The Railways of Kerry have an enduring appeal to visitors. Many of the lines were picturesque and spectacular. Unfortunately as time went by some became uneconomical and closed down. Two in particular have captured the imagination of railway enthusiasts to this day.

To many the Listowel and Ballybunion line was the most remarkable built in Ireland. It was a monorail devised by Charles Lartigue (1834-1907) always known as The Lartigue. Only nine miles long it opened in 1888 and closed in 1924. It had two special features - the noise close to the ears of the passengers and the problem of balance with passengers on each side of the monorail. The postcards of The Lartigue were contemporanous with the running of the line indicating the level of interest among the public.

The Tralee and Dingle line known as the Tralee and Dingle Light Railway opened in 1894 and closed in 1953. It was a three foot gauge line of 37 miles with many awkward gradients. Because of that railway accidents speed was cut to a minimum. The demise of the line in 1953 was a sad one and many railway enthusiasts were on hand with their cameras to record for posterity the final days of the railways.

Many of the photographs were converted into postcards and they stand as a unique record of a vanished era. As postcards go they are fairly basic in appearance with a simple stamp on the back of the postcard, but we must be grateful to the foresight of the photographers with their sense of what was about to be lost


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