Recent News

May Newsletter 2010

March 20th, 2010

May 2010 Newsletter.

The railway has been operating an “Open at Weekends” policy together with one of “Open to Request”. Many visitors have been taking advantage of the latter including an unexpected “Day-out” bus of trippers expecting tea and buns as well!, surprising Jackie as he was strimming the grass alongside the track! All turned out well of course, thanks to Susan and Mary (or, after the “Nationwide” article, is it Nellie?) for their hard work. Also, a most welcome number of school bookings have been received and we are all looking forward to meeting and sharing the experience of the West Clare Railway with them. Jackie has recently been described as a “living museum of Ireland”, in a website mentioning the railway, so our educational brief is improving almost every day!

Planning permission for the museum has, as previously reported, been granted but an appeal by the National Roads Authority has been lodged and building cannot, therefore, begin until the situation has been resolved. The NRA seem to be keen to see the museum go ahead but have their reservations (and, no doubt, their regulations) regarding such a feature crossing their road. However, the work to resolve the appeal must go ahead and traffic surveys have already been completed and all documentation forwarded and submitted to “An Bord Pleanala”. The result is now awaited but Jackie will be keeping a close watching brief and will assist the process when possible and necessary.

And so, little has appeared to have been done on the surface but, like the swan calmly swimming on the water, the feet are working at tremendous rate beneath that surface. Recent advancements and improvements include;

  • The trackway running towards the red bridge over Poulnasherry Bay is now being prepared,
  • ex-Bord na Mona side-tipping trucks from Co. Offaly have arrived for use in track ballasting along with;
  • the arrival of 2 diesel locomotives which both need considerable renovation work, although their Gardner engines appear to be in great condition,
  • and, subject to planning, ground preparation for the museum can soon begin.
  • The station house displays have been developed and enhanced and are looking first class and much improved.

An 1876 water tank manufactured of cast iron, capable of holding some 5000 gallons or so, and which is expected to become part of the waste water collection system at the museum, was recently acquired from the site of the old army barracks in Clarecastle, Co. Clare. It will be necessary to stem some leaks but nothing that would not be expected of a 134 year old water retainer.

If you have spare time in the coming days and want a useful project to help pass the time, consider writing to your TD or An Bord Pleanala and give them the benefit of your views regarding the desirability of the railway heritage museum at Moyasta. All such support will be gratefully received.

See you soon!