Station Name: FOYNES


[Source: Roy Lambeth]

Date opened: 29.4.1858
Location: North side of N69
Company on opening: Limerick and Foynes Railway
Date closed to passengers: 4.4.1963
Date closed completely: Not officially closed (see notes below)
Company on closing: Córas Iompair Éireann (CIE)
Present state: The station signal box and goods office are largely intact although overgrown and deteriorating. The station house is in private occupation
County: Co. Limerick
Date of visit: October 2006

Notes: The Limerick and Foynes Railway was built between 1856-1858 with intermediate stations at Fort Etna, Patrickswell, Kilbobbin, Adare, Ballingrane Junction (Rathkeale) and Askeaton. It was part of the North Kerry line which was extended from a junction at Ballingrane to Rathkeale and Newcastle West in 1867. The line was further extended by the Limerick and Kerry Railway in 1880 from Newcastle West to Tralee via Listowel. The line closed completely between Ballingrane and Listowel in November 1975, with the remaining section of the North Kerry between Listowel and Tralee closed completely by June 1978. A junction existed at Patrickswell for the Cork Direct line to Charleville on the Dublin to Cork mainline but this was closed in March 1967 by CIE.

The Foynes line has been effectively closed recently and due to the downgrading of their freight business the seaport is now sending cargo by road, a situation the Port Company would like to reverse. Passenger services on the Foynes ceased on 4th April 1963 and the last freight service was a fertiliser for Athenry on October 30, 2000. Possible freight customers have stated that Irish Rail's intent to pass on the cost of reopening directly via service charges have made freight unviable and thus they have engaged road haulage instead. In December 2001, while not formally closed, the line was designated an engineers siding and despite Irish Rail's holding the line under 'Care and maintenance', the line and station infrastructure are showing serious neglect. The line was last visited by the weedspray train on 7 May 2002. The last known movement on the line was on 9th January 2003 when a permanent way inspection car visited the line. In 2004 a track panel was dumped on the line just out side Limerick Check Cabin making it impossible for a train to enter the line.

On April 25, 2005 Limerick County Council passed a resolution making the Limerick-Foynes line a protected structure. This was stayed by the High Court on June 26, 2005 at the request of counsel for Córas Iompair Éireann (parent company of Irish Rail), who claimed the line was still operational and that the decision would mean any upgrade of the line would require planning permission.

In Irish Rail's December 2005 working timetable, locomotives have been banned from travelling beyond Ballingrane due to the condition of Robertstown viaduct near Foynes.

Success with the Ennis and Nenagh commuter routes may lead to a re-opening of part of the line to serve the busy Raheen Industrial Estate and nearby commuter areas but this will require a commitment of funding from government for rolling stock, signalling and station remediation.

For more pictures of Foynes Station see Ciaran's Irish Rail Album and Industrial Heritage Ireland web site


Foynes Station in 1997
hoto by Ewan Duffy from Industrial Heritage Ireland web site

Foynes Station in October 2006
hoto by Roy Lambeth

Looking east Foynes Station in October 2006
hoto by Roy Lambeth

Click on thumbnail to enlarge




[Source: Roy Lambeth]

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