Asbestos Factory

Located on the south side of Athy town was the Asbestos Factory which produced large quantities of bulk cement. In the 1940s a short siding was constructed to serve the factory which diverged from the goods only Athy to Ballylinan branch line, which had originally been opened by the Great Southern & Western Railway in 1918 to serve the collieries at Wolfhill. The line to Ballylinan remained in use for sugar beet traffic until April 1963, but the ½ mile section from Athy to the cement factory, by then owned by Tegral Cement, remained in use until 2005. The siding into the cement factory faces south towards Ballylinan, which necessitated trains to reverse in and out of the factory compound. Today this short section of the Ballylinan branch line which served the factory, which also features one of Ireland's first concrete bridges spanning the River Barrow, remains in situ though now disused.
The former Asbestos Cement Factory at Athy, which was rail served from the former Ballylinan branchline. The factory later became the Tegral Cement Factory, but it has not been served by cement trains since 2005. In the foreground is the disused siding entering the factory compound. The loading bay at the Tegral Cement Factory at Athy. Wagons were loaded here beneath the canopy with liquid cement, bound for Dublin or Waterford. In this view is the run around loop for trains, disused since 2005. The disused Asbestos cement siding, which later served the Tegral Cement Factory at Athy. In this view is the gate to which the siding passed through to enter the cement factory. Trains were either hauled or propelled into the factory. This is where the Asbestos cement siding serving the adjacent factory joined the goods only Ballylinan branchline. This view is looking north towards the main line at Athy, with the siding diverging to the left serving the Tegral cement factory. The lever for operating the points on the left has been removed.
A view looking along the disused and overgrown Ballylinan branch at Athy, with the track from the Tegral cement factory converging from the right. The line to Ballylinan stops short of the first level crossing at Fortbarrington; the section to Ballylinan having been closed and lifted in 1963. A level crossing on the Ballylinan branch, adjacent to the Tegral Cement Factory. The warnings signs remain in situ, although the branch serving the cement factory, visible in the background, has been disused since 2005. A another view along the disused branchline which served the Tegral Cement Factory. This view is looking south towards Ballylinan, with the aforementioned level crossing and siding visible. A feature of the Ballylinan branch was this concrete built bridge across the River Barrow. Constructed in 1918, it was the first of its type built in Ireland. This view is looking north towards the main line at Athy.
A view looking south towards Ballylinan, with the parapets of the bridge spanning the River Barrow visible. The concrete railway bridge on the Ballylinan branch at Athy, as viewed from the riverbank of the Barrow. This is the only public road level crossing on the remaining section of the Ballylinan branchline, which served the Tegral Cement Factory until 2005. The road is the R417 to Carlow, and the gates were operated by the train crew. Carlow Rd level crossing on the disused branchline serving the Tegral Cement Factory. On the left is the former gate keepers house. This view is looking north towards the main line at Athy.
Similiar to the previous gate keepers house on the Carlow Rd, this is the house located at the former crossing at Fortbarrington, located just south of the Tegral Cement Factory. The line through here to Ballylinan was eventually lifted in 1964, having been closed completely in April of the previous year.