Inherited by Ireland's national public transport provider Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ) after the war, and closed since 1975, plans are now underway to completely remove the Limerick to Tralee railway line, also known as the North Kerry line.
Retired signal-man and chairman of the Limerick and Kerry Railway Society John Whelan is fighting for the restoration and retention of the 53 miles of track between Limerick and Tralee. He argues that Ballingrane Junction in County Limerick, the starting point of line, should be maintained as part of the vital infrastructure of the region.
Author and social geographer Dr Pat O’Connor is convinced roads are more costly to establish and maintain and the restoration of the Limerick To Kerry line would make better economic sense. He disagrees this would require a massive injection of public funds.
Care and maintenance in the first instance of this line wouldn’t entail a massive expenditure of funds One estimate would indicate that a million pounds would go a long way in restoring the line.
CIÉ will reopen the Limerick to Kerry line if there are sound commercial reasons for doing so. Based on reports published by An Foras Forbartha, the rail enthusiasts believe the Limerick to Kerry line could have tremendous possibilities for supporting heavy industry in the Shannon Estuary region.
CIÉ abandoned the Limerick to Kerry line in 1987 and the first part to be removed was the junction at Ballingrane. Twelve miles of the removed track was shipped to the Sudan in Africa.
An RTÉ News report by Michael Walsh broadcast on 19 November 1981.