Our wide selection of books on the subject of Irish railways.
To allow for correct postage, please select Euro symbol below if ordering from outside the United Kingdom.
Steam's Last Challenge
Joe Cassells £15.00
This lavishly illustrated new book, by lifelong RPSI member Joe Cassells, details the life and times of the Spoil Trains, and the men who worked them. Between 1966 and 1970 more than 4 million tons of quarry waste were moved from Magheramorne to the shores of Belfast Lough to form the foundations of the M2 motorway. And it was done by the last steam locomotives in these islands. Joe relates how the contract was originally drawn up, including the building of 70 dedicated wagons by Cravens of Sheffield. These incorporated a large opening side door for quick unloading at the Belfast end of each trip. At Magheramorne quarry, two extensive loading banks were built. Joe describes the heroic efforts of the maintenance staff, working in primitive conditions by present day standards, to keep the locomotives moving. The book is based on previously unpublished information, and sheds completely new light on many facets of the Spoil Train contract. After the contract ended, the RPSI preserved locomotive No.4 in running order. Since 1970, No.4 has hauled special trains all over the Irish railway system
Softback, 21 x 30 cm, 80 colour and 70 b&w photos, 5 maps, 98 pages.
The County Donegal Remembered
Jim McBride £15.00
This book is published by the Donegal Railway Heritage Centre, Donegal Town.
The railway extended from Londonderry through Strabane, Stanorlar and Donegal Town to Killybegs, with branches to Letterkenny, Glenties and Ballyshannon. The vast majority of photographs in the book have not been published before and they show the wonderful and sometimes wild scenery through which the railway ran. The County Donegal Railways were pioneers in the introduction of diesel railcars, and steam traction was retained for freight and excursion trains until the system closed on 31st December 1959. The book includes a reprint of an article on the County Donegal Railways written by Sam Carse in 1951. The author has been involved with railway heritage and preservation for decades, and is the Irish Editor of the “Disused Stations” website.
Softback, 24 x 15 cm, 50 colour and 200 b&w photos, 1 map, 144 pages.
Memories of the Bord na Móna
Darragh Connolly £14.95
This, the second volume in the Mainline and Maritime "Irish Narrow Gauge Railways" series, takes a nostalgic look at the idiosyncratic railways of Bord na Móna. Peat, better known as ‘turf’ in Ireland, was extracted from 30 bogs, each served by an extensive railway system, and was delivered to nine power stations. Peat was also made into briquettes for home heating, and into milled form for horticulture. Recently, concern about climate change has brought about a rapid decline in Bord na Móna operations. This is the story of the closing years of this fascinating narrow gauge system.
Softback, 30 x 21 cm, 148 colour photos, 1 map, 64 pages.
£5 per book sold will be donated to the Cavan & Leitrim Railway.
Irish Railways Line By Line - Volume 1
Jim Edgar £11.50
Railway photographer Jim Edgar has put together in this book a collection of his photos of Irish railways between 1974 and 2008. A wide range of passenger and goods trains feature, ranging from wooden bodied stock to modern air braked and air conditioned trains, and from loose coupled wagons to bogie liner freight trains. There is coverage of long closed lines including the Burma Road (Claremorrris to Collooney), Athenry to Claremorris, Mullingar to Athlone and branches to Ardee, Kingscourt, Silvermines and Loughrea. Locos include the classes A (001), B (121 141, and 181), C (first 201 class), E and the second 201 class.
Softback, 26 x 18 cm, 97 colour and 2 b&w photos, 1 map, 48 pages.
Irish Railways Line By Line - Volume 2
Jim Edgar £11.50
Railway photographer Jim Edgar has put together in this book a collection of his photos of Irish railways between 1974 and 2008. Volume Two covers the South West of Ireland, mainly counties Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Tipperary. A wide range of passenger and goods trains feature, ranging from wooden bodied stock to modern air-braked and air-conditioned trains, and from loose coupled goods wagons to bogie liner freight trains. It is sobering to realise that, by 2022, none of the lines in this book south and west of Ballybrophy have any freight traffic.
Locos include the classes A (001), B (121 141,and 181), G and the second 201 class.
