On a frosty evening fifty years ago the last regular passenger train wended its way through West Limerick and North Kerry as it made its final journey from Limerick to Tralee. All along the route people came out to bid farewell.
It was Saturday 2nd February 1963. Although this was not the last train to travel on the line, (freight services continued up until 1978) it was the last time it was used for passenger transit. A passenger is defined as person who travels in a vehicle, while the line may have seen the last of passengers, it has not seen the last of people, it is great to see that 50 years on from that last passenger train people are again using the railway (although this time under their own steam ! ).
Work on the reopening of the Tralee section of the line and the Fenit branch is well underway, the Limerick section of the line is complete to the Kerry border and a number of local groups have began working to reopen sections in their locality.
Coincidentally in 2013 the 2nd of February also falls on a Saturday and to commemorate the last train a walk will set out from Abbeyfeale Station along the Great Southern Trail(GST) at 2.15pm to Duagh Village, the route is approximately four miles long and as portion of the route is on the public road all participants are advised to wear visibility vests.
There is also a Facebook event for the walk please share it with you family and friends.
Refreshments will be provided at Jim’s Bar, Duagh and return transport to Abbeyfeale will be provided. Those travelling from the Tralee/Listowel direction may consider the 1pm CIÉ bus from Tralee(1.30pm from Listowel) to Abbeyfeale; there is a return CIÉ service to Listowel/Tralee at 4.45pm directly from Duagh.