Foynes, Co.Limerick, on the Shannon Estuary was first served by rail when the Great Sothern & Western Railway built a branch from their North Kerry line from Limerick at Ballingrane Jct to the important port in 1864. The Foynes branch, along with the North Kerry line lost their passenger service in 1963, while the section of the North Kerry line from Ballingrane to Tralee closed in 1977, the line to Foynes from Limerick was kept open as several railfreight services had been established at the port. These included mainly barytes ore from Silvermines, coal & oil to Ballina and later fertiliser traffic. Unfortunately railfreight has been lost to roads and the last freight train departed Foynes in 1999. Today, the Foynes branch is now disused.

The station at Foynes is one of the few to retain its wooden train shed roof, which is now sadly collapsing since these pictures were taken in summer 2002. The GSWR signal cabin, which was out of use for years was restored, but now serves no purpose. Foynes still retains its somewhat extensive yard and freight sidings, often housing redundant freight wagons awaiting scraping. The last train down the branch was the weed sprayer in May 2002.
Foynes Station, terminus of the Great Southern & Western Railway branch off the former North Kerry line. The station was unusual for a GSWR terminus, featuring this neat train shed which was constructed in 1864. The shed appeared to be in good condition in the summer of 2002, but has since become very dilapidated. A view from beneath the wooden train shed at Foynes Station, showing the single platform at the terminus. The shed was a later addition to the station, the line having opened in April 1854. The track in the foreground was used by freight trains until the early 2000s when the line closed. An August 1960 view of Foynes Station with CIE Sulzer engined B Class loco No.B109 having arrived with a branch service from Limerick consisting of passenger and goods stock. At this time Foynes had yet to be developed into a major port. ©Roger Joanes The large two storey station building at Foynes, as viewed from the roadside. The station, which is now used by Bus Eireann, is located alongside the main N69 road which runs through the town.
This is the neat Great Southern & Western Railway signal cabin at Foynes, seen having received a recent restoration in the summer of 2002. The cabin, which dates from the 1880s, has since fallen into dereliction. The interior of Foynes signal cabin, with the station in the background. The token instruments and a token itself can be seen. The cabin had been closed for several years, but was brought back into use in the mid 1990s, although it did control any points or signals in the station area. This is the GSWR water tower located adjacent to the yard at Foynes Station. The structure remains in fairly good condition. The yard at Foynes Station in the summer of 2002. By this time regular freight services had ceased the track had become rusty. Today the yard is derelict and the Foynes branch is now disconnected from the rest of the Irish railway network.
Located within the disused yard at Foynes Station is a rake of molasses tank wagons, converted from former oil tanks. These were brought into use in the early 1990s for Premier Molasses Ireland, but the traffic ceased by the end of the decade. Side on view of one of the molasses tank wagons, No.26585, lying derelict in the yard at Foynes Station. The wagons were originally built in the late 1960s for oil traffic, but were converted for molassess in the early 1990s. The wagons remain in Foynes to this day. One of the last trains to visit Foynes was the weed sprayer in May 2002. Here, 1962 built 141 Class locomotive No.154 prepares to leave Foynes with the return working to Limerick. Today no train can access the Foynes branch owing to the removal of a section of track near Limerick. ©Colm O'Callaghan