Shannonvale, West Co.Cork, is a small village located near the former Cork Bandon & South Coast Railway's Clonakilty branch line, which was opened by the West Cork Railway in August 1886. The principal industry at Shannonvale was flour, and this is where the Cork Milling Company established a large flourmill in the mid 19th century. In March 1887, one year after the Clonakilty branch was opened, a ½ mile siding/branch was constructed from the flourmill to connect with the branch line just north of the Argideen Viaduct. Operated as a private siding, it terminated in a covered shed served by a platform adjacent to the mill, where the flour was transferred onto railway wagons for onward transit. The siding was uniquely horse operated, and the wagons would be collected by the Clonakilty branch train at the junction. The Shannonvale siding was closed in March 1961, along with the rest of the West Cork railways by CIE. Today the siding trackbed to the mill remains, the buildings themselves now in use as a poultry produce factory. Only one abutment of the nearby Argideen Viaduct remains in situ.
The now disused floor mill at Shannonvale, Co.Cork. Opened in March 1887, the mill was served by a short branch off the Cork Bandon & South Coast Railway's Clonakilty branch. The tall concrete silo is a later addition to the mill. One of the 1887 stone built mill buildings at Shannonvale, now derelict. This structure contained the siding where flour was conveyed from the mill via the conveyer seen above and loaded into railway wagons for onward transit. This is the small covered transhipment shed at Shannonvale, where the branch terminated at the mill. The structure, along with the platform, remains albeit in a derelict condition. The interior of the forlorn looking covered trainshipment siding at Shannonvale mill, where flour was loaded from shoots visible on the right and into railway wagons for onwards transit. The wagons were worked from here up to the main line by horse traction.
The rails within the shed siding remain in situ at Shannonvale, partially covered over in soil. On the left is the platform were the wagons would have been loaded. Another view of the former transhipment shed for the siding at Shannonvale, with the mill visible in the background. It was from here that the horse, named 'Paddy', would set off for the main line on the Clonakilty branch. There was loop within the mill area at Shannonvale to allow the horse to move between different rakes of wagons. There were twin gates across both tracks at the north end of loop which marked the boundary of the mill. One of the original gates remain in situ, as seen here. The approach to the boundary gates at the Shannonvale mill. This view is looking along the former trackbed of the branch into the mill where the loop was once sited.
Another view of the trackbed of the former Shannonvale branch, on the approach to the one time flour mill, visible through the trees in the background. The Shannonvale mill branch was located in a scenic setting just off the Clonakilty line. This is the view of the trackbed running along the ridge of the vale itself, which the Argideen River flows through. Another view looking along the grassy trackbed of the one time horse operated Shannonvale mill branch. This view is looking back towards the flour mill. The branch, along with the West Cork railway system was closed in March 1961. The trackbed of the Shannonvale mill branch on the approach to the one time junction with the Clonakilty line, the formation of which is visible crossing from left to right. The tree covered embankment of this line on the right marks the site of the northern end of the Arigideen Viaduct, now long gone.
Viewed from the Shannonvale mill branch, this is where the Argideen Viaduct on the Clonakilty line was once sited, spanning the small valley which the same named river flows through. The metal plate truss viaduct was dismantled after closure in 1961. On the left is the overgrown remains of the northern abutment of the one time structure. This is the site of the junction at Shannonvale, where the mill siding connected with the CBSCR's Clonakilty line. This view is looking north along the formation of the main line to Clonakilty Jct, with the trackbed of the mill siding converging from the left. The partially filled in road overbridge, located just north of the junction of the Shannonvale mill branch on the Clonakilty line. Here trains would pause, and then reverse backwards into the mill siding to collect wagons of flour brought up by the horse. Another view of the former junction with the Shannonvale branch on the Clonakilty line. The trackbed of the siding to the flour mill can be seen diverging to the right, with the formation of the main line passes between the trees on the left to cross the one time Argideen Viaduct.
The embankment of the former main line on the northern approach to the one time Argideen Viaduct, now populated with bee hives The abutment on this side of the valley has been demolished, although the abutment on the southern side remains in situ. This is the remaining viaduct abutment of the former Argideen Viaduct, built of stone and located on the southern bank of river near Shannonvale. ©Richard Butler Another view of the site of the one time Argideen Viaduct, located just south of the junction with the Shannonvale mill branch. The large scale of the viaduct abument is visible in this view. ©Richard Butler