Lines covered include the Limerick to Foynes route, the “North Kerry” and “South Kerry” lines on either side of Tralee, Limerick to Waterford, the Cork Main line from Ballybrophy to Cork, Cork to Cobh and Cobh Junction to Youghal.
Softback, 26 x 18 cm, 104 colour photos, 1 track plan, 1 map, 52 pages.
Irish Railways Line By Line - Volume 1 & 2
Jim Edgar £20.00
Volume 1 – Dundalk to Dublin and the West of ireland
Volume 2 – The South West of Ireland
Order both books together - see individual book entries for full information.
Ireland’s General Motors Diesel-Electrics
Philip Horton £11.00
Philip Horton was fortunate to visit Ireland in 1989 and 1997 when the trains were almost all loco-hauled by General Motors-built diesel-electrics. On most lines semaphore signals were still in use, along with Electric Train Staff working on the many single lines. During the next decade this infrastructure was steadily swept away, modern signalling installed and the diesel locomotives replaced by railcars.
In the early 1950s, when BR was still planning its range of 'Standard' steam engines, two diesel-electric locos and many DMUs were built for Coras lompair Éireann (CIÉ). It then ordered no fewer than ninety-four more diesel locos from Metropolitan-Vickers in the UK. Their original Crossley engines were, however, unreliable and were later replaced by GM ones. From 1961 all of CIÉ's main-line diesels were built by GM.
The five classes supplied up to 1995 are all featured in this book, four of them carrying the striking variant of CIE's orange and black livery, introduced when Irish Rail was launched in 1987. Here the black band along the loco's side is bordered by white lining. This book illustrates Irish railways during their diesel locomotive heyday.
Softback, 17 x 24 cm, 119 colour & 5 b&w photos, 4 track plans, 64 pages.
Rails Around Ireland - A Journey In Pictures
Compiled by Charles Friel and Michael McMahon £13.50
Visit five of Ireland’s lost narrow-gauge lines and five of its 5-foot 3 inch-gauge companies in pictures taken between 1914 and 1966. Many images are from the 1950s when much change was afoot but also when some old friends had lingered long enough to be remembered here. Landing at Dún Laoghaire, we visit Dublin and the Great Northern before heading for Cork and taking a clockwise tour through Munster, Connaught, and Ulster, leaving Ireland via the NCC at Larne Harbour. Only half of the photographers are known and many then only by their initials. Maybe you can help identify them?
Hardback, 19 x 24 cm, 83 b&w photos, 80 pages.
The Railways of Bord na Móna
Ted McAvoy £10.95
The 3ft gauge railways of Bord na Móna were by far the largest network of narrow gauge ever seen in the British Isles. Moving as much as 4 million tonnes of peat each year, they featured more than 200 British-built locomotives, before building their own from the 1990s. Each year around 200 miles of temporary tracks were laid.
This book covers all aspects of the railways since 2000.
Softback, 17 x 24 cm, 84 colour and 10 b&w photos, 2 maps, 68 pages.
Danny and the Steam Train
Written and illustrated by Bob Harper £6.00
Danny and his Grandad go on an adventure to learn about the trains at Whitehead Railway Museum ...
Our exclusive new children's book, written and illustrated by local Whitehead artist, Bob Harper.
Rails Through Tipperary
Jonathan Beaumont and Barry Carse £18.00
This book is a scenic photographic odyssey through the ‘Golden Vale’ of County Tipperary covering the route from Limerick to Waterford along with the branches and section of the Dublin–Cork main line that intersects them. There are photos of the Limerick to Ballybrophy line via Nenagh, of the Killaloe and Cashel Branches, and of the Thurles to Clonmel line. Limerick Junction with its unique layout is given detailed treatment as is Thurles sugar beet factory. The pictures are complemented by a selection of timetable extracts and gradient profiles. Drawing primarily from the photos of Barry Carse, the book illustrates these lines from 1960 onwards, in an era of locomotive hauled trains and of freight services on all lines.
Softback, 26 x 21 cm, 180 colour and 6 b&w photos, 1 map, 5 track plans, 160 pages.
The Lough Swilly Remembered
Jim McBride £11.00
This book looks at the last twenty years of the Londonderry and Lough Swilly Railway from the early 1930s up to the closure of the railway itself in 1953. We travel on the Swilly from Derry to Burtonport, and also visit Letterkenny and Buncrana.
