Anyone interested in the history of the railways of West Cork, and the CB&SCR in particular, is strongly advised to purchase a copy of a recently-published book, The Railways of West Cork: Reflections and Reminiscences (2014), edited by my friend Michael Patterson. It is stocked full of rare and hitherto unpublished photographs of these railways, with contributions from the people who took a special interest in their history in the 1950s and 1960s.
An early view of Albert Quay terminus, c. 1870, from an Irish Ordnance Survey map. It is available on the following website, which also shows the entire Cork & Bandon system as it existed at this time – i.e. Cork to Dunmanway, and Crossbarry to Kinsale:
Like ancient standing stones in a desolate valley are the ruined remains of the Owencarrow Viaduct near Cresslough in County Donegal, built by the Londonderry & Lough Swilly Railway Company in 1903 as part of a line from Letterkenny to the coastal fishing town of Burtonport. In 1925 high winds derailed a train on the viaduct. The line finally closed in 1947 and the bridge spans were thereafter removed. The construction is in part masonry and in part iron cassions. Here is the map link.
Carrying the Dublin-Belfast railway over a wide valley, the Craigmore Viaduct was designed by Sir John MacNeill and built for the Dublin and Belfast Junction Railway between 1849 and 1852. Eighteen arches in length, the viaduct is mostly around 60 feet in height, but is dramatically more at the southern end, reaching 126ft at its greatest, making it the tallest railway viaduct in Ireland, either in use or abandoned. The viaduct is located immediately north of Newry Station, itself some distance from the town.
On 23 March 2011, I posted some photos of a deep rock cutting and a road overbridge in the townland of Keilnascarta, near Bantry, constructed in 1881 to carry the Cork & Bandon railway from Drimoleague to Bantry. The cuttings on both sides of the bridge were then heavily polluted with domestic and construction rubbish, tossed over the parapet for many years. Sadly, the bridge is now gone, demolished in late 2013 by Cork County Council as part of work to widen the road and remove the illegal rubbish. One advantage of the work, however, is that the cutting south of the former bridge is now very visible from road-level. Here is the map link.
A view of the part-stone, part-iron viaduct at Lispole in county Kerry, over the river Owenalondrig river. Built c. 1891 as part of the Tralee-Dingle light railway, closed in phases in the 1940s and early 1950s. Behind is Croaghskearda mountain (2,001ft). Here is the map link.
Two views of the stone-arched overbridge in the village of Coolaney in county Sligo. There was a station a little to the south, known as Leyny (still intact). Like other parts of the ‘Burma Road’, the bridge and station were built c. 1895, and abandoned c. 1975. Unusually the track remains in situ. A few miles to the east is the active Dublin-Sligo railway. Here is the map link.
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