Castletown Halt

Castletown Halt, Co.Meath, on the disused Navan to Kingscourt branch was a short lived stopping place. The line through Castletown was opened by an the independent company in 1872, latterly taken over by the larger Midland Great Western Railway. After 1925, the then Great Southern Railway attempted to create additional revenue on this little used line and a halt was constructed in 1928 to serve the adjacent Castletown area. Consisting of just a single platform on the up side of the line adjacent to a level crossing and railway cottage, it closed in 1933. Passenger services on the Kingscourt line ceased completely in 1947, but the line remained in use for gypsum traffic right up until 2001. The branch has since fallen into dereliction, having been disconnected just outside Navan at Tara Junction.
The level crossing at the south end of the former Castletown Halt which in 2004 still retained its gates. The halt was located on a minor road off the R162. The site of Castletown Halt on the disused Kingscourt branch, which had just a single platform located to the right of track on the up side of the line. This view is looking north. The view looking south towards Navan from the former Castletown Halt. The single platform was located on the left where the raised ground is. The halt only served a sparsely populated area and was opened and closed by the Great Southern Railway. Note by 2009 the crossing gates have been replaced by a standard metal type.
The CIE manufactured wooden level crossing gates at Castletown have been removed, the line having been disconnected from the rest of the rail network at Tara Junction outside Navan. A view of the heavily overgrown track on the southern side of Castletown level crossing, looking towards Navan. A train has not traversed the line since 2002. The state of the track just north of the former Castletown Halt, looking towards Kingscourt, covered completely by grass and shrubs. In 2004 this rather ancient semaphore signal was still standing on the northern approaches to Castletown Halt. This fixed distant signal warned of the level crossing.
There are very few of these late/early 20th century semaphore signal posts left in Ireland. This type seen at Castletown was manufactured by Courtney & Stephens signalling company in Dublin. A recent view shows the top part of the semaphore signal near Castletown, with both the lamp and glass spectacles having been removed. Closer view of the spectacle, with the lamp holder behind. Although the post was manufactured by Courtney & Stephens, the spectacle part was from the Railway Signalling Company of Liverpool. The build stamp on this semaphore signal post just north of Castletown Halt, bearing the name of the Dublin manufacturer.
Rail and road bridges are on the Kingscourt branch are not common due to the low budget of the early independant Navan & Kingscourt Railway, who were taken over by the larger Midland Great Western. This is the rail overbridge across the N52 road just north of Castletown.