The infamous Keady Tunnel arose due to a crazy proposal doing the rounds at the start of the 20th century to built a narrow gauge railway from Greenore, Co. Louth to Clifden, Co. Galway. Self styled the “Ulster & Connaught Light Railway”, this proposal for a 234 line from coast to coast never got beyond the planning stage, which was to lay a third rail along the standard gauge line from Greenore to Newry, use the Bessbrook and Newry Tramway, a new line from Bessbrook to Tynan, where it would take up the Clogher Valley Railway from Tynan to Maguiresbridge, a new line from the latter to Bawnboy Road on the Cavan and Leitrim Railway and use of this company’s line hence to Dromod, followed by a 110 mile long line from Dromod to Clifden via Roscommon, Tuam and Cong.
Concurrent with this proposal, a line was authorised to be built from Castleblayney to Armagh, in an act of territory preservation by the GNR(I). As this line (subsequently built and opened) crossed over the route of the U&CLR at Keady, Co. Armagh, the former were required to build a tunnel under their line to accommodate it. This was done, but never used by trains as the U&CLR never got off the ground.
The OSNI 6″ map of the area around Keady for 1906 shows the course of the line from Castleblayney to Armagh as a railway under construction, but shows the tunnel at Keady as complete. The usual limitations of the OSNI web portal applies – no direct linking is possible. To see this feature on the map, click the link below and enter “284814,334500” in the X-Y Coordinates box.
The tunnel remains to this day, with the western end of it used by Ulsterbus as a local bus garage.
When perusing the OSI online maps today, I came upon a railway siding (off the line between Kildare and Athy), the existence of which I have not seen recorded anywhere previously. In addition, the brickworks had a separate tramway running from the rear of the building to elsewhere on their site.
Closed in 1953 due to the building of a hydro electric power station on the River Lee, which flooded part of the railway, the line to Macroom is being commemorated in that town by a new mural, according to the Irish Examiner.
Which is furthest west? Of academic interest only, but I have read conflicting accounts of which was further west, thereby earning the title of the most westerly railhead in Ireland and also in Europe.
With both lines long since closed (Dingle in 1953 and Valentia Harbour in 1960), the present day title goes to the Irish Rail station at Tralee, due to the in-situ line to Fenit being closed, as is the tourist railway from Tralee to Blennerville.
Using the online 25″ OS Maps, I took an ITM grid reference reading for both the terminal siding at Valentia Harbour and the end of the pier siding at Dingle and obtained the following results:
Valentia Harbour 443346,577683
Dingle Harbour 444280,601034
Converting these using the facility on the OSI website: https://gnss.osi.ie/new-converter/ gave the following results:
Valentia Harbour 51°55’45.09982″N, 10°16’40.6341″W
Dingle Harbour 52°8’21.091001″N, 10°16’30.035051″W
By a nose, Valentia Harbour wins.
TheJournal.ie has a video of the underground section of Turlough Hill power station in Co. Wicklow.
I have generally stayed away from the issue of BREXIT as its impact on IH is non-specific. When conducting the research for my railway archaeology project, I covered the issue of the railway from Clones to Cavan town, which crossed the serpentine border 6 times shortly after leaving Clones.
Preparing the map for this also gave me awareness of this:
View Larger Map
If there is a hard Brexit, what becomes of the de facto enclave of Monaghan surrounded by Fermanagh? There is a passage at the southern end of the enclave but absent appropriate road infrastructure, there is no way for those within this enclave to get to the rest of the Republic of Ireland, except through Northern Ireland with associated border controls.
Not IH per se, but as it is engineering and very interesting, I link to the BBC website article about the creations of one Theo Jansen.
The BBC has an article about a school in Germany which was taken to court over the use of a third party’s photograph on their website. The photo had been downloaded from another site and uploaded to the school’s website as part of a student project.
As copyright law is an EU matter, it went to the European Court of Justice, which decided against the State of North Rhein Westphalia.
From the BBC site:
“The ECJ said it was “of little importance” there was nothing to stop a download.”
“The court also said that using hyperlinks to direct users back to the original image on the travel site would have been permissible.”
There are many photographs on my website, most of which have been taken by me and which are copyright protected. In relation to those that I have not taken, they are either photographs licenced under creative commons (and I have duly acknowledged the appropriate CC licence) or have been taken by third parties known to me and reused here with their express consent.
Now that I have completed work on uploading my railway archaeology work online (http://industrialheritageireland.info/railwayarchaeology/index.php/railway-archaeology-of-ireland/), I am now returning to the other large project I have on this site – the Irish railway map. As advised at the end of 2017, this is online with 65 maps covering the island of Ireland.
The plan is that I won’t be updating the maps at the link above until I have all stations setup as hotlinks with the relevant page for each station connected. I will upload all in one go once ready, with a target date of the end of 2018.