closer to the mark, I'd have no doubt, than my random guesses above -- from informed folks, regarding the point to it all.