Waterford and Central Ireland Railway

click for 8k WCIR coa in .jpg format Speculative WCIR coa

History: Summary

Waterford and Central Ireland Railway [13/7/1868]. Began as Waterford and Kilkenny Railway incorporated 21/7/1845 [1846, Opened Kilkenny-Thomastown on 12/5/1848, To Seapoint Hill 20/5/1850. In May 1853 reached Dunkitt which was to remain the Waterford terminus for 11 years][KAM: Title was the unfulfilled ambition of establishing a prosperous trunk line between Waterford and the Midlands. It began with the Waterford & Kilkenny Railway incorporated in 1845 to join these and provide the southern section of the Dublin-Waterford route. Kilkenny was important in the promotion of the mid-1840s when 4 railways were proposed to run to it. These were the Kilkenny & Great Southern & Western, for a line to the GS&WR at Cuddagh, the Irish South Eastern to the GS&WR at Carlow, the Waterford & Kilkenny, and a railway to Clonmel via Callan and Fethard. The Clonmel line was never built, but the W&KR was partially opened in 1848 and the ISER in 1850, and these between them provided the long-awaited Waterford-Dublin line. The K&GS&WR scheme also failed, but it was revived in modified form as the Kilkenny Junction Railway, opened between Kilkenny and Maryborough in 1867. The KJR had been promoted as a northward extension of the W&KR, and in 1866 the two companies obtained an Act for the nominally independent 'Central Ireland Railways', to build a line from Portlaoise to Mullingar. In anticipation name changed to Waterford & Central Ireland Railway in 1868, but the CIR got no further than Mountmellick, to which it was opened in 1885. The WCIR, which absorbed the CIR in 1877 and the KJR in 1896, was itself purchased by the GS&WR on 1/9/1896.]. Operated by Waterford and Limerick Railway [1847] from 28/1/1861 to 1/6/1867 when W&KR recommenced working its own line and the previous week began to work the Kilkenny Junction Railway to Portlaoise. With the Kilkenny Junction Railway [1867] gained powers to a Central Ireland Railway line from Maryborough (opened 1/5/1867) to Geashill and changed its name to the Waterford and Central Ireland Railway in 1868. The Central Ireland Railway was absorbed by the WCIR in 1877 and the Kilkenny Junction Railway in 1896. The WCIR was in turn absorbed by GSWR on 1/9/1900.

Rolling stock: 18 new locos 1846-1897. 1846-1857: 3 4-2-2Ts by Chas. Tayleur, 2 by Stothert and Slaughter, 2 by Kitson, 1 by William Fairbairn, 1 by E.B.Wilson, 1 by Sharp, Stewart; 1867-1897: 2 by J.Fowler, 3 by Vulcan Foundry, 3 by Avonside Engine Co.. Wagons from Ashbury in 1868. Reputed to have had the worst carriages in Ireland, mostly four wheelers. Eleven locos taken into GSWR stock 1900 but onlt 3 carried GSWR nos.. [DBMcN: In 1867 24 carriages and 85 wagons purchased from W&LR. 14 carriages and 85 wagons from Midland Wagon Co. and wagons also from Ashbury. Most carriages broken up by GSWR, one sold to W&TR. Three kept by GSWR. 224 wagons to GSWR.]
Works: Fitting shop and blacksmiths at Waterford from 1868. 6 coaches and 1 carriage built there.
Livery: Locos were dark green with light green lining, black boiler bands and brown frames. [KAM Livery for carriages was dark lake with vermillion and gold lines, wagons were slate with white lettering. Locos were dark green with black bands and light green and red lines, the frames being brown with black and red borders.] [EFC In 1899 engines were dark green with black bevel and light green line with another red line on the cab and tender. Frames were brown with a black border and red edge line. Coaches were a dark blue with vermillion lines and gold lettering shaded with red and black. Wagons were dark slate and lettered in white, running gear black. In 1902 after GSWR takeover, engines were dark green with black bands lined out in light green. Cabs, tender etc. had an inner red line. Underframes were brown with a black border and fine vermillion line. Engine nos. in gold on buffer beams and also on tender rear panel. Coaches were a dark lake with vermillion lining and gold lettering with red and black shading. Wagons were a dark slate with white lettering. Wagons later repainted standard GSWR.][DBMcN: Locomotive dark green with black bands and red and light green lines. Carriage stock was dark red lined vermillion, lettering being gold shaded red and black. The company's seal included the arms of Waterford and Kilkenny with a band bearing the name Waterford & Central Ireland Railway.]
Staff: Five loco superintendents between 1845-1860. [DBMcN: Pemberton, Atkinson, Bullen 1861, Thornton 1867, and Mc Dowell 1867-1897, Hugh Conon -1900] D.McDowell in 1877. Managers included E.J.Cotton1853-1857 and E.A.Neale 1895-1900. [DBMcN: Secretaries W.Bridges, E.J.Cotton, W.S.Parker, William Williams 1863-95, J.D.Knott, E.A.Neale 1895]
Signalling: Primitive. As late as 1872 no signal boxes or interlocking frames. Telegraph between Waterford & Kilkenny 1868. Early days manual staffs with block posts at Ballyhale, Kilkenny and Abbeyleix.

Further reading: K.A.Murray and D.B.McNeill The Great Southern and Western Railway, D.B.McNeill "Waterford & Central Ireland Railway" JIRRS, Vol. 13 p.114, J.O'Neill "Waterford's five railways" JIRRS 1086.

Coat of Arms

Speculative drawing at top of page on the basis of Waterford and Kilkenny city coa - see DBMcN description above.

Rolling Stock railwayana

Locomotive nameplates:

Works & tenderplates:

Lineside and station railwayana


Bridge Restriction:

Bridge Numbers:

click for 16K .jpg image of WCIR TrespassWCIR Trespass (TPWC101)
click for 8K .jpg image of WCIR trespass WCIR trespass. Source: SRA902





Cutlery, china, ashtrays etc.:


click for 4.8K .jpg image of WCIR button WCIR button. Source: TRA504

click for 8.8K .jpg image of WCIR TT Waterford & Central Ireland Railway timetable. Source: GCR409. (full image 23K).

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Page posted 27/7/1997. Revised 28/5/09

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