The story is told through many historic photos from the past. Over 50 unpublished photos have been selected of this forgotten Irish railway, which had some unique and distinctive features. The company’s terminus at Graving Dock in Derry looked more like a goods shed! There are superb pictures of the magnificent 4-8-0 locomotive No.12 in action. No.12 was one of only two tender locomotives to run on Irish narrow gauge railways - if only one had been preserved. It is clear from the photos that all the Lough Swilly locomotives were kept in excellent external condition right up until closure.
Softback, 18 x 24 cm, 60 b&w photos, 1 map, 64 pages.
Rails Through Connemara
Jonathan Beaumont £15.95
The book begins with an account of Connemara, in the west of Ireland, and the various schemes put forward to link its two main settlements, Galway and Clifden. The line was finally built by the Midland Great Western Railway in 1895 and the MGWR operated it until 1925 when the government merged all railways operating only in Irish Free State into Great Southern Railways. The line closed in 1935. The book has eleven chapters including Train Services, Locomotives and Rolling Stock and Road Services . Appendices include the Shantalla Siding, Tourism and the Recess Hotel, The Ulster & Connaught Light Railway and The Marconi Railway, Clifden. Anyone who has read Jonathan’s previous book on the Achill line will know to expect an outstandingly well researched and readable publication.
Softback, 21 x 15 cm, 2 colour and 101 b&w photos, 19 maps, 22 drawings, 192 pages
Rails to Achill – a West of Ireland Branch Line
Jonathan Beaumont £10.95
If you travel from Westport in the west of Ireland from Westport through Newport and Mallaranny to Achill Sound today, here and there you will see overgrown sections of railway embankment, bridges and a couple of tunnels, as well as the magnificent stone viaduct across the river in Newport. These are the surviving remnants of the old Achill line (now a popular greenway) - a branch line built at the close of the 19th century to help develop the area and link it with the outside world.
It proved to be a great social and economic asset to this area of County Mayo, but traffic never consistently reached the levels originally anticipated, and the last train ran in the autumn of 1937 - a mere 42 years after the line had opened. Since then, trains have operated from Dublin just as far as Westport, which is now the railhead for the area. This is the story of the ‘Achill Railway’ - described by travellers at the turn of the 20th century as ‘one of the most scenic railway journeys in these Islands’. The book also includes the history of the Westport Quay line and of two short lived mineral lines on Achill Island.
Paperback, 21 x 15 cm, 130 b&w photos, 25 drawings, 160 pages.
Rails Through Connemara / Raills To Achill
Jonathan Beaumont £24.90
Order both books together for a discount - see individual book entries for full information.
Rails To Wexford
Gus Geraghty £13.00
Ireland’s scenic coastal railway - which connects Dublin to Wexford - looks like a planned piece of transport infrastructure. It actually evolved piecemeal from the scheming of investors, dreamers, landowners and politicians; it took a lifetime to complete. With interesting fact and entertaining detail, this lavishly illustrated book brings the reader back in time and place to sense the world that greeted the railway and the way it influenced everyday life.
The line owes much to the creative talent of the great Isambard Kingdom Brunel and William Dargan, the ‘Father of Irish Railways’. Incorporating the famous Dublin-Kingstown Railway [world’s first suburban line] and the amazing ‘Atmospheric’ line in Dalkey this unique railway went on to create new towns and create new industries along its path. It also facilitated the spread of ideas and encouraged upward mobility. Tourism for the masses began with the railways and the coastal railway was ideally placed to initiate a new generation to the growing fashion of sea bathing.
Hopefully, "Rails to Wexford" will enable a new generation to better appreciate and preserve its inheritance……and in the process learn to enjoy and benefit for their ancestors’ gift of labour and creativity.
Softback, 22 x 28 cm, 21 colour and 39 b&w photos, 2 maps, 50 pages.
Lost Tramways Of Belfast
Peter Waller £8.99
The first volume in the "Lost Tramways of Ireland" series features the history of the Belfast system, including its origins as a horse tramway in the 1870s, its conversion to electric traction in the early 20th century, its role in two World Wars, the conversion of the network to bus and trolleybus operation from the late 1940s and the system’s eventual demise in 1954.
