This Week in January 1977 the Last Train Left Castleisland Railway Station

A still from a 1967 film by the late Tony Price shows CIE Deutz G Class locomotive G611 hauling an IRRS ‘Munster Area’ diesel rail-tour from Tralee to the Gortatlea to Castleisland branch line on Sunday, September 3rd 1967. Please Click on the dot above to see Back the Tracks 2021 film.

Before the week slides away down the sidings I thought I’d mention that on this week, on the Monday of January 10th 1977, all hopes of a train leaving the station in Castleisland again finally faded as the just over four mile long branch line to Gortatlea was closed.

In the course of 2021 I was asked to do a Zoom talk by the Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society on the history of the Castleisland to Gortatlea Railway which operated between September 6th 1875 and January 10th 1977.

It grew from a request by Marie O’Sullivan, then editor of the The Kerry Magazine, under the auspices of the Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society.

I baulked at the talk request but Marie agreed to my suggestion that I’d put a little film account of the railway and its history together.

A Labour of Love

It was a labour of love as I have very fond memories of the train coming in through the countryside down the fields from where we lived on the Tralee Road.

The Back the Tracks walkers are: Jack O’Connor, Barrack Street and PJ Luddy, Tralee Road on an evening jaunt in July 1974. Then we have Sonny and Bernie Tangney in June 1983.

With Sheila Prendiville in her shop is Phil Daly from Currans in November 2002.

Lives Intertwined

In the course of the film you’ll see many other people including those whose lives were intertwined with the life and times of the station. Nancy Mahony from Camp Crossing has vivid memories of her times as a gatekeeper there.

Local historian and keen photographer, Timothy Murphy is gone to his eternal reward since and he provided information on his links to the commercial side of the station.

The man in the cattle lorry getting preferential treatment from Con Mahony at Camp Crossing is the late Bill Keane, Limerick Road.

We hope to add to the story of the little line as there is so much more to it. For now, take a trip Back the Tracks with us with a click on the link above.

You can contact The Maine Valley Post on… Anyone in The Maine Valley Post catchment area who would like to send us news and captioned photographs for inclusion can send them to: Queries about advertising and any other matters regarding The Maine Valley Post can also be sent to that address or just ring: 087 23 59 467.