Limerick Junction

Limerick Junction is an important interchange location for passengers on the Irish Rail network. Opened by the Great Southern & Western Railway in July 1848, in conjunction with the opening of the Waterford & Limerick Railway's line from Limerick City. From its opening in 1848 until CIE relayed the track and altered the station layout in 1967, every train on the Dublin to Cork main line had to reverse into its single long island platform. Trains coming from the east & west have still have to cross the Dublin to Cork line on a flat crossing adjacent to Limerick Jct north cabin, and then have to reverse into the platforms. In 1967, CIE also built the 'direct curve'; a line that allows Dublin-Limerick trains to avoid the junction altogether by bypassing it to the north of the station.

Limerick Junction once had four platforms, the 4th accessed by a line that ran around the back of the station building, but this was taken out of use in 2006. Nowadays only the northern end of the long platform remains in use for up & down main line trains, while a bay platforms serves Limerick and Waterford line services. On the east side of the station is the former loco shed and water tower, used by engineering trains. Both the north and south end signal cabins at the junction were taken out of use in 2011, and the old semaphore signals were replaced by modern colour light types.
In the summer of 2002, 121 Class locomotive No.124 stands at Limerick Jct on a pushpull train from Limerick City. Now preserved, No.124 entered service in March 1961. With the starting semaphore signal in the 'off' position, No.124 propels the return working to Limerick City from the junction. These pushpull trains were replaced by 2700 Class railcars in 2003. 141 Class loco No.144, built by General Motors in 1962, stands at the bay platform at the north end of Limerick Jct having arrived from Limerick. Seen at the north end of Limerick Jct is another 141 Class, No.156, propelling a Limerick to Rosslare service out of the station prior to traversing the flat crossing with the main Dublin-Cork line.
Seen standing at the main line platform, 201 Class loco No.205 awaits departure time with a Cork to Dublin service, formed of Mk3 coaching stock. Sister loco No.216 is seen having arrived from Dublin, heading south to Cork. Named 'River Dodder', No.216 entered Irish Rail service in March 1995. 181 Class loco No.187 is seen at the Limerick bay platform at the station, having run round its train. 187 was eventually withdrawn in February 2009. No.187, dating from 1966, now heads out of Limerick Station with a service to Limerick City, formed of two Craven built coaches and a Mk1 generator van.
Another 121 Class loco to be seen at Limerick Jct in 2002, was No.134, seen propelling a 3-car Mk3 pushpull train out of the station towards Limerick City. Mk3 pushpull trailer No.6105 was built by Irish Rail at Inchicore Works in 1989. Having worked commuter and intercity services, they were eventually withdrawn from service in 2009. No.6105 heads out of Limerick been propelled by 121 Class No.134. The single cab 121 Class No.134 propels its Mk3 pushpull train out of Limerick Jct, returning for servicing in Dublin. 134 has since been preserved by the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland. Side profile of 181 Class loco No.187, seen running around a train at the Limerick bay platform at the station.
Adjacent to the Limerick bay platform was this ground frame, seen been operating to allow loco No.187 to run around its train to form service back to Limerick City. 181 Class loco No.192 is seen in the sidings in company of a grubby 201 Class No.228 at Limerick Jct, the latter stabled with a rake of Mk4 stock. 141/181 Class locomotives Nos.146+189, stand in the middle road at Limerick Jct prioer to taking an Irish Traction Group special north to Dublin. Nos.189+146 were built by General Motors at La Grange Illinois, USA, in 1966 and 1962 respectively. In the background can be seen another 141 Class loco, No.168.
No.168 is seen stabled in the siding alongside the former locomotive shed with a rake of 1960s vintage bulk cement wagons. The loco, as well as the wagons, have since been scrapped. The 1960s vintage 4-wheel bulk cement wagons, seen stabled in the siding at Limerick Junction. These wagons operated between Waterford and Limerick. Replacing the 121 Class hauled pushpull trains, 2700 Class railcar No.2710, stands in the Limerick bay platform at the station having arrived from the city. A view along the platform at Limerick Junction looking south towards Cork. On the left is a stabled 071 Class loco, No.083.
Mk4 driving van trailer No.4006 leads a northbound Cork to Dublin train into Limerick Jct. To the left is the down main line semaphore signal, now since replaced by a modern LED signal. 141 Class locomotives Nos.171+152 stand at the head of an Irish Railway Record Society tour at the north end of Limerick Junction Station. In the foreground the platform has been recently cut back. A track machine, seen stabled at the former locomotive facilities on the down side of Limerick Junction Station. Limerick Junction, looking north towards Dublin from the end of long platform in 2002. The line to Limerick City can be seen diverging to the left. The gantry colour signal was installed as part of the main line resignalling scheme in 1987. This signal, and the semaphores, have since been placed by modern LED types.
The line to Limerick, seen from the north end of the platform at the junction station. The tracks seen here lead to the bay platforms at both the north and south end of the station. The signals seen here were removed in 2011. This is the well known flat crossing, located at the north end of Limerick Jct Station. Here the 1848 built line from Waterford to Limerick crosses the Great Southern & Western Railway's line from Dublin to Cork. Limerick Junction North signal cabin, located adjacent to the flat crossing. The cabin was rebuilt in the 1960s, and is now disused following the resignalling of the station in 2011. An evening view of Limerick Jct, looking south towards the station and Cork from the flat crossing.
Viewed in 2002, this was the single track which lead to the Rosslare bay platform at the south end of Limerick Jct Station. This view is looking north from the adjacent footbridge. The line ran behind the station buildings. The level crossing adjacent to the Rosslare bay platform at the south end of Limerick Jct Station. The track here was removed to make way for a car park. This is the line as it was in 2009, following a few years of disuse at Limerick Jct. The rails have been covered over at the level crossing and fence placed across the track. In this view is the adjacent footbridge. A view of the disused track at the rear of Limerick Jct in 2009, once used by Rosslare trains. The level crossing was protected by two colour light signals, one of which is seen on the left.
The late 1960s era two aspect colour light signal at Limerick Jct. The signal protected the northern side of the level crossing at the rear of the station. Another view of the disused colour light signal at the rear of Limerick Jct, showing the 1960s CIE 'Flying Snail' logo. The 1840s built Great Southern & Western Railway loco shed at Limerick Jct, seen in 2002. The shed is roofless and is now used by engineering vehicles. A forlorn but interesting wagon, seen in the sidings at Limerick Jct. This type of wagon was used on the mogul ore traffic from the mines at Silvermines to Foynes in Co.Limerick, from 1966 to 1977.
A pre-1925 Great Southern & Western Railway semaphore signal at Limerick Jct, controlling Limerick to Waterford trains. This signal has since been removed. The branch semaphore signal in the 'off' position for trains diverging from the main line towards Limerick City. A standard Irish Rail semaphore signal at the Limerick bay platform, soon to be replaced by the adjacent colour light signal. Signals not yet commissioned are covered by a black bag featuring a white 'X'. Until 2011, Limerick Junction still retained its characteristic semaphore signals, seen here along the Waterford to Limerick line at the north end of the station. This view is looking towards Limerick City.
The Irish Rail name board at Limerick Jnc station. In the background across the marshy ground is an adjacent racecourse. The station is in fact located in Co.Tipperary.