Irish Rail Sites

I won't pretend to be an authoritative historian of the Irish railways, but I continue to seek sites of interest on the subject. If you're interested in learning more about the narrow gauge lines, the current attempts to restore them, various attempts to model them, or news about the contemporary Irish rail networks, check out some of the following...


At long last, the group at Moyasta has its own Web site. Still under contruction, it has information on their ongoing efforts to restore Slieve Callan to service, as well as a wealth of information on the railway, including a table of information on the rolling stock, coaches, and locomotives of the West Clare. This was, for many years, the only site devoted to the restoration of service to the West Clare, but it hasn't been updated in several years, since the sad passing of the man who ran the site for many years.  I keep this link here in tribute to Steve Killeen. A private site with some well-composed (if highly-compressed) images taken on holiday in Ireland of the contemporary service on the West Clare and also of the Tralee and Blennerville. The text is in German, but the pictures speak for themselves. A really great project put together in part by the schoolchildren of West Clare.  It's a map of the railway with histories of the towns along the line written by the children of the particular district, some containing nice family stories about the railway.  Also some nice B&W images of the line.  Be sure to visit this site. Mouse over the "Projects" button on their home page and click on the link for the WCR. Link to a RealAudio file of  the story RTE filed in January 1961 about the closure of the West Clare.  If you have RealPlayer, this is a fascinating little story.  This is part of the RTE archives that they've put on-line as part of their 75th anniversay celebration.  If you're interested in more audio clips about major events in recent Irish history, click to the main page: http://www.rte.ie/radio/radio75/soundbytes.htm/ A well-done site.  Recently overhauled (and made Netscape-friendly!), there's an archive of historical photos in addition to news and images from the restored line as well as a small history of the C&L. The C&L inherited stock and locos from many of the other Irish narrow gauge lines upon their closure, so it was rather like an operating museum in its later years. Be sure to visit this site. 
NEW A site devoted to the history of the railway and the modern Tralee & Blennerville line. A good site with lots of small but nice photos. A new link with information about the ongoing services on a short section of the original right of way, still powered by restored 2-6--2T No 5.  One small photo and a timetable (I can't vouch for how current the latter is). A very nice photographic essay of a 2003 visit to the Tralee and Blennerville, which also has a few evocative photos of the old right-of-way of the West Clare.  It still amazes me that more than forty years after closure, there's still so much visible evidence of the railway in the countryside. A great site, with a comprehensive history of the Donegal railways (including the L&LS), with a lot of information for aspiring modelers, including suppliers of locos & rolling stock kits--sadly for me, only in 4mm (HO) and 7 mm (O) scale. You can spend a lot of time browsing this site--enjoy! Also known as the Fintown and Glenties Railway, it's a narrow gauge tourist railway running on a section of one of the old Donegal lines. Trains are hauled by a small black diesel; for the non-Irish speakers amongst us, (and my cuid beag is so rusty it hardly counts), "an mhuc dubh" translates as "the black pig."
In the summer of 2003 a recreation of a small stretch of the famous (and somewhat improbable) Lartigue monorail was opened for service in Listowel, Co. Kerry.  Their Web site documents their operations with a number of photographs, and there's a good selection of images of the old line, which was closed in the 1920s.  If you can't make it to Kerry, you should at least visit this site.
A new railway, mostly steam-powered, built on part of the right of way of the old Giant's Causeway tramway, "the first hydro-electric tramway/railway in the world," which closed in 1949.  The site is worth a look, and the railway probably worth a ride. A Yahoo! group with a self-explanatory name.  Individuals send messages to the group. which are then forwarded to everyone who subscribes to the group.  There's not an overwhelming volume of traffic on the group, but it's a very amiable group. and there's much collective knowledge to be mined therein.  If you're even thinking about modeling the Irish ng on 45mm tracks, this group is highly recommended. This is an incredibly valuable site, a comprehensive listing of what seems to be every reference to the Irish narrow gauge railways in print.  If it ever appeared in a magazine or book, it's probably catalogued here.  The organization of the material takes a bit of getting used to, but it's well worth it. A site devoted to one man's garden railway. Nice photographs of some first-rate scratch-built models. That they're models of Irish prototypes has, of course, not influenced my opinion of this site at all :-) Paul has built a model of one of the West Clare diesels as well as a gorgeous model of one of the T&D 2-6-0Ts that ran for a while on the West Clare.  He's posted many large, sharp photos on his site.  He's also doing some very interesting work on an indoor, modular railway. His workmanship is exquisite! An exquisite display railway built as a group effort by members of the Chester Model Railway Club in OO scale on 12 mm track.  Their railway representes scenes from the western (Dingle) end of the Tralee & Dingle Railway.  The images of their work next to the prototype scene represented show their exquisite attention to detail.  Their model of the old Dingle station makes me want to take a ride out to Dingle in the brake van of a train of empty cattle vans going out for the cattle fair hauled by a 2-6-0T leaking steam at every joint, and when/if we arrived, to hop off long enough for a pint at Ashe's pub in town... Steve's modelling is of the Irish broad gauge, but his work is great, and his site is a very good leaping-off point for information on many aspects of Irish railways and modelling. Contains several photos of the contemporary Irish rail scene taken by Tom Sheridan. DEAD LINK. URL updated.  Lots of news and information, including their operating schedule for the year. If only they worked to preserve the narrow gauge as well! A really useful site, full of news about the contemporary Irish rail scene. Quite interesting, with information as specific as the loco roster for a given train on a certain day. The museum has an extensive collection of Irish narrow gauge equipment; unfortunately, none of it is highlighted on this site.  However,  I understand they are very helpful to those interested in the subject, and contacts are listed. Dead link.  If anyone knows where this amazingly comprehensive source has gone to, please let me know. Ken Lennan keeps listings of the auction prices for various pieces of memorabilia from the Irish railways, both standard and narrow gauge. He also has a good set of links, including one to this site. (Thanks, Ken!) Of real interest to the collector, and a serious trap for those who don't yet realize they want to become collectors. Not if this group has its way. A nice site promoting tourism in West Clare, especially Kilrush. Not a railway-related site, I know, but take a look anyway. Perhaps if enough rail fans hit their site, they'll mention the West Clare group and link to their Web site.

If anyone has information or a URL for any group not listed here, please let me know.