Castlecomer, Co.Kilkenny, was the terminus of the last ever proper branch line to be built in Ireland, when the Great Southern & Western Railway opened a line just north of Kilkenny on the Portlaoise via Abbeyleix line to the coal mining town of Castlecomer in 1922. The branch lost its passenger service only 10 years after opening, however it remained open for coal and general goods until January 1963, closing along with the Portlaoise to Kilkenny line. The corrugated iron station building and single platform at Castlecomer Station are now long gone, the site now occupied by the 'Railway Garage'. The trackbed of the coal mine extension from the station to the coal mines outside Castlecomer town is now a footpath.
This is the site of Castlecomer Station, looking south towards Kilkenny. Only the tall trees visible beside the car garage date from the time of the railway. All of the station buildings at Castlecomer have long since been demolished. This view is from what was the platform site, looking up towards the coal mines at Deerpark. This is where the goods yard of the former Castlecomer station was once sited. This view is looking towards Deerpark. The site is now occupied by a landscaped park and housing estate. This is the trackbed of the steeply graded line which extended beyond the station at Castlecomer up to the former Deepark Colliery. This view is looking south back towards the former station site. Much of the former trackbed along here is now a footpath.
Looking north towards the coal mines at Castlecomer from the same position as the previous photo. The gravel road marks the formation of the former trackbed. Another view along the former trackbed of the line leading to the Deepark coal mines at Castlecomer. Although the branch was closed in January 1963, the mines at Deepark continued in operation until the late 1960s. The extension of the line to Deepark Colliery crossed Barrack Street within Castlecomer town. The former line passed through gated entrance on the left. A significant engineering feature on the colliery extension was the twin rail overbridges located at the north end of Castlecomer on the road leading towards Deepark. Only one side of the concrete bridge abutment remains, visible on the left. The bridge spanned either side of the two roads (R694/R426) with a centre pillar support (removed).
A close up of the old concrete bridge abutment on the old line to Deepark Colliery. The bridge was dismantled after closure in 1963. One of the bridge supports, now removed, was obtained from the former line between Killininick and Felthouse Jct in Co.Wexford, closed in 1912. Another view of the concrete bridge abutment located at the north end of Castlecomer town. The abutments are located on the Kilkenny side of the road. Just visible through the trees is another former abutment, which belonged to a bridge carrying the railway across a tributary of the River Dinin. The first level crossing outside Castlecomer on the line towards Kilkenny was at Dysart, located alongside the N78 road. The standard carring keepers house has been substantially rebuilt. On the left is one of the standard GSR/CIE concere gate posts. One of the old concrete level crossing gate posts at Dysart crossing, located south of Castlecomer.
The old railway trackbed at Dysart crossing, looking south towards Kilkennny. The much widened N78 road is on the left and in the distance is the first of two bridges spanning the Dinin River. The original curved stone built road bridge crossing the river has long since been demolished. The concrete piers which carried the railway across the Dinin River are still in situ just south of Dysart crossing, visible from the adjacent N78 road. Another view of the 1920s era concrete bridge supports at the River Dinin south of Dysart crossing. Behind them is the modern N78 road bridge. The bridges were dismantled after closure in 1963. Viewed from the old railway embankent on the approach to the former River Dinin bridge south of Dysart crossing. This view is looking north towards Castlecomer. The bridge abutments have been partially blocked by railway sleepers recovered from the track lifting nearly fifty years ago.
The remains of the second and longer bridge which carried the railway across the River Dinin are also still evident, as viewed from the adjacent N78 road. Both the concrete abutments and piers remain in situ. The second and longer bridge which once spanned the River Dinin south of Dysart. This view is looking north towards Castlecomer. Again, old railway sleepers have been placed across the old bridge abutment. The embankment leading to the bridge itself has been partially removed. Close up of the concrete bridge piers which remain in situ at Dysart on the old line to Castlecomer. A river side view of the old concrete piers which once carried the railway bridge spanning the River Dinin.