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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
Introduced by Jimmy Deenihan T.D. Aire Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta
Tuesday 26th November, 8pm, Newcastle West Library (Gortboy), Co Limerick
Introduced by Éamon O Cuív T.D.
The Wild Atlantic Way (WAW) which is currently under development is a driving route along the Atlantic coast from Donegal to Cork. The Wild Atlantic Way route would run along the path of the Tralee-Fenit Greenway and would provide an activity for tourists traveling the WAW.
This is an opportune time for its development as it would allow its inclusion by Failte Ireland and Discover Ireland in WAW promotional materials over the next several years. In addition to this , several communities along the WAW in Kerry are currently in collaboration to develop the St Brendan Story as a tourism experience, with which the Fenit area is inexplicably linked . The proposed greenway provides added value to this initiative as it will add to a proposed cluster of tourism activities, the development of which will make the region more attractive as a tourism destination.
Here are two videos which recently surfaced on youtube that might bring back memories of the Tralee to Fenit railway for those of you of a certain vintage !
The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport recently announced approximately €6.5m worth of funding to Local Authorities to deliver cycle routes under the national cycle network funding scheme as part of it Smarter Travel initiative.
We are delighted to learn that Kerry County Council will be submitting the Tralee to Fenit project for funding under this scheme, so fingers crossed that this funding bid is successful !
Earlier this month Brendan was was at the other end of the line when he inspected line near the Limerick border as well as the GST extension on the Limerick side of the border. As a member of the Oireachtas Transport Committee he has vowed to do all that he can to ensure CIE to protect this valuable state asset.
Brendan has been vocal on these issues in the past and his recent article Why Greenways should be called Goldways… shows he truly understands the the value of these projects.