The railway that runs from Limerick to Foynes, in County Limerick will be reopening and work has started, the preliminary clearance of vegetation etc is underway. It’s been a while in coming, planning permission was granted in 2019 for the renewal of the viaduct.
It opened on 29 April 1858, as the terminus of a line from Limerick which was subsequently extended west from Ballingrane to Tralee. It was last used for passenger services in 1963, but continued as a freight line until 2001. Now, the port of Foynes intends to become a centre for offshore wind turbine production, and the rail link will be a vital part of the transport network.
Foynes was a major centre for flying boats in the 1930s and 40s. They used it as the last port of call on transatlantic crossings and it played a significant role in World War Two. The opening of Shannon airport in 1942 changed things considerably and the Foynes flying-boat station closed in 1946. There is now a very good museum in the old terminal building with a full size replic of most of a Boeing 314 flying boat.
Here’s a few photos of the disused line I took in July 2019 on a visit to the west coast of Ireland.
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