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It was sixty years ago...

posted Jun 11, 2013, 4:44 AM by Steve Edge   [ updated Jun 11, 2013, 4:48 AM ]
Darragh Connolly writes:

"On this day 60 years ago on the 11th June 1953, the last 'special' passenger train left Tralee heading westwards for Dingle. It was a special party of 45 people organised jointly by the Irish Railway Record Society (IRRS) and the Light Rail Transport League (LRTL). The two groups were on a tour of all narrow gauge railways in Ireland before they were closed.

Out of the three locomotives, loco number 8T was chosen, it was cleaned especially for the trip, the grit and dirt from the cattle trains was removed and it looked strangely clean. Also the coaching stock were two former brake 3rds number 2T and 5T both built circa 1890, they had been converted to cattle brakes, and there usual passengers post 1940's were cattle! Obviously 'heath and safety' [as we know it now] was non existent back then!

The train was driven by Billy Hanlon an old driver from the pre-1925 TDLR regime. He knew the road well, there were plenty of stops for the photographers which included J H Roberts, W McGrath, D G Coakham. Some cine film and colour photos were taken...the only known colour photos of the line.

The train proceeded to Dingle, where the train was met by the local school children and the local priest Canon Lynne, who were singing songs upon its arrival. Indeed the children got a short ride on the train!

60 years ago today history was made on the T&D.....more to come shortly! "

The picture above was taken at Tralee Sidings on 11 June 1953 during a visit by the Light Railway Transport League. In the picture from left are T. Redican (PW), T. Garvey (Station Master), J. Garrett (Loco Foreman), H. A. Massey (District Superintendent), W. Lynch (Fireman) and W. Hanlon (Driver).
© Joe Maher