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Preserving the T&DLR right of way

posted Jan 8, 2013, 12:56 PM by Steve Edge   [ updated Jan 15, 2013, 12:22 AM ]
A local resident from Derrymore writes in an email received on 7 January 2013:

"Derrymore should be familiar as it was a stop on the famous T&DLR. My Grand-uncle also worked on the line as a guard, while other members of my family worked on other railways in Kerry. So for this reason I have always had a strong interest in the line. The reason I am sending this email is in relation to preservation of the remainder of the
track-bed.

Currently there are plans to upgrade and widen the existing N86 Tralee to Dingle road. This will involve widening of the road and
realignment in some sections. Part of the plan is to construct a "greenway" cycle route from the village of Camp west to Dingle. This is a great idea, as anyone who has ever driven the route will attest, it will make using the road much safer and will hopefully attract more tourists to the area. Greenways also preserve old railway routes for modern recreational uses.

I feel that this greenway scheme represents the final chance to preserve what remains of the old route. Namely:
  • From Scrallebeg crossing (two miles west of Camp village) to Glean na nGealt platform, and down the other side,
  • The line around Banouge (East of Lispole, scene of the 1898 de-railment),
  • Possible restoring Lispole viaduct as part of the Greenway ( it is now in a dilapidated condition)
  • Any other part of the line that ran on its own right of way between Camp and Dingle.
Of the above, I feel that Glean na nGealt platform - Scrallebeg crossing should be preserved and is most possible to be incorporated into the Greenway scheme, it is historic in terms of being the highest rail stop in Europe at one time and also the steepest piece of rail in Europe (or so I believe).

As you are aware it is now 60 years since the last train ran and West Kerry has changed beyond all recognition, however it is important for future generations that something of the route be preserved, within reason, for historians, railway enthusiasts and cyclists/pedestrians who would use the preserved track-bed as a modern amenity and a safe alternative to using the road for cycling/walking.

The purpose of my email really is to get some authorities on the history of the T&DLR to contact Kerry County Council about preserving what remains of the line as part of this greenway scheme. The section of the line from Camp Village west to Scrallebeg crossing was demolished for road improvements in recent years so my fear is that Gleann na nGealt will be next. If people like David G. Rowlands and other Rail historians (or anyone who can help!) can contact the Council on roads@kerrycoco.ie or Roads, Transportation & Safety, Room 115, Co Buildings, Rathass, Tralee, Co Kerry, it will highlight the issue and hopefully preserve the historic platform into the future."

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