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Yesterday we posted about the launch of Edward to Rock Street section of the Greenway, well it seems that Minister Kelly had even more good news up his sleeve!

Today he announced that CIE has agreed to divest it unused railway lands in the county to Kerry County Council, land which will allow for the completion of not only the Tralee to Fenit Greenway but also the extension of the Great Southern Trial into Kerry, Radio Kerry have an audio clip from the Minister.

While this news is more than welcome lets hope that this is progressed in a proper and timely manner,as some of you may remember that CIE agreed to sell this land to Kerry Co. Co. back in the 1980′s.

So fingers crossed that this time it doesn’t get derailed.

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This Friday will see the official launch by Minister Alan Kelly of Phase I (we presume this should be Phase II) of the Tralee-Fenit Greenway (Casements Railway Station-Rock Street section) as part of the National Cycle Network. The launch be held at The Green Area. Casement: Avenue, Rock street, Tralee on Friday, 20m June, 2014 at 3:00pm.

The completion of this section of the route will see all of the former railway in Tralee back in use for transport, and will provide a direct link for the population along it with Kerry’s main transportation hub. It will also connection with the short ‘Big River Path’ to provide students of Tralee CBS with a dedicated safe off road route to their school.

With the pending demise of Tralee town council, it is good to hear at at the final regular monthly meeting of Tralee Town Council that the money in the town’s coffers will be ring fenced for the Tralee area.

Town Manager Michael McMahon also told the meeting that €100,000 from the suplus will be put aside for the redevlopment of the section of railway from Edward Street to Rock Steet.

The local authority’s financial statement shows there’s a credit balance of just over 11 million euro in Tralee Town Council’s coffers on December 31st last.

The bridge at Kilfenora was struck by a truck on Friday morning which caused serious damage to the bridge span and stone piers resulting in the closure of the road over the Easter weekend. Thankfully the Irish Rail [the landowners] had a crane on site first thing this mornign to fix the bridge.

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On your bike

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I was just passing the playground in Fenit and noticed a lot of bikes, this is what happens when we get in a sunny April day ! Of course the playground is located on the platform of the former Fenit railway station and is ideally positioned at the end of the planned Greenway. Maybe this time next year the children of the area will be able to walk or cycle in safety along the old railway to the playground rather than the dangerous road through the village which even in 2013 doesn’t have a continuous footpath !

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The story of the development of the Great Southern Trail in Kerry featured on RTE’s Today with Sean o’Rourke his morning. Reporter Brian O’Connell was in  Listowel and the surrounding areas over the weekend and met some of those on opposing sides of the issue.

Interestingly North Kerry Abandoned Rail Line Action Group (NKARLAG) addressed the media for the first time having refused to speak to the local media in the past.

You can listen back to the segment on the  RTE Radio Player or  via the direct  mp3

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Launch of new book on the history of the Limerick-Tralee/Fenit & Foynes Railway

A new book by railway historian Dr. Alan O’Rourke titled ‘The North Kerry Line’ whose subject is the Limerick to Tralee railway along with the branch lines to Fenit and Foynes will be launched in the Lartigue Railway Museum, Listowel, Co. Kerry by Minister Jimmy Deenihan on Sunday 24th Nov. at 7pm and at the Library, Gortboy, Newcastle West, Co. Limerick on Tuesday 26th Nov. at 8pm by Éamon Ó Cuív T.D. The public are cordially invited to attend on both nights. Beidh fáilte roimh gach éinne.

Dr. O’Rourke’s book is the result of several years research and contains a detailed history of the four railway companies who constructed these 90 miles or so of railway in West Limerick and North Kerry during the latter half of the 19th century. It also provides a fine description of the lie of the land and of the communities which were linked by the lines and their 22 stations. Front cover photo of goods train at Lixnaw, Co. Kerry 1970′s by kind permission of Jonathan Allen)

In tandem with the launch Ms. Maria Leahy, a student of Oral History at the University of Limerick is commencing the recording of of the lives and times of those who lived along the line and of those families who grew up with the railway in their blood. Maria can be contacted directly at 086 4033707 or minzer@live.ie she will also be available at Listowel from 5.30pm and Newcastle West from 7pm on the launch evenings.

The book, printed locally by Fitzsimons Printers, Shanagolden, Co. Limerick is published by the Great Southern Trail which is dedicated to preserving the heritage of these lines and the conversion to a ‘Greenway’ of the Ballingrane (near Rathkeale) to Tralee/Fenit route.

As the book says: “the North Kerry had a reputation as a friendly line”. This was thanks to the railway community who worked on it. For the railway families and for the faithful supporters of the Great Southern Trail over the past twenty years signed copies of the book will be available at the launches at the very special price of €10. The post-launch price will be €15 which is still exceptional value for a scholarly work of 275 pages including over 30 maps/diagrams and over 80 photographs (many previously unpublished. For all who were associated with the working railway, all who now walk/cycle the developed sections and all whose interest is local history this book should be essential reading.

BOOK LAUNCHES, Nov 24th and 26th 2013 CUIREADH-INVITATION

The launches of a new railway interest book “The North Kerry Line” (Limerick to Tralee and the Foynes and Fenit branches) will take place at two events as follows:

Sunday 24th November, 7pm the Lartigue Museum, Listowel, Co Kerry

http://www.lartiguemonorail.com/museum.php

Introduced by Jimmy Deenihan T.D. Aire Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta

Tuesday 26th November, 8pm, Newcastle West Library (Gortboy), Co Limerick

http://www.lcc.ie/Library/Branches/Newcastle.htm

Introduced by Éamon O Cuív T.D.

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