Railways of Ireland
Amberley Publishing The Hill, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL5 4EP, UNITED KINGDOM
* Author - Clarence Winchester
* Editor - John Christopher
This publication is based on extracts from a publication of the 1930s entitled "Railway Wonders of the World", edited by Clarence Winchester. The sections on
Ireland have been incorporated into this work as "180th Anniversary 1834 - 2014".
It is regrettable that the modern day editor has done a copy and paste job, as a large number of "facts" that we now know to not be true are repeated from the original
material. Those that I spotted are:
* Page 7 - "Most of the Irish main lines are on the 5ft 3in gauge." It makes you wonder what other gauge they would be, in light of the Gauge of Railways Act 1846.
* Page 7 - the author commits that error of British railway historians of referring to 4'8½" as standard gauge (per the Gauge of Railways Act 1846, this is so for Britain
* references William Dargan dying in penury. This has subsequently been debunked by a recent biography of Dargan.
* Page 9 - The image of a D&KR train has since been debunked as artistic licence
* Page 12 - the original D&DR gauge is cited as 5'3" - it was in fact 5'2".
The map on Page 17 claims to be from the GSR but has a text overlay proclaiming it as a map of railway lines published in 1906 by the Vice Regal Commission on
Irish Railways. The map is best described as a mongrel based on the dates of line openings/closures
In the introduction, there is a reference to "many examples of narrowerer gauges" - the fundamental difference between the Irish narrow gauge and the British narrow
gauge was that the public narrow gauge was uniformly 3'0" in Ireland, making it a de facto second standard gauge in Ireland.
Sloppy proof reading errors include:
Page 50 - "Churchdown" for Churchtown in Dublin
Page 51 - references the Midland Great Western Railway as the "Great Western Railway"
Page 53 - "Athlone Wesy" for Athlone West
Page 60 - claims that the Cavan & Leitrim Railway was the last exclusively narrow gauge railway (the West Clare Railway outlasted it by two years)
Page 61 - claims Dromod is in Co. Antrim!
In the book's defence, there are a couple of photos of interest:
Page 40 - photo of Cork Kent station with signage for third class general and ladies waiting rooms. Also shows shields above the track to deflect the smoke from
steam engines to protect the glass roof.
Page 47 - photo of Maynooth with the original station building visible. The only feature of this photo remaining today is the signal cabin.
All things considered, this publication is not worth the asking price. The editor would have done well to acquaint himself with Ireland before releasing this work.
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