Irish Republic passenger closure dates?

Discussion in 'International Transport' started by Calthrop, 12 Oct 2017.

  1. Calthrop

    Calthrop Member

    Messages:
    812
    Joined:
    6 Dec 2015
    Would wish to pick the brains of people learned about Irish railway matters: concerning dates of withdrawal of passenger services on assorted 5ft. 3in. gauge branch lines in the Irish Republic. I gather that -- especially when such closures took place in the 1960s -- total abandonment was often concurrent with passenger withdrawal; and on the whole, I think I'm fairly cognisant with which lines continued in use for freight "of some shape or make", and for how long, after passenger services ended. Passenger withdrawal dates though, I'm fairly vague on -- would be grateful to be informed.

    Lines concerned -- no particular order...


    Banteer -- Newmarket

    Woodenbridge -- Shillelagh (early-ish, I'm thinking -- 1940s or before?)

    Macmine Junction -- Waterford

    Bagenalstown -- Palace East (pass. early 30s, I have an inkling -- lasted much longer for freight-only)

    Thurles -- Clonmel

    Roscrea -- Birr

    Birdhill -- Killaloe

    Ballingrane -- Foynes

    Enfield -- Edenderry (pass. service withdrawn pre-WW2, I suspect)

    Port Laiose -- Mountmellick

    Streamstown -- Clara

    Clara -- Banagher

    Kilfree Jun. -- Ballaghadereen

    Claremorris -- Ballinrobe


    And: victims, I suspect (perhaps mistakenly) of the fuel shortage in the bitter winter of 1946 / 47 (passenger services suspended, supposedly temporarily, but never resumed) -- please correct me if mistaken.

    Sallins -- Tullow

    Goolds Cross -- Cashel

    Fermoy -- Mitchelstown

    Kilmessan -- Athboy

    Crossdoney -- Killashandra


    And finally, two branches in the Republic, of the Great Northern Railway of Ireland:

    Drogheda -- Navan -- Oldcastle (I have 1958 dimly in mind, but am not sure whether that's right).

    Dromin -- Ardee (pass. service withdrawn pre- WW2??)


    Would be very grateful for any enlightenment on this matter.
     
  2. Elwyn

    Elwyn Member

    Messages:
    81
    Joined:
    5 May 2014
    Location:
    Co. Antrim, Ireland
    According to Johnson’s Atlas (pub 1997), here’s some of the information you want:


    Banteer – Newmarket closed 27.1.1947 except for cattle specials and excursions. Re-opened 1.6.1956 for daily goods. Closed completely 4.2.1963.


    Woodenbridge to Shillelagh closed to passengers 24.4.1944. Shillelagh to Aughrim closed to goods 20.4.1945. Woodenbridge to Aughrim closed completely 1.5.1953.


    Macmine to Waterford North. Macmine to New Ross closed to passengers 1.4.1963, and to goods on 6.9.1976. Remains open to fertilizer traffic. (However that’s not correct as the line is long lifted).


    Bagenalstown – Palace East. Closed to passengers 2.2.1931. Closed to good except specials 27.1.1947. Closed completely 1.4.1963.


    Birdhill – Killaloe Closed to passengers 17.7.1931 and to goods 24.4.1944.


    Ballingrane – Foynes closed to passengers 4.2.1963. I don’t have a date for goods closure but it was probably post 1997. The branch is currently severed at its connection with the main line in Limerick but there is occasional talk of re-instating it for freight. It would need completely re-laid though as the rails are life expired.


    Thurles – Clonmel closed to passengers 9.9.1963 and to goods 27.3.1967. Thurles junction to Powerstown park lifted 1971. Powerstown park to Clonmel junction used as a siding, lifted after the rest of the line.


    Roscrea – Birr closed completely 1.1.1963.


    Enfield – Edenderry closed to passengers 1.6.1931, and too goods on 1.1.1935 save for livestock specials. Closed completely 1.4.1963.
     
  3. Hornet

    Hornet Member

    Messages:
    592
    Joined:
    16 Jul 2013
    This might help.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Hornet

    Hornet Member

    Messages:
    592
    Joined:
    16 Jul 2013
    1906 Map
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Hornet

    Hornet Member

    Messages:
    592
    Joined:
    16 Jul 2013
    Notes to go with the PDF in post 3 on this thread.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Calthrop

    Calthrop Member

    Messages:
    812
    Joined:
    6 Dec 2015
    Many thanks, gentlemen. Hornet: I'm undergoing -- hopefully temporary, and addressable in the meantime bit-by-bit, but not instantly -- computer-type woes; which have meant that so far, I've only had an opportunity to look very briefly at the PDFs which you furnish -- which will clearly be invaluable. I should be able to do them justice a couple of days from now; and, my grateful thanks.

    It does seem that there was quite a holocaust in 1963 (I'm aware that in that year, passenger services also ended on Limerick -- Tralee and Claremorris -- Collooney [-- Sligo] ). Britain's Railway Magazine, certainly back then, covered events in the Irish Republic with admirable diligence, so no doubt I was aware of these many closures happening at the time; but over the decades, the memory tends to get hazy...
     
  7. Billy A

    Billy A Member

    Messages:
    72
    Joined:
    9 Jan 2017
    The big closure was the Bandon and West Cork which straddled 1963 as it were - passenger traffic ceased in 1961 and goods in I think 1965 with the last trains hauling away the rails and sleepers after which almost all trace - bar bridges and a couple of tunnels - was removed.
     
