The Bray & Enniskerry Railway
Nonsuch Publishing 73 Lower Lesson Street, Dublin 2, Ireland
* Author - Liam Clare
Industrial heritage deals with the records and remains of former industries. It is not often that you get to review a book about a local industry that didn't happen. The
Bray and Enniskerry Railway is a record of multiple attempts to build a railway between those two towns, which came close to happening, but didn't succeed.
As the final event that killed the project was a financing arrangement that wouldn't look out of place in the sub-prime crisis of 2008, the author has timed his
publication well. Substantial parts of the engineering structures of the line were built and these include a bridge built to carry the railway over Dublin Corporation's
Vartry watermain, which remains to this day (Wicklow County Council recently removed a lot of the railway embankment in road widening, but made a policy decision
to leave the bridge, which is directly opposite the ornate bridge carrying the watermain over the Cookstown River, a tributary of the Dargle).
The author delves into the wider issues concerning the planning and building of a railway and neatly sets out the legal protocols and deadlines that had to be met by
railway promoters to get their Act of Parliament before they could raise money and proceed to build their railway.
There is just one point that I came across that merits correction. On Page 55, the author states that light railways are narrower than standard railways. This is not
strictly correct in that there were many standard gauge railways built which were 'light' railways legally, the definition being concerned with a number of factors, but
primarily to do with the weight of rails used in the railway track.
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