Listowel and Ballybunion Railway

Gauge:  Monorail


Collection Objects

NumberRailwayObject TypeDescriptionImage
TYWRM:LAB001Listowel and Ballybunion RailwayprintPrint of the Listowel and Ballybunion locomotive No.1 reproduced from an engraving dated 1888 file LAB001.jpg
TYWRM:LAB002Listowel and Ballybunion RailwayprintPrint of the Listowel and Ballybunion rolling stock reproduced from an engraving. file LAB002.jpg

The Listowel & Ballybunion Railway was a monorail built to the system developed by Charles Lartigue (1834-1907) and ran from Listowel, about 15 miles north-east of Tralee on the Great Southern & Western Railway’s main line, to Ballybunion a distance of 9 miles. This form of construction was considerably cheaper than a conventional railway. Trains ran on a single rail three feet above the ground on a triangular trestle which included side rails on which small wheels ran each side to keep the train vertical. All the coaches and wagons were divided into two sections either side of the rail, and the weight had to be balanced. Three locomotives were built by the Hunslet Engine Works in 1887, incorporating a firebox and boiler each side of the central rail. The line opened to passengers in March 1888. It closed in 1924 following damage in the Irish Civil War of 1922-23.

A short section of the line has been reconstructed in Listowel in conjunction with a museum.


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