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Thread: Ballyglunin railway station

  1. #31
    Senior Member Mayner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhb171achill View Post
    Herewith details of trains serving Ballyglunin in 1949 and 1960, just after the western route was comprehensively dieselised.

    In the WTT dated 4th July 1949, Limerick - Sligo (northbound) trains are as follows, as they pass through Ballyglunin:



    12.09 am Athenry - Tuam mail (probably a loco and a mail van; only stopped for one minute)

    10.00 am Limerick - Sligo goods (departed 03.30am, arrives Sligo 21.50 that evening! 15 min stop

    9.35 am to 09.48 - Limerick - Tuam goods

    2.53 pm The first of only two passenger trains in the day, and the only one right through Limerick - Sligo! This one is the 11.45 Limerick - Sligo, seven hours of six wheeled luxury!

    8.49 pm Athenry - Tuam local passenger; connection from Galway line.



    Southbound, this was the picture, starting off with an interesting one:



    8.40 am Described as "double headed", this started out as the 8.20am mixed from Tuam, and spent four minutes at Ballyglunin. At Athenry the carriage was detached or locked up, as it continued to Limerick as a goods, arriving at 7.10pm, having had lengthy lay-bys at Athenry (1 hr 25), Gort (1 hr 48) and Ennis (2 hr 6m). At these places, other trains were crossed.

    11.09 am Sligo - Limerick passenger (dep Sligo 7.30am, arr Limerick 2.35pm)

    2.54 pm Tuam - Athenry mail. The reverse of the 12.09 arrival above.

    7.29 pm the 8.15am goods ex-Sligo, which arrived in Limerick at 1am the following morning.



    Now let's fast forward to 1960. By this stage "C" class locos are designated for ALL traffic except the single through passenger train in each direction, which is an AEC set. With the abysmal reliability record of the Crossley engines, it may be assumed that an occasional steam engine or perhaps B101 might put in an appearance from time to time.



    Northbound:



    9.45 am The 03.40am Limerick - Sligo goods (arr Sligo 8.05pm) called on request only

    12.38 pm Athenry - Tuam passenger / mail

    5.41 pm The 3.15pm Limerick - Sligo passenger. Arrival was at 8.35pm. Five hours and twenty minutes was a great improvement on the seven hour ordeal of 11 years earlier - all stops were served!

    6.28 pm The 8.50am Limerick - Claremorris goods had only made it this far by this time, with several long layovers. It would not hit Claremorris until 8.14pm.

    7.18 pm Athenry - Tuam passenger. Incidentally, these short workings were powered by a "C" from Galway shed, running light between Athenry and Galway and vice versa.



    Southbound:



    4.31 am 5.45am Sligo - Limerick goods

    7.55 am Tuam - Athenry passenger

    8.29 am Claremorris - Limerick goods passes through but doesn't stop.

    11.39 am 8.50am Sligo - Limerick passenger

    3.30 pm Tuam - Athenry passenger & mail; obviously the return of the one which called at 12.38 in the other direction.






    An interesting thing is that there was also, along the WLWR line, a Limerick - Galway and back passenger service. This left Galway at 9 am, and reversed at Athenry, with Limerick arrival at 11.40. Returning at 12.45pm, it arrived back in Galway at 3.55pm. If we look at today's tram from Galway to Limerick and back, it has six intermediate stops. Back in 1960, it had 12 definites plus a request stop; just compare today's timings! Not much quicker!



    No Sunday services of any sort were provided in either of the years shown


    I hope that this is of interest.
    CIE seem to have used the D14 or 60 Class on the Limerick-Sligo passenger trains and slightly smaller D17 or 52 Class on the Tuam-Galway local trains and J15s working all goods traffic from the late 1940s until the end of steam. D17 no 59 the star of the Quiet Man seems to have been a regular loco on the Tuam passengers and in a "Decade of Steam" Drew Donaldson contrasts the smart running of the 52 Class with the "leisurely loping" of the D14s working the Sligo-Limerick trains over the Athenry-Tuam section. No59 was timed at 64mph between Ballyglunin & Athenry in 1952 and superheated No16 at 66 between Balyglunin and Tuam running in the opposite direction. Ex WLWR 4-4-0, 2-4-0 & 0-6-0 locos are likely to have shared the workings with the GSWR classes until withdrawn in the late 1940s.

    A Decade of Steam speaks about the staff at Athenry shed (surely Tuam?) struggling with a leaking foundation ring on 59 afraid to send her to Inchacore lest she would never return.

    I doubt whether the C Class would have had adequate power for goods trains over the Limerick-Sligo line as traffic density (Ton/mile carried) was higher over the line north from Limerick to Athenry, than the lines into Waterford or Athlone-Galway.

    Daily Limerick-Claremorris & Limerick-Sligo were required from the late 50s until the closing of the Burma Road in 1975.

    Its possible that locos working Limerick-Sligo goods were changed at Tuam in steam days rather than working through between terminals and the shed was far busier than would normally be expected for a relatively small through station.

    A steam loco would require major servicing having been on the road for 7-8 hours with a pick-up goods and the crew out of time on the road.