Amongst the locations featured are Glengormley, Greencastle and Bloomfield as well as Great Victoria Street, York Road (prior to the attention of the Luftwaffe in 1941) and Queen’s Quay railway stations. Like so many assets that would be priceless today, the tramway system was discarded long before climate change became an issue.
Hardback, 15 x 20 cm, 40 b&w photos, 1 map, 64 pages.
Great Northern Railway Of Ireland Road Motor Services 1925-1958
Sam Simpson £21.00
Any reader who thinks that this book may not contain much of interest to the railway enthusiast should think again, as the fortunes of the GNR(I) road motor services were inextricably linked to the those of the parent railway company. Sam Simpson describes in detail the effects on the GNR(I) and on its employees of partition in Ireland, the 1933 strike, competition with private companies, World War 2 (known as the ‘Emergency’ in the Free State), and the growth of private car ownership in the 1950s. There is a chapter on the company’s innovative railbuses, built at the GNR(I) works in Dundalk, where road buses and lorries were also built. The comprehensive appendices give details of the company’s fleets of buses, lorries and other vehicles, bus companies bought by the GNR(I), and the routes of all road services. The author’s extensive research has resulted in a book packed with information and it is a real eye opener to those who thought that the GNR(I) just ran trains.
Hardback, 30 x 21 cm, 47 colour & 134 b&w photos, 224 pages.
How Railway Workers And Dockers Defied An Empire - The Irish Munitions Embargo Of 1920
Peter Rigney £5.00
The Irish munitions strike is one of the most important, yet neglected, episodes of the War of Independence and Peter Rigney's book has redressed the balance. He shows how ordinary railway workers and the wider trade union movement used civil resistance to bring the British war effort to a virtual standstill for much of 1920. It is essential reading for every future historian of the period and will inform the general reader's understanding of the times.
Paperback 15 x 21cm, 10 illustrations, 1 table, 1 map, bibliography and index, 58 pages.
The Giant's Causeway Tramway
John McGuigan £15.95
Written by RPSI founding member, John McGuigan, and first published in 1964, this new edition comprises the original text but the book has been redesigned. New photographs have been added to bring the number of illustrations to 67 in total. In his preface the author recalls his childhood experiences of riding the toastracks on this narrow gauge railway from Bushmills to Portrush. A talk he was to give in 1948 caused him to talk to the tram crews and managers on the world’s first hydro-electric tramway. The book comprises eleven chapters covering the early days, operation, the First World War, the Second World War and after. Lack of maintenance meant that by 1949 the track was in very poor condition. This, combined with a growing overdraft, meant closure was inevitable and the assets were sold off piecemeal until 1952 when the company could be wound up. Eight appendices detailing locomotive, rolling stock, tickets and fares etc. tell more of the story.
Paperback, 21 x 15 cm, 67 b&w pictures, 6 maps, 1 diagram, 120 pages.
Smoke Amidst the Drumlins - The Cavan and Leitrim Railway in the 1950s
Anthony Burges £6.00
The front cover picture of this book captures the atmosphere of the narrow (three foot) gauge Cavan and Leitrim Railway – a train pulls away from Mohill station and over a level crossing. Behind a closed gate wait a postman with bicycle and a farmer with his donkey and cart. The railway was steam hauled for its lifetime and, in later years, it acquired locomotives from the Cork, Blackrock and Passage and the Tralee and Dingle Railways. Coal traffic from Arigna mine (one of the few in Ireland) sustained the railway until closure in 1959.
Paperback, 20 x 24 cm, 61 b&w pictures, 1 map, 64 pages.
Horseshoes and Trolley Poles - Fintona and Howth trams in the 1950s
Anthony Burges £6.00
If they had survived, they would make wonderful tourist attractions today. The Great Northern Railway (Ireland) operated both the horse drawn Fintona Tram (closed 1957) and the electric Hill of Howth Tram (closed 1959). This book is Anthony Burges’s pictorial record of both systems in everyday use when public transport was still popular due to low car ownership. Anthony’s pictures capture the atmosphere of the 1950s. Do you remember the days when suitcases had no wheels?
Paperback, 20 x 24 cm, 56 b&w pictures, 2 maps, 63 pages.
