Irish Railway Photographers - Horseshoes and Trolley Poles
Colourpoint Books Colourpoint House, Jubilee Business Park, 21 Jubilee Road, Newtownards, Co. Down, BT23
4YH, NORTHERN IRELAND
* Author - Anthony Burges
At one point in the history of the GNR(I), they operated (on separate sections of line) steam engines, diesel engines, electric traction and horse power. This book, in
the Irish Railway Photographers series, looks at the latter two which were in use on the Hill of Howth tramway and the Fintona branch.
The Fintona branch, in Co. Tyrone, was infamous for the use of Dick on its horse drawn passenger tram. When the Londonderry and Enniskillen Railway opened
southwards from Derry, one of the termini on the way was Fintona. When the line was extended further south, Fintona was left on a ¾ mile spur. The passenger
service on the branch was by means of a horse drawn tram. The Hill of Howth tramway was built as an attempt to open up the Hill of Howth to development but
ultimately ended up as a mere feeder to the Howth branch of the GNR(I).
The format of the book is photographic, with a narrative for each photo putting it in its context. Most of the photographs are of a landscape nature and the engineering
features of both lines is well covered. As most of the route of the Hill of Howth tramway is retained today - either as a walkway or a public road, the photographs of
this line are particularly interesting as the modern day location can, in most cases, be determined.
The Fintona tram closed in 1957 and the Hill of Howth tramway closed in 1959. As an example of what the Fintona tram was like, the author includes a few
photographs of the Granite Island Horse Tram in south Australia.
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