  8. Calthrop

    Calthrop Member

    Messages:
    812
    Joined:
    6 Dec 2015
    With respect -- my understanding has been that the West Cork system (former Cork, Bandon & South Coast Railway) was totally abandoned -- passenger and freight -- w.e.f. 1 / 4 / 1961. About which I've felt extremely sad from that day to this -- no matter that as of the early 1960s, the system had probably indeed become totally uneconomic.

    The late J.I.C. Boyd, who made many visits to Ireland over very many decades, gives in his memoir Saga By Rail: Ireland, written in his old age -- a fascinating, if heartbreaking, recounting of a couple of days spent by him -- per his dating, in late summer 1962 -- riding on demolition trains, hauled by class B4 4-6-0Ts (ex-CBSCR, I believe), then engaged on lifting the track of the more westerly parts of the system. Boyd had been familiar with the West Cork system in happier times up to a decade earlier, when the Cork -- Bantry main line and its branches were still fully in action.
     
  9. Billy A

    Billy A Member

    Messages:
    72
    Joined:
    9 Jan 2017
    I had understood that the last demolition train ran in 1965 and at one time there was a picture available showing a train loaded with scrap in one of the western stations (Dunmanway?) dated 1965 but of course I can't find it now!
    Yes, it was horribly uneconomic. There's a book by Ernie Shepherd about the construction and operation and he relates how in 1960 or so the income was in the region of £130,000 (the majority of which was freight) and the expenditure something like £170,000. It's always been claimed that CIE spent money unnecessarily in the last year so as to make the figures look sufficiently bad that immediate closure was required.
    There's a short film about the line here:
    There used to be a better quality one with stills but it seems to have been taken down.
    EDIT: found it and posted below
     
    Last edited: 14 Oct 2017
  10. Calthrop

    Calthrop Member

    Messages:
    812
    Joined:
    6 Dec 2015
    Thank you for the film link -- probably (with my computer problems) won't be able to access it till Monday -- am looking forward to that time coming !

    For sure, the early 1960s were a bad time for CIE's lesser lines. If I have things right, the Valentia Harbour and Kenmare branches went in 1960 -- also the Waterford & Tramore; the West Clare in Jan. '61, and the West Cork in April of that same; and plenty more in '62 and, especially, '63. It might have been the only sense-making thing to do, but one doesn't have to like it...
     
  11. Billy A

    Billy A Member

    Messages:
    72
    Joined:
    9 Jan 2017
    By coincidence I came across this picture today. There's a story that the lifting trains encountered not only grass growing along the track but small shrubs as well!

    EDIT: Better quality film here if you can persuade it to run smoothly:
    http://www.imdb.com/videoplayer/vi1542102297
    IMG_20171014_135328.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: 14 Oct 2017
  12. Calthrop

    Calthrop Member

    Messages:
    812
    Joined:
    6 Dec 2015
    Got the chance yesterday for a look (not an exhaustive one -- fullness of your info supplied, Hornet, is greatly appreciated; more will be attended to ASAP) at closure lists. Find that I was right with my list of branches which I suspected to have lost their passenger services as a result of 1946 / 47's fuel crisis -- didn't realise, though, that four of them kept freight for at least another half-decade (and Sallins -- Tullow, for longer). 27 / 1 / 1947 seems to have been the great "day of infamy": the end came -- as it turned out -- for the 3ft gauge Schull & Skibbereen on that day, too. (I'm aware of other lines which lasted longer for freight, than those in my list; but whose passenger services likewise wound up ending for good, in early 1947.)

    Billy A, opportunity got to view the films -- utterly delightful, though very sad. Thanks again ! Was pleased to see featured, the horse-worked line to Shannonvale mill, off the Clonakilty branch. I recall a mid-1950s item from, I think, the British Railway Magazine; telling of that line's horse Paddy, reputedly covering a greater distance in service each month, than his northern counterpart Dick (who was, actually, female) of the Great Northern Railway's Fintona horse tram.
     
  13. Billy A

    Billy A Member

    Messages:
    72
    Joined:
    9 Jan 2017
    I recognise only one section of the longer film - 3.00 to 3.30 or thereabouts is the Timoleague to Courtmacsherry line, heading out and then back. There's a walkway there now. There are at least two more walkways - one between Innishannon and Bandon and a short one running a kilometre or so through Togher, on the south side of Cork city.
    Interestingly, the last passenger train on the CB&SC ran in 1964. It was a special organised by the Irish Railway Record Society and ran from Cork to Ballinhassig, probably all that was left by then.
     
  14. GM078

    GM078 Member

    Messages:
    359
    Joined:
    17 Sep 2010
    Location:
    Leinster
    Fertilizer continued into the early 90s... last working over the line was an ill-fated weedspray train in 1995, weeds caught fire under the locos hauling thus ending the career of pioneer Irish GM No.121. A lot of the track remained until recent years but the road crossing at New Ross has been tarmacked over and the line is disconnected at Abbey Junction, Waterford.

    Talk of a greenway, which probably is the best use for the line at this stage...
     
  15. Groningen

    Groningen Established Member

    Messages:
    1,717
    Joined:
    14 Jan 2015
    I get a Clancool in Scotland. With Clancool, Ireland i get a "town" near Bandon (county Cork).
     
  16. duesselmartin

    duesselmartin Member

    Messages:
    511
    Joined:
    18 Jan 2014
    I wonder why IE never tried an "Ennis" type solution for that line, ie. extending the ICs from Waterford to New Ross. Surely the town has passenger potential?
     

Share This Page