Simplon - The Passenger Ship Website - www.simplonpc.co.uk
Simplon Home - www.simplonpc.co.uk - Simplon facebook - Recent Updates - Search Simplon - Copyright Information - Contact Simplon
This website has no connection with any shipping company, cruise line, boat operator or other commercial organisation - There are no postcards for sale on this website
Tralee & Dingle Light Railway
This page is under construction
All images link to larger copies which will open in a new window/tab
This page shows images of the revived 3 km section of the Tralee & Dingle Light Railway (TDLR) reopened in 1993 between the Aquadome in Tralee and Blennerville Windmill. The railway has not operated properly since 2007 and faces a very uncertain future.
The Tralee and Dingle Light Railway and Tramway was a 51 km (32 mi), 914 mm (3 ft) gauge narrow gauge railway running between Tralee and Dingle, with a 10 km (6.2 mi) branch from Castlegregory Junction to Castlegregory, in County Kerry on the west coast of Ireland. It operated between 1891 and 1953, the Castlegregory branch closed shortly prior the outbreak of the Second World War. It was the most westerly railway line in Europe.
The line was 31 miles long, broken into approximately 10 mile sections at Castlegregory Junction and Annascaul, where the locomotives would take water if required, and where trains could pass each other. In 1910, at the peak of the line's usage, there were two return passenger trains, morning and evening, which on market days, Tuesday and Saturday, made a third midday trip. The trains passed one another at Castlegregory Junction, apart from the morning trips which passed at Annascaul. Journey time was 2 hours 30 minutes. The Castlegregory branch train met every train at the junction for the 6 mile branch. On Saturday afternoons it ran an extra trip through to Tralee and back. On Sundays only the morning trip from Tralee and the afternoon return from Dingle operated, plus two connecting round trips from Castlegregory.
By 1922 there were just the morning and afternoon return trips on the main line, which passed at Castlegregory Junction, and two round trips on the branch to connect, Journey times were still the same. Sunday services had ceased.
By 1938 there were still two round trips daily on the main line, still taking the same time, but the times were altered so in the morning a Tralee based train ran out to Dingle and back, while in the afternoon a Tralee based train did the round trip. The Castlegregory branch train ran through to Tralee and back in the morning, as there were no convenient main line trains to connect with, but in the afternoon made a shuttle to the junction as before.
Despite the rundown in the line's usage over time, all the timetables required three locomotives to operate the passenger services each day. In addition there were freight services, normally a round trip each day with general freight, plus extra services on market days to move cattle between Tralee and Dingle, which were the last trains to use the line. The cattle trains to the end were of sufficient size to require two locomotives.
In the 1930s the road between Tralee and Dingle was improved, allowing buses and lorries to effectively compete with the railway. The infrastructure of the railway becoming increasingly dilapidated and, in parts, unsafe. The passenger train service was timetabled to run from Dingle to Tralee in 155 minutes (for a journey of little over 31 miles), whilst the competing bus service took 105 minutes.
On 17 April 1939, all passenger services were withdrawn and the Castlegregory branch was closed completely. A single daily goods train continued to run until 1947, when coal shortages forced its temporary withdrawal. Thereafter a special train (for cattle) was operated once per month in connection with the fair at Dingle. These trains finally ended in June 1953. (Ref: Wikipedia)
To the delight of many a steam train began running over a short stretch of the old Dingle line in 1993. What is more incredible is the steam loco is a genuine survivor of the Tralee and Dingle Railway. The Hunslet-built 2-6-2T no 5 is back on the line it was built for, despite being moved away to the Cavan and Leitrim Railway upon closure of the home line. When the Cavan line closed, no 5 was acquired for the Steamtown museum in the United States and was shipped across the Atlantic. On display for many years, the fairy tale continued when the loco made the return journey to Kerry, was restored to full working order and in 1993 re-commenced duties on the relayed Tralee to Blennerville section. More recently, the delay in the heavy overhaul of No 5T has caused partial or total closure of train services. Services re-commenced in August 2009, using a diesel locomotive formerly in use at the West Clare Railway but were only to last a short time before closure once again. (From: www.tdlr.org.uk)
Sections on this Page
Railways Header Page
UK Excursion Vessels
World Ferry Fleets
Simplon Postcards - Home Page
Simplon Postcards - Recent Updates
Simplon Railway Pages:-
Railways Header Page
Simplon Facebook Pages:-
- Simplon Ship Postcards facebook page
- Simplon Minor Railways facebook page
- Simplon Piers & Lighthouses facebook page
- Simplon Tramways facebook page
- Simplon Cliff Lifts facebook page
www.tdlr.org.uk Website celebrating the Tralee & Dingle Light Railway
I have been unable to find a website for the Tralee & Blennerville operation, currently suspended.
To be added