More progress…

Last week saw the final surface added to on the Rock Street to Mounthawk section of the greenway. While there is still some work remaining to be completed mainly landscaping and the Mounthawk entrance it was great to see so many people out using the route and enjoying the great weather over the weekend.

This is a great start to the project and hopefully it’s success will usher on the development of the remainder of the unused railways in the near future.

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The status of the greenway raised in the Dail again

Arthur Spring TD questioned the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport on the availability of funding for the Greenway in the Dáil recently, the reply from Alan Kelly was:

Kerry County Council was provided with funding of €200,000 in 2012 towards the cost of delivering a cycleway from Tralee to Fenit. My Department is currently administering a multi annual funding programme related to the development of the National Cycle Network (NCN) to cover the period 2012 to 2016.  Significant investment has already been made in 2012 and 2013 with €7 million allocated to projects across Ireland. This funding, which is provided to local authorities, will help to deliver cycleways in keeping with the objectives of the National Cycle Policy Framework.  As this phase of the programme will expire at the end of 2013, it is my intention to initiate a new funding call later this year to provide, through competitive process,  a further tranche of funding for the remainder of the years to 2016. Responsibility for completing the cycleway is a matter for Kerry County Council.  If funding beyond own resources is required, then the local authority has the option to progress and submit a proposal to the Department under the next phase, once initiated, of the NCN Funding Programme.

 

50 years…

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.

Photo update

Here are a few photos taken over the last couple of weeks which show the progress on the line. Also if you fancy working off the xmas dinner, the Great Southern Trail Annual Christmas Walk takes place on Dec. 27th, this will also be the inaugural walk on the new extension to the Kerry border, check the Southern Trail website for more information.

Fenit Coastal Cycle 2013

Fancy a cycle for a great local cause ? Then the Fenit Coastal Cycle is for you, with a number of great routes and all in aid of St. Brendan’s National School, Fenit.

Check out the school website for full details.

We are delighted to announce the launch of our fundraising cycle on Saturday 23rd March 2013. We hope you will consider cycling with us to support our school. Funds raised will cover the shortfall in government funding. We would also hope to upgrade our computers, giving our pupils increased access to ICT in the classroom. 

We hope it will be a memorable family day as we have cycle routes for all abilities, including a short fun ride for the children. The routes have been chosen to  highlight the  spectacular surroundings of Fenit, Ballyheigue, Kerryhead and Barrow with stunning views of Mount Brandon, Tralee Bay and the Shannon Estuary. The Fenit Coastal Cycle is the ideal opportunity to start your preparation for the Ring of Kerry Cycle!

Food and refreshments will be provided by the local community on the day.

Recycled railways = money spinners

Yet another article in the national media regarding the economic potential of converting former railways into Greenways, great to see the Tralee – Fenit project gets a mention !

In Mayo the railway line had previously been sold off by CIE … the Western Greenway was only made possible by the decision of 160 farmers to provide their land along the old railway line free of charge under a “permissive access” agreement.

The difference here in Kerry is that the Fenit and North Kerry railways are still state owned, what are we waiting for ?

Failte Ireland has said that cycling tourism was already worth €200m to the economy but had “huge potential” to grow even more.

A cause to celibrate…

Great news, the part 8 planning application for the conversion of the first section of the Tralee to Fenit railway into a greenway was just passed unanimously by Tralee town council.

Hopefully the facility will be open for the use of the community and tourist alike in the near future and that the devlopement of the rest of the line will soon follow.

Tralee ship canal 30 year ago…

There is an interesting article in the Tralee Down The Years section of The Kerryman this week. The article which was taken from the newspaper this week in 1982 highlights how the cannal path could be an important amenity. While much has changed over the last 30 years, it is interesting to note that many of the issues at the time are still with us today, but i think you would find it hard to find a anyone who thinks that the conversion of the unused transportation route of the ship canal was a bad idea.

Hopefully in 30 years time our children will be looking back on similar clippings regarding the Tralee to Fenit Railway wondering what all the fuss was about.