Lightmoor Press 2023
The Tralee & Dingle Railway still stirs the hearts and imagination. Many ferro-equinologists, including the author’s father, flocked to the railway, but most only just in time. They saw the last rites of the monthly cattle train serving the Dingle fair in the early 1950s and experienced the thrill of a lifetime riding the narrow gauge train and even the footplates of the steam locomotives as they rushed the steep gradients and flew down the other side, brushing red fuchsias into disarray. All spiced by the general hazards of near-derelict rolling stock running over grass-covered and barely maintained track, often wet from Irish rain and mountain mists and over some of the most frightful curves and gradients ever engineered on a narrow gauge railway. The Dingle peninsula has some of the best scenery in Ireland to travel through which is a draw all of its own. Fact and folklore generated by this three-foot narrow gauge railway was all quite remarkable, as was its involvement in the developing Irish political environment. In this heavily illustrated book, Michael Whitehouse revisits the story of this remarkable railway using his father’s photographs and research notes, together with considerably expanded text to place the railway in its political, economic and social context.