Welcome to the West Clare Railway Wiki
The West Clare Railway (WCR) originally operated in County Clare, Ireland
between 1887 and 1961, and has partially re-opened
The West Clare Railway was the topic of Percy French's song "Are Ye Right There Michael, are ye right?" (written in 1902), deriding the poor timekeeping and poor track quality of the time. Though amusing, some complained that this jesting nevertheless did little to further the cause for keeping the line open. French wrote the song after successfully prosecuting the railway company for loss of earnings, when a late running train prevented him from attending a performance on time. The company, in turn, appealed the ruling, but French was over an hour late for the court hearing in Ennis. He informed the judge that his lateness was because "I took the West Clare Railway here, your honour". The railway company's appeal was unsuccessful.
The railway employed about 70 people in Ennis alone. It continued to run quite successfully up until World war II, when the pressure of improving roads finally began to tell and in 1948 the Irish National Railway (CIE) decided to close the line, but instead they replaced the steam engines with diesel engines. In 1952 four new diesel engines were supplied and in 1953 CIE bought three more. The last steam passenger train left Ennis on March 15, 1952.