Irish steam

SINCE early February of this year I have taken up residence in the mid west of the Irish Republic. As March was a famous rail town, and still has a considerable railway presence, many of its staff has visited Westport in Co Mayo for a fishing holiday. Wes

SINCE early February of this year I have taken up residence in the mid west of the Irish Republic.

As March was a famous rail town, and still has a considerable railway presence, many of its staff has visited Westport in Co Mayo for a fishing holiday. Westport is on the same line as Costlier in Co Roscommon, where at the Ballinlough end of Main Street there exists Hell's Kitchen Bar and Railway Museum.

The main attraction is locomotive A55, a Metropolitan Vickers diesel-electric built at Trafford Park in 1955. This was purchased in 1994 from Iarnod Eireann, minus its machinery, and moved to the premises where it was converted into a "snug".

'Hells Kitchen' is probably the largest and most varied repository of railway heritage equipment in Ireland with the exception of the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum.


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The pub and museum opens at 2pm daily, and there is a small entrance fee with discount for seniors.

The last steam locomotive built for Ireland was in 1951, and steam working ended in 1965. In Northern Ireland a few steamers survived in working order until 1970.

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JOHN GRAVES, Main Street, Ballinlough, Co Roscommon, Irish Republic

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