Rails Through the West
Colourpoint Books Colourpoint House, Jubilee Business Park, 21 Jubilee Road, Newtownards, Co. Down, BT23
4YH, NORTHERN IRELAND
* Author - Barry Carse
* Author - Jonathon Beaumont
Rails Through The West is a photographic look at the Western Rail Corridor - a moniker that has only come into common parlence in the last decade to describe the
railway line from Limerick to Sligo via Ennis, Athenry, Tuam, Claremorris, Charlestown and Collooney.
The introduction contains two minor errors - in stating that the WRC joins the Dublin to Sligo mainline at Carrignagat Junction (this was the junction with the erstwhile
SL&NCR further north - the WRC joined at Collooney Junction) and in implying that the two main canals were part of CIE at its creation in 1945 -
the Grand Canal remained independent until 1950 when it was nationalised along with CIE and merged into the latter.
Interesting photos in the book include one taken at Ardnacrusha at the end of the railway siding that served this during its construction, the track diagrams at
Ardrahan and Claremorris signal cabins, a Scammell road lorry (on rails) at Oranmore, the (very short) beet siding at Belville, a view at the east end of the Collooney
GS&WR station showing the diconnnected ‘Southern Siding’ to the former SL&NCR station in Collooney, the railhead at the Polloxfen Mill in Ballisodare
An interesting observation by the authors is that the level crossing at Kiltartan on line between Ennis and Athenry was installed to replace the adjacent road
overbridge. Nowadays, we have come full circle and IR have a policy to eliminate level crossings and replace them with bridges.
Separate chapters on Tuam Beet factory, Knock Specials, track plans of important stations, locomotives used on the route and the reopening of the line between
Ennis and Athenry complete this worthwhile publication.
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