Horseshoes and Trolley Poles / Smoke Amidst the Drumlins
Anthony Burges £10.00
Horseshoes and Trolley Poles - Fintona and Howth trams in the 1950s
Smoke Amidst the Drumlins - The Cavan and Leitrim Railway in the 1950s
Order both books together - see individual book entries for full information.
Irish Narrow Gauge Album
Michael Whitehouse £25.00
In writing this book, Michael Whitehouse has delved deep into the family archive established by his late father P.B. ‘Pat’ Whitehouse. The book includes the work of many other well-known names such as W. ‘Cam’ Camwell, Henry Casserley, A.W. Croughton and Ron Jarvis, who revel in the joys of a visit spanning the fifty year period from circa 1910 to around 1960 and mostly to the remoter parts of the country. We will reach such remote outposts as Kilkee and Kirush on the West Clare Railway, Castlegregory and Dingle on the Tralee & Dingle, Schull and Skibbereen, Coachford and Donoughmore on the Cork & Muskerry, and Crosshaven on the Cork, Blackrock & Passage in the Republic of Ireland, along with the Listowel & Ballybunion and Guinness Brewery systems. And in Northern Ireland, to Carndona and Burtonport (Londonderry & Lough Swilly), Glenties, Killybegs and Ballyshannon (County Donegal), Arigna, Dromod and Belturbet (Cavan & Leitrim) and Maguiresbridge and Tynan (Clogher Valley), as well as the Giant’s Causeway Tram. Each pictorial chapter is accompanied by an historic essay from a well-known railway historian, in a style that harks back to the original narrow gauge albums compiled by Pat Whitehouse and others in the 1950s and ’60s.
Hardback, 28 x 22 cm, 258 b&w photos, 224 pages.
The Bessbrook And Newry Tramway
A.T. Newham £10.95
First published in 1979 and unavailable for decades this little book has been reformatted as a landscape book. This new format does justice to the excellent photographs. The Bessbrook & Newry Tramway was a narrow gauge line operated on the hydro-electric principle and built to transport coal and flax from the Newry quays to the Bessbrook Spinning Mills, finished goods in the reverse direction and mill workers. It opened in October 1885 and closed in January 1948. This little book is packed with information including the background to construction and opening, equipment, description of the line, operation (and mishaps), rolling stock, tickets and closure. Four maps and gradient profiles are also included. The back cover features a photograph of tramcar No.6, which is currently under restoration at Whitehead.
Paperback, 17 x 24 cm, 35 b&w photos, 52 pages
Ireland’s Largest Industrial Railway: The Guinness System
Hugh Oram £10.00
The Guinness brewery in Dublin expanded rapidly in the 1870s as the world couldn’t get enough of its ruby red gold (it might look black but that’s an illusion).
Horses and carts hauled hops, malt and casks around the site until 1873 when construction of a narrow gauge railway (tramway) began. This delightful little factory system operated for 100 years, ceasing work in 1975. Hugh Oram’s book is full of photos of (mainly) this and the day to day workings of the brewery. As well as the internal tramway, there was also a broad gauge link to Kingsbridge Station which closed in 1965 and is also featured.
Paperback, 18 x 24cm, 52 black and white photos, 50 pages
Irish Steam In The 1960s - End Of An Era
Conrad Natzio £12.00
This is RPSI member Conrad Natzio’s record of a distinctive time on the Irish railway system, between 1960 and 1963, when dieselisation was well under way but there were many steam locomotives still hard at work, north and south. This delightful collection of Conrad’s largely unpublished images, complemented by extended captions filled with detail, anecdotes and personal reflections, captures the changing scene and celebrates what had survived.
Conrad is donating royalties from the book to the Society, so please support its purchase.
Paperback, 26 x 21cm, 220 colour photos, 160 pages
Irish Railways, Locomotives, Multiple Units And Trams
Robert Pritchard £18.95
The complete guide to all locomotives, multiple units, coaching stock and trams of Irish Rail, Northern Ireland Railways and Dublin Trams (Luas). Contains complete fleet lists of all stock in traffic plus technical data for every class. The Belmond Grand Hibernian Luxury Train, preserved locomotives and railcars and on-track machines are all included along with details of museums and museum lines open to the public. Detailed maps of the railways of Ireland are also included. As well as fleet information, Irish Railways contains a general overview of how the Irish railway networks operate, with details of passenger services, railfreight, urban rail networks and proposed future developments. Useful information about rover tickets and links to useful websites are also included. This new edition of Irish Railways incorporates all the changes that have taken place since the previous edition was published in 2013. If you want to find out where, in Ireland, you can find a former BR Southern Region Cig EMU, just buy the book!