    Its interesting that by 1960 the Tuam goods now runs through to Claremorris in approx. 12 hours and the through Limerick-Sligo goods in approx. 17 hours probably without change of locomotive.

    Personally the greatest drawback to developing Ballyglunin as a tourist attraction is its remote location and its limited nature as an attraction a scene from a movie made 60 odd years ago, Cong and locations in Connemara have a much stronger appeal

    Perhaps a restoration with more of a community based focus such as the Kiltimagh Museum or Templeport Community Centre than a commercial tourist focus may have a greater chance of success.
    John


    If I was going there I would'nt be starting here.

  2. #32
    Senior Member jhb171achill's Avatar
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    I went to Kiltimagh for the first time recently. I have to say it isn't up to much.

    Tuam had an allocation of six J15s (nothing else) in the 1914-20 period, according to the late Billy Lohan.
    “An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it. Truth stands, even if there be no public support”

    Never argue with an idiot. He will bring you down to his level, then beat you with experience.

  3. #33
    Well, they've raised the target sum of money, fair play.

    I would agree that it is a very out-of-the-way place, unless someone there is running some specialist tour of the movie sites (possibly bundled with other attractions) or pay for its upkeep by other means, I don't see how it would attract a lot of visitors.

  4. #34
    Senior Member jhb171achill's Avatar
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    In general, across Ireland, a museum devoted to anything at all will not be financially self supporting if it is an out-of-the-way place.

    If this could be fine with IE's full cooperation and full funding from somewhere, and permanently run by volunteers, well and good. And I hope it can be. However, as others suggest, making a busy attraction out of one scene out of an (albeit famous) film 66 years short is a bit far fetched.

    In order to visit Kiltimagh museum, you have to ring a mobile phone number and someone from the town appears. The day I went, I noticed spiders. They outnumbered the people there by a considerable amount....

    Ballyglunin wouldn't be much different.
    “An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it. Truth stands, even if there be no public support”

    Never argue with an idiot. He will bring you down to his level, then beat you with experience.

  5. #35
    Is there any remote possibility that part of the 'western rail corridor' might reopen in the next 10 years (i.e. if traffic levels viable post recession)? I think it was part of the original WRC 'dream' but I've no idea if that section of the WRC was wishful thinking or viable.

  6. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Noel View Post
    Is there any remote possibility that part of the 'western rail corridor' might reopen in the next 10 years (i.e. if traffic levels viable post recession)? I think it was part of the original WRC 'dream' but I've no idea if that section of the WRC was wishful thinking or viable.
    The by-now obligatory greenway group is already eyeing it up.

  7. #37
    It seems a shame we don't have the population density nor heritage funding culture in ROI to preserve a section of a closed railway line that is still largely intact such as this one. The Limerick-Nenagh-Ballybrophy line seems at risk of becoming another closed line in the not too distant future. Ballyglunin is only about 10 miles from Athenry with mostly bridges at line crossings. Pipe dreaming.

  8. #38
    Greenways are easy.
    A preserved line involves hard, sustained work that people here haven't the interest or inclination to do.

  9. #39
    Senior Member Mayner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhb171achill View Post
    In general, across Ireland, a museum devoted to anything at all will not be financially self supporting if it is an out-of-the-way place.

    In order to visit Kiltimagh museum, you have to ring a mobile phone number and someone from the town appears. The day I went, I noticed spiders. They outnumbered the people there by a considerable amount....

    Ballyglunin wouldn't be much different.
    Its good to see that the Ballyglunin group have reasonably realistic objective of restoring the station building for community and tourist use and long term plan to re-build the goods shed as a theatre/exhibition venue/community hall? has a greater chance of community buy in and success than a railway museum largely dependent on outside support.

    Many rural museums in New Zealand and the United States are 100% volunteer operated and only open on occasional weekends during the year or by appointment like Kiltimagh. Our local preserved railway the 7km Glen Afton Line has 7 regular operating days every year plus the occasional charter (coach tour) and is 100% volunteer owned and operated with some sponsorship from industry, charitable trusts and government agencies. The Welsh Highland Heritage Railway operates a daily service for roughly 5 months of the year and is pretty much dependent on legacies, donations from its members to fund the restoration and maintenance of its locos stock, building and plant.

    Shop and ticket sales pay the shop assistants wages rates & taxes, and the running cost of the train
    Last edited by Mayner; 27-06-2017 at 01:09 PM.
    John


    If I was going there I would'nt be starting here.

  10. #40
    Well done to them for raising the money they needed, I just hope they can keep the momentum going. the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway Trust has been going in one form or another for well over 35 years, but we have only been running for the last ten and that was with an industrial diesel loco and a couple of tourist coaches and very few active members on the ground. Ten years later and we have a huge Planning application in that will extend the line to just under 5 miles and we have one replica steam loco almost finished, which should be in use later this year we hope. 5 rebuilt original coaches and at least enough bits to build two more, and we also have plans to build four more replica steam locos as well.

    So giving the time, money and effort to do something, anything is possible, its just about getting the right people in the right place at the right time.


    Colin

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