IRISH BOG RAILWAYS

Part 1

by

Brian Haworth

Updated: 18/12/2015

 

For express links to    
  Irish Bog Railways Part 2 click here
Irish Bog Railways Part 3 click here
  Irish Bog Railways Part 4 click here

 

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INTRODUCTION

 

IRISH BOG RAILWAYS

 

Bord na Mona (established in 1946, immediately following WW2)

works Ireland 's complicated system of bog railways.

 

 

There are three sectors of the peat industry,

viz. peat for energy, peat for horticulture, and peat for domestic fuel.

 

By far the largest sector is the peat for energy,

which produces milled peat for use in power stations

to produce electricity.

 

 

The power stations are located around the huge Bog of Allen,

and the bog railways are used for transporting the peat

from source to the power stations.

 

 

 

Permanent lines run from the bogs to power stations,

briquette factories, moss peat factories and road side tipplers.

 

Most of the bog railways run on 3 ft gauge tracks,

and permanently-laid track connects the works

to the power stations and factories.

 

Temporary tracks are connected to the area of bog, currently being worked,

and then removed when that particular area has been worked out.

 

 

Some of the systems mirror standard gauge railways

with double track main line, level crossings and bridges.

 

 

Bord na Mona have specialised track fabrication workshops,

track-laying machines and a very varied stud of locomotives (around 250 locos).

 

There are over a thousand miles of bog railway in use

making the Bord na Mona rail system,

larger than Iarnrod Eireann and Northern Ireland Railways put together.

 

 

Around five million tons of peat is moved annually

with four major workshops, located at

Boora, Blackwater, Mountdillon and Derrygreenagh / Edenderry.

 

 

 

 

 

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Bolo Na Móna Tour

Clonmacnoise & West Offaly Railway

 

on 25 July 1996

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Converted Massey-Ferguson Tractor

stands in shed yard

 

LWO Railway

 

on 25 July 1996

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bold Na Móna Locomotive LM 288
 

stands in the shed yard

awaiting its next turn of duty

 

on 25 July 1996

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clonmacnoise & West Offaly Railway

 

Tour Train approaches the station

with the second tour train

in the background.

 

The small unit at the rear banked the train

into the station

 

due to loco failure on 15 July 1996

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bord Na Móna Locos

LM 342 & LM 294

 

stand in the shed yard.

 

Clonmacnoise & West Offaly Railway

on 25 July 1996

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lin-up of Bord Na Móna Locomotives

in the shed yard

 

Clonmacnoise & West Offaly Railway

on 25 July 1996

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disused Bog Railway

 

between Coole and Float

 

in 1995

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Goods Shed at Float

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Return to Top

Visit Irish Bog Railways Part 2 (July 2012)

Visit Irish Bog Railways Part 3 (August 2014)

 

Return to World Railways Index

 

Visit Irish Stations Gallery

Railway Map of Ireland

Bradshaw 1938 Irish Timetables

 

Return to RVR Home Page

 

 

 

 

BOG RAILWAY DEVELOPMENT

Since I last visited the Float area in 2009, the Kiltareher and Milternagh bogs, close to Float, have seen developments, with rails being laid and the track to Coolnagun returned to use, therefore allowing new rail sections to be brought onto site.

At the time of my visit, only one locomotive was working on site on tracklaying duties, with a modified tractor arrangement working a ballast spreader.

 

 

XxxxxX

The rails are being laid into the bog to allow peat to be transported to a loading facility for onward road transport to the local peat burning power station.

A small engine maintenance shed has also been constructed.

Thanks to the lads, working on the track, who explained the workings and answered my questions.

BH

Loading plant and maintenance shed and newly-laid track.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Front view of LM loco on tracklaying duties.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loco plus tractor ballast wagon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loco plus ballast wagon.

Note point-panel in foreground

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loco plus ballast wagon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Track to right leads off across road

with new crossing warning lights installed.

