Bantry Bay beauty

Model Rail (UK) - - Masterplan Dramatic Lines -

Bantry Bay is on the south-west coast of Ire­land, in County Cork, and flows into the North At­lantic. There’s a small town at the head of the bay that once boasted at­trac­tive pe­riod build­ings, in front of a moun­tain­ous back­drop to the south-west. Al­though mod­ern re­de­vel­op­ments have changed some of the seafront build­ings, Bantry is still a pretty and at­trac­tive lit­tle coastal town. To­day, a large car park dom­i­nates one bank of the bay. This was once the ter­mi­nus of the Cork, Ban­don & South Coast Rail­way. This main line emerged from the city of Cork head­ing south-west along the coast to Ban­don. From here, the line to Bantry opened in July 1881. One of the goods sid­ings ex­tended be­yond the sta­tion lim­its to the 100-yard pier. The loop ter­mi­nated in a head­shunt along­side a plat­form and small shel­ter with a Bantry Pier run­ning-in board. The Great South­ern Rail­way Com­pany was formed in 1924 by the merger of the Great South­ern & West­ern Rail­way, the Mid­land Great West­ern Rail­way and the CBSCR. It be­came the Great South­ern Rail­ways Com­pany a year later when the Dublin & South Eastern Rail­way joined the party. GSRC es­sen­tially ran all the rail­ways within what was then called the Ir­ish Free State; only the GNR (I) re­mained in­de­pen­dent as it op­er­ated the rail con­nec­tion to North­ern Ire­land. GSRC suf­fered from fi­nan­cial is­sues and clo­sure of the CBSCR was threat­ened in the 1930s. It sur­vived to be­come part of the Repub­lic of Ire­land’s na­tion­alised CIÉ in 1944 but, de­spite dieseli­sa­tion in the late 1950s, clo­sure came on March 31 1961. Rail­cars 2641 and 2660 formed the last train, the 6.00pm Cork-bantry. The rail­cars then re­turned to Cork, al­most empty, ex­cept for a party of jour­nal­ists.

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