Tralee and Dingle Light Railway

Home Up Tralee & Dingle Styrene T&D

The Tralee & Dingle Light Railway was a three foot gauge line which clambered about the hills of County Kerry in Western Ireland from late in the nineteenth century till well into the 1950s.  Since I first encountered David Rowland's first book on the line way back in the 1970s I have been utterly enthralled by the line and its history.

For many years I mucked about trying to recreate some of the spirit of this fabulous railway by hacking styrene sheet into a rough approximation of some of the line's rolling stock.  The early models were shockers, but some of the later stuff is not too bad.  None of the models are dead accurate and there is as much inspired guesswork as factual research in their make-up, so I painted them red and lettered them for the fictitious County Kerry Light Railway.  Later models were painted light grey and I was even persuaded to repaint some of the better early model, but in all honesty I preferred them as models of a 'pretend' line than pretending they are accurate models of the real line.

There was a model railway planned on which to run the models, but neither a model locomotive nor a model railway materialised before health issues decreed that the completion of any more models of the hacked styrene sort was very unlikely.  Such work as was created can be seen by clicking here.

A 'real' model railway may never materialise, but I have recently discovered the hitherto unknown pleasures of Computer Railway Simulations, particularly Auran's TRAINZ program.  Using this program it is possible to recreate not just a short part of the original line as one would with traditional model railways, but the line entire!  Not only that, but by using additional software it is possible to import 'Digital Elevation Data' and recreate the exact terrain over which the railway ran.  So before too long it should be possible to once again ease a beautiful T&D Hunslet tank loco at the head of a westbound rake of decaying cattle wagons over the summit at Garynadur and plummet down the impossibly steep track to Lispole Viaduct....

Such is the dream.  Screenshots of work to date can be viewed by clicking here.

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Feedback is always welcome - click here.

Andrew Turnbull 2007