 

The line, which has the loco standing on it,

curves away to the left

 

and into the bog area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The very friendly track-gang hand-spread ballast

after enjoying the jokes with, in their view,

a rather eccentric English rail enthusiast,

 

who had kept them amused for half an hour

 

asking all manner of questions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The newly-laid track to the engine shed

would perhaps not pass

Network Rail's standards in the UK.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Long rake of peat MGR wagons

await completion of trackwork

 

prior to being returned into traffic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

General view of the works

 

with typical “big sky” over the bog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Return to Top

 

Visit Irish Bog Railways Part 2 (July 2012

Visit Irish Bog Railways Part 3 (August 2014)

 

Return to World Railways Index

 

Visit Irish Stations Gallery

Railway Map of Ireland

Bradshaw 1938 Irish Timetables

 

Return to RVR Home Page

 

 

 

 

 

BOG LOCOS LAST RESTING PLACE

 

Many of the older Bord na Mona narrow-gauge locos at the end of their Bord na Mona life seem to have made their way to the Cavan and Leitrim Railways base at Dromod in County Cavan .

Some are being worked on others appear to be Donar engines, and for these engines, this will certainly be their last stabling point.

   
     
 

Green liveried Ruston and Hornsby 40dl loco, built in 1948,

stands at Dromod

 

awaiting its next turn of duty.

 

Numbered LM 49 (makers no 259189),

this loco spent much of its working life

 

operating out of Tionnsca Abhainn Einne depot (TAE)

in Oweninny County Mayo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ruston and Hornsby 48dl loco, built in 1956,

stands in Drumod yard

in a very poor state.

 

This loco, numbered LM 161 (makers no 402175)

and built in 1956,

 

worked out of Boora depot in County Offaly .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A rusting yellow-liveried Gleismac LF45/Dundalk Engineering loco,

built in 1984, numbered LM 361,

 

awaits attention.

 

This loco worked out of TAE depot Owenwinny in County Offaly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Gleismac LF45/ Dundalk Engineering loco

in better external condition,

 

built in 1984, numbered LM 362,

sits in the yard at Drumod.

 

This loco worked out of

Bangor Erris depot in County Mayo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two Deutz KSKS28B locos

LM 258 (works no 57839) and LM 262 (works no 57843)

built in1965

 

look rather forlorn in the yard at Dromod.

 

Both locos worked out of

Mountdillon depot in County Longford.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An unidentified loco

in the familiar Bord na Mona livery

 

stands with engine-coverings removed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another unidentified loco stands idle

but shows signs of having been recently worked on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Judging from their outward appearance, the future looks bleak

for these two Bord na Mona -liveried unidentified locomotives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A C-class railcar stands alongside two demic locos

in the yard at Dromod.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

General line up of e- Bord na Mona Bog Locos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The future looks brighter for this loco

as obvious signs of restoration can be seen.

 

Deutz KS28B (works no 57834),

numbered LM 253, built in 1965,

 

worked out of

Blackwater depot in County Offaly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The future looks bright

for this yellow-liveried unidentified loco

under restoration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A couple of caravan like C-class railcars

 

are visible in this view

of the crowded yard

 

at Dromod.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unidentified Ruston and Hornsby loco

with porthole type cab windows

 

under restoration in the yard

 

at Dromod.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ruston and Hornsby 40 dl loco (works number 371962)

 

Built in 1952, LM 91 worked out of Boora depot

in County Offaly.

 

With its engine bonnet missing and what appears to be

a well-protected cab,

 

an unidentified loco sits in the company of railcar C47.

 

This railcar was built by

Bord Na Mona and Southern Motors

in 1958

 

and was powered with a Ford petrol engine,

weighing 3 ton,

 

and seated eight passengers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Return to Top

Visit Irish Bog Railways Part 2 (July 2012

Visit Irish Bog Railways Part 3 (August 2014)

 

Return to World Railways Index

 

Visit Irish Stations Gallery

Railway Map of Ireland

Bradshaw 1938 Irish Timetables

 

Return to RVR Home Page