LivingTravelRailfan Travel in Ireland - Museums and Preserved Lines

Railfan Travel in Ireland – Museums and Preserved Lines

Ireland and the railways: a long history, but also a history of misguided modernization, as the thriving network built in the 19th century was closed and dismantled in the name of ‘progress’ (read: road traffic) in the second half of the century XX. .

But the Irish railfan still has several opportunities to participate in his hobby (or, more bizarrely, her). From lines of work to static museums, with some models also incorporated. From the eclectic to the downright bizarre.

Here are, in alphabetical order, some ideas to delve into Ireland’s railway history:

Castlerea Railway Museum

Adyacente al pub (cerrado) Hell’s Kitchen, Main Street, Castlerea, County Roscommon.

This was known as ‘the pub with a train in the bar’… unfortunately the pub has been closed and owner Sean Browne, a lifelong rail enthusiast and collector, is trying to find a buyer. He still keeps the museum in operation, but visits are by prior arrangement only. Call him at 087-2308152 to set a date and experience the unique collection. And you can still walk through the diesel locomotive and see the old bar …

For more information, see the Castlerea Railway Museum website.

Cavan and Leitrim Railway

Narrow gauge station, Station Road, Dromod, County Leitrim.

You may leave with mixed feelings due to the exhibits visibly suffering from the elements, but a visit to the Cavan and Leitrim railway (unrelated to the original company of that name) should please any enthusiast. True, the bumpy ride (currently more than likely diesel-powered) is short, but exploring the collection is just magical. From an old steam engine through a variety of buses and fire trucks to a miniature submarine. In yellow, however.

For more information, see the Cavan and Leitrim railway review.

Donegal Rail Heritage Center

The Old Station, Tyrconnell Street, Donegal Town, County Donegal.

Interesting museum describing the history of narrow gauge railways in County Donegal, with memorabilia, full-size displays, models, and a massive image collection. It is a place to get lost, not because of the design, but because of the depth of information available. The station is also part of the ‘Trail or’ Rail ‘through Donegal.

For more information, see the Donegal Railway website.

Downpatrick and County Down Railway

Market Street, Downpatrick, County Down.

A traditional standard gauge railway with steam and diesel trains going to Inch Abbey during the summer (weekends only) and for special events, all by volunteers and not for profit. Have you ever imagined yourself as a train conductor? There are ‘special rides’ available for enthusiasts, but be sure to book them in advance.

For more information, see the Downpatrick and County Down Railway website.

Ferrocarril of Fintown – A Black Pig

Fintown, County Donegal.

The Fintown Railroad is the only operational railroad in County Donegal… and only during the summer months. Based on a restored section of the old County Donegal Railroad, the route winds through five kilometers of highland and lake scenery. Very Picturesque The historic Railcar 18 might be mated to a less glamorous diesel workhorse, but you really are riding on a piece of history.

For more information, see the Fintown Railway website.

Giant’s Causeway and Bushmills Railroad

Ballaghmore Road, Bushmills, Condado de Antrim.

A narrow-gauge railway that runs between the historic town of Bushmills and the Giant’s Causeway, a two-mile journey through the fields. A little caveat regarding these lovely trains: they are not the historic railroad that once existed along the ‘Coast of the Causeway’, but a ‘reimagining’ of the experience, using rebuilt locomotives from other sources.

For more information, see the Giant’s Causeway and Bushmills Railway website.

Guinness Warehouse

St. James Gate, Dublin

I freely admit that it is an unlikely place to look for railways, but two preserved locomotives from the company-owned railway system are shown, the remains of which can also be seen around the brewery, mainly old tracks still in situ.

For more information, check out our full Guinness Warehouse review.

Monorriel Lartigue

John B. Keane Road, Listowel, County Kerry.

This must be the strangest railway of all … a monorail with a track raised above the ground like a fence. And it actually ran between Listowel and Ballybunion from 1888 to 1924, carrying passengers, livestock, and cargo. The modern recreation has only one “demo” track (and a glance will tell you why it would be difficult to traverse this line through the modern landscape) and the “steam engine” is a faithful replica, but with diesel power. A very different railway experience …

For more information, see the Lartigue Monorail website.

Narrow narrow gauge railway

The Green, Stradbally, Condado de Laois.

Under the auspices of the Irish Steam Preservation Society, this forest line was built in stages between 1969 and 1982, entirely by volunteer work. Passenger trains are carried by a steam locomotive, although diesel can also be seen in operation. And don’t forget there is a massive steam show on Stradbally every August holiday.

For more information, visit the Irish Steam Preservation Society website.

Tralee y Blennerville Steam Railway

Blennerville (near the windmill), Tralee, County Kerry.

The best (or most charitable) way to describe this attraction is ‘in hibernation’, the steam has not increased since 2006, and although the facilities are still there, the website concludes that ‘there will be NO trains running for a long time’ . time if anything «.

For more information, see the Tralee and Blennerville Steam Railway website.

Ulster Museum of Transport and Folklore

Cultra, Holywood, County Down.

Located on the outskirts of Belfast (and with rail access too), this sprawling complex has two parts: Railroad fans will head for the transport section that includes just about everything from bicycles to the largest steam trains to be found. have seen in Ireland. It’s a cross-border affair, so you’ll see exhibits outside of Northern Ireland as well. All in all, perhaps the best museum for railwaymen visiting Ireland.

For more information, see the Ulster People and Transport Museum overview.

Waterford and Suir Valley Railway

Kilmeadan Station, Kilmeadan, County Waterford.

When the Waterford to Dungarvan route was abandoned, no one really thought that trains would run here again. Now they do… 17 kilometers were reopened as a community heritage project and now host excursion trains. The coaches are pulled by reconditioned diesel engines in a beautiful ‘old’ livery. A very pleasant experience, overall.

For more information, see the Waterford and Suir Valley Railway website.

West Clare Railroad

Moyasta Junction, Kilrush, County Clare.

Steam trains on a short, but historic stretch of line… as usual, it operates during the summer months, with steam only on Sundays.

For more information, see the West Clare Railway website.

West Cork Model Railway Village

The Station, Inchydoney Road, Clonakilty, County Cork.

This is largely a family attraction, but the more serious railroads are also not to be missed – the centerpiece is a recreation of local landmarks as scale models, with miniature trains working their way from attraction to attraction, all they pretty well done. Real-life railway items are also on display (the cafe is an original dining car) and the station has also been kept in good repair.

For more information, see the Model Railway Village website.

Westport House y Country Park

Westport, County Mayo.

This “theme park” has a miniature railway that functions as “a short walk through the grounds.” Although it carries passengers, it can leave most railroaders lukewarm at best. To be fair, the owners rate it as a ‘particular favorite for the little ones’.

For more information, see the Westport House website.

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