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Featured Items

The Tracks of My Railway Years
by Roy Carlisle
Paperback, 28 x 21 cm, 275 colour and 123 b&w photos, 1 map, 179 pages
£16.99 or 
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The Tracks of My Railway Years Cover image
This book is subtitled ‘A personal Journey on Irish and UK Railways from the 1970s’.  It could also be subtitled ‘All those things which so many enthusiasts remember but so few photographed’. In the early 1970s, Roy set about recording the contemporary railway scene, mainly in Northern Ireland but with interludes throughout the island.
The early railtours of the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland with wooden body coaches are featured, particularly the Portrush Flyer from 1973 onwards. Forgotten gems include Barn and Eden Halts on the Larne line, Limavady Junction, Ballymacarret Junction, the original Great Victoria Street Station in Belfast, the Ardee branch, the Sligo Quay branch and Rosslare Harbour station. The full range of motive power of the period is covered – remember NIR’s fleet of three Diesel Hydraulic locomotives? CIE motive power is well illustrated due to an extensive visit to Inchicore Works, Dublin in 1975. Roy brings his story up to date with some steam activity in England and with a recent visit to the new Bellarena station – evidence of the railway revival which we are enjoying at present.

Rails Through North Kerry - Limerick to Tralee and Branches
by Jonathan Beaumont and Barry Carse
Paperback, 28 x 21 cm, 156 colour and 22 b&w photos, 1 map, 2 track
plans, 144 pages, £16.00 or
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Rails Through North Kerry cover image
A scenic, pictorial journey along the meandering railway route known as the ‘North Kerry’ line which carried traffic between Limerick City and Tralee through beautiful countryside.
Illustrating the twilight years of these lines from 1955 onwards, it depicts scenes rarely covered by enthusiasts and provides a picture of an interesting, but hitherto sparsely documented network.  In addition to the main route, and using primarily colour photography, the book also explores the adjacent branch lines of: Limerick to Castlemungret; The Croom Branch, Patrickswell to Charleville; Ballingrane to Foynes; Tralee to Fenit Pier; and Gortatlea to
There are photographs from a number of contributors, but mainly Barry Carse’s own extensive collection. Goods traffic thrived through the 1950s and on into the 1970s as the regular passenger trains breathed their last. Images of the special passenger trains for events like Listowel Races, Knock Pilgrimages, and GAA events are also included.  Today, parts of the route have found a new lease of life – many of the stations have been put to use as private residences and the highly successful Great Southern Trail has brought cyclists, hitch hikers and tourists into this beautiful area.

Dark Days and Brighter Days for Northern Ireland Railways
 by Edwin McMillan
Paperback, 26 x 21 cm, 103 colour and 48 b&w photos, 288 pages, £18.00 or €24.00
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Dark Days and Brighter Days book cover
The railway system that makes up Northern Ireland Railways was formed in 1967 and remains open to this day despite threats of closure and the devastating effects of the ‘Troubles’. This new book records its history through the eyes of the author, an NIR employee for 40 years. With interesting stories and much first-hand detail, this volume recounts the frequent dark days on this small network. On many occasions throughout the ‘Troubles’ there was disruption to train services; buildings and infrastructure were targeted; rolling stock destroyed; and passengers and staff were killed and injured. However, railway staff, including the author himself, had a determination to keep services running, many putting their lives at risk in the process. On the brighter side, and through all adversity, Belfast Central Railway was re-opened; the Cross-Harbour Rail Link was constructed; railway routes and stations were re-opened; relaying of track continued; new stations were built; and new generations of trains were brought onto the railway. Documented in detail, and featuring a comprehensive and unique timeline of incidents during the ‘Troubles’, this record of NIR is illustrated with many images from the author’s own personal collection.

Irish Railway Rambler colour album
by Michael McMahon
Paperback, 28 x 21 cm, 310 colour photos, 176 pages, £16.00 or €21.00
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Irish Railway Rambler book cover
This is a personal photographic memoir drawn from three decades of observation, starting in 1975, during what are now regarded as the “museum years” of post-steam Irish Railways. This period of great change saw the traditional infrastructure of mechanical signalling, travelling post offices, steam heating, goods services, and 19th Century station buildings etc. progressively give way to the utilitarian, electronic era. Train formations and their operation also changed beyond recognition as the locomotive and carriage combination was replaced by modern, anonymous multiple unit operation. The author was uniquely positioned to witness the closing years before regeneration changed so much. His early photographic locations were limited to stations and the line-side but he later made extensive use of Rail Runabout, Rover and Rambler tickets. Later he enjoyed the rare privilege of all Ireland footplate passes, leading to an estimated 80,000 miles of footplate travel between 1982 and 1995, an achievement that is probably, and will remain unique in the annals of Irish Railway enthusiasm. During these wanderings Michael met and made friends with innumerable railwaymen at stations, on trains and in signal cabins, exchanging news and views, and listening to stories from times past. These selected 230 images from his immense collection are a fitting tribute to the railwaymen and the railway of a bygone age, and to the fellow rail enthusiasts who so willingly helped along the way.

Parting Shot by Norman Johnston
260 x 210 mm, 160 pages, Paperback, 198 colour and 37 b&w photos, £16.00 or €21.00
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Book cover image.
Norman Johnston is widely regarded as one of Ireland’s foremost railway historians, who has meticulously photographed and recorded the changing world of Irish railways from the early 1960s.  This book draws from his remarkable collection and showcases some of what Norman regarded as the best, most interesting and significant images that he took during the pivotal period between 1964 and 1973. The pictures are presented in roughly chronological order and include some CIÉ as well as UTA and NIR. All are accompanied by extended captions filled with detail, anecdotes and personal reflection.
Norman began writing the book during the last two months of his life, completing the
manuscript just seven days before his death on 31 August 2014. This book is both a
fascinating record of Irish railways during this formative period, and a fitting tribute to
a man who has contributed much to both the transport heritage scene and the lives of those who knew him.
The book is published by Colourpoint Books, the company which Norman founded in conjunction with his wife, Sheila, and which contributed so much to our knowledge of Irish railways in terms of books published. Norman’s sons, Malcolm and Wesley, now run the business and continue to publish books of railway and transport interest.

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