[Source: Nick Catford]

Date opened: 1.10.1895
Location: East side of N17
Company on opening: Waterford & Limerick Railway
Date closed to passengers: 15.6.1963
Date closed completely: 30.10.1975
Company on closing: Córas Iompair Éireannl (CIE)
Present state: Station and track extant
County: Mayo
Date of visit: April 1981

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 resignalled.

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 section.

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 web site.



Charlestown Station in April 1981
hoto by Nick Catford

Charlestown Station in April 1981
hoto by Nick Catford

Looking across the level crossing towards Charlestown Station in April 1981.
Note the road has been resurfaced.
hoto by Nick Catford




[Source: Nick Catford]

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