The Waterford and Tramore Railway
2-2-2Ts – 1855Map of the line – 1872
The Waterford and Tramore Railway was an independent line which opened on September 5, 1853, connecting Manor St. in the city of Waterford, Ireland, to the seaside resort of Tramore, 7.25 miles (11.67 km) away. Construction began on February 10, 1853. The Waterford business community financed the 77,000 pounds cost. The William Dargan Construction Company completed the line in 7 months – a considerable achievement as a section of line just outside Waterford ran over deep bogland covered in bulrushes.No.483 at Tramore in 1932 – H.C.Casserley
The first two engines were a couple of single-wheeled well tanks built by Fairbairn & Son in 1855, and numbered 1 and 2. Both lasted to be absorbed into the Great Southern railway in the 1925 amalgamation, and they were allotted GSR numbers 483 and 484, but No.2 was scrapped in 1928 without being renumbered. As No.483 however, the other engine was still in active service in 1936. In that year, it was derailed while travelling at speed and plunged down an embankment, into such a position that it was considered uneconomical to try and re-rail it and it was cut up on the site. But for this unfortunate occurrence it might well have attained its centenary as it was a good little engine and quite capable of dealing with all but the heaviest summer loads. At the time of its demise it was noteworthy as being the last single wheeler in regular traffic in Great Britain and Ireland. (Two 2-2-4Ts on the North Eastern Railway lasted until 1936/7, but they were normally only used in hauling inspection saloons.)
In 1925, the line was amalgamated into the Great Southern Railways (GS&WR), which subsequently became part of CIE. On September 27, 1960, CIE announced closure of the line and, on December 31, it was permanently closed, to be replaced by a bus service. To avoid demonstrations, the last scheduled train did not run. The final trains thus were the 1.25 p.m. from Waterford and the 2.10 p.m. from Tramore.
During the first half of 1961, all the tracks were lifted – locally it is believed for shipment to Nigeria. The sleepers were sold for protection against coastal erosion. One of the few remaining traces of the railway is the Station house, which currently serves as the offices of Tramore Failte.Train at Bath Street Crossing gates 1928 – Jack O’Neill