It will ring a bell in Tramore

The story of a fondly-recalled 12 kilometres of railway track that connected Waterford city with Tramore for 107 years is told in a new book launched at the weekend.

The 5-Minute Bell by Frank O’Donoghue tells the tale of the railway line which ran until CIÉ ended the service in December of 1960 when the five-minute warning bell rang out for the last time to tell passengers the train’s departure was imminent.

One of the incidents uppermost in people’s minds, when the train is discussed, is a famous night the steam train failed to stop at Tramore station and the engine ended up on Strand Road. This was in August 1947, at the height of Tramore race week when the town was packed with people. Luckily, nobody was injured.

Mr O’Donoghue — a retired chief executive of Waterford Chamber — said of the book: “All of us, of a certain age in Waterford, have great memories of the Tramore train. For me, it conjures up great recollections of times past and the closure of the service 52 years ago was a desperately short-sighted decision. It is especially dispiriting to think of how valuable a sustainable form of comfortable public transport would now be at a time when Tramore has such a large population — many of whom commute to Waterford for work and leisure.”

Priced at €15, the book is already doing brisk business. It is available in many outlets and online at www.tramoretrain.com.

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