Dr Shaun O’Boyle tweetz:

Ireland’s rail network, 100 years ago vs now. Seriously.


15 thoughts on “Derailment

    1. BobbyJ

      You’re right, the track is there but the service is gone.

      Same situation with Limerick to Foynes

      That 2020 Map makes things look better than they really are

  1. Gabby

    We need a railway connection between Sligo-Donegal-Letterkenny and Derry. Then circular rail trips around the North and North-West will lure rail buffs from all over the world. Steam engines would be cute, but I suppose the Greens would favour engines powered by photo-voltaic panels.

  2. nicorigo

    Unfortunately, having all those lines nowadays wouldn’t be profitable. Few or no competition from buses or cars in 1920…

    1. SB

      Exactly. Some lines are just not worth it:
      – “the Limerick to Ballybrophy rail route requires a subvention of €761.60 per passenger, compared to 70c per passenger for the Dart”
      – “The stark economic reality is that an average of only 39 passengers per train used the Ennis-Athenry section of the line in 2018 despite an investment of €105m to reopen the line in 2010 and an annual subsidy of €3m being spent to maintain the connection.”
      Just because lines existed a hundred years ago doesn’t mean it’d be economically viable to reopen any of them

    2. Cian

      It’s all Hitler’s fault.

      World War II had curtailed the rail system in the Republic. Britain found that it had no coal to spare for nearby neutral Ireland. For the duration of the war effort Irish steam engines were often forced to run on poor quality Irish coal, or on wood, and often they didn’t run at all.

      The sharp drop in the quality of the fuels was accompanied by a drop in quality and frequency of rail service itself. Engines weren’t replaced, public cars weren’t either. This in turn discouraged rail travellers, whose numbers were already diminishing due to the unpredictable service, the increasingly more reliable bus services, and the crisis levels of economically enforced emigration.

      Interesting perspective in more here:

  3. Catherine Vaughan

    While not all the old routes would be viable, if the option was there, maybe people would be more inclined to use them.


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