BRIEF HISTORY OF THE COLLOONEY
JUNCTION - CLAREMORRIS LINE
The line from Collooney Junction - Claremorris was opened by
Waterford & Limerick Railway on 1st October 1895 with intermediate
stations at Leyny, Carrowmore, Tobercurry, Curry, Charlestown,
Swinford and Kiltimagh; it is often referred to as 'The Burma
Road'. The line was absorbed into the Great Southern & Western
Railway in 1901.
The line is part of what has been known in recent years as
the The Western Rail Corridor forming a line from Limerick to
Sligo. The route largely parallels the corridor served by the
N17 and N18 roads. Passenger services on the section of route
from Claremorris to Collooney came to an end on 15th June 1963,
with the section being closed completely on 30th October 1975
by Córas Iompair Éireannl The track was left in
situ but severed at Collooney and many of the level crossings
have been removed and the roads resurfaced.
Kiltmagh Station has been restored and two old CIE passenger
coaches were brought along the line as far as Kiltmagh in 1988
in front of an Irish Rail diesel locomotive from Claremorris
Passenger services between Limerick and Claremorris ceased
in 1976. In December 2003 a new seven/eight train a day service
(seven days a week) started between Limerick and Ennis.
Freight services ran regularly on the Limerick to Claremorris
section until the mid-1990s. In 2002 the section from Athenry
to Claremorris was severed at Athenry when the Galway line was
After a campaign to restore the rail service along the Western
Corridor a Working Group was established in 2004 to look into
the feasibility of reopening some or all of the route; the report
was delivered to the Irish Minister of Transport in May 2005.
The report recommended the reopening of most of the Corridor
in three phases and the deferral of the reopening of the northernmost
Phase 1: Ennis to Athenry by 2008, Phase 2: Athenry to Tuam
by 2011, Phase 3: Tuam to Claremorris by 2014. A further feasibility
study was proposed for Collooney to Claremorris but following
preliminary works in winter and spring of 2005-2006, official
clearance work on the northern section of the line began on
the 18th September 2006. The purpose of the works is to re-establish
the boundaries, prevent further deterioration of the line section
and prevent any development that may otherwise impinge on the
proposed detailed works required for the reopening of the line.
Specifically, the works include fencing, hedge cutting, and
renewal of level crossing gates as well as the provision of
some essential drainage, removal of ivy and overgrowth from
bridges and the provision of mile posts.
For photographs of all the stations on the Collooney to Claremorris
line see West-on-Track
See also SWINFORD