© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011
This is the tour described in full in "Trips n Tours - The
Sligo Avoider" - so I'll keep the narrative brief.
Basically, it was a Pathfinder / Irish Traction Group trip,
which was a re-run of an earlier attempt to run down
the main line to Cork. A bomb scare had meant that the
only available route on that occasion was the Sligo line.
This one would run via the Nenagh line to Limerick, then
up to Ennis and back, before heading down to the Junction and
on to Cork. It didn't - a derailment at Limerick Junction meant
that it could either go straight back to Dublin, or go on from
Ennis to Athenry, and back to Dublin via Athlone. It would do the
latter - but first...
In the company of my 11-year-old son, I'd detrained at Limerick
for a leg stretch. On returning to the station, we were requested
to join a bus for what turned out to be a rather hair-raising ride
to Ennis. And when we got there, despite the hurry, we
stood a good 15 minutes before we could depart - many of
the passengers had wandered off to explore the delights of
western Ireland - so we had time for a couple of snaps of
the former West Clare Railway 0-6-2T no.5 "Slieve Callan"-
built in Glasgow by Dübs just 100 years previously. Slieve
Callan has since "crossed the water" for restoration to
working order by Alan Keef, and no doubt will soon be
seen in action at the reborn West Clare centre at Moyasta
And so the "Sligo Avoider" achieved the objective expressed by
its headboard - but failed, once again, to reach Cork. I believe a
re-run of the re-run took place the following April - I've no idea
whether it was "third time lucky"...
Trips 'n Tours "Sligo Avoider"
West Clare Railway