STRADBALLY WOODLAND RAILWAY

The Stradbally Woodland Railway opened in 1969 as the first volunteer-run heritage railway in Ireland

Situated in the woods of the Stradbally Hall estate, the railway stemmed from an earlier idea which saw an original Guinness Brewery steam locomotive steamed while mounted on blocks for the August 1968 National Steam Rally. A short section of 1ft 10½in track was laid for the 1968 event and the engine pulled several passenger carriages.
In 1969, the line was relaid to 3ft gauge following the arrival of our steam locomotive, the pride of the fleet, 1949-built Andrew Barclay 0-4-0WT No 2/LM44 Róisín.
Róisín spent her working life on the bog railways of counties Laois and Offaly for Bord na Móna alongside her sister steam engines, Nos 1 and 3. Róisín has now called Stradbally her home for over 50 years and she’s been lovingly cared for by our small but dedicated Irish Steam Preservation Society volunteers since the day she arrived. 

 

Our steam engine Róisín pulls the majority of the passenger trains on the Railway. Photograph: Colin Billinghurst
From front to back: Ruston diesel engines Rusty and Warrior sit at the engine shed in Stradbally while Róisín prepares to take another passenger train during the 2022 National Steam Rally. Photograph: Kieran Marshall

The Railway is open to the public every bank holiday Sunday
and Monday as well as selected other weekend dates between St Patrick’s Day and Halloween. Operating hours on open days are 11am-4pm with diesel trains, pulled by our ever-reliable Ruston diesel, Rusty, for the first
hour and steam for the rest of the day. The line runs for 1km through a beautiful woodland setting along a track shaped like a balloon, so you end up back at the station you started from but facing the opposite direction! Ticket information is listed below.
The Railway’s aim is to preserve rare examples of Ireland’s industrial heritage, in particular local examples such as our steam and diesel locomotives, and to educate visitors on an often-overlooked part of Irish history. Our volunteers are always happy to answer any questions our visitors may have. 
Private group bookings for the railway are available and can be arranged once sufficient notice is given, ideally before the start of our running season in March. The cost of such bookings is dependent on how the group wishes to spend their time during the visit. Inquiries should be sent to stradballyrailway@gmail.comOur train is wheelchair accessible.

 

Opening times:

The Railway opens on bank holiday weekends and selected other dates between St Patrick’s Day and Halloween. See our social media pages on Facebook and Twitter for the most up to date information.

Our next running dates are Saturday and Sunday, September 24th and 25th. More details are available on our social media pages.

Tickets:

Tickets are sold on the day of your visit at the station before boarding the train. We accept cash and card payments.

Prices:

Family of four: €18
Adults: €7
Children: €3
Under 5s: Free

Tuc shop:

A shop selling hot and cold drinks, snacks, merchandise and second-hand books and magazines will also be open on running days subject to volunteer availability. 

 

Contact:
Email: stradballyrailway@gmail.com
Facebook: facebook.com/stradballywoodlandrailway
Twitter: @StradballyRail
Instagram: @irish.steam

 

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