Rails to Achill
|Publisher||The Oakwood Press (Usk), PO Box 13, Usk, NP15 1YS|
This publication is a model of how a railway history should be written, whether of a company, or in this case, just one line.
The author sets out the background which led to the building of the Achill Line, principally the Light Railways (Ireland) Act 1889 which gave Government grants towards the building of lines into areas where commercial considerations alone would not have merited construction.
All the standard chapters you would expect in a railway history are present, eg., a route description, details of locomotives and rolling stock, services and accidents. These are backed up with appendices on Level crossings and bridges as well as the Achill Island mineral railways.
The book also clears up one historical ambiguity. Convention has held that a deviation of the line took place on the Westport side of Newport shortly after the line opened, a deviation which necessitated the building of a tunnel, the second in the Newport area. Beaumont sets out that this line through the tunnel, while a deviation from the original planned route, was the line actually used from the opening of the route, the decision being taken to abandon the planned route, even though it was substantially complete from an engineering perspective. A diagram of the deviation (actual) and planned routes is provided as well as a photo of an accommodation underpass on the planned route which survives. At Stg£10.95, this publication is well worth it.
Days Hotel Belfast - located in a lovely area of Belfast where the Union Jack flies from every lamppost and the kerbstones are painted blue white and red.
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