locomotives: Steam

loco number 5 (5T)

Locomotive number 5 (5T) is the only surviving Tralee & Dingle Light Railway locomotive, it was built in 1892 by the firm Hunslet of Leeds, see photo left (C) Richard Norton. It was the world's first outside framed 2-6-2T wheel arrangement locomotive built for use in these islands. Loco 5T was a popular loco, especially during goods only days, as it was more powerful than the other locomotives.


The locomotive has travelled around a good bit, when the tralee and dingle section of CIE closed in 1953, she went to Cavan to work coal trains until 1959, it looked like the end of the rails for 5T, however she was lucky in that she was exported to the USA with several Tralee and Dingle coaches and a Cavan steam engine.


In 1989 she made the return trip to Tralee county Kerry after being repatriated, its ironic that 5T once brought emigrants away from rural areas such as Dingle, only to emigrate herself!


Unfortunately over after over a decade and a half at blennerville, funding was put aside for future overhauls, therefore what happened was inevitable, the last Tralee and Dingle railway loco lies in pieces in an metal shed in blennerville.


LM 92 (see photo left - (C) Sean Cain) was built by Ruston for Bord na Mona  (BNM - Irish turf board) in the late 1940's for use on one of the numerous bog railways. It is rare in that it still retains its original Ruston engine, unlike other BNM Rustons that have been re-engine numerous times, and are still in active service!

LM92 arrived in Tralee circa 1993, and has remained since, it is in quite good condition, considering it has been stored indoors for over 20 years. Unfortunately it is not suitable for use on passenger trains, as it's cab is unsuitable, its diminutive size, and the loco has no air brakes fitted. It would be ideal for maintenance work though.

Rolling Stock

Currently the only rolling stock at Blennerville are 2 former metre gauge coaches that have been regauged to 3ft.These are pictured left currently out of use at Blennerville (C) Mike Dowling. These are not in as bad a condition as thought, and may be salvageable. Although not in keeping with appearances, one coach could suffice for services to get running.

Unbelievably there are some original T&D coaches surviving!


On the left hand side are pictures of the surviving coaches as extant. Numbers 10T (third of 1891) and 7T (third of 1890) are at Dromod along with several bogies and underframes of other coaches. 7T was dismantled and would require an entire rebuild. 10T as shown is in reasonable condition for a coach over 120 years old.


In the USA composite number 18T of 1904 and former brake 3rd/cattle brake 2T of 1890 reside. 18T is in a poor state, but is unique as the only surving composite TDLR coach. Likewise 2T has a unique history, it was used on the Light Rail Transport League 1953 special "passenger" train from Tralee to Dingle and return. This was the last "passenger" working on the dingle railway.


Please visit dromod and see the wonderful recreation of the Cavan and Leitrim railway (where Tralee and Dingle 5T last worked before being sold). Visit the website for details: http://www.cavanandleitrim.com/


5T in goods only days libraries seen departing Tralee about 1940 with a goods train bound for Dingle (C) KCC
5T at Steamtown, America (C) Bruce McCartney
5T returns to Blennerville (C) Fred Dean Junior
LM92 seen hauling 5T out of Blennerville shed, note 5T is still in its primer undercoat! (C) John Huxley
This is 2T the brake 3rd of 1890 (C) NJMT
10T at dromod (C) Joe Carroll
10T as seen in west clare days around 1959, its amazing it has survived! (C) L. Hyland/Clare Library