John Speller's Web Pages West Clare Railway

John Speller's Web Pages - Irish Railways
West Clare Railway Untitled HBRHorizontal
Built under Balfour's Light Railway Act of 1883, the West Clare Railway was a 27 mile, 3 ft. gauge tourist line authorized by the West Clare Railway Act of 1884, and opened on 2 July 1887. It remained independent until nationalization in 1945, but like many Irish lines was subsequently closed by Coras Iompair Eireann in 1961.

When first opened, the West Clare Railway had four locomotives, supplied by W. G. Bagnall & Co. of Stafford. All were 0-6-0 tank engines with 3 ft. 6 in driving wheels. No. 3 was named "Clifden" and No. 4 "Bessborough." Three additional locomotives were built by Dübs & Co. of Glasgow in 1892. These were 0-6-2 tanks with both coupled and trailing wheels of 4 ft. diameter, so that presumably they could easily be converted to 0-8-0 tanks if desired. They were constructed to the design of George Hopkins, who had become Locomotive Superintendent of the West Clare Railway in 1891. The three Dübs locomotives were No. 5 "Slieve Callan" (now preserved), No. 6 "St. Senan" and No. 7 "Inchiquin".
Map of the West Clare Railway in 1906
West Clare Railway 0-6-2 tank No. 5 "Slieve Callan" built in 1892
West Clare Railway logo
WCR Bagnall 0-6-0 tank No. 4 "Bessborough" built 1884
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