Timoleague and Courtmacsherry Railway

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Timoleague and
Courtmacsherry Railway
TypeLight railway
Locale Ireland
Opened21 April 1891
OwnerTimoleague and Courtmacsherry Extension Light Railway
Line length9 mi (14 km)
Number of tracksSingle track
Track gauge1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in)[1]

The Timoleague and Courtmacsherry Railway was a 9 miles (14 km) long light railway connecting Timoleague station and Courtmacsherry station. It was the last roadside railway operating in Ireland.


The railway was incorporated in October 1888 and opened on 21 April 1891. It was originally considered to be built as a 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge track but then executed as a standard gauge light railway, partly running along a road. There were two companies, the Timoleague & Courtmacsherry Light Railway and the Ballinascarthy & Timoleague Junction Light Railway which were both worked by the Timoleague & Courtmacsherry Extension Light Railway. It became a constituent of Great Southern Railways in 1925.[2] It was originally operated by two locomotives, both from the Leeds works of the Hunslet Engine Company, named Slaney and St. Molaga. These two were joined in 1894 by a third locomotive, again from Hunslet, with the name Argadeen.

Passenger services were withdrawn on 24 February 1947[3] due to the coal shortages. Thereafter it operated only for summer excursions and the winter beet harvest. Summer passenger excursions operated every Sunday from Cork Albert Quay railway station and they were well supported from the small stations on route. The leisurely pace at which the trains rounded the sharp curves of the roadside track contributed to the relaxed and jovial atmosphere for which these excursions were renowned. Alas the entire West Cork Railway terminated without warning in the autumn of 1960.[4]



  1. ^ Martin Airstow: Railways in Ireland, Part 5.
  2. ^ "Other Cork railways" (Irish Railwayana)
  3. ^ "Courtmacsherry" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
  4. ^ Plaque near the signal post on the causeway.

External links[edit]

Media related to Timoleague and Courtmacsherry Railway at Wikimedia Commons