Paperback, 21 x 15 cm, 71 colour photos, 4 maps, 96 pages
The Tracks of my Railway Years, Volume 1
Roy Carlisle £14.00
This book is subtitled ‘A personal Journey on Irish and UK Railways from the 1970s’. It could also be subtitled ‘All those things which so many enthusiasts remember but so few photographed’. In the early 1970s, Roy set about recording the contemporary railway scene, mainly in Northern Ireland but with interludes throughout the island.
The early railtours of the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland with wooden body coaches are featured, particularly the Portrush Flyer from 1973 onwards. Forgotten gems include Barn and Eden Halts on the Larne line, Limavady Junction, Ballymacarret Junction, the original Great Victoria Street Station in Belfast, the Ardee branch, the Sligo Quay branch and Rosslare Harbour station. The full range of motive power of the period is covered – remember NIR’s fleet of three Diesel Hydraulic locomotives? CIÉ motive power is well illustrated due to an extensive visit to Inchicore Works, Dublin in 1975. Roy brings his story up to date with some steam activity in England and with a recent visit to the new Bellarena station – evidence of the railway revival which we are enjoying at present.
Paperback, 28 x 21 cm, 275 colour and 123 b&w photos, 1 map, 179 pages
County Donegal by Rail in Colour
John Langford and Neil Tee £18.00
A hardback book of colour photos taken of the railway by John Langford, who visited the line during the summer of 1959, having heard it was to close and wishing to record its activities. A number of these pictures have been published before in various places, but this special collection has never before been published together. There are 75 colour photos each of which has been carefully and informatively captioned using John’s notes taken at the time. This all-colour photographic collection gives a unique flavour of the line in its last year of operation showing both steam and diesel trains, passenger and goods, and stations and countryside.
Hardback, 22 x 28 cm, 75 colour photos, 1 map, 80 pages
The Tracks of my Railway Years, Volume 2
Roy Carlisle £15.00
Roy Carlisle’s ‘The Tracks of My Railway Years, Volume 2’ takes over where Volume 1 finished in terms of Roy’s personal railway experiences, illustrated by (mainly) his own photographs. One of the later chapters brings us to railways in exotic locations such as Kuala Lumpur, the Cape of Good Hope and San Francisco. However, the bulk of the book is firmly located in Ireland since the 1970s, with exotic locations such as Barn Halt on the Larne line, Ballykelly Airfield and Fenit, County Kerry!
As with Volume One, Roy intersperses pictures of everyday railway scenes with historic photos and those of preservation activities. RPSI members will be pleased to see the first ever Portrush Flyer in Portrush in 1973. The Downpatrick and County Down Railway, the Fintown Railway and the Donegal Heritage Centre at Donegal Town are given extensive coverage.
Roy used a magazine article, which featured his grandfather who drove trains around Clones, as the basis of a chapter on the ‘Bundoran Express’ called ‘The Partition Express, 1948’. Some of the customs arrangements, such as locking in passengers who have been customs examined, border on the horrific.
If you get nostalgic for views of MED railcars on the Bangor line, Belfast Transport Museum in Witham Street, CIÉ A class diesels, Castlerock station with semaphore signals or RPSI steam trains with wooden body coaches, this is the book for you.
Paperback, 26 x 21 cm, 434 colour and 155 b&w photos, 3 maps, 256 pages
The Tracks of my Railway Years, Volume 1 & Volume 2
Roy Carlisle £26.00
Order both books together for a discount - see individual book entries for full information.
Irish Traction Iarnród Éireann
Colm O’Callaghan £14.99
Over the years, the Republic of Ireland’s railways have fascinated rail enthusiasts. This was mainly due to underinvestment in the system from Iarnród Éireann and the Irish government, which left many lines and locations still very much in the past as far as infrastructure was concerned, giving them a certain appeal to British rail fans. This eventually changed from around 2005, when long overdue investment began to materialise. This book documents the last years leading up to this change.
It shows the rolling stock and infrastructure that was on offer throughout the Iarnród Éireann system, featuring Class 071, 121, 141, 181 and 201 American-built locomotives, various BREL-built coaches and Spanish and Japanese-built diesel rail cars. Also featured are the many freight services that operated in the country, including beet, Guinness, cement, timber, lead and zinc ore and liner trains
Some of the locations illustrated can no longer be covered, including Adelaide freight depot, the Kingscourt branch, Mosney station, Sligo Quay, Tuam, the Foynes branch, and the South Wexford line
Paperback, 23 x 17 cm, 183 colour photos, 96 pages
Be Careful, Don’t Rush
Celebrating 150 Years of Train Travel between Holywood and Bangor, Robin Masefield £8.00
This book’s title, Be Careful, Don’t Rush, is a play on the letters BCDR as in Belfast & County Down Railway. The book celebrates 150 years of train travel between Holywood and Bangor. The stories of the line’s construction, its impact on the two towns, its locomotives and operation, and the lives of its builders, passengers, and staff are fascinating. In later years, this was the first route in these islands to be operated entirely by diesel railcars. Despite attempts to close it, the Bangor line remains open, beautiful and successful. The book vividly records the reminiscences of many local residents. It will appeal locally and widely, to those with an interest in social history, railway connoisseurs and those who live along the line.
Paperback, 21 x 30 cm, 35 colour, 125 b&w photos, 160 pages.
Railways In Ireland, Part One (Second Edition)
Martin Bairstow (Great Northern, Sligo-Leitrim, Lough Swilly, County Donegal, Cavan & Leitrim, Clogher Valley, Castlederg & Victoria Bridge) £17.95
This book is a new edition of one which was originally published in 2006. This second edition has been enlarged and many new photographs have been added, mostly previously unpublished. There is a brief history of each of the companies covered with notes on traffic carried and motive power used. The concluding list of opening and closure dates conveys just how much of the once extensive railway system in the northern part of Ireland has been lost. The stunning front cover photograph of GNR(I) V and VS class locomotives double heading a train at Dundalk in evening light will make you want to buy a copy.
Paperback, 24 x 18 cm, 20 colour & 202 b&w photos, 7 maps, 128 pages.
Parting Shot – Railway Photographs from 1964 to 1973
Norman Johnston £8.00
Norman Johnston is widely regarded as one of Ireland’s foremost railway historians, who has meticulously photographed and recorded the changing world of Irish railways from the early 1960s.
This book draws from his remarkable collection and showcases some of what Norman regarded as the best, most interesting and significant images that he took during the pivotal period between 1964 and 1973. The pictures are presented in roughly chronological order and include some CIÉ as well as UTA and NIR. All are accompanied by extended captions filled with detail, anecdotes and personal reflection.
Norman began writing the book during the last two months of his life, completing the manuscript just seven days before his death on 31 August 2014. His choice of title reflects the fact that he knew that it would be his last book.
The book is published by Colourpoint Books, the company which Norman founded in conjunction with his wife, Sheila, and which contributed so much to our knowledge of Irish railways in terms of books published. Norman’s sons, Malcolm and Wesley, now run the business and continue to publish books of railway and transport interest.
Paperback, 26 x 21 cm, 198 colour & 37 b&w photos, 160 pages.
Crewe To Ballywatermoy
Shaun Martin £10.00
Through the medium of a novel the reader is taken on journeys over the LMS (NCC) network. Stations, staff issues, locomotives, excursion trains and railway operations feature. The author, Shaun Martin, draws on personal memories from the 1940s. An Irish Railway Record Society review concluded: “The book has all the hallmarks of the historical novel and attempts to convey the spirit of events with realistic detail and fidelity.”
Paperback, 23 x 15 cm, 297 pages
Great Northern Railway (Ireland)
E.M. Patterson £14.95
The Great Northern Railway of Ireland, maintained an independent existence for 77 years, much of that time prosperously established as the second largest and certainly the most enterprising of the Irish railway systems. Springing from the need to link Dublin and Belfast by rail, the Great Northern was the result of amalgamation of numerous smaller companies. The Great Northern was at its most prosperous in the 30 years or so preceding World War I. Falling receipts and soaring operating costs brought the company to its knees shortly after the end of World War II. Five years of shared nationalisation followed, during which much of the system suffered closures. In 1958 what was left was divided and administered thereafter by the Ulster Transport Authority and by Coras Iompair Éireann.
Paperback, 21 x 15 cm, 190 b&w photos, 11 maps, 240 pages
The County Donegal Railways
E.M. Patterson (Revised edition with additional material by J. Begley & S. Flanders) £18.00
This is a new edition of E.M. Patterson’s first volume on the history of the narrow-gauge railways of North-West Ireland, originally published in 1962. The County Donegal Railways had a route of 124 miles, five termini and three junction stations. For the most part they traversed hilly and thinly-populated country and for two generations they were a busy and efficient operation. This edition adds a valuable chapter of interviews and memories of some of the surviving workers and others who had contact with the railway. It also includes a chapter on the County Donegal Railway today as, over 50 years after closure, much can still be seen of the former network. Some additional Glover drawings of locomotive, carriage and wagon stock are included.
Paperback, 26 x 21 cm, 34 colour & 55 b&w photos, 32 maps and diagrams, 192 pages
The Steaming Sixties, No.11 - The Ulster Transport Authority
Terence Dorrity £12.99
In the 1960s railways in Ireland were run by the Ulster Transport Authority (UTA) in the North and Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ) in the Republic. At the time that the photographs in this book were taken, in 1963 and 1964, there was still a lot of railway activity to see and a fleet of steam locomotives that was very much to the British taste. The most numerous NCC locomotives, the WT class 2-6-4Ts and the W class 2-6-0s, clearly showed their LMS Derby roots. The ex-GNR(I) locomotives were of particular interest. A number of them were 4-4-0s, a wheel arrangement that was becoming rare in Britain at the time, and some of them still carried the GNR(I) blue livery and names. Steam locomotives could be seen hauling express, local and freight trains. There were two busy operational steam sheds in Belfast, at Adelaide and York Road and, among others, a roundhouse at Portadown. It was all shortly to end, but with the pictures in this book we can relive a little the swansong of steam in Ireland.
Hardback, 19 x 25 cm, 64 colour photos, 64 pages
Rails through the West – Limerick to Sligo
Jonathan Beaumont and Barry Carse £16.00
This pictorial album, illustrated mainly in colour from the 1960s to the present, is a portrait of the Limerick to Sligo railway line in its Indian Summer. The Athenry to Galway plus the Claremorris to Ballina lines are also included. The colour photography of Barry Carse allows the line to come to life on these pages reviving memories of locomotive hauled passenger trains, loose coupled freights, sugar beet specials, pilgrim trains to Claremorris for Knock, and traditional semaphore signalling. Now, at the end of the first decade of the 21st Century, a century after the Great Southern and Western Railway took over the line’s operation, the Western Rail Corridor, as it is often identified, is coming back to life. At the south end (Limerick to Athenry), a busy and well used passenger service operates with modern trains over well maintained track; in the middle and at the northern end (Athenry to Sligo), all is quiet, save for the birds in the trees which grow between the rails.
Paperback, 28 x 21 cm, 156 colour and 13 b&w photos, 1 map, 4 track plans, 144 pages
Ireland’s Narrow Gauge Railways - A Reference Handbook
Joe Begley and Steve Flanders £12.95
This book could be subtitled: ‘Everything you want to know about the Irish Narrow Gauge’, e.g. from 1920 to 1923, there were 562 miles of Irish narrow gauge railway. A chapter is devoted to the history of each of the 18 narrow gauge companies, along with tables of dimensions of the locomotives and rolling stock. Each chapter concludes with a chronology and a table of distances showing route mileage. The appendices include the narrow gauge mileage from 1875 to 1961, where to find rolling stock diagrams (useful for modellers), and a comprehensive bibliography which includes books and magazines. To say that this book is packed with information would be an understatement. The authors intend to donate their royalties to the restoration of County Donegal Railways class 5 locomotive “Drumbo” to full steaming condition.
Paperback, 21 x 15 cm, 58 b&w photos, 160 pages