Irish Railways (Paperback)
The 100 years since the Irish Free State was set up in 1923 has seen enormous change, both in society and on the railways. The creation of a border did the railways no good, prompting an upsurge in smuggling, and, with the exception of the few busy trunk lines from Dublin, the rise in motor vehicles threatened the future of the railways. The railways responded by developing lightweight railcars, some of which can still be seen in preservation.
Post-1945, General Motors diesel-electric locomotives put paid to steam in the Republic, whilst Northern Ireland’s railway network has diminished and freight traffic is now all but extinct. Still, the belated realisation of the danger posed to the environment has produced forward-looking endeavours, with government encouragement. The electric Dublin Area Rapid Transport (DART) of the modern era has thus helped give back city streets to pedestrians, and continues to expand. With over 190 pictures, both classic and modern, this volume explores the past, present and future of Ireland’s evocative railways.