Newcastle West

Newcastle West, Co.Limerick, was first served by rail in June 1867 when a smaller rail company built a line west from Limerick to here, which would eventually run to Tralee, becoming known as the 'North Kerry' line. The section from Newcastle West to Tralee did not however open until December 1880, and this construction meant that Newcastle West station was laid out as a terminus, and therefore through trains had to reverse in & out to continue west to Tralee or east to Limerick. The line fell into the hands of the Great Southern & Western after 1901. Passenger services on the North Kerry line ceased in 1963, but remained open for goods traffic until 1977. The track, along with Newcastle West Station, lay derelict for 10 years when in 1988 it was eventually lifted.

As already mentioned, Newcastle West station was laid out as a terminus, and had a long terminating island platform, with station buildings and a small wooded trains shed . The signal cabin was located at the north end of the station, and opposite this was the goods shed and yard. The buildings became derelict after closure in 1977, but the main GSWR station building, the only surviving railway building left, was restored complete with platform and track in the late 1990s. The rest of station site is now a new housing estate. The trackbed of the former route is now part of the scenic Great Southern Trail walk.
Newcastle West Station, now a private residence. A short length of track has been relaid in front of the former platform. Much of the station site is now occupied by a housing estate. The Great Southern & Western Railway built station building at Newcastle West, a one time terminus of the North Kerry Tralee to Limerick line, opened in January 1857. The disused station at Newcastle West, as it was in 1987. By this time the track was still intact, along with the former station buildings, which also included the goods shed, signal cabin and water tower. ©Hassard Stacpoole The approach to Newcastle West Station in 1987, with the signal cabin visible in the distance. The line on the left comes from Limerick, with that on the right from Tralee. The disused track was eventually lifted during the summer of 1988. ©Hassard Stacpoole
A general view of Newcastle West Station, seen during winter snow when the North Kerry line was still in use for goods traffic in 1970s. On the left is the goods platform and yard. The signal cabin seen here replaced the original GSWR wooden structure in the early 1950s. ©Liam O'Mahony 181 Class loco No.182 leads a doubled headed train as it rounds the curve on the approach to Newcastle West with a special from Tralee in the late 1970s, while 141 Class loco No.B147 and an unidentified sister loco run around a special from Limerick. ©Liam O'Mahony Dating from 1962, 141 Class No.B172 leads a train on the approach to Newcastle West with a lengthy special from Limerick, while re-engined A Class loco No.A40r is seen on the line to Tralee while running around a special from Listowel.©Liam O'Mahony Seen in May 1980, complete with warning panels and vegetation on its walkways, 141 Class loco No.162 arrives into Newcastle West Station with CIE's annual weed spraying train from Limerick to Tralee. The final weed spraying train to traverse the North Kerry line was in May 1984. ©